Kindle Will Not Turn On? (Here’s Why & Ways to Fix It!)

It can be incredibly alarming when you go to open your Kindle and realize it will not turn on. In fact, I went to use my Kindle last week on vacation. When I went to power it on to start a new book, I realized it wouldn’t turn on.

The reasons your Kindle will not turn on are due to a critically low battery, the screen being stuck on an exclamation mark, the battery needing to be replaced, or there being issues with the software or hardware. In any of these situations, there are solutions; make sure your Kindle is charged, replace the battery if necessary, or perform a hard reset on your Kindle.

This article will provide further information and offer additional solutions to address the issue of your Kindle not turning on.

Why Won’t Your Kindle Turn On?

Kindle Battery is Critically Low

If your Kindle will not turn on, it may be because the Kindle’s battery is critically low.

The battery becomes critically low on a charge if the device has not been used in quite some time, or if it has not been connected to power.

A kindle is not like a mobile phone in the sense that when the battery is low, it does not power the device down. Therefore, when the device runs out of its threshold amount of reserved power, the Kindle will be unable to turn on and display a “battery is critical” screen.

The “battery is critical” screen should be the biggest indicator to you that your battery is extremely low and is likely the reason your kindle will not turn on.

Depending on the model of Kindle you have, your display for critically low battery may vary. Older Kindles tend to display an error message telling you to connect your device to a charger.

Newer models of Kindles will display a charger and a lightning bold, signifying that it needs to be connected to power.

If you receive a version of this message, ensure that you give your Kindle enough time to recharge.

Once it has enough battery, it should turn on. You will know your Kindle is fully charged when the light indicator turns green.

In some instances, you may notice that even though the light indicator is green, your Kindle may still be displaying a battery exclamation mark.

Kindle Screen Stuck on Battery Exclamation Mark

If your Kindle screen is stuck displaying the battery exclamation mark, your Kindle will not turn on.

If you see this exclamation mark on your screen, it is likely due to a variety of issues with the charging capabilities of the device.

Under normal circumstances, it will also appear if the device has a critically low battery and need to be connected to a power source. Although as mentioned, other issues can cause this image to display on your Kindle screen regardless of the battery percentage.

If you know your Kindle has a charge, or the green light indicator is on, you may want to consider doing the following things:

  1. Force reset your Kindle
  2. Disconnect the battery from the motherboard and then reconnect

Later in the article, we will review the specific instructions for performing a force reset on a Kindle and disconnecting the battery from the motherboard.

Battery is Not Charging

If your Kindle is not turning on, it could be because the battery is not charging. There are many reasons why your Kindle battery may not be charging—it may or may not warrant a replacement battery.

I’ve had the same issue with my iPad, and although it was actually charging, it was charging very slowly.

You may find that even though you remembered to plug your kindle into the charger, the battery is not charging. First, check to see if there are any noticeable issues with the Kindle charger or the charging port. The most common issues that would cause a Kindle to not charge are related to issues with the charging cable or charging port.

Other reasons your Kindle may not be charging are due to a faulty battery, issues with the power adaptor, or issues establishing connectivity between the cable and charging ports.

Before you let your mind assume the worst, test your Kindle charger on another device, if possible. This will tell you whether or not your Kindle battery or Kindle charger is the issue.

Battery Needs Replacement

If your battery is still not charging and you have ruled out the possibility of a faulty charger, it could mean your Kindle battery needs to be replaced. Kindle batteries have a certain lifespan, just like those in many other popular devices.

If you have had your kindle for a while, it may be time to replace the battery.

How Do You Know if Your Kindle Battery Needs Replacing?

You will know if your Kindle battery needs replacing by looking at the orange light indicator. The orange light indicator shows that your Kindle is actively charging. It turns green when the Kindle is fully charged.

When the Kindle is charging, the orange light indicator should not be blinking. However, if you notice the orange light indicator blinking on your Kindle, this means the battery has gone bad and it is time for a replacement Kindle.

Another way to tell if your Kindle battery needs to be replaced is to open the back panel, also known as the motherboard. On the back of the Kindle device, you should be able to remove the back panel and use a voltmeter to test the battery capacity of the Kindle.

If the voltmeter shows the Kindle battery voltage is exceptionally low, it is clear that the Kindle battery needs to be replaced.

With this in mind, note that replacing a Kindle battery is relatively simple and can be done at home with a few tools. There are videos available online that walk you through the entire process, as well as online instructions.

Hardware Issues

An unlikely but possible reason that your Kindle will not turn on is because of hardware issues. If there is any internal damage to the Kindle’s motherboard, it is likely that your Kindle will not turn on.

Specifically, if the connector between the battery and the motherboard is damaged, the Kindle will no longer turn on.

For serious hardware issues, you will have to take your Kindle in to a repair shop. Unless you have a strong knowledge of the internal workings of a Kindle, it is wise to let a professional figure it out.

Software Issues

The other possible reason your Kindle will not turn on is because of software issues. Your Kindle will function at its best when it is up to date on all current software.

If you know you haven’t performed a software update on your Kindle in a while, it is best to start there.

Kindles automatically install software updates as they receive them so long as they are connected to Wi-Fi. However, it is still entirely possible for whatever reason that your Kindle did not automatically install the software update.

You should manually check to see if there are any new software updates and install them if so.

If you are unable to tell whether or not there is an available software update because your Kindle will not turn on, consider contacting Amazon Customer Service for support. Their contact information can be found further down in the article.

How to Fix Your Kindle When It Won’t Turn On?

1. Charge Your Kindle

The most obvious reason your Kindle is not turning on maybe because it is out of charge. Allow your Kindle to charge for a few, solid hours before retrying to turn it on.

If your Kindle battery is completely drained, charging may take longer than normal; the Kindle may not start up right away.

If your battery if completely drained, ensure that you are using an official Amazon wall charger. Similarly, plugging the Kindle charger into a wall adapter will speed up the charging process, as opposed to a laptop.

How to Know if Your Kindle is Charging When It Doesn’t Turn On

If you are trying to tell if your Kindle is charging when it hasn’t yet turned on, look at the orange light on the Kindle which is located near the charging port. If the orange light is on, this indicates the Kindle is charging, regardless of whether or not the Kindle is dead or won’t turn on.

2. Use the Volume Down Button   

On 5th generation Kindles, you can use the volume down button to try to turn your Kindle on. If your Kindle won’t turn on when it is connected to power, press the volume down button and the power button at the same time, for about 5 seconds.

If this works for your device, your Kindle should turn on.

3. Hard Reset Your Kindle

If your Kindle has been charging for hours and it still will not turn on, you will need to hard reset your Kindle. A hard reset completely shuts down the Kindle—although, it is not a factory reset, so you will not lose any of your saved information or data.

To hard reset your Kindle:

  1. Connect the Kindle to USB port on a computer. Note that this must be done on a computer
  2. The orange light indicator will turn on, signifying that the Kindle is charging
  3. Press and hold the power button for 40 seconds
  4. Once the 40 seconds have passed, release the power button
  5. The Kindle screen will blink once
  6. Press power again
  7. Note if there is a response
  8. If your Kindle is still displaying the battery exclamation mark, allow the Kindle to charge in the computer for 20-30 minutes
  9. After 30 minutes, repeat steps 3 and 4
  10. If the Kindle still won’t turn on, repeat steps 5 and 6 a few times

A hard reset should do the trick. In a lot of instances, charging the Kindle in a computer USB port for 20 or 30 minutes will automatically turn the Kindle on if it has been unresponsive.

Check out this video for specific steps on how to hard reset a Kindle.

4. Use The Recovery Menu To Install Latest Software

Your Kindle may not be working because it needs a software update. You may be wondering how you can install software on your Kindle if it won’t even turn on.

Using the recovery menu, you can install the latest software on a Kindle that won’t turn on.

First, start by connecting your Kindle to its charger and plugging it in, then:

  1. Press the volume up button and the power button at the same time
  2. Hold the buttons for 45 seconds
  3. You will see the recovery menu
  4. Navigate using the volume buttons
  5. Select Install Latest Software
  6. Allow the software to install
  7. The Kindle will automatically turn on once the installation is complete

5. Unplug and Reconnect the Battery from the Motherboard

If the charging capacity of your Kindle’s battery has lessened, it may mean that you need to reset the battery.

A hard reset also resets the battery, but this is a more complicated procedure with less success. The best way to reset the Kindle battery is to unplug and reconnect the battery from the motherboard after ten seconds.

This process may sound complicated, but it can be easily completed by following these steps:

  1. Get a prying tool
  2. Have a Phillips Head screwdriver nearby
  3. Using the pry tool, open the back panel of your Kindle
  4. Unscrew around the screen if you have the applicable model
  5. Disconnect the battery from the board
  6. Reconnect the battery to the motherboard
  7. Power the Kindle on and take note of whether or not it works

If your Kindle turns on, reconnect the back panel. If your Kindle does not turn back on, you will likely need to replace the battery.

6. Replace the Battery

If steps 1-5 have not worked for you, it may be time to replace your Kindle battery. Replacing a Kindle battery is a very simple process that can be done at home in less than 20 minutes.

You will want a prying tool and a screwdriver, in addition to the replacement battery.

Use the prying tool to open the back cover of the Kindle, remove the screws around the screen, and replace the battery. Then, put the screws back in and put the back cover onto the Kindle.

For a step-by-step guide on how to replace your Kindle’s battery, refer to this video.

7. Contact Customer Service To Fix The Problem

If you have cycled through all of these solutions and still have had no success with getting your Kindle to turn on, your best bet is to contact Amazon Customer Service for further instructions.

If Amazon Customer Service informs you that something is permanently damaged to your Kindle, remember to ask if your Kindle is under an active warranty. If the Kindle is under warranty, you may be eligible to receive a replacement or repair on your device.

Amazon Customer Service is available by phone at 1-888-280-4331. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Similar Issues

My Kindle Won’t Connect to Wi-Fi

If your Kindle will not connect to Wi-Fi, ensure there is a stable connection established.

Test the strength of your Wi-Fi connection by using other devices connected to the same network. If your Wi-Fi is not working on any of your devices, you need to contact your wireless provider.

If your Wi-Fi is working on other devices but not your Kindle, make sure that airplane mode is not accidentally turned to on. Airplane mode will turn off any Wi-Fi services. If you have guaranteed airplane mode is not on, consider these other solutions to connect your Kindle to Wi-Fi:

  1. Restart your Wi-Fi connection
  2. Restart your Kindle device
  3. Reboot your router and modem
  4. Change the wireless connection channel

It is important to get these issues figured out, since a Kindle is useless without Wi-Fi connection. It requires Wi-Fi connection to do search and download media.

Kindle Won’t Connect to Your PC

If you have a PC, you are able to upload files from your PC directly onto your Kindle. However, this is not possible if your Kindle will not connect to your PC.

Your first attempt in solving this issue should be to restart both your PC and your Kindle for 30 seconds—this will stop any faulty connections.

Additionally, consider using a cloud storage application. A popular cloud storage app for PC is Dropbox which can be used to transfer files from your PC to your Kindle.

If you utilize Dropbox, you will be uploading the PC files to an internet folder which you can later access from another device with wireless connection, such as a Kindle.

If your Kindle won’t connect to your PC, consider uploading the files onto a USB cable to upload them directly.

How to Solve a Misbehaving Kindle Keyboard

If you find that the keyboard on your Kindle is acting off or misbehaving, the first thing you should do is give it a good cleaning.

If your screen or keyboard is covered in dirt, it could prevent the screen from functioning properly or cause it to act over-sensitively.

If you have a screen protector on your Kindle, there may be air bubbles under the protector that is causing the keyboard to misbehave.

If you do not have a screen protector and your Kindle is clean, you may want to reset your Kindle.

No Audio on Headphones or Kindle’s Speakers

If you plugged a pair of headphones into your Kindle but you aren’t hearing any audio, the volume might be turned all the way down.

Perhaps the Kindle speakers need to be “woken up” for lack of better terms. Simply restart the Kindle to give the speakers a chance to reset.

Otherwise, there may be something wrong with your headphone jack. Test the same headphones on another device and see if they work.

Solving an Internal Error

Internal errors can happen to a Kindle for a number of reasons. If you get an internal error notice on your Kindle screen, check your internet connection.

If your connection seems disturbed, restart your router and modem, allowing them to stay off for at least 30 seconds.

Also, ensure that you have cleared all internal app data; internal errors can happen in response to trying to open other apps.


A Kindle is an innovative and convenient way to read your favorite novels and even discover new ones. They are an affordable option for many bookworms.

Whether you have had a Kindle for years or are a new Kindle user, you may run into the major issue of your Kindle not turning on.

If your Kindle will not turn on, it may be because:

  1. The Kindle battery is critically low
  2. The battery is not charging
  3. There are issues with the hardware or software

To fix your Kindle when it will not turn on, ensure it is charged, use the recovery menu to install the latest software update, replace the battery if necessary, or contact Amazon Customer Support.