What to Do When Your Kindle is Not ChargingGadgets & Gizmos
Kindle is Not Charging
Amazon’s flagship Kindle or Fire devices are sturdy little tablets that will last you for years to come. For example, I still have a Kindle Fire from back in 2010, and it’s running well, except for one issue. The battery won’t charge. In fact, I first started having battery problems about 2 years ago, which isn’t bad after 5 years of using a device. At first, I figured that since Kindle Fire’s battery is only rated for 1,000 full charge cycles (like almost all rechargeable devices), it was simply a case of the battery dying. If your Kindle is as old or older than mine, that may very well be the case.
But, there are still plenty of things you can try before consigning your beloved Kindle to the recycling bin.
Step 1: Clean the Charging Port
The older your device, the more likely that your problem is a combination of physical and software issues. The most common physical issue is the charging port just being dirty. That’s why you should always start out by gently cleaning the micro USB port. Use a Q-Tip or soft-cotton ball, dip it into isopropyl alcohol, and gently swab out the port. Make sure you don’t leave any cotton strands behind, because this will interfere with the connection.
Step 2: Reset Your Kindle
All Kindles come with a built-in reset button that attempts to reset the software. It doesn’t delete anything on your tablet, it just resets the software. To active this, hold the power button to the right for 15-30 seconds. Power cycling your Kindle this way will force it to fully reboot and can clear many problems.
Step 3: Reboot in Recovery Mode
Back up your files before proceeding any further
If a simple reset doesn’t work, you can try to reboot your Kindle in recovery mode to correct any issues, such as a battery Critical Error. The steps to put your Kindle into Recovery Mode may vary depending on the model you have, but this worked for me.
First, make sure your battery is as charged as possible. Plug it into a USB socket attached to a wall and make sure that the charger is lit. Older Kindles sometimes disconnect the first time, so make sure the charging icon stays lit before walking away. Come back after a few hours to check if your Kindle is charging.
Unplug the USB and slide the power button to the right for 15-30 seconds, then immediately hold the Home key for 30-45 seconds. The Kindle screen should begin to flash. Go through the recovery screen, either by typing RESET or pressing and holding the R key depending on your mode. You will lose all your files and settings, so be sure to back up your Kindle first.
Plug the Kindle in and wait for it to return to the Home Screen.
Step 4: Restore Kindle to Factory Defaults
It might seem like a hassle to restore your device completely but, unless you ‘jailbreak’ your Kindle, there’s no real way to access it to clean it with third-party software. Over time, software issues develop, code lines build up, and your system registry becomes clogged. Just like with a regular computer, this kind of software interference can dramatically interfere with performance.
Other things that will interfere with performance, including battery life, include:
- Apps that aren’t compatible with your Kindle model
- Filling your Kindle over 90% of your available storage
- Malware that is using your battery while your kindle is supposed to be off
Resetting your kindle to factory default is an easy way to wipe everything all at once without having to go through recovery mode.
Replace Your Kindle
Eventually, the lifespan of even the most beloved electronics runs out. At least with me, this usually coincides with the new models having irresistably better features than the device I have. In the case of Amazon’s Kindle, huge advancements have been made in screen quality. If you find that your Kindle still won’t charge, the easiest option may be to consider upgrading to the newest model.