HOWTO: Soft/Hard reset your Kindle 3G w/ keyboard

KindleReset (2)I have a Kindle 3G.  Y’know – the one with the keyboard?  Been using it for a few years now & it’s treated me well, despite reading it in the hot blazing sun of Las Vegas… bringing it with me into the pool (in a waterproof Kindle holder, mind you)… and travelling all around the globe with it.  But recently, I haven’t had time for it.  I’ve spent most of my reading time on my Microsoft Surface or my HTC Windows Phone 8X, both of which have the Kindle app on them so using the Kindle 3G really isn’t necessary for 90% of what I need to do.

So of course I lost track of it.  I really didn’t know where it was… it’d been THAT long since I used it.  Just yesterday, I started looking for it and lo-and-behold, it was behind my nightstand here it’d fallen after having been used for bedtime reading for quite a while.  Completely drained of battery, I plugged it into my MicroUSB charging clock radio (it has a slot at the top with cables for charging USB peripherals) and of course it came up.  10 minutes later it’d downloaded all the books that I’d had queued up for delivery and away we go.

Then it suddenly froze.  The GREEN/YELLOW charging light wouldn’t turn off.  I have a suspicion this had something to do with the pending remote Software Update that Amazon pushed (which after this ordeal occurred without me knowing) but I can’t be certain.  The Software Update that I’m referring to provided New Reading Font, Parental Controls, Kindle Format 8, Comic Book/Children’s Picture Book Support, Enhanced Table/Image Viewing, Whispersync for Voice support,

Anyway, to get it out of this frozen state, I had to do the following:

  1. Hold the power switch to the right for 20 seconds.  Release.
  2. Press the Home button for 60 seconds.  A “Reset” screen will appear.
  3. Hit the DEL key on the keyboard.  This brought my unit back to a stable state, as if I’d done a reboot or a soft reset of the device.
  4. I’m told that if this doesn’t work, you have to do a hard reset of the device, which is the equivalent of wiping & resetting your Kindle.  This procedure will wipe out all your books and require you to re-download them to your Kindle which, while not disastrous, will take time.  It will also lose your bookmarks & settings.
    To do a hard reset, type the word “reset” in the above screen after following step 1.  Warning:  There’s no turning back from this once you type the entire word in and there’s no “Are you sure?”

I’d point to the place where I found this information but I can’t for the life of me find it again.  Kudos to whomever it was that documented this originally & I apologize for not cross-posting to you.  Your article was indeed helpful.

29 Responses to HOWTO: Soft/Hard reset your Kindle 3G w/ keyboard

  1. Cindy says:

    I have a kindle 3 and I love it because I’m old and not very tech savvy.Yours was the only site that helped me restart my kindle with easy to follow instructions.Thanks a million

  2. MNazimool says:

    Hi Kurtsh:

    Thank you so much for you post. I ended up having to do a hard reset following your latter steps and it is finally rebooting. Thanks again.

  3. Laura says:

    Kurt-thanks so much! I have an old Kindle keyboard I haven’t used in years since I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I love. But I thought I would charge it it up and see if it worked. It wouldn’t boot but I re-set(I had to do a hard reset) with your instructions and it even kept my collections. Kind of a trip down memory lane and I might read some of the books. I know many of the ebooks there are those terrible free ones I downloaded like crazy at the time lol. Maybe I’ll clean up my library a bit. But again thanks, appreciate the information.

  4. Margaret Fisher says:

    Thanks very much! I used this to reset my daughter’s old Kindle which had parental controls on so deregistration was not available from the device, and also didn’t work from the Amazon account.

  5. Sergio says:

    Hi, as not said, it works, I held the power switch to the right for 20 seconds (it doesn’t cause the reboot) and the Home button for 20 seconds. Then the Reset screen appears.

  6. Beth says:

    very sad! I’ve tried it all and nothing! I guess it’s time to move on to a newer version.

  7. Mike Snarski says:

    I have a 3G Kindle Keyboard from 2010 that my wife loves. She plays Solitaire on it every day. Today it froze and I tried your solution along with several others from Amazon’s Support page and various Internet power switch and pushbutton combinations. All failed.

    Figuring I could do no further harm, I pried the plastic rear panel off beginning a the power switch and charger receptacle area at the bottom. A dull butter knife barely inserted to prevent internal shorting was then gently twisted progressively to coax the plastic locking tabs to release along the other 3 sides of the Kindle’s rear cover.

    Once opened, I flipped the Kindle over and a stray piece of plastic locking tab fell out. (A good thing to happen.)

    I then took out the two screws and removed the Li-Ion battery. Two little top-hat shaped grommets fell off of the battery. I flipped the Kindle back over. The same “frozen screen” was displaying without the battery inserted. (This must be a non-power-consuming nonvolatile memory display.)

    I flipped the Kindle back over, put the grommets back on the plastic receptacles for the battery screws and fastened the battery back in place. It had been disconnected for more than a minute.

    Immediately the startup screen appeared (the one with the tree), along with a progress bar. The power slider switch had no effect on this reboot and the progress bar. After the progress bar got to 100%, the Kindle’s table of contents appeared. Everything was still there, and Solitaire continued from where it had frozen up for my wife.

    Apparently the battery disconnect for 1 minute is the same as a soft reset or reboot. Whew….

    So this is a last ditch, “let the user beware” way of getting a 3G Kindle Keyboard “unstuck”. I don’t recommend it for the novice or the faint of heart.

  8. Tania says:

    Thank you so much for helping! Amazon could not!

  9. Ms Moc says:

    Thank You so much! – the soft rest worked as described. I think the Kindle keyboard is the best kindle – it’s the got the page-turn buttons. I know my Kindle won’t last forever (and now getting ink line drop outs) – but your instructions gave it more life!

  10. Peter says:

    That’s brilliant. It worked. Many many thanks.

  11. Craig says:

    Thanks! Your instructions came up 1st when I googled “how to reboot a kindle with a keyboard”. Your solution worked perfectly..

  12. markd60 says:

    Mine, the orange charge light stays on forever. And the dead battery screen stays on forever too. I would think it takes some battery to maintain the dead battery screen. If the battery was completely dead, the screen would go blank.
    Time for a paperwhite…

  13. Shu says:

    Thank you! I was stuck on Lender’s Library in Kindle store and the only thing that worked to reset it was following steps 1-3. Kindle works great now. I appreciate your post.

  14. Ted says:

    My Kindle 3rd Generation with keyboard is frozen and displaying the tree with the status bar locked around 10%. I have tried the soft reset method above and also removing the battery and nothing has worked!
    I purchased a new battery and recharged it however the orange charge light stays on when it is on charge but goes out when not on charge.
    Are there any other ways that I can reset my Kindle to get it working or do I have to buy a new one?

    • kurtsh says:

      Honestly, it seems like it’d be easier just to buy a new one off eBay, wouldn’t it? Kindle 3Gs are going for $20-$30. Or if you don’t really need the keyboard, the newer Kindle Paperwhites are going for $40-$50 – all with 3G connectivity. Perhaps I’m not understanding why folks go through such hoops to fix Kindles that are worth less than $20 these days. If you bought a device off eBay, reregistered it, all your titles can be reloaded. This post was written back when it was a lot more expensive to replace a Kindle but now, it’s trivial.

      Oh – one neat thing: If you turn in your Kindle to Amazon, you can get 20% off of a new Kindle + $5 in Amazon credit. I’ve now done that twice now, turning in old Kindle 3G devices, to get the new Kindle Oasis devices which run $375 new (3G connectivity, no ads) and the 20% off is a whopping $75 off the price for a new device. It’s a great way to turn old hardware into new Xmas Gifts. 🙂

  15. Thank you for publishing this procedure! My Kindle 3 was stuck on the lock screen. After a lot of trial & error, I found that I needed to put the device on a charger, wait a few minutes, perform steps 1 & 2, then wait about five minutes for the reset screen to appear. I pressed DEL and the device restarted with all of my titles still available.

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