Kindle Paperwhite won’t turn on? (3 Simple Ways to Fix)

 Minute Read
August 22, 2021

So, you’ve come to read the next chapter in the latest book you love, only to find that your Kindle won’t turn on, it looks dead!

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

Here I’ll discuss 3 of the most common reasons why your Kindle paperwhite won’t turn on and how to fix them.

Let’s dig in!

1. Frozen Display

It’s not uncommon for users to come to a blank or frozen screen. You try the power button, but the device shows no signs of life, and you were sure it had plenty of battery left.

If your Kindle Paperwhite won’t turn on, a frozen screen is the most probable cause.

You can fix this yourself by following the steps below:

  • Press and Hold the power button for 40 seconds then release.
  • Press and Hold the power button again for 3-5 seconds to reboot the device.
  • 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. Pressing and holding the power button for longer than 40 seconds forces the device to fully reboot.

2. Faulty Battery or Charger

The first thing is to check that the charger and USB cable are working correctly.

A simple solution is to plug suspect charger into another device and see if the charging icon appears. If you do not have one, try plugging the USB cable into a laptop or PC. Alternatively, try replacing the USB cable on the charger with a known working cable from another device.

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

Try working methodically, isolating each one at a time. Find a known working charger or USB that you may have or from a friend and test these with the suspected faulty cable/charger. If you identify that either or both are faulty, you will need to replace them.

Alternatively, the battery could be faulty.

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 on what to do later on.

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.

If you would like to give it go check out my guide to replacing Kindle batteries which takes you through step-by-step. It also comes with a video guide.

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 3 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 an hour to get to a safe voltage level before switching to a normal charge rate.

It can take at least an hour before you see any sign of life on the display. So, plug your Kindle Paperwhite into the charger and leave it for a while. Hopefully after a couple of hours 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 2-3 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.


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 3 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Thanks - I was able to reboot following your directions!

1 month 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
21 days ago

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

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