Older Kindles Require Updated Software by March 22 to Download Books and Use Kindle Services

Older Kindles

Amazon has started sending out emails to Kindle owners with older devices notifying them that they need to make sure their Kindle’s software is up-to-date in order to continue downloading Kindle books and having access to the Kindle store and other Kindle services.

All Kindles from the very first generation model all the way up to the Kindle Paperwhite 2 are affected. If they have older outdated software after March 22nd, then downloads won’t work, the Kindle store won’t work, and other Kindle services will stop working as well.

Like usual, Amazon isn’t giving any specific details about the change but obviously they are updating or changing how Kindle books and services are served to Kindle devices.

To be clear, there isn’t a “new” update specifically for this change; Kindles just need to be up-to-date with current software, not necessarily the latest software. It’s more about transitioning devices from older outdated software to newer software.

In most cases all you need to do to make sure your Kindle gets the required update is to turn on Wi-Fi or 3G wireless. Updates download and install automatically.

The older models are the only ones affected. Here’s the list of Kindles that require having the latest software installed along with the software version:

Device and Year Software Release Your Device Needs Update via wireless (3G) or Wi-Fi
Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use 3G
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) 2.5.8* Use 3G
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) 5.6.5 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed

* For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.

If you are unsure what Kindle model you have, check this List of Kindle Models and How to Tell Them Apart.

You can also find more information at Amazon’s help section. They have the following page about this: Critical Software Update for Kindle eReaders.

11 Responses to “Older Kindles Require Updated Software by March 22 to Download Books and Use Kindle Services”

  1. Does this add bookerly font to the kindle keyboard by chance? Or Azw3 to DX model?

  2. Guess it is finally the end of the line for my back ported 3.2.1 version on the Kindle DX Graphite. 🙁 I haven’t been able to use the Kindle store on the device in many months. Since the font hack doesn’t even require a jailbreak I guess I’ll do that and live with the inferior PDF and web rendering capabilities. At least I’ll get faster wake times, the return of full text to speech, and reasonable battery life with the wireless enabled.

  3. It’s almost certainly to fix the security hole currently being used to jailbreak kindles with newer software versions. Apparently there is a way a webpage can force the Kindle browser to accept a file which allows you to update the software through a font file. Not sure which hole they’re fixing (if not both).

    • I don’t know… If that were true then the newer Kindles would have to be updated and they don’t have to be, as shown on the table. They can still be running 5.6.5, which is the jailbreakable version. And the older Kindles have been open to hacks for years so why would they create a fix for a newer hack that’s not even needed for them?

  4. How can you tell what software version your Kindle is running? I don’t see it under Settings.

  5. It’s to transition over the network services for remaining connected to 3G past the shutoff of a 3rd-party network

  6. Hi There, I need help just bought a kindle with a keyboard , I bought it through a classified add the kindle version is showing as 3.2.1 the name of the Kindle is printed as only “amazonkindle” the seller is not able to tell what it is but I see it has a keyboard to type and navigate. I am unable to connect to wifi by it shows the 3G is connected. Is this a bug on this set or did I purchase non working kindle ? any help here is greatly appreciate

  7. I am trying to update from 4.1.1 to 4.1.3 I updated from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2 no problem but the device will not upgrade to 4.1.3 i am using exactly the same procedure but it will not work. Amazon suggest i buy a new kindle and have offered me a 20% discount!! Any thoughts gratefully received