If you just got a new Kindle ereader, here are some getting started tips and explanations of some of the settings.
Most of these tips apply to older Kindles as well, at least all the ones released since 2015, including the Kindle Paperwhite 3 through 5, all Kindle Oasis models, and several of the past and current basic Kindles.
Most of these tips are cross-posted from the Kindle Scribe tips list that was posted last week.
I’ll also be posting some additional tips guides and videos with more advanced tips soon so subscribe to The eBook Reader Blog to keep updated.
Kindle Tips Video
Kindle Tips and Tricks List
User Manual – Here’s the page at Amazon with Kinde User Guides. You can also access the User Manual on Kindles directly by going to Settings > Help & User Guides > Kindle User Guide.
Send to Kindle – You can easily send PDFs, personal documents, and ebooks in supported formats to Kindles using Send to Kindle. Supported file types include PDF, EPUB, DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, HTM, HTML, PNG, GIF, JPG, JPEG, BMP. The max file size is 200 MB.
Fix EPUB Formatting Issues – Sometimes when you send EPUB files to your Kindle it will show a bunch of weird characters. See here for the solution: How to Fix Formatting Issues on EPUBs Sent to Kindles.
Screenshots – You can take screenshots on Kindles by tapping two opposite corners at the same time. The screen will flash, and then the images get saved on the root of the Kindle’s drive and are accessible via a computer over USB.
Change Kindle’s Name – You can change the name that appears in the upper left corner of the screen by going to Settings > Your Account > Device Name.
Show/Hide Book Cover – You can show or hide the book that you’re currently reading on the lockscreen when the Kindle is off by going to Settings > Device Options > Display Cover. This is only available on ad-free Kindles.
Sideload Fonts – You can add additional font types to your Kindle. See here for directions: How to Use Custom Fonts on Kindles.
Software Updates – Software updates are automatically installed on Kindles when connected to Wi-Fi and charging, but sometimes it can take months for updates to install this way. You can manually download and install updates anytime from the Kindle software updates page at Amazon.
View Device Info – You can view important information about your device, including the software version and available storage space, by going to Settings > Device Options > Device Info.
Password Protect – You can setup your Kindle to require a passcode when turning it on by going to Settings > Device Options > Device Passcode.
Parental Controls – You can setup parental controls by going to Settings > Parental Controls to limit access to the following features: Web Browser, Store, Cloud, and Goodreads.
Text-to-Speech – Kindles still support text-to-speech (sort of) but Amazon calls it VoiceView and it requires interacting with the Kindle using gestures because it’s an accessibility feature, and you have to use Bluetooth headphones or speakers. Go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceView Screen Reader to turn it on.
Series Grouping – To turn automatic series grouping on and off go to Settings > Device Options > Advanced Options > Home & Library.
Collections – You can show or hide collections in the library view by going to Settings > Device Options > Advanced Options > Home & Library > Collections. See here for more about How Collections Work on Kindles.
Send Feedback to Amazon – You can send feedback to Amazon directly from your Kindle by going to Settings > Help & User Guides > Contact Us > Give Feedback.
Power Saver Mode – Kindles have a power saver setting that is enabled by default. If you turn it off your Kindle will turn on faster (it won’t do the “waking up” thing). Go to Settings > Device Options > Advanced Options > Power Saver to turn it on and off.
Disable Data – You can disable data collection on your Kindle by going to Settings > Device Options > Advanced Options > Privacy.
Change Dictionary – The dictionary can be changed in Settings >Language & Dictionaries > Dictionaries. You can also install other dictionaries from the Kindle Store.
Image Zoom – Images in books can be zoomed in if you hold down on them.
Family Sharing – You can share content between family members (up to 2 adults and 4 kids) by setting up the Household & Family Library feature in settings.
Book Progress Indicator – When reading a book, you can tap the lower left corner of the screen to cycle the book progress indicator between showing pages, to time left in chapter, to time left in book, to location, and it can also be turned off.
Free Kindle eBooks – Here’s a list at Amazon that’s updated hourly with the latest top 100 free Kindle ebooks. There’s also this separate section with free classics in the public domain, and here’s another list of other websites that offer free ebooks for Kindles.