New Firmware Update Available for Kobo eReaders


Kobo has released a new software update for current and past Kobo ereaders, all the way back to the original Kobo Touch.

The new firmware version is 4.3.8842. Automatic updates have already started rolling out, but that can take several weeks to get depending on where you live.

I haven’t gotten the update yet but you can install it manually if you want it now.

The download links can be found on the 4.3.8842 update thread at MobileRead.

One of the major changes with this update is a new homescreen layout, but apparently it doesn’t show up for everybody.

There are a couple of pictures of the new homescreen on the first page of the linked post above.

A couple of other noted changes with the new firmware include the ability to change frontlight brightness by increments of 1% with the light dial buttons, and they’ve added the option to sort by series from the library.

It seems there’s also a new way to add the nightmode hack by putting some code in the config file (see here).

For those that have gotten the update, what do you think of the new homescreen? It’s a pretty big change from the tile layout.

64 Responses to “New Firmware Update Available for Kobo eReaders”

  1. Do not bother with it. I do not like the new shopfront on my reader.No option to alter. Not interested in New York times reader list or Pocket. Also lost all my collections on Kobo. Calibre does not recognise update. Even manually configuring does not work.Extremely annoying. I will revert.

    • How do I get the old version back?

      • Back up your data. Do a firmware reset on the Kobo. Turn off your WIFI and reload your books. Use calibre. Go to setting in calibre and set automatic management of books and that will update your collections. New firmware is a disaster.

    • The same for me. This Firmware is really bad. It´s unpersonal, it´s superslow, it´s commercial-shit and it has so many bugs of the very old firmware-versions before. I don´t get it? I like to create my own frontpage and not this solid shit. Let me be creative! I like to see actual books in the front and not a shop or something else. I hope they will change, because I really hate this firmware.

  2. I like the features that come with it, mainly collections. But I hate the new shop front. They could have just improved on the old one. This is just… Fix it Kobo…Fix it

    • I agree Kobo need to review this.Features are nice. The shopfront painful. I have reverted until they fix this mess or until calibre does the work for them.

  3. Hello Nathan

    I updated both my kobo aura h2o and my kobo aura one But did not get the New homescreen. But what I like a lot is the option to change the front Light with one %. I live in Belgium

    Kind regards,

  4. Connected my H2) to see if it was available here in NZ. Started the Kobo desktop and it said there was an important desk top update that had to be installed. Once that completed it just Synced with the H2O, thats all.

    Left it for a few minutes the ejected the H2O. everything was the same, no new homescreen, etc.. Then it switched to the updating screen.

    Five minutes later that finished, and restarted the H2O. On restart the usual homescreen appeared, but settings/about device say the firmware has been updated to 4.3.8842 dated 21/02/2017.

    There was no indication that the firmware had even bee downloaded let alone installed, but it must have happened with the desktop update.

  5. Both my Kobo’s have updated over internet.
    Kobo One and H2O but they have not got the new front screen? H2O took a good 5 minutes to reboot I think due to having a 32GB SD card with 6GB of books I think it must have reconfigured the Data Base.

  6. I had my Kobo Aura configured with personal bookshelves (to look up articles and books more easily manually instead of using search options). Also I used the Pocket app on my cell phone to add internet articles to my Kobo account. As of yesterday with synchonising the automatic update was mandatory (no opt out) and after restarting my bookshelves were empty, Pocket vanished and synchronising again gave multiple errors while downloading Kobo plus books already ordered in this free first month period. Personal files (pdf format) on micro SD card cannot be approached, software version seems to be 2.1.0 (of 28-08-12) so updating must have gone wrong somewhere and because of errors seems to be kept original. Checked with USB cable, all epub books on internal memory (which is now 1200 MB of 1361 MB) are of weird (internal Kobo) format, only approachable by Adobe Digital Editions on PC. So no clear Epub format.

  7. Hello,

    Since I updated my Kobo Aura One, I have problems reading my sideloaded books: the ereader freezes lots of times. And some books are being liste as completely read, while I had just reached about 40 % of the book.

    Does anyone else also have this problems?

    Kind regards,

  8. Does anyone know if there is a way to get rid of that quick refresher that pops up every time you turn on your Kobo?? 12 boot ups later I think I know where all my buttons are!

  9. It seems users are reporting a lot of problems with the new firmware. Now I’m glad my Aura One didn’t get the update yet. I think I’ll be keeping Wifi off for awhile…

  10. I updated as it gave me no choice if I wanted to sync for new books I bought. Unfortunately lost all my collections and every time I turn it in I get the quick refresher.

    • Well, since I last posted, my collections have been restored without me doing anything (other than doing more syncs to upload new books). I still get the quick refreshers message, and I also noticed it is very slow when finishing a book and trying to get back to home, books or collections etc. it is also very slow when you try to go to the table of contents.

  11. I have the Kobo Aura One and with this new update that just came out, after pressing the ‘sync’ tab the device will enter into ‘syncing…’ mode and it never comes out of it. Or after purchasing a book, it will eternally say downloading new book covers. To put it lightly, this is quite a real nuisance.

  12. I would like to revert to the previous firmware, but I’m not sure how to do that. Can anyone please help me? Thanks so much!

  13. I live in the Netherlands and updated my Aura 2nd edition yesterday.
    The new home screen is awful. Totally different. As I use my collections a lot I was very fond of my old home screen where they all were. Before, I could make the blocks I didn’t want to see disappear.
    Now I see all the advertisements on my homescreen. I don’t want that. It’s now as if my ereader is owned by Kobo instead of me.
    Does anyone know how I can get the previous homescreen back without losing everything? And someone told me if I do that I may not be able to use wifi ever again. Help

    • Hi Monique, so true what you’re writing, I also loved my collections on my kobo and the draft that they were on my home screen!! I’m also from the Netherlands and recently updated my kobo to 4.3.8842.
      As you mention your collections.. Do you still have collections on your kobo? Mine are all gone, I used calibre to create them. It’s driving me crazy since I don’t know what to do.

      • I just read your reply.
        I had the update 4-3-8871, but because of the still returning popupscreen kobo said I had to sign out at my kobo account and then again sign in.
        Then I had the update 4-3-8842 ???
        The one you have. I have back my old home screen (yessss) but I did lose my collections. Not the books though. I reinstalled my collections on my kobo by hand.
        I don’t use Calibre because I don’t know how. Then my kobo updated last Friday to 4-3-8945. That didn’t change the collections.
        I now switched off my wifi. I’m terrified I get a new update that will change my home screen again.
        And did you get your problems solved?

  14. I forgot to mention that the popupscreen that tells me my kobo has been updated still pops up when I turn my ereader on. ??????

  15. My kobo just did the update a few days ago and now I can no longer read my library books or download any more.I get the oops error message saying I don’t have permission to read the book. I was reading it right before the update. Anyone else have this issue?? )I know of 2 others but they aren’t tech savvy either).
    How can I get the old version back instead to try?

    • I don’t know how to get the old version back.

      But if you can’t access your library (from overdrive?) books after update, it’s most like that you need to re-authorize your Adobe account. Go to Setting -> Accounts in your Kobo deivce and reauthorize your Adobe account.

    • I have the same problem! I’ve talked to Kobo support by email, chat and phone, but none of the reps know anything beyond the basics posted on the website to deauth/reauth in Adobe Digital Editions. I’ve factory reset and uninstalled/reinstalled in every conceivable configuration and still nothing.

  16. how can I install the new firmware manually to my aura one?

  17. Yeah, I lost my collections too. The actual books are still there, but I had hundreds of them carefully sorted by quality and now that information is gone.

    Really not happy about this.

  18. For those asking how to downgrade, it’s the same process as manually upgrading, as described on this post at MobileRead. Just make sure to download the proper software for your model. The different versions are described here where older firmware links are posted. There’s also already a newer update, version 4.3.8871, that hopefully fixes some of the problems.

    • Rosalene Bradbury Reply March 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Me too!Has taken HOURS – and lost all my collections and books. Thank goodness I had recently backed up my Kobo library bu still have to resort into collections. What we need Kobo is:

      a) A simple way to organise our books that is NOT corruptible by your new firmware upgrades
      b) A customisable home screen
      c)Night Mode and Full screen options installed as part of your firmware.
      d) Optional UK OR US English

      To be fair my Kobo aura seems marginally more responsive after its 4.3.8842 upgrade.

  19. My collections were gone too after the update.

    Today (March 2nd), I received another update which downloaded and installed ok but now my H20 won’t boot up anymore. Powering on, I get the 5 little squares showing boot progress and when the 5th square is solid black, no further activity is seen – other than the LED flashing. I let it alone for 10 minutes (about 1500 books loaded) but no change. I have a brick 🙁

    I’ll try resetting it through the small pinhole later this evening. I’m pissed with the low quality of the last 2 releases!!

  20. Update: after leaving it in that comatose condition, but connected to a charger, it come up ok after 1 (ONE) hour.

  21. Since my update a few days ago. Aura One just syncs and never stops, so switch Wi-Fi off myself.
    H2O as updated does sync ok. Both still with old front screen.
    Only plus is 1% back light.

  22. Since the update half the books didnt sync properly. Today after trying to sync it with kobo desktop via usb cable, it constantly disconnects & all of a sudden I have lost my books including the one I was reading!! I really dislike the front screen as well. Make it stop, I want to go back to the old screen!!!

  23. I have the Kobo Aura One just for few weeks, and even today, when I tried the Sync, I didn’t get this newest F/W (in Canada). The current F/W version has however one problem, the bookmarking is very unreliable. After waking up the “current” page is off by 1 or 2 pages back or forward. Is this problem fixed in the latest F/W?

  24. 2 hours in after wanted to read the new book I purchased I feel Like I own and expensive BRICK… Warning on the time to update, an option to delay and details of what is being updated would be nice rather than…… We will break it (Prevent you syncing books) if you do not update.

    One very unhappy customer

    • I think Kobo needs to hire new software developers. This is the first update for the older models in over a year. It’s pretty sad when they have 15 months to develop an update and it’s still a total trainwreck…

  25. Just sync’d to update to version 4.3.8945. Let’s hope it is better…

  26. Which shows me I am justified in not bothering with updating my Kobo Aura HD. I tried an update, which I believe came out circa November 2015, in the hope that Kobo would have improved its abysmal PDF treatment. No such luck.

  27. Business as usual. It’s funny because I love the kobo devices but I don’t trust their firmware updates at all. The last reader I bought *new* had to be rolled back right away because a firmware bug caused it to lose 50% of its battery overnight!

    Lesson learned, I stick to a known good firmware, disable wifi on my readers and do everything through calibre. This should not be necessary with actively developed, proprietary software. Get it together devs, seriously.

    I want to read, not tinker with software.

  28. WARNING: I will be fanboy’n now 🙂
    Seems I’m just a rare lucky one. I had no issues described above, even after update of upgrade (current version installed is 4.3.8929). I must admit that my H2O became even snappier. Unless I want to find a good thing in this update in spite of A TERRIBLE HOME SCREEN LAYOUT. Not that I was a big fan of old home screen but now the device has lost it’s character completely. Before just by this unique home screen you knew that it is a Kobo.

    For those who didn’t get a pushed update. It is only my assumption so I can’t tell you rock hard that it is like this. It all depends on your settings of Syncing and Update. I have set it to On and Sync Time is Night and I have switched off automatic power off when Nathan have posted news about Update available. I left the device alone and in the morning I had it updated. My intrusion was not required, don’t know how long it took, a minute or hour. But previous updates normally was not long at all.

  29. Firmware —45 updated on H2O OK Sync OK.
    My Aura One problems.
    1)Does not depower after 30m timer set.
    2)When 100% charged LED does not turn Green stuck on Red.
    3)Syncs all the time and date of last proper sync is stuck at 23/02/2017.
    Both still on old screen.

  30. I didn’t even know there was a firmware update. Was loading books via Calibre and realized that I hadn’t synced my Glo HD since last month and opened up the desktop app to sync books I’d purchased since then when voila! It said something about updating firmware and I didn’t really pay attention otherwise I would have said no thanks.

    I’ve lost all my collections, though all the books seem to be still there and I dislike the new home page with a passion. Now you have to open the menu to get to the settings, etc and that infernal reminder about what things are and where to find them makes me grind my teeth. Does anyone know how to get rid of it?

    My partners Aura 2nd edition is still on the old firmware and methinks it shall remain that way for the foreseeable future.

  31. Aura One Sync running all the time now fixed.
    Found out my overdrive account was corrupted sync was trying to talk to Overdrive and just hung.
    Deleted account then setup again. Now syncs properly. Upgrade must have corrupted Overdrive.

  32. My Aura updated on the firs day of upgrade, got the new screen – did not like it tbh, too bright, poor contrast.
    The most bizzare thing happened today. Connected it to my Mac for charging (did not charge it after update), it just reset the home screen to old settings!!! by itself! – offered to install update, updated sth, but the old screen remains active…

    anyone else?

  33. I just received an email from Kobo asking me to take a survey to tell them what I think about the new home screen. Everybody, please let Kobo know about all of the problems that your Kobo is having after this firmware update, so they can fix it. Here’s the survey link:

  34. Yesterday a forced update occurred on my Kobo Glo. The bad news was my Mac would not recognize the KG via USB cable!?
    The good news is I located this mighty fine blog thread re the
    ongoing Kobo updates.

    First, I did not realize that GLO has actually
    “faded out of this universe”.

    Second the Kobo firmware update is now up to 4.3-8966
    [ref Toronto, Canada].

    Third I was able to a factory reset to the trusted functionality of 3.14.0 [ FYI: if it ain’t broke then don’t mess with it… so true! ].

    Now I am able to download my local library Overdrive Epubs.
    Hopes this info helps others and my thanks to all for this blog. Glo-Man-Glo !!!

  35. For a somewhat different sound: I’m happy with this firmware upgrade. My Aura H2O now actually feels responsive instead of sluggish, making for a much nicer reading experience.

  36. Hate the new storefront. Luckily my Mom had a KOBO that was not yet updated so I formatted my KOBO and then copied the firmware from her KOBO to mine. After a bit of tinkering (ADE de-authorization and re-authorization), I got my old firmware back. And I will not be updating firmware from KOBO until/unless they revert back to what works for the users. 🙂

  37. Updated my Touch to new firmware and couldn’t use my reader. Any touch screen activity and the screen would just flash and go back to home screen. Flashed back to factory and all is well. Original firmware for me works perfect. Just read books so what more do you need.

  38. The new update to my Kobo Glo is nothing short of crap. after half a dozen factory resets, I finally got it back to something like working as intended originally. the interesting thing now (and I think it both annoying and funny) is the reading stats … in one reading setting I can read anywhere between 1 and 15,460 hours as well as upwards of 20 books …all in the space of about 15 minutes.

    Factory resets are not the answer as their are a painful experience.

    But when will Kobo realise that their latest software is Kindle’s best recommendation?

    I still prefer Kobo, but this latest stuff-up is trying my patience.

    • Hi, can you tell me if you used Calibre as your backup library for all of your books before doing your factory resets? I don’t want to muck about with the Kobo desktop app or ADE. I just want to do a factory reset to get rid of this horrible new interface, not that I enjoy going through the process… I also have a problem with sideloaded books showing up as black covers (try to guess which book you’re reading! Fun times!) or just white covers with typed titles. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

  39. I have the Aura H2O which I love and I very rarely synch because Calibre does everything I want but now and then I do a quick check and got saddled with this piece of cr@p.

    Principle complaints:
    – lost all my collection
    – saddled me with a pointless, un-configurable ‘sales screen’ instead of the interface that actually provides functionality to me.

    And now I find that this has been going on for at least two months and Kobo doesn’t even have the decency to respond.

    I will be down-grading to a better experience and the WiFi will stay off in future.

    I was a big fan of Kobo before this and would recommend it to anyone who asked but not any more. You’ve just destroyed your USP by taking over my device to suit yourselves.

    • UPDATE: Well I got around to looking up previous versions of firmware but prior to doing that I performed a factory reset on my H2O.

      When I restarted it it went through the initial setup as expected but still had the latest firmware on it. Strangely although reset is supposed to delete all content there were still some books left (although most were gone). Collections had also disappeared, as expected, but my trusty home page was back!

      I used Calibre to reload my missing books and as I recreated the Collections some books seemed to ‘remember’ they were members (or the Collection information was still somewhere in memory and remembered the books.

      It’s all working as before now, no sales screen, no setup on every boot, or What’s New although it still has the latest update on it.

      I’m delighted to have it back to normal but no part of this experience says anything complimentary about the quality of Kobo’s software or pre-release testing. I’m sticking to my previous resolution and not accepting any more ‘updates’ in future.

  40. The new update has ruined my Kobo expierience. If I had known this was going to happen, I would have made sure my wifi was off. The change is definately NOT for their customers. It takes the ability to choose what is on your home page and turns it into a sales pitch nightmare where you can’t even get rid of the ‘change tutorial’ without pressing ‘got it’ every single time you turn your Kobo on. UGH.

  41. I had no option but to update my KoboHD Aura.
    Annoying to have to “got it” everytime I turned it on. I read 2 pages of a newly downloaded book and screen went completely blank. Tried to power up though it had a lot of battery life left on it when I initially turned it on. Used different cables/usb ports. Sreen would flcker black a few ties then go to blank white.
    Tried basic reset. Emailed customer service. Called them, no help other than trying basic reset again.
    New email fom them advising my one year warranty was up and they will be contacting me about purchasing a new ereader!
    Ive never had a problem with my old reader or the newer Aura one before.
    Is this a sales pitch? Does new download cause problems so that your reader wont work, properly or at all in my case?
    Wish I could reset, but screen is blank.
    Any suggestions please, cannot afford a new reader at this time.

    • Hi Adrienne,

      Same problem, update crashed my device. I now have a white screen that I can do nothing with. Prior to the update my devise was working perfectly. In fact I was reading a book when the update was pushed out. Consent on my part was not required. Contacted Kobo and their remedy was to offer me $20 towards the purchase of a new device. Guess the update is intended to boost new sales.

  42. My AuraH2O automatically updated to V.4.3.8945 while connected via usb to a Mac. I have lost 80% of book content, the desktop Kobo app now does not see any ebook content at all. The AuraH20 will not download my latest purchases etc etc. Kobo response has been pathetic.

    Everything worked fine until the upgrade

  43. Hi, i updated my Kobo glo hd to V.4.3.8945 automatically two days ago and lost all my collectons. i used Calibre to set all back then i turned it off. yesterday night i tried to turn it on but button didn’t work, then i connected it to the pc with the usb cable, the red light blinked and then the PC crashed (2 times) now i’m trying with a direct electric connection and it seem to work till it is connected then if i disconnect it, it turns into a stone…

  44. I have a Aura H2O and am unable to read library books anymore since the upgrade.

    I can send books to the Kobo and can even read them on the Kobo via Adobe Reader on the PC if it is still connected.

    The Kobo gives me nothing but a flick through cover at the bottom of the screen to the book which won’t open. Searching for the book or author on the Kobo brings up no results.

    This seems to be a Kobo sofware issue not an Adobe Reader one if I can read it from the Kobo using the Adobe software if physically connected via the USB charger.

    All my collections have also disappeared.

  45. This new firmware is ridiculous. I’ve now apparently read for 850 hours on my Glo HD just since yesterday, and experiencing what most users here are complaining about too. Does Kobo have no quality checks at all? I too have been recommending Kobo for months because I’ve so far been very impressed, but I certainly won’t from now on. Listen to your customer base, please, and roll back this embarrassment of an update.

  46. The update they pushed out destroyed my device – Kobo Aura H20. My screen froze and when I powered off, would not restart. I was left with a white screen. When I contacted Kobo they offered me $20 towards the purchase of a new device and refused to address the problem. WOW great customer service!!

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