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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the new Amazon Kindle 3rd Generation FAQs!

Over time, the old sticky thread has become a bit disjointed and unorganised, so this thread will replace it, hopefully in a way that will let you access the information clearly and easily.

It's a locked thread, which I will update periodically, based on questions asked and answered in other threads. There is also a suggestions / requests thread for you to ask for information to be included here and to volunteer any information you have which you think might be useful to other members.

The next post in this thread is a list of the topics covered, with clickable links to take you directly to the posts further on in the thread with the answers. Some of the explanations include links to other KB threads, or to outside sites like Amazon support pages, where you will find further, more detailed information.

We're adding new topics all the time, so come back and visit whenever you have a problem.

I am indebted to Morf for his enthusiasm, advice and contributions, especially with the more technical questions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Topic List

For reference: Amazon Kindle support / troubleshooting pages and contact details

For reference: the parts of the Kindle

What is Whispernet and can I choose whether to use wi-fi or 3G to connect?

Can I use my Kindle even if I can't connect through Whispernet?

Help! My Kindle is frozen! Will a 'soft' or 'hard' restart fix it? What's the difference?

Do I have to buy my books from Amazon?

Can I return a Kindle book?

I've put all my books into Collections. Why are they still showing on the Home Screen?

My friend and I both have Kindles. Can we share our books?

I don't like the sleep pictures (screensavers) or the fonts on my Kindle. Can I change them?

Are there any keyboard shortcuts I can use on my Kindle?

I bought a different dictionary for my Kindle, how do I make it the primary one that the Kindle always uses?

How do I take care of my Kindle's battery and what if it goes flat more quickly than it should?

When connecting my Kindle to a PC via USB, do I disconnect using 'Eject' or 'Safely Remove' and why does it work differently on Windows 7?

How does my Kindle's e-ink screen work?

Is my screen cracked? Why are there lines on it?

I can't get my wi-fi to connect! What am I doing wrong?

How can I synchronise my reading on two different devices such as a Kindle and Kindle for PC (or iPad or Android etc) so that my last page read and notes are transferred?

But I like to re-read some of my books. Why doesn't synchronisation work the second time around and what can I do to re-set it?

Searching the Kindle

Tell me about locations and page numbers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For reference: Amazon Kindle support pages

Amazon US
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=sv_kinc_9?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200127470

Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=sv_kinh_8?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200487800

Amazon Germany
http://www.amazon.de/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=sv_kinc_7?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200594410

Troubleshooting Your Kindle
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_cn?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200510540

Amazon Kindle Customer Support contact details

Amazon US
In the US: 1-866-321-8851
International: 1-206-266-0927.

Amazon UK

In the UK: 0800 496 2449
International: +44 203 356 6212

You can also get CS to call you back or email them - click on "Contact Us" on the right hand side of the main support page.

(Are you a German Kindle user? Let me know the numbers for amazon.de and I will add them here)

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What is Whispernet and can I choose whether to use wi-fi or 3G to connect?

Amazon Whispernet is the way your Kindle keeps in touch with Amazon, so that you can download books, sync between devices and keep your notes and annotations etc backed up at Amazon.

It refers to BOTH wi-fi and 3G connection. You can't choose to have one or the other connected, both will be available as soon as you turn on wireless (unless you have the wi-fi only model).

If you have a wi-fi only Kindle and you turn on wireless (Menu --> Turn on Wireless) your Kindle will only be able to connect if you are within range of a wi-fi hotspot or a home network. Once you connect (Menu --> Settings --> Wi-fi Settings) your Kindle will remember that connection and pick it up automatically whenever you are within range. If you want, you can tell your Kindle to forget a connection and it won't use it again.

If you have a wi-fi and 3G model, when you turn wireless on, it will often connect to 3G first before it finds a wi-fi connection. If there's a strong wi-fi signal available, already known to your Kindle, the delay in finding it is often only a few seconds. If it can find both, the Kindle will use the wi-fi connection for preference. Generally this is a good thing, as most users find wi-fi is quicker and more reliable. If for any reason you prefer to use 3G, you will have to tell your Kindle to 'forget' the wi-fi connection.

Having problems connecting?

Try Amazon's Wireless Troubleshooting Tips:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_navbox_k3troublewireless_200510540?nodeId=200510540#wireless

Or try this topic here in the FAQ's thread:
I can't get my wi-fi to connect! What am I doing wrong?

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Can I use my Kindle even if I can't connect through Whispernet?

Reading on your Kindle is not affected by your wireless connection and many people switch it off until needed because of the extra drain on the battery. You will need to connect at least once when you first get your Kindle to enable some of the features, such as collections.

Even if you're out of range and can't connect by either wi-fi or 3G, you can still download books to your computer and copy them to your Kindle via USB.

For further information on transferring, downloading or sending files to your Kindle
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200493090

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Help, My Kindle is Frozen! Will a 'soft' or 'hard' restart fix it? What's the difference?

Don't panic! It's not uncommon for a Kindle to freeze and it doesn't necessarily mean anything drastic has happened. Restarting the Kindle by doing a 'soft' or 'hard' restart usually solves the problem.

NOTE: the soft restart is recommended as a first resort as it is less likely to cause any damage to the Kindle.

Make sure the Kindle is well charged then unplug it from the power adapter or computer.

Soft restart:-
If the Kindle is not completely frozen but just acting strangely you can achieve the soft restart through the menu options: Menu-->Settings-->Menu--> Restart (NOT the reset to factory defaults).

Hard restart:-
If the Kindle is totally unresponsive you can achieve a restart by using the on/off slider switch, which will have a different effect the longer you hold it. In normal operation a quick slide will merely bring on the sleep picture/screensaver. A slightly longer 5 second hold brings on a blank screen rather than a picture, but has no more effect than the quick slide. Neither of these options will unfreeze the Kindle. You will need to hold the slider switch for at least 15-20 seconds (the screen may go blank after about 5 seconds but keep holding!). After you let go, slide the switch again and if it's worked the Kindle should restart - you will get the 'your kindle is starting up' message.

For further details and a more in depth discussion of this, please see the following thread:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,88877.msg1392938.html#msg1392938

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do I have to buy my books from Amazon?

No, you don't. Books can be purchased from other sellers provided they are DRM free and in a compatible format. There are also many free books available from places such as Project Gutenberg.

DRM or Digital Rights Management is a security feature which publishers apply to e-books to stop them from being resold or given away as they can only be used on the device for which they are originally purchased. You will not be able to read a non-Amazon DRM'd book on your Kindle.
For DRM free books or documents, the compatible formats are:- Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI. These can be transferred via USB to your Kindle's 'documents' folder or sent directly via your free Kindle email address.

For further information about your free Kindle email address and how to set it up, see Amazon Kindle support pages here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200505520&#email

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can I return a Kindle book?

Yes. Any purchase can be returned within 7 days, and it is now possible to do that via your 'manage your kindle' page at Amazon. Click on 'actions' to the right of the book and choose the return option. Once you have returned it, it will be removed from your account.

For books acquired from somewhere other than Amazon, see the website where you made your purchase for their returns policy.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've put all my books into Collections. Why are they still showing on the Home Screen?

On the top right of your screen below the battery indicator it will tell you how you have your Home Screen sorted. The choices are:

By Most Recent First
By Title
By Author
By Collection

Only sorting by collection will stop all your books from displaying on your Home Screen - it will show only your collections in the order that you have most recently accessed them. All the other choices will show both your collection names and all the individual books mixed together. When using the 'Title' sort, you can force your Collections to the top by using characters such as < ~ @ etc in front of the names. e.g.

<Currently Reading
or
~Non-Fiction
or
*Historical Romance

etc etc

You can combine different characters and spaces to further force the sort order. A certain amount of experimentation will be needed to get things how you want them.

To change the sort method, press the up arrow on the five way, then right. Then right or left to choose the option you want, then press the centre of the five way to confirm your choice.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My friend and I both have Kindles. Can we share our books?

Kindle books can only be downloaded to devices registered to the account they are bought on. So if you want to share all your Amazon books with a friend or family member, both your Kindles will need to be registered to the same account.

If you choose to do that, and don't want to have to keep changing your 1-click settings to a different credit card every time a purchase is made by a different user, a good idea is to buy gift certificates and apply these to the account. Gift certificate balances are automatically used up first for any 1-click purchases like Kindle books.

Another way to share your books is by lending them. At this time, Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States. If a loan is initiated to a customer outside the United States, the borrower may not be able to accept the loan if the title is not available in their country due to publisher geographical rights.

Only some books (not all - it depends on if the publisher allows it) are lendable to other Kindle (or Kindle app) users. There are restrictions to this. You can only lend a book once and only for 14 days. You cannot read the book yourself while it is being loaned to someone else.

For more details on how to lend and borrow Kindle books, see Amazon support pages here.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_T1_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200549320&qid=1309422661&sr=1-1

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't like the sleep pictures (screensavers) or the fonts on my Kindle. Can I change them?

If you don't like the available fonts on your Kindle or those pictures that come on the screen every time your Kindle falls asleep, the only way to change them is to apply a 'hack'. This is an unofficial change to the firmware. To do this, firstly you have to 'jailbreak' your Kindle which allows the hack access to your Kindle.

The instructions for doing all this are available in several places.

KB's NogDog has a lot of information here:-

http://www.ebookworm.us/category/enhancements/

And NiLuJe on mobileread here:-

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88004

and here:-

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Screen_Saver_Hack_for_all_2.x_and_3.x_Kindles

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bought a different dictionary for my Kindle, how do I make it the primary one that the Kindle always uses?

There are some dictionaries available to purchase for your Kindle and many of these can be used as your Primary Dictionary. This means that when you look up a word, this is the dictionary that the Kindle accesses automatically to give you the definitions. Kindles bought on Amazon UK come with the Oxford Dictionary of English as well as the usual New Oxford American Dictionary.

To check which dictionary your K3 is using, look up a definition within a book and then press the return button (the one to the right of the Sym button) and it will open up the dictionary and the title will be at the top of the page.

To change your Primary Dictionary, on the Home Screen go to Menu --> Settings --> Menu --> Change Primary Dictionary.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How do I take care of my Kindle's battery and what if it goes flat more quickly than it should?

It's very important to realise that the Kindle battery, being a modern Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) battery, is not like the old Nickel Cadmium (Nicad) or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries which needed special charging and discharging.

You can treat the battery more or less like your car petrol tank; you can top it up regularly every few days; you can fill it up before a long journey (even if it's already nearly full), or you can let it run down quite low (say, to a quarter full) and then fill it back up. You can even partly top it up if you haven't got time for a full charge.

Just like your car, though, it's probably a good idea not to run it completely empty. Apart from the inconvenience, there's no benefit to it, and there is a slight possibility that you may cause harm by doing it.

If circumstances mean you have to run it to the low battery warning, charge it up as soon as practically possible (preferably within a few days), and don't keep trying to use it; once the battery has reached its lowest level and the Kindle has switched off, forcing it to discharge still further might potentially damage the battery permanently.

If you have to store the Kindle for a long time (several weeks) unused, make sure the battery is well charged and then switch the Kindle off by sliding and holding the power button for five seconds. The LED light will blink three times. Wait for the screen to go blank, then release the power button.

When charging the Kindle, you can unplug as soon as the light goes green, but it won't matter if you leave it plugged in for a few hours after that (eg if you charge overnight), or even a couple of days. Avoid leaving it plugged in for weeks, though.

Charging using the official Amazon mains adapter will usually take about 3-4 hours, especially from the low warning. If you are charging from a PC's USB socket or some other charger expect it to take longer than that, maybe 4-5 hours or even longer. Don't worry unless it is taking much longer than this.

The Kindle normally uses its battery very sparingly. This is because when you are reading a book, it only has to do something when you press a button, which is typically a page change button only every 30 seconds to a minute or so. The rest of the time it's almost asleep. This is because the e-ink screen doesn't use power except when changing and why the Kindle battery can often last for at least a week to a fortnight between charges.

If your battery goes flat much quicker than this, and you are not using the Kindle excessively, here are some things to check:

Firstly, make sure you turn off wireless unless you need it. The wireless connection will drain your battery more quickly.

Playing games can also discharge the battery very quickly. If you play a game you are typically pressing buttons much more often, and the screen is having to refresh much more often. This eats up power. If the game is web based (as some are), the wireless is using up power as well.

If you're not playing games and the battery flattens quickly, check if you have an indexing problem. To do this, search for a nonsense word (xgdfehxsa or something like that). If the search results show there are unindexed books, try again in a few hours. If it still shows unindexed books there may be a problem with the book, try downloading it again.

This thread on KB has some helpful information:-
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,56029.0.html

If you want a more technical explanation of lithium-ion batteries:-
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

The most important message is that the battery isn't fragile and needs no special care. Just enjoy your Kindle!

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When connecting my Kindle to a PC via USB, do I disconnect using 'Eject' or 'Safely Remove' and why does it work differently on Windows 7?

If you want to download files to your Kindle directly from your PC, you will need to connect via a USB cable. When you come to disconnect it's best not to just pull the cable out!

There are two ways to remove the Kindle from your PC:

Eject: Open "My Computer", right click on the Kindle drive icon and select "Eject"
Safely Remove: In the tray in the bottom right of your task bar, select "Safely Remove" and select the Kindle

For the purposes of removing the Kindle so you can disconnect the cable, you can use either of these, both have the same effect.

If you are using Windows XP, you can also use both of them, they will both have the same effect.

However, if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, there is one important difference. While the Kindle is connected, you'll see this message on the screen:



If you want to use your Kindle and continue charging, you must use Eject.

Safely Remove will not work in the same way - your Kindle will carry on charging but you will not be able to use it.

For a detailed explanation of why this is the case, see Morf's post here.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,4346.msg826905.html#msg826905

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
How does my Kindle's e-ink screen work?

One of the main differences between a Kindle screen and the screens on your PC, tablet, or smartphone is that it uses a technology called 'e-ink'. Unlike the other screens, this is not backlit which means although you can't read it in the dark without an external light, you can read it in bright sunlight without any reflection. In this way the screen mimics a paper book.

For a more detailed explanation of how e-ink technology works, see Morf's post here.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,69326.msg1129302.html#msg1129302

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I can't get my wi-fi to connect! What am I doing wrong?

To start with, try the wi-fi troubleshooting advice from Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_navbox_k3troublewireless_200510540?nodeId=200510540#wireless

Kindles seem to work best with recent wi-fi routers set up with standard WPA2 security and wireless-B or -G enabled. If you have unusual security settings such as a hidden SSID or MAC filtering you may need to disable these.

If these suggestions don't help, below (in no particular order) are a number of ideas which KindleBoard members have recommended in the past.

  • If your wi-fi channel is set to Auto, try setting it to a fixed channel between 1 and 11. Avoid the extra channels 12 and 13 that are available in some regions.
  • If you have a hidden SSID, make sure you enter it in exactly the same case as it is on the router, check for capital letters.
  • If your password is very long, or has unusual punctuation characters in it, try changing it for a shorter, simpler password.
  • Having spaces in the password (eg "1234 5678") may cause problems, try removing the spaces.
  • Check with the router supplier's website to see if there are any firmware updates.
  • If you go to the settings page (Home --> Menu --> Settings) and type 711 (hold alt and type UQQ) you will get the "711 Page" which has diagnostic information about the wi-fi connection. There may be something there that helps!

This thread also has some suggestions that may help http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,34058.0.html.

If none of these ideas help, post a question including as much information as you can including the router make and model and a summary of your security configuration (obviously don't include your password!) in the FAQ suggestions / requests post.

It may be, however, that the only way to get it working is to buy a new router!

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How can I synchronise my reading on two different devices such as a Kindle and Kindle for PC (or iPad or Android etc) so that my last page read and notes are transferred?

The first thing to do is to make sure that you have Synchronisation set to 'On' on your Manage Your Kindle page. On the lefthand panel under 'Your Kindle Account' click on 'Manage your devices' and look beneath the list of your registered devices and Apps. It is set to 'On' by default but it's worth checking, especially if you have any problems.

You should also ensure that you have 'Annotations Backup' set to on in the Settings of all your devices / Apps and that you have your Kindle's Wireless connection on.

Synchronisation between different devices only works on books you have purchased from Amazon (including free books) and books or personal documents you have emailed to your Kindle using your free Kindle email address. It does not work on any non-Amazon items which have been sideloaded via USB.

After you finish reading on your Kindle, close the book by going to the Home Screen and then press Menu --> Sync and Check for Items. You will also need to Sync and Check on Kindle for PC but this will happen automatically on your Kindle App when you exit the book.

Open the book on another device or App. If you are not prompted to go to the latest page then you will need to 'Sync to furthest page read'. On your Kindle: press Menu --> Sync to furthest page read. On Kindle for PC: press Go To --> Sync to furthest page read. In your Kindle App: press the round arrow symbol on the bottom right of the screen. You should then be prompted to go to the latest page read.

Why is the "Home" step important?

It would seem that it's only when you go to the Home Screen (ie out of a book) that the Kindle updates the record of where you are in the book (and saves notes etc) - this is why if you have a book open and the Kindle restarts spontaneously (*) it will forget where you were in the book.

Add to that, the Kindle doesn't update to Whispernet (ie to the Amazon servers) very often - this is why you should force the sync by using the "Sync and check", to be certain it's done. It would help to get into the habit of doing Home-->Menu-->Sync and check whenever you finish reading for this to work consistently - and, of course, keep wireless turned on!

(*) Don't worry, this doesn't happen often!

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