Kindle Paperwhite won’t turn on? [3 Ways to Fix!]

4
 Minute Read
Published: 
August 22, 2021

You’ve come to read the next chapter in a book only to find that your Kindle won’t turn on and it looks dead.

Don’t worry, this can happen from time to time.

Here I’ll discuss 3 of the most common reasons why Kindle paperwhite won’t turn on and how to fix it in less than a minute.

Let’s dig in!

1. Frozen Display

A frozen display is normally the main culprit when it comes to Kindle Paperwhite won't turn on or a frozen screen issues.

You can fix this yourself by following the steps below:

  • Press and Hold the power button for 40 to 50 seconds until the display goes blank, then release.
  • The device should now boot up and display the Kindle logo.
Do you know? 💡
The Kindle Paperwhite never really powers down, even when you hold the power button down. Instead, it goes into sleep mode and turns off the display.

Occasionally (although very rare) the devices operating system can hang. When you Press and hold the power button for longer than 40 seconds, this forces the device to fully reboot.

2. Faulty Battery or Charger

Next is to check that battery is fine.

The simplest way is to charge your Kindle using a USB cable and wall charger.

But first, we need to be sure that the wall charger and cable are OK. Simplest way is to plug the USB into another device and check that the charging icon appears. If not, it's likely to be the cable so replace this first and repeat the test.

Once your happy the charge/cable works plug the cable into the Kindle device. You may need to wait approx 10mins if the battery is completely dead before you see an indicator light.

USB cables are prone to failure, so you may need to replace it with a new one.

You should see an orange light appear next to the USB socket on Kindle.

If the amber light is solid this indicates that the battery appears to be OK and charging as normal.

Does the Kindle charging light flash or change color? If so, this could indicate an issue with the battery. For more details, our guide on the Kindle charging light briefly explains all of the indications and what they mean.

kindle orange light

Signs of a damaged or bulging battery include:

  • The device rocks on a flat surface.
  • Orange light flashes during charge.
  • No charging (orange) light, even after a long pre-charge.
Batteries are fairly straight forward to replace on Kindle ereaders.

If you have any of these issues, it’s likely that the battery needs replacing. If you are within your warranty Amazon will replace it with no quibble. If you are outside of the warranty terms, we have details later on what to do.

Of course, you could try to replace the battery yourself.

Unlike mobile phones, Kindle ereaders are larger and therefore easier to access and replace the battery. In fact, I had a go myself on a Kindle Oasis that was 3 years old and it was much simpler than I first thought.

3. Battery Voltage too low

If you happen to leave your Kindle for any extended period, the device’s battery may dip below its operating voltage necessary to run.

Your Kindle will display an exclamation mark when the battery charge gets critical. If it goes beyond this, you get a completely blank screen and the Kindle Paperwhite will look dead.

kindle exclamation mark
Kindle will warn you if your battery voltage becomes critical.

The solution is to charge the Kindle, but this will take much longer than normal.

Most charge times for a Kindle Paperwhite are anywhere up to 2 hours depending on the age of the device.

If the battery is completely dead, the Kindle will need to pre-charge the battery at a much slower rate, also known as “trickle charge”, so not to overheat or damage the battery. This can take up to 15 mins to get to a safe voltage level before switching to a normal charge rate.

It can take at least 30 mins before you see any sign of life on the display. So, plug your Kindle Paperwhite into the charger and leave it for a while. Following this, you should see the battery icon on the display or the screensaver.

If the device still shows no signs, you may need to reboot the device using the instructions from section 1.

Kindle Paperwhite STILL Won’t turn on?

So, you’ve tried all of the above and your Kindle Paperwhite is STILL not working.

You might want to check out my Kindle Troubleshooting Guide which covers every issue you can think of that could go wrong, along with practical solutions. It comes with diagrams and screenshots to get you back to reading in no time!

It could be that there is a hardware issue with your device such as a failed power supply or CPU.

In cases like this you are best speaking to Amazon with regards to either a replacement or repair.

12 Month Warranty

If your device is within its 12-month warranty, Amazon will give you the option of a refund or replacement. Personally, I would take the refund, as it allows you to repurchase a new Kindle Paperwhite with a further 12 months warranty. Whereas if you were to accept a replacement, your device would be under the existing warranty period.

Older Devices – Outside of Warranty

For those of you with Kindle’s that fall outside of the 12-month warranty, I would still get in touch with Amazon.

In most cases they will replace the device if it is less than 2 years old. Anything longer than this they will offer to repair the device, but the cost may be half the price of a new device (depending on what needs to be repaired and the time spent to do this).

When the cost to repair the device is half the price or more, it’s worth considering whether to purchase a new device, as other parts could fail on a repaired device later on.

Summary

Generally, there are two main reasons why your Kindle Paperwhite won’t turn on and they are either the device has frozen and needs a hard reset or the battery has been fully discharged and needs a while longer to fully charge.

If the device has a fault, Amazon will likely replace the device free-of-charge if it’s less than 2 years old.

Outside of this, you may need to weigh up the cost to repair over getting a new device. Whilst a repaired device is cheaper, other parts could fail in the future, so it’s worth considering before jumping in.

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nick pollock
nick pollock
8 months ago

Thank you so much ..
Mine was apparently dead & I 2as about to order a new one & junk this one
But ..by following your guide everything seems back in the land of the living Kindles'
Thank You

Cindy
Cindy
8 months ago

Thanks - I was able to reboot following your directions!

JIM HARGAVE
JIM HARGAVE
8 months ago

i have a kindle which is about 8 years old. when we turn it on all we get is a lot of letters mixed over the screen, but an not access kindle books. can you help?

Debbie James
Debbie James
8 months ago

Hello, my Kindle won't turn off or start up. Help!

Bill Gregory
Bill Gregory
7 months ago

I used the restart function to restart my Paperwhite. It has been 12 hours and the screen shows the Kindle logo page and flashes a blank page. Have tried the 40 sec. Power button suggestion with the same results. Any thoughts?

Barbara W
Barbara W
7 months ago

Thank you so much! My kindle paper white is about 6 years old…well out of warranty! I use it every day and have traveled far & wide with it in tow. Last night it refused to turn on - I knew the battery was charged, but I put it on the charger overnight, just in case. Still no luck getting it to turn on. (Frozen screen). I was about to order a new one, as I cannot stand to be without it for long! Your article showed me how yo bring my device back to life - in less than a minute!

rowdy
rowdy
6 months ago

I have kindle paperwhite , and as per the above article it falls in the category of the battery and the charger thingy , it flashes a yellow light when charged but won't work any further , now I want to sell it , it just needs a battery replacement . What should I do ?

Yvonne
Yvonne
5 months ago

Kindle logo shows but can't get any further. Should I buy a new one?

Anita Temple
Anita Temple
5 months ago

I have about an 8 year old Kindle and lately, the battery is discharging over not using it for a few days. Your instructions for rebooting were awesome. But, I fear the battery is just getting old and its time to replace the device?

nadine paquelet
nadine paquelet
4 months ago

The battery is ok, but the light on the reading screen does not work any more.

Darleen
Darleen
4 months ago

My reader goes to blank page and will not accept finger swipe. Help..

Admin
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Darleen

Did you follow the instructions above on performing a hard reset (hold power button for 50 seconds)? If this doesn't work I would suggest contacting Amazon to see if they can help.

Wendy
Wendy
3 months ago

I have bought a new kindle but I don't seem able to transfer from the old one?

Admin
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Wendy

Hi Wendy, Once you register the device, your library of purchased ebooks should show up. Regards, Debra

Clare Hendry
Clare Hendry
3 months ago

Forgotten my passcode can’t open my kindle can you tell me how to access it I’ve tried Amazon but got no response.

Admin
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Hendry

Hi Clare, You could try typing 111222777 into the passcode field, but be aware that this causes a hard reset which removes all settings and downloaded content on your device. Just be sure that your happy to do this before you proceed. Hope it helps.

Darren
Darren
2 months ago

My kindle has been used in about 6 weeks and has sat in my work bag inside a case. It's now frozen on an ad screen and holding down the power button isn't doing anything. I'm now charging it and getting the Amber light so its not a battery issue. Any help would be appreciated. Its a kindle paperwhite only 7 months old.

Reader
Reader
1 month ago

I thought my kindle was completely done but found your page and was able to reset it. Thank you!!!

Cathy Dunlap
Cathy Dunlap
1 month ago

I found my kindle paperwhite after about 6 months of non-use. It has the critical battery sign showing. I charged it with a good charger for 15 hours. Still nothing. I did a had reboot. Did nothing. Still shows the battery with the exclamation point. I am still charging it. Any suggestions?

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