Black Blotches With a White Screen on the Kindle

By Milton Kazmeyer

Black blotches on a Kindle screen can indicate a number of problems.
i Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The Amazon Kindle line of e-book readers use a specialized type of display called E Ink, consisting of thousands of tiny cells with particles of pigment inside. Normally, electrical impulses from the reader move these particles around, lightening and darkening each pixel to display text and graphics. If your Kindle develops black blotches on the screen that interfere with your reading, you may have a problem that requires service or replacement.

Stuck Pixel

One common source of these black blotches is a stuck pixel. Sometimes, a cell may not respond to the Kindle’s commands, and will remain dark when it should clear, or remain blank when it should fill in. Other times, entire rows of pixels may not update properly, and your screen may retain bits of graphics from the screen saver. Often, you can simply advance or go back a page to force a screen refresh and automatically correct the problem. If this does not work, pressing "Alt-G" on the keyboard should trigger a screen refresh. If this does not correct the stuck pixel, you may need to repeat the process a few times to restore functionality.


If stuck pixels refuse to resolve themselves, you may try resetting the device. The Settings menu has an option to reset your Kindle; you can also hold down the power/reset button for 30 seconds to perform a hard reset. You may also try resetting your Kindle to factory defaults through the Settings menu, although this will erase any personal files you have on the device and force you to re-download your books from Amazon’s cloud storage.

Physical Damage

If resetting does not clear up the problem, or if a large portion of the screen is unresponsive, it may be the result of physical damage. Pressure on the screen can cause cells to crack, creating large blotches and rendering the screen unusable. To prevent this type of damage, keep your Kindle in a protective case while not in use, and take care when carrying your Kindle in a purse or bag to prevent pressure damage.

Warranty Service

If your Kindle screen degrades to the point where it interferes with your reading enjoyment, you may be able to have it serviced or replaced. The Kindle ships with a one-year limited warranty, but even outside of warranty or in the case of non-covered damage, you may be able to purchase a refurbished Kindle as a replacement for a discounted price. Contact Amazon to determine your replacement or repair options.