What Can I Do if My Kindle Has Frozen While Updating?

By Mindi Orth

Amazon regularly releases software updates for the Kindle electronic reading device. These updates download to the Kindle using Amazon’s Whispernet service. Alternatively, you can manually download and install these updates. If your Kindle becomes unresponsive during an update, you must restore functionality before the update can continue. Troubleshoot the potential culprits behind Kindle software update failure to get back to reading.

Reset the Device

Sometimes a glitch that occurs during the download process causes the Kindle to become unresponsive. Resetting the device may resolve the problem. Slide the power switch and hold it for 15 seconds. Then release the switch to reset the device. The update should continue after the Kindle powers on.

Charge the Battery

Without an adequate battery charge, the Kindle can't install an update successfully. Connect the Kindle to the wall outlet to charge the device. Leave the Kindle connected to a power source while the update installs to ensure adequate battery power. You may need to reset the Kindle to restore functionality before connecting it to charge.

Verify Whispernet Connectivity

The Kindle uses the Amazon Whispernet service to download and install updates. If a problem occurs that disrupts this connection, the update fails to continue. Verify Whispernet signal strength by checking the service indicator. Black-filled bars indicate signal strength and the more bars, the stronger the signal indicated. Gray bars indicate the Kindle is checking for signal strength. If the indicator reads “Off,” then the service is disabled. Press the “Menu button, and then use the five-way controller to navigate to “Turn Wireless On” to restore Whispernet service.

Manually Download Updates

If you can't use the Whispernet service to download the update, or if you simply choose not to, you can perform the Kindle update manually. Download the update from the Amazon website to your computer. Turn on the Kindle and connect it to your computer’s USB port. Locate the downloaded file and drag it the root of your Kindle. The root contains various folders, including but not limited to the Audible, Documents and Music folders. Eject the Kindle from your computer, and then disconnect the device from your computer. Press the “Menu” key on the home screen and select “Settings” from the available options. Press the “Menu” key a second time, and then select the “Update Your Kindle” option. When prompted, select “OK” to perform the update. The Kindle restarts twice during the update process.