My Kobo Glo has Become Too Glitchy To Function

Kobo Glo

While I’m eagerly waiting for the new Kobo Aura HD to arrive at my door, I can only hope that it works better than my Kobo Glo.

I noticed the other day at MobileRead that there is a new firmware update, version 2.5, for the Kobo Glo. So I charged mine up and tried to install the update but I could never get that far.

Since the last time I used it, my Kobo Glo has decided to stop working properly. It just keeps freezing up and not responding. I keep having to hold the power slider to force a reboot, but then it just freezes up again 5 minutes later the next time I try to read an ebook.

I’m thinking that if I update the firmware it will start working again, but hitting the sync button always results in a network connection error, despite the fact that Wi-Fi is indeed connected because the web browser works.

Overall the device has become very slow to load and operate. Tapping on a book takes it several seconds to load, and I only have about 20 ebooks loaded onto it.

Whenever I open an ebook, it seems to work okay at first, but then things start to slow down and it doesn’t respond to taps. Hitting the home button often freezes it back up.

Battery life is dropping like crazy too. It has gone down over 15% in the time it has taken me to write this post just mostly sitting idle.

I guess I’m going to have to find a paperclip to hit the reset button. The problem with that is I would have to start from scratch and setup the device from the beginning again.

Kobo’s ereaders have a reputation of being more prone to bugs than other ebook readers. I’ve never experienced many issues with Kobo ereaders myself, but now that my Kobo Glo has decided to stop functioning properly, I can see why people get so annoyed by it. It was working just fine the last time I used it, and I haven’t added any ebooks or changed anything whatsoever, so it doesn’t really make any sense why it would start acting buggy all of the sudden. Hopefully with some work I’ll be able to get it running smoothly again.

What about you? Have you ever had any problems getting your Kobo ereader to work properly?

P.S. My Kobo Mini works fine and had no problems updating to the newer firmware.

60 Responses to “My Kobo Glo has Become Too Glitchy To Function”

  1. That’s odd, my Glo has been working fine on 2.5 without any of those problems. Although there have been a few times where I’ve had to use the trusty paper clip to reset it after a sync when there’s new firmware available. Also the paper clip reset doesn’t wipe your content, just does a reboot of the glo

    • Ah, thanks. I was thinking hitting the reset button was like a factory reset.

      • Hey Nathan; is there chess on the Kobo Mini; been wanting something smaller, but deciding between the two since I love my Nook though it getting to the point nothing to it other than reading I miss the extra features I once had on my nook and kindle, just really don’t want to go with a kindle to be locked in one eco system

    • My Kobo Glo only freezes up when I use the sleep cover. charging, full reset and touching the reset button, in no particular order brings it back. It works fine if I do not use the sleep cover. There is, I suspect, a flaw in the RFID of the sleep cover

  2. I had the first gen Kobo and it was quite buggy. Lucky my husband is good at trouble shooting. I now have a Kobo Touch and I keep the wifi off. When I do sync or download their firmware upgrades, it usually goes OK, although one time I did have a hiccup and got the blank screen of death. I handed it to my husband and he was able to restart the Kobo by holding the power button for 15 seconds. (a hard reboot). It’s now working well. I’ve had my eye on that Aura, but while my Kobo Touch keeps working, I’ll keep it.

  3. i have wondered what the appeal is for non-nook/kindle ereaders. yes, buying into “name brands”isn’t always appealing. but nooks and kindles work. but the bottom line for me is that kindle and nook gift cards are available in grocery stores/gas stations, and they add up to free gas. i register gift cards at amazon and BN and my books are also pre-paid. so, what is the appeal of other ereaders?

    • Nook does not sell outside of the US and for a while Kindle only sold books in USD, so for those of us outside the US, Kobo was a good choice. With a Kobo, I can buy from many different sources – I am not forced to buy from one book seller. My original Kobo came loaded with 100 classic books which was a nice start to my library as well. (I’ve read a few but I prefer just to download the ones I want to read).

    • For me, the Kobo appeal has always been their unique firmware, expandable storage, and “read freely” motto for eBooks. The precision with which you can customize your reading experience is an important factor when considering an eReader. With Kobo, you have more stock fonts to choose from, and you can even fine-tune font weight. This will be amazing on the Aura HD.

      Unfortunately, Kobo’s devices and business decisions haven’t always been great. The epic blunder of the Kobo Glo release and their inability to sell devices directly from their website last holiday season certainly did some damage. I was also incredibly disappointed with the screen quality of my Kobo Touch (text looked better on my Kindle 2). I had a good experience with the Kobo Mini, so I have decided to give them another chance with the Aura HD. We will see how that goes.

    • mary: There is no such thing as Nook in my country, and you can’t read borrowed public library books with a Kindle here either. In addition, the more versatile font options and more consistent frontlighting system were what did it for me.

    • Hi. I have a kobo glo. I owned 4 kindles and a nook. Obviously kobo is quite new. I love my glo more than any other make. Comments like yours annoy me. Have you ever tried a kobo? Then perhaps you would see the appeal for a different make ereader.
      Hated my kindle. Hated being tied to amazon. Had two faulty screens. Nook was just slow. Kobo glo has fastest processor out of them all. Comments like yours tend to put people off buying things they should actually try.

    • The appeal for other readers is not being tied down to one store for all your books bad beng able to borrow library books. Kobo devices support most ebook formats. I own a nook and a paperwhite and use my kobo glo more than any. I find the nook has really bad ghosting issues. Plus I can’t change the refresh.
      There are are lot more reasons but it would take a whole page. The kobo glo is cheaper than the paperwhite. Plus no annoying ads at bottom of screen.
      I went through four paperwhites until I received one without faults.
      Kobo are becoming more and more popular and are brilliant devices. That’s well enough for me to consider another reason than buying from amazon.

      • I have had a kobo for about 3 years, this past Christmas I was given a kobo glo. I loved the glo, until June of 2013 and it started freezing. Then it wouldn’t charge, so I had to have it connected to my computer to read. I contacted kobo (I have the extended warranty) and they sent me a refurbished kobo. So I went back to where it was purchased and they gave me a new one. On the first night of having my new kobo glo it froze and could not be restarted until I connected to my computer, it will not fully charge. I have been a good customer of kobo I have purchased them for gifts for other people. I am not at all happy with receiving a used kobo or the fact that the new one is doing what the old one was doing.

      • I loved my KOBO GLO as well but now it freezes after reading a few pages I hve to reset it and then it does the same thing over and over Very disapointed right now. I have never owened any other e-reader but KOBO Kobo wifi kobo touch kobo arc and now kobo glo

  4. My kobo glo discharged overnight at such a rate that after 3/4 days I had to recharge it.
    After a bit o research on some forums I found that this awful behaviour is a combination of my cover (not a kobo original one) and a glitch of the kobo sw. It seems that if you put the glo in sleep mode and close the cover (as anyone is supposed to do), your cover still interact with the IR surface sensor, which start to drain your battery since it doesn’t let the Glo go in sleep mode even if it appears doing so.
    Solution seems to be: put the Glo in sleep mode BUT do not close the cover. Let it rest for a while (5 minutes?) and then close the cover. Doh.

  5. I’ve had a few glitches with my Glo, fortunately for me it’s been minor ones that I ended up working out. A couple freezes that I would fix with the paper clip reset, sometimes when reading and turning a page, two pages would turn forcing me to turn one back etc…
    Now with firmware 2.5 I have a new glitch, whenever I keep my Kobo light on at the lowest power level, if I turn off the light with the button on top of the Glo, it won’t turn back on. As if the light was dead (which gave me a scare) but I noticed that the little sun symbol still appeared at the bottom and from there when I moved the bar towards the right for stronger light, it would be back on. So the trick is to keep the minimal light level one grade higher than minimal and then the top button works normally. Anyone else has noticed this glitch ?

    • Ok as it turns out, the latest release of the Kobo Glo firmware, namely 2.5.1 has fixed this issue with the light. This fix came fairly quickly after release of the firmware 2.5.0 which suggests that my issue must have been had by many others and was judged serious enough to warrant the subsequent upgrade 🙂

  6. Issues like that normally mean the database on the device has become corrupted. Either do a factory reset (whcih will also roll back the firmware to the original version the device had) OR in Settings | Account select the sign out option; this will drop the database and force you to redo setup, but will leave the firmware as is. Any side-loaded material will remain, but the ADE authorization of the device will also be reset.

    • Thanks, Peter. Sounds like it probably is a database issue because all the covers have disappeared when displayed from the home screen.

  7. We have noticed that the Kobo seems to be more sensitive to illegal/hacked/scanned e-books than other readers. If we copy a few hundred of these kinds of ebooks onto the Kobo it often freezes and has to be reset. 9 out of 10 times when you do the factory restore and all content is erased the problems are fixed. Was it an ebook that was bought that causes the issue or a hacked ebook?

    • Nah, I don’t have anything like that on there.

    • I’m not sure how the Kobo could tell the difference between epub files, no matter what their origin.

      • Easy:
        – bought epub with ADE DRM, check
        – Kobo epub: some reported, that the epubs do not work ok on other readers/software (strange CSS?), so even without DRM they can recognize their own epubs, check
        – All other epubs: might work, but might have more errors, even internally, Kobo behaves badly? cannot check

        Then again, even bought epubs (and other formats) had errors, bad scanning, no spellchecking performed, etc. So if something is known (!) to cause a hangup, I would know wether I bought the book or not. Some errors I reported (1 to Sony, 1 to Amazon). The Sony Error was fixed when I tried another download, months later. And these where not cheap, self-published ebooks.

  8. I’m not sure if it’s my Kobo Glo or the EPUB file(s) in question, but I sometimes advance to the next page to find the text shrunk to the smallest possible size if it’s a new chapter.

    It’s not a big deal to set the magnification where I had it before, but it’s a bit annoying as it seems to be totally random. Some chapter breaks are perfectly fine and I’ll go most of the book without this glitch, other times it’s every chapter.

    I sometimes get the bug mentioned above where it advances two pages instead of one.

    Other than that I’m pretty damned happy with my Kobo Glo. Love to read at night out on the balcony or on the bed with the lights off and the frontlight is perfect for this …

  9. aren’t your Kobo Glo’s still under warranty? why not just return them instead of all this crazy trying to troubleshoot?
    just curious 🙂

    • Generally warranties cover hardware issues. I’m not sure the warranty covers buggy software, but it should :). Mine is acting better now and not freezing up, but the covers still aren’t showing on the home screen for some reason, but do in the library. Makes no sense…

  10. I got my Kobo Glo for Xmas. In early April I plugged it in to recharge it and there was an update. Did that. Then guess what?? I lost everything that was on my reader. Reloaded some of what I had. Have had issues with trying to get the back light to stay off. It has been chewing through power. And guess what?? Today I have lost everything and have had to re synch it again!! and reload everything. I am getting totally over this.

  11. Debbie, I am having the same problem with my Kobo Glo. Every time there is an update, all the books are lost. At the moment I can’t even get them from My Library on the website to My Library on the Desktop so I can try syncing again. I have emailed Kobo 2 days ago and still don’t have an answer (apart from saying they would contact me within 48 hours – that elapsed four hours ago) and the phone number doesn’t work. I am soooo frustrated.

  12. Same kind of issues here. I’m on holiday and my kobo glo suddenly restores to factory settings. All of my books are gone! 🙁

    Really frustrated because this is the second time this happened during a holiday. No more reading I guess. 🙁

    A big advise to people who want to buy an ereader, buy a Sony. I never had any issues with it.

  13. I just bought one last week. It has been locking up and acting strange ever since, I use the reset more than the power bar. It sometimes takes 15 min to boot up. If I put an SD card in there I can’t connect to a computer even though the Kobo shows the e card as present. Sometimes it tells me to format the sd card as Fat32 when it is already formatted that way. Sometimes it wont turn off, sometimes it won’t turn on. It seems like a pile of crap. i am taking it back tomorrow to try another one, but when seeing what people are saying I have my doubts about it. I even bough the expensive cover. I wonder if they will give me my money back on that is the replacement is also flakey.

  14. ive had my glo since last november but due to weak screens on the firs two this is my third (kindly provided by kobo). on my others (both the older 2gb models this one is the 4gb card one) it barly froze at all. however most of my books have had drm removed and i increased the partition size on the internal memory card to take advantage of the extra space on this one. this one has been freezing a lo recenty which is bugging me. it may be that the new 4gb internal memory card is cheaper than the old 2gb card whi is causing it to freeze. as for battery life, i would uggest a few essential things. firat turn off the sleepcover feature. it is aconstan drain on the battery. second only enable wifi when you need it. thirdly, keep your light at one percent when using it. by the way this post was made using my glos webbrowser so please excuse typos. overall, i would say that kobo is te best brand to choose but if you need support dont use anything but the live chat feature. hopefully my feeezing issues will resolve, but if not its time to talk to kobo again

  15. new variation on behaviour of my Glo – If I leave it to go to sleep (15mins) & then to Power Off (30mins), when I go back into the book I was reading, I find that I am ~6pages forward of where I was when I put the Glo down!


  16. Wendell Favacho June 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Just updated mine and it´s awesome now.
    loved the new style.

  17. My Kobo Glo just went through the latest update. Now I note that Kobo is firing their recommended reading lists onto my ereader even though I have NOT chosen to receive any info from them in this regard. What gives Kobo the right to inundate my Glo with their “spam” recommended reading lists? There’s also no way to prevent this or delete it or at least if there is, I haven’t found it. If I click “not interested” and “clear” absolutely nothing happens even after a sync.
    I didn’t buy my Kobo Glo so that Kobo could fill it up with their crappy recommended reading lists. What gives Kobo??????? If I want to buy books, I can look for them myself in many ways, I don’t need Kobo trying to sell me books THEY think I should buy and read!

    • There’s a Calibre plugin over at Mobileread called Kobo Utilities that I’ve been meaning to post an article about. Among other things, you can make it so certain tiles will not appear on the home screen anymore.

      • Thanks Nathan

        Would that work to get rid of these recommended reading lists?
        I suppose my main gripe is that Kobo seems to feel that they have the right to download whatever they want on to my ereader.
        This in my estimation is wrong and is no different than SPAM.

        I did receive a reply from Kobo and they advised that there is no way to either delete these recommended books or opt out of receiving these lists.

        I can search, purchase and read whatever books I choose and I don’t need Kobo telling me what books I should buy.
        They do so with the premise of “helping” you find similar books to what you are now reading, but I’m a big boy and can make big boy decisions all by myself without being inundated by Kobo to buy whatever books they feel I should just because it happens to be on their recommended reading list!
        At very least, they should provide some way to either delete this garbage from your ereader or opt out of receiving them in the first place

        • I remember Amazon had the same sort of thing with recommended content on the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, but a lot of people complained so they put an option in settings to turn them off. Kobo would be wise to make them optional as well.

          I’ve heard the plugin will make it so the recommended titles will disappear automatically whenever Kobo tries to display them again.

          • Under Reading Life and Notifications, Kobo Notifications, uncheck the box. That seems to work for me…

      • Thanks for the tip on the Calibre plugin. Much appreciated.

  18. We have a Kobo Glo which is less than 12 months old. The screen has frozen over and won’t reset. I have contacted Kobo and they have said that it is physical damage and I can tell you that there is NO damage other than normal use to the device and they will not replace. Extremely dissapointed. Will NOT be getting another Kobo EVER.

  19. I have a Glo that is 10 months old and has not had much reading time. Took it away last week to enjoy on a week’s vacation, I put it to sleep and it won’t wake up. It has powered off and will not come back. I tried the paper clip; nothing, so I did a factory re-set. Things went well until it finished “restoring” and immediately powered off. Will not turn on. After reading a few sites, I guess I am not alone. Any suggestions?

  20. I have had a Glo for 6 weeks and found it great for reading myself to sleep. Yesterday the screen was blank. I have charged it up but the screen remains blank. I can get a blink or two of green and blue led lights by using the reset with paper clip or long hold of the switch but neither option results in anything appearing on the screen. Charge up works since the green light shows when connected. Obviously Kobos are a lot of trouble for a lot of people. I wouldn’t buy one again.

    • Linda, I am in the same boat. Charged it for 3 days. Green light is on. Did the hard boot by holding the start button; Did the reset with the paper clip. Tried it with the unit our of the folder and tried it in the folder.

      All I get is a momentary flicker on the screen and then a continued blank. The only other anomaly is that when I tried connecting it to my computer and the Kobo store, neither recognized the presence of the reader.

  21. I have a Kobo glo which is my second after having had the Kobo original. I bought the mini for my niece and another glo for my nephew for Christmas last year. My nephew frozen just like Toni and the same thing Kobo wasn’t honoring the warranty saying it was physical damage and it isn’t. After my sister and brother in law gave up dealing with customer service I finally mailed a letter to the executive in charge of devices here in Canada. I have never really had any problems with my glo. A few glitches here and there. Once had to do a factory reset but that was a few months ago and once I did that I haven’t really had a problem with the reader now Kobo desktop that I have had lots a problems with. It will stop responding even uninstalled then re-stalled it still the same problems just not as often. Now yesterday my glo lost my saved wi fi networks and when I try and resave them it won’t. I don’t know what else to try other than a factory reset and I really don’t want to but at least I have most of my books (other than the ones from Kobo) saved to my micro SD card. Overall I have very problems. I like my Glo but thinking that I may want to upgrade to the Aura or Aura HD. I need more space on my device. My wish would be that Kobo would allow you to choose where you save your books rather than automatically saving them on the ereader.

  22. I have the exact same problem as originally posted. My Kobo worked great for many months, and for no apparent reason the settings icon does nothing and all of the X icons highlight when I touch them but don’t close anything. When you are in a book reading and you tap the button and then the home and setting buttons appear – if you touch any of the buttons it just closes them out and you go back to the book – you can’t get out.

  23. Here is some ner advice I’ve never seen before and so far it is working!
    To factory reset the glo: hold the power button ON for 15-20 seconds to make sure it is off. Press and HOLD the light button while turning on the Glo. That should put you into a factory reset if that will solve the problem (no guarantees).

    This was posted by “robko” and I found it in

    I’m in the middle of syncing now and will go through the whole off/on/sleep test after.

  24. Hi Guys, and sorry for my english.

    My Kobo Glo became unresponsive (or “delayed responsive”) to “human interface” 🙂 in the last month.

    The premise: bought at day one in Europe (october 2012), settings in “standalone” (no reading life, no wifi -i do manual sync-, no cover,no extra SD), I read a lot so it was very stressed: full charge every week (no problem with battery life), I have +/- 400 ebooks stored on internal SD (1GB free).

    A week ago I’ve done a factory reset then re-updated to 3.1.1 but nothing changed.
    To be precise it is responsive to tap but with a big delay: i tap onto “Aa” to adjust text no feedback (like “Aa” in negative) I wait at least 5″, if I tap more (thinking I wrongly tapped) it does nothing then suddenly execute all the taps in sequence, making a mess (the “Aa” is only an example: I can tap next page, nothing happens, tap twice … suddenly it turns 3 pages)

    The behavior is the same of an old PC running Win95 with defrag + antivirus scan active … figure it: click a menu, no feedback, click on desktop, no feedback … after some seconds suddenly the menu highlights,opens,closes, and so on. Its like … in the Glo the CPU is everytime busy with other stuff and put my tap in low priority.

    I’m not blaming Kobo: Glo was stressed, but generally it worked properly (except the usual freeze per week) for 16 months, not bad for the price, but I want to understand what is happening inside.

    Thanks, and sorry for the lenght.

  25. My Kobo e reader came with suduko but it seems to have disappeared from my device. What can I do to get it back?

  26. My Kobo was fine until the latest software upgrade. Now when I turn it completely off it skips back a dozen or more pages, and the touchscreen is now very unresponsive. I’ll stick with my other ereader, a Sony.

  27. hy
    I just bought a KOBO GLO and i have problems with the keyboard… before updating i was able to use the keyboard just fine, but after update the keys 7ujn does not respond to touch anymore… did the factory reset and followed the same footsteps but the problem is still there…

    any ideas / suggestions ???

    thank you for reading

  28. Even me .
    my Kobo has slowed down, it lags the whole time -freezes . Doesn’t respond when i click on buttons, or when i try to force reset it . I am becoming annoyed !
    Now it froze again, the screen light is on, and the screen is black-you can see its on, but it isn’t responding to Anything!

  29. Never had a problem -until … a year back or so?
    it started with being slow -slow to respond on taps on the screen.
    And lately I have to do whole factory resets after I left my battery die.
    And it takes hours to read the SD where it only took minutes before.

  30. My kobo glo is stuck on sleeping, paper clip does not work, nor does it start when using my pc. any ideas short of throwing it out

    • My Kobo Glo is in the same state unfortunately ever since I was messing with installing Android on it. Never have been able to get it to start up again. As a last ditch effort you could try holding the power switch over for about 20 seconds a couple times while the device is plugged in. Then press and hold the light button while turning on the Glo to try to force a factory reset.

      • Nathan, THANK YOU! My Kobo Glo wouldn’t update yesterday, told me I had to delete books in order to do so, yet there were no books on it. So I performed a factory reset, which worked. However, when I hooked it up to the computer, it did the same thing, then got stuck on the updating screen. So I tried the paperclip thing and I got a white screen and it wouldn’t do ANYTHING. Sent a customer care ticket to Kobo, and what they suggested didn’t work. But what you suggested DID WORK, so thank you! I just hope it doesn’t mess up when I attach it to my computer again.

  31. hi there,
    I can turn off my Kobo Glo without problems, its only when i go to turn it back on it loads to the homepage.. but then it freezes and i cannot select anything on the screen. I have reset the Glo by the hole at the bottom and i have done a factory reset (which took 10 hours to do)… the only thing i can do is when its turned on and is frozen i put it on charge (if it has recognized that it is on charge, or i have to reset it again and see if it does) …well after about an hour it unfreezes itself and i can select a book to read, only down point is that i have to leave it on sleep and i cannot turn it off at any time due to it having these problems… if someone here that would be able to help would be great… i have tried the kobo help and have been in contact with someone from kobo, but its like they just copy and pasted answers from the website and the response i got said exactly what i said i had already done in my message to them… i just want to be able to read and my Glo not to have these issues//

    • Maybe there’s a corrupt book. Do you sideload or use Kobo books? Also, Kobo’s device are easily prone to corrupting the database if you unplug them from a computer without properly ejecting, but if you’ve done a factory reset that shouldn’t be the problem.

      I know what you mean by Kobo’s support just copying and pasting responses—that’s what they do. It’s like they don’t even read the emails. It’s ridiculous.

      • i only use kobo books and i am always careful when i unplug the e reader.. i just use the wifi majority of the time.. how do you find out how to find a corrupt book? you know of kobo having any corrupt books? yeh, i contacted kobo through the facebook page and the only different response i got was to take a snapshot of the sleep and power page and then they gave me a $5.00 store credit as compensation that im having these problems.. very generous.

        • Corrupt ebooks usually only happen with sideloaded books. It’s probably a hardware issue if it keeps happening and doesn’t go away. If you have a memory card I’d remove it. Otherwise I’m out of suggestions.