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Grab the Kindle Software Update Before March 22 to Stay Online

Posted by Jim Tanous on March 21, 2016
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Here’s an important notice for Kindle owners: make sure to update your device to the latest software version ASAP, as Amazon will block Kindles running older software from accessing online features starting Tuesday, March 22nd.

Amazon introduced a new Kindle software update back in February that aimed to make improvements to browsing your e-book library and discovering new content, and now the company is warning owners of pre-2013 Kindles that they’ll need to update to this new version if they want to stay online. Specifically, “online” access for Kindles means accessing the Kindle Store to browse and purchase new e-books, accessing a user’s own Cloud library to download and sync content, the ability to receive Kindle content emailed to the device, use of the Kindle’s experimental Web browser, and the ability to receive software updates.

Starting March 22nd, Kindles not running the required software version will display the following message, which typically only appears during a normal connectivity outage:

Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again.

Unlike a normal network problem, however, the Kindle will be indefinitely blocked from online access until the required Kindle software update is installed, and the tips in the message about checking for wireless range will be of no use. At this point, users will need to connect their Kindles to a PC or Mac via USB and manually update to the latest software version. While the manual update process is relatively straightforward, an online update is faster and easier, so be sure to update wirelessly before the 22nd if necessary.

Amazon’s notice affects the following Kindle devices, which must be running at least the corresponding software version:

Kindle 1st Generation (2007): Version 1.2.1
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009): Version 2.5.8
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009): Version 2.5.8
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010): Version 3.4.2
Kindle 4th Generation (2011): Version 4.1.3
Kindle 5th Generation (2012): Version 4.1.3
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011): Version 5.3.7.3
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012): Version 5.6.1.1

Recent Kindles released in 2013 or later are already running the required software version, so owners of these devices do not need to update. Finally, some Kindle devices have built-in 2G or 3G mobile data interfaces, but the software update requires the use of a Wi-Fi connection, so be sure to connect to a valid Wi-Fi network before running the software update check.

Kindle owners can verify their software version by selecting Menu > Settings > Device Info from the home screen (some Kindles display the version number at the top of the screen after navigating to Menu > Settings).

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