How to Update Your Kindle’s Software to the Latest Version


Here’s a quick tutorial on how to update your Kindle ebook reader to the latest software version that Amazon offers.

Some people have been asking why their new Kindle Paperwhite lacks some of the features shown in the video review, such as the option to disable the touchscreen, and it’s because the software isn’t up-to-date.

Amazon often adds new features to Kindles with software updates so if you want all the latest features make sure your Kindle has the latest software installed.

You can check the software version on your Kindle by going to Settings, then tap the three dots in the upper right corner and select Device Info.

Compare the firmware version number to what Amazon has listed on their Kindle Software Updates page for your specific model.

There are two ways to update your Kindle’s software.

Automatic Updates

The easiest option is to let your Kindle update on its own automatically while plugged in and charging. However, this requires leaving Wi-Fi turned on indefinitely until it updates.

The only problem with auto-updates is they can sometimes take several weeks for the software to update after a new version is released, so you need to leave Wi-Fi turned on all the time, and if you like to have airplane mode turned on to save power then you probably aren’t going get the update.

Manual Updates

Another option is to download the update file from Amazon directly and then sideload it onto your Kindle using a USB cable.

The benefit with manually updating is you can get the update as soon as it is released so you don’t have to wait to get access to the new features and bug fixes.

To manually update, just go to the Kindle Software Updates page where you can select your specific Kindle model and download the update file to your computer.

If you’re not sure which model you own you can check this page: Which Kindle E-reader Do I Have?

Once you have the file downloaded, simply plug your Kindle into your computer using the USB cable and then drag the update file onto the main Kindle drive (don’t place it in a folder).

After the transfer is complete, safely disconnect your Kindle from the computer.

To trigger the update on your Kindle, go to Settings, then tap the three dots in the upper right to open the menu and select Update Your Kindle.

That’s it. Super easy. If the option to update is grayed out then you either have the wrong file or something went wrong during the transfer. Try again and make sure you have the proper file for your Kindle model (it will only install updates for your specific model).

13 Responses to “How to Update Your Kindle’s Software to the Latest Version”

  1. Thank you for this. I prefer to keep WiFi off, and I didn’t know this was an option. It worked for my Voyage!

  2. I would like a color e reader that is not a tablet

  3. Hi, when I had my original kindle,with a physical keyboard,I would create collections i.e.’Read 2018′, when I moved a title into the collection it would disappear from the library list. Now, on the paperwhite,when I move the title to the collection the title remains in my library list as well. This is confusing as I’m never quite sure whether I’ve moved it or not. Can I change this setting? Thanx, Sandie

  4. I’m glad all you techie types out there know how to load/transfer the updates. I haven’t a clue as how to do this. Sideload? What does that mean? Why can’t it just be an easy download of a file directly sent to the Kindle?

    • That’s what it means to sideload, Mark. Plug your Kindle into your computer, and drag the update file directly onto it.
      Though the term is more commonly used with smartphone applications (installing apps without the use of the default app store — loading them ‘on the side’ or sideloading), the term is still correct. And very useful in many cases, though I have doubts about its usefulness in an article meant for tech un-savvy folk.

  5. I have 7th gen kindle paperwhite. In the chart I see it can be upgraded 5.9 version upmost. But I have recently
    That’s weird

    • You’re right. They’re showing an older version for the Paperwhite 3 than the Paperwhite 2. It doesn’t make any sense. It should be 5.10.2 like the other current models. Somebody must’ve screwed something up somewhere.

  6. I accidentally loaded the paperwhite 10 to my kindle 7th gen and it worked. I have just updated to the 5.10.3 for the 7th gen and it seems to be working.

  7. There are no ‘three dots’ in my menu (Version 3.4) I’ve been trying for two hours to do this ‘super easy’ thing.

    • John, it sounds like you’ve got a Kindle Keyboard.
      If you’re running 3.4, you need to upgrade to version 3.42 and then to version 3.43. The link to version 3.42 is in the Note: below the downloads.
      If you have a Kindle Keyboard there are no dots; dots are later models. To get the upgrade on a Kindle Keyboard to need to press the “Menu” button above the square 4-way “button” and then press the “menu” button again and on the drop down you should see the “Update Your Kindle.” Select it and press the square button and that should do it!

  8. John, I have the 3rd Gen, model 00601. I agree, no 3 dots. I don’t know which model you have, but on mine, when I went to Home, Menu, Settings, Menu, the “Update” option showed. Try that. I did that after sideloading to the root of the Kindle.

    Different Menus are available depending on the page on the screen.

  9. I have been trying to update my kindle (4th) for a week now. It’s been years since I used it. The first update worked just fine but I can’t get the next one to work. I’ve downloaded it, copied it to the drive and hit update on my kindle and nothing. Help!