How To Manually Update Your Kindle If You Miss the Deadline

5430189515_ea93c15461_oIt's only a day past the 22 March deadline for the critical Kindle update, and early reports suggest that not everyone got the emails, post cards, and phone calls from Amazon about the update.

If you're one of the Kindle owners who didn't get the update in time, don't panic. If you missed the deadline, there is still a way for you to install the update.

The process will require a computer, your Kindle, and and a USB cable to connect the two, and you should also fully charge your Kindle before you start just to make sure that you have enough power to complete the process.

Here are the first steps to manually update your Kindle.

  1. First, determine which model you have. The best way to do that is to match your Kindle to one of the models on this page
  2. And then to determine the firmware, open the settings menu.  Then open the dropdown menu and select the "device info" option. This will tell you which version of the firmware your Kindle is currently running. 

If the firmware number matches one of the numbers on this help page then you already have the update. Also, if you can't find your Kindle on that second page then you don't need the update at all.

But if the firmware number is different then you'll need to keep going and install the update.

Here are links to the download pages:

You can visit the pages above to download the update. Depending on how long it's been since your Kindle connected to the internet, you may need to install one or more updates.

Each update will need to be installed one at a time, in the correct order. Here's how:

  1. Download the update to your computer, and then copy it to your Kindle using the USB cable.
  2. Disconnect your Kindle from your computer.
  3. Open the settings menu on your Kindle, and then open the dropdown menu. You should see an option labeled "Update your Kindle". Select it, and then confirm the update.

Your Kindle's screen should then flicker a few times, and then you will see the update status as a progress bar.

If you don't see the progress bar, or if the update fails, then you will need to contact Amazon and ask for technical help.

image by bfishadow


About Nate Hoffelder (11471 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on How To Manually Update Your Kindle If You Miss the Deadline

  1. Thank you I thought I had a paper weight.

  2. Hi Nate –
    Thanks – this article was a godsend. My Kindle Keyboard is a european version (even though I’m in Australia), and the Kindle Keyboard updates didn’t come up in my roamings around the Amazon update pages.

    Your link took me to the one Amazon page that clearly identifies the 3 different Kindle Keyboard variants and directs you to the right downloads to update the device. (I was getting the wrong patches and the option to update was staying resolutely greyed-out).

    Got the correct 3 updates manually installed and finally reached 3.4.2 – all done. A book I ordered the other day has finally arrived – no more staring out of the bus window! 😀

    Rick, Perth Australia

  3. I have the Kindle Fire HD version and it is not mentioned as needing an update. I know I am too late but is the HD even a part of the Kindle update? Please let me know and thank you.

  4. My generation 5 Kindle has only just stopped working. Ive tried downloading the upgrades onto my computer without success. Im so frustrated that I have now ordered a new paperwhite kindle from amazon being delivered tomorrow. Im hoping that I my books will automatically transfer to the new device once ive registered it. Is this the case? Help….x

    • If you want them to automatically transfer you should log into your Amazon account, go to “manage your content and devices” and click on each book (10 at a time) and then click on “deliver”. Make sure to choose the new Kindle. Keep repeating until all have been marked for delivery. That way once you sync your kindle it will automatically download all of those books.

      Alternatively you can transfer them just using your new kindle. Assuming that it ships with current or reasonably current firmware (if it’s older then you already know what to do):

      Once you connect your Paperwhite to wifi sync it by pushing the gear icon on the top and then tap sync.

      Then tap on “library” in the upper left corner.

      There you will see on the upper left “all” and “downloaded”. Tap on “all”.

      You should find all of your books there. Tap on each one and they will download.

      Then wait along time.

      Either way that you do it, I would plug in the kindle because the first thing that will happen is that all of those books will be indexed which will deplete the battery.

  5. Thank you. What was the reason for this critical update?

  6. I have tried to upload the update version 3.4.2 on two computers and each one says that there is no known program to open the download? Is there something I am missing? I want to download some books to my older kindle for my daughter to read,but without this update, I’m out of luck. Not really interested in buying a new kindle for an 8 year old…

    • You don’t need to open the download, just copy iton to your kindle. The download should show up in the download folder of your folder explorer. Just copy the kindle download and paste it into the kindle folder. This folder should show up on the right side of your folder explorer under “this pc” when you plug your kindle into your computer.

  7. I thought your instructions sounded very clear but have hit a snag. I have Kindle Keyboard 2010 and discovered by software was 3.2.1. So I successfully updated to 3.3 but cannot go any further. Have tried 3.4 and direct to 3.4.2 but in both cases the Update Your Kindle command is greyed out. According to Amazon this means either I have the most recent update or the file transfer failed. The only thing I have not done yet is download another copy of the update files. Is that what I should do next?

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