Warning: Latest Kindle Fire Update Turns on Passwords by Default

Amazon rolled out a long-wished-for update on Thursday which added parental controls  to block access to the store, browser, and what have you. Unfortunately for a lot of Kindle Fire owners, Amazon doesn't appear to have thought this through.

A number of Kindle Fire owners have reported that, upon receiving the new update, they are locked out of their devices. I have now gotten 4 comments on my blog and found a couple dozen concurring complaints over on Amazon's Kindle Forums.  All are reporting much the same issue, and there are a number of details in common. None of the afflicted owners actually enabled the password. They all report that the update did it to their Kindle Fires.

In case it's not clear, the owners didn't forget the passwords or set them wrong. No, the issue here is that the Kindle Fires are asking for passwords that do not exist.  There is literally nothing that can be entered that will fix this problem.

That's really not a good thing, and what's worse is that no one has figured out a solution yet. A couple users have even contacted Kindle Support, but Amazon is just as baffled by this as we are. The only suggestion that the CS reps could make was to do a factory rest. Naturally, the afflicted owners are not exactly happy about that.

And as reports continue to come in this looks like it's going to grow into a truly massive clusterfuck. I have no idea where it's going to end, but this news is important enough that it needed to be shared.

But I can tell you that one KF owner reported that CS said the Kindle tech team is aware of the issue and they are working on a solution. Let's hope they find it soon.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

55 Comments

  1. Sherri6 May, 2012

    Fascinating. It doesn’t happen to everybody; my KF updated and I didn’t have any problems. Wonder what the common denominator is for the affected devices?

    Reply
    1. april6 February, 2015

      mine is [email protected]@ked up!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  2. Anne6 May, 2012

    No problem with mine, either. It updated by itself. No problems using it since.

    Reply
    1. Timothy Wilhoit6 May, 2012

      Same here. Mine updated on its own and the parental controls are set to “OFF.” It’s odd that some KF’s default to OFF while others do not.

      Reply
  3. K H Acton6 May, 2012

    I didn’t have any problems either. I did follow Andrys’s advice and created a password in case somebody accidentally turned it on.

    Reply
  4. hajones6 May, 2012

    My KF has been like this since the update…so I am locked out of web browsing on the native silk browser and cannot buy or download any apps…i had another browser downloaded and this working…but hour correct nothing works…no obvious default password or my amazon password or anything else and I did not have passwords enabled at all prior to the update. Thanks for keeping on the story…

    Reply
  5. George7 May, 2012

    I don’t think the new update has pushed across on my Fire yet, but I took the step of creating a password just in case.

    Good thing this happened to an Amazon product and that they’re trying to find solutions. If it was an Apple or Microsoft product, they’d probably call it a feature… 😉

    Reply
  6. Ste t8 May, 2012

    I had the same password lock out after update and tried my amazon password and that worked (not having created a password on kf) hope this may help .

    Reply
  7. Lasmom8 May, 2012

    My tried to unlock the parental controls with my Amazon password and that didn’t work either. I hope there is a solution soon. This is not good.

    Reply
  8. Julie8 May, 2012

    Update: I just tried the last 4 digs of my ssn. It worked! Now where the Kindle got this….I don’t know. I don’t recall giving it to Amazon, but maybe I did ages ago…

    Reply
    1. Crystal Garrett15 December, 2012

      Worked for me too. Not sure how they got that, but thanks for the tip! My 8 year old was devastated she couldn’t download her game!!!! LOL

      Reply
  9. jessy9 May, 2012

    Hi I had the same problem and i used my amazon password and it worked, try it.
    good luck.

    Reply
  10. Juliet9 May, 2012

    Wow. Thank you, Julie. I just tried my last four digits of my ss # and that did work! I’m so confused, as well, as to where they got that number. I’m 100% sure I never gave them that. Not good.

    Reply
  11. karalee10 May, 2012

    same here. locked out… never set up password. none of the ssn or amazon passwords work either. i’m CRANKY. 🙁

    Reply
  12. Allyson10 May, 2012

    Mine has the same problem! I am hoping a fix comes so that I don’t have to reset by KF. This is ridiculous!!!

    Reply
  13. Connie10 May, 2012

    I have 2 months of appointments scheduled on my Kindle calender. Way to much information to lose by a factory reset or to retype into another product. Any way to save information to SD or to computer to retrieve later?

    Reply
  14. […] · No Comments · Amazon, tips and tricksTweet EmailTweet EmailLast Saturday night I posted a warning note about the recent Kindle Fire firmware update. A fair number of users were reporting that the new […]

    Reply
  15. Steve16 May, 2012

    Just ran update. NEVER and I mean NEVER set a password for my WiFi or otherwise. Locked out of ALL of my DATA… thankfully I am able to AND GOING to take mine back to where I purchased it..if Amazon does not fix this “BUG” in 1 week from this post… and pay $50 buck more for a much better 7″ tablet that. This is rediculous and I am a senior security official with a Gov. organization that has well over 25 years experience in IT.. This just plain should NOT have happened.. and is flat out a BUG…

    Reply
    1. Steve16 May, 2012

      Sorry… not ALL of my Data, but no more Wireless connectivity unless I delete all my stored info and then perform a factory reset through no fault or issue created by myself.. but on account of Amazon running an update on my Kindle Fire… Very frustrating and UNDEPENDABLE to say the least..

      Reply
  16. Ron Sankey18 May, 2012

    It happened on mine after the update.
    I know 100% for certain, I Did NOT enable this.

    This sucks.
    Is there a default password ?
    I tried all the usual generic ones… including amazon one, etc…

    Reply
    1. IC18 June, 2012

      OH MY GOD you are a GOD!!!! thank you…lower case first name worked!!!!

      Reply
  17. Yoga20 May, 2012

    If you have – once upon a time – set a PIN (Lock Screen Password under Setting -> Security) but then disable it back, try to use that PIN. It works for me.

    Reply
  18. Gary28 May, 2012

    For the parental control problem….First we tried all the passwords we used (worked for some people)…and nothing
    Next tried to deregister and then register the device (worked for some)…..and nothing

    I tried lowercase first name of registered user……BINGO….try first name of registered user!!!

    Reply
  19. John4 June, 2012

    You got to be kidding me! This long and they cant come up with a solution? I left my Fire on while charging after not using it for awhile and it updated and locked me out. I have too much on it to loose after doing a factory reset. Is this their way of making you repurchase apps? http://www.barnesandnoble.com here I come.

    Reply
  20. […] like Amazon is going to give the Kindles the same security as found on the Kindle Fire, which got a troublesome update a few weeks […]

    Reply
  21. IC18 June, 2012

    I have been going crazy researching solutions. It makes me feel better im not the only one. I kept trying to figure out if i set parental controls on my own, and then after watching a video relaized I would have remembered if it entailed so much. All I can say is WTF, I have to set it back to factory settings now?? are my books going to be gone???

    Reply
  22. Linda16 August, 2012

    My grand -daughter used her own money she saved from raising a goat for the fair to buy a kindle fire and now she can not use it. If she resets she loses all her apps and stuff this is a bunch of crap. They should not do a update on this unless approved by the owner first. So are you going to give her money back if you can’t fix this???

    Reply
  23. Tammy Aubol29 November, 2012

    This really sucks! I’m glad it’s just not me though but am not really sure what to do. I can’t get to my settings or anything. HELP!!!!!

    Reply
  24. jack1 December, 2012

    Password for router worked for me

    Reply
  25. isabell14 April, 2013

    im so mad i got on and im afraid that if i reset it i will lose all my stuff can anyone asure me that if i reset it it will leave my stuff in the cloud

    Reply
  26. Pascale28 March, 2014

    It is still going on! My son was asked to upgrade his KF last night and now we cannot get access anything. I have tried all the solutions suggested but unfortunately no luck in our case. I phoned customer support – was told that we had forgotten the password until I told him that I read the blogs, when he shut up. He then tried to suggest it was a security feature until I pointed out it cannot be a security feature if even the parents cannot access it. When I asked where I could complain (it is almost two years since they knew about this problem) he gave me the email address of the CEO for Amazon UK. I have written to Mr Christopher North this evening together with emails to the main consumer watchdog TV and radio programmes on the BBC. I think it is time we shame Amazon into doing something about this.

    Reply
  27. Fred17 October, 2014

    Still going on again. This judt happened to us tonight. Pure outright BS!!! Why is this company doing this to consumers who psy good money for shitty products.

    Reply
  28. Shane22 October, 2014

    Same thing here…we typed 1234567890 and that worked to unlock KF

    Reply
  29. mike27 November, 2014

    If you get locked out its simply whatever your password is to login to your main Amazon account

    Reply
  30. Jane Alowaied29 November, 2014

    My KF was fine until I charged it last night and now I am completely locked out of it . Cannot change settings because they don’t come up. It just says to enter a pin number i do not have. BS!!!!

    Reply
    1. Radu22 January, 2015

      I have a friend that just got the Kindle Fire HD (whatever is it called , 6″ color display reader) and she updated and got locked out. Since she was unaware of any PIN , i just tried 1234567890 and it worked. I guess that’s the standard pin for these devices , try it and see if it works!

      Reply
      1. Nate Hoffelder22 January, 2015

        Really?

        I didn’t know the problem was still happening with the newest models. Thanks for the heads up, and the default PIN code!

        Reply
  31. Liz1 December, 2014

    Same thing here. De-registered the KF, turned it on, but the the password lock out is still there. I’ve tried everything, old passwords, ssn, my name, my daughter’s name, phone numbers, etc. NOTHING works. Help!

    Reply
  32. Jules18 January, 2015

    My KF has been locked up since the summer of 2014, waiting to see if Amazon will step up and fix my problem. I have been asked for a pin # I never set up and yes I did do updates on mine. Please help if you’ve heard any updates on any progress from Amazon and hope they are going to rectify all of us who are getting shafted. Thank you.

    Reply
  33. Jules18 January, 2015

    My KF has not worked since the summer of 2014. After an update, later it asked for a pin # when I have never set 1 up. Please help if anyone gets anymore updates on how to fix this mess. I’ve been hoping Amazon would step up and do the right thing to get this rectified and to quit screwing us around? Thanks.

    Reply
  34. susan steenhuis12 February, 2015

    OMG! This happened to me as of yesterday – very frustrating.
    Nothing is working, and it is only a big number pad on the screen, so how are some suggesting to type in words? Thanks, and unbelievable!!

    Reply
  35. Paul B20 March, 2015

    I called Amazon U.S., they taked me through the process of getting rid of the Parental Controls password bug. It worked, and then they sent me the following E-Mail which describes the steps to take:
    If you forget the Parental Controls password for your Fire tablet, you can deregister your device to reset the password. Your Fire tablet must be connected to a wireless network to deregister the device from your account.

    1. Visit the Manage Your Content and Devices (www.amazon.com/mycd) page on your computer.
    2. Select the Your Devices tab.
    3. Select your Fire tablet, then click “Deregister” to deregister your device from your account.
    4. On the device swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap Settings.
    5. Tap Sync and Check for Items.

    Once the device recognizes that it is deregistered, tap My Account in Settings on the device, and select Register. The Parental Controls password will be reset.

    Deregistering your Fire tablet will also allow you to keep any items transferred to your device using the USB cable. After your Fire tablet has been deregistered, make sure it’s connected to a wireless network.

    If you’re unable to deregister your Fire tablet from the Manage Your Content and Devices page, you’ll need to reset your device. Because a factory reset will remove any content you’ve downloaded to your device, make sure to back up any personal content to your computer first. Any digital purchases made from Amazon.com are saved to your account and can be downloaded to the device again from the Cloud tab.

    Any in-app items may be lost during a factory reset. Please check with the app developer for more details on their in-app policies before completing a factory reset.

    To reset your device:

    1. Swipe down from the top of the screen, and then tap More.
    2. Tap Device, and then tap Reset to Factory Defaults.

    Thank you for choosing Amazon.

    Reply
  36. Mary Berke10 May, 2015

    I am totally locked out of my new Kindle Fire. When I turn it on it asks for a PIN number. I never set any PIN number. So, I have a completely useless tablet sitting here. Amazon, what do I do please? I just bought this little beauty and really want to use it.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 May, 2015

      Did you try 1234567890 , like one of the commenters above?

      Reply
  37. Ben25 May, 2015

    —-SIMPLE SOLUTION PLEASE READ!—–
    All you have to do is turn on your kindle, swipe left to unlock it. Now you’re at your password screen. Type in random numbers or letters (until it says you have to wait) then click “reset pin” and it’ll take you to a screen in which you type in your amazon password that you used when you made an account for the kindle, press enter, and then set your own new pin! It’s super simple! Please let anyone know who has this problem this simple solution!

    Reply
  38. Dan archer29 May, 2015

    Sadly I am affected. Thankfully I’ve turned to Apple bcos they don’t mess up

    Reply
    1. Feda29 May, 2015

      ROFL

      Reply
  39. bonnie15 July, 2015

    My lock screen problem has a different cause. I clicked on the FREETIME icon and it would not let me back out until I set a pin number. I downloaded nothing. I did nothing inside FreeTime. All I did was to press the stupid icon to see what it was and it forced me immediately into setting screen lock pin#. I live alone, I don’t want to type a pin# just to shut off my morning alarm or to get back to what I was doing after each screen timeout. I have searched all the forums and find nothing that says how to undo this. … other than factory reset PERHAPS would work. I put the question to their online HELP and recv’d a garbled email (as if perhaps a computer translated to English from another language) that pretty much said to call them. They cannot help me via email. Given the state of the email message I admit I’ve been reluctant to actually get one of these people on the phone. Been there too many times before. My Kindle Fire HD should have had a huge label pasted on the front warning users about pressing the FreeTime icon.

    Reply
    1. bonnie15 July, 2015

      replying to my own comment. After previous hours a month ago trying to figure out a back-it-out method, I accidentally discovered how to stop the lock screen password. It was confusing that every time I selected the OFF setting for lock screen pwd it went directly to what I *thought* was a password reset. Turns out it was just a password verification making sure I had authority to disable the function. Once I entered my pin# it disabled the lock screen pin function. I let the screen time out, and no password was required to start using Kindle again. I know that doesn’t exactly apply to this forum, but it may help some other dumb bunny like myself.

      But good grief, couldn’t Kindle/Amazon support have just put that set of 2-3 steps in an email?

      Reply
  40. Robert Argo5 December, 2015

    Now, I have to LOG-In to see my STORAGE !!!! Says its “Parental Protected”…what’s that got to do with looking at storage??? You people need to get someone that knows how to program. Kindle FIRE is getting in ONE BIG MESS !!!

    Reply
  41. roland cole20 May, 2016

    This is very bad. Got caught up in this Kindle rubbish. I gave up on iPod, never will buy an iphone and now I am going back to books made of paper. Only fire and termites to worry about.

    Reply
  42. Mandie21 June, 2016

    I did have parental controls set up on mine, and when the update happened, it somehow changed my parental controls password! Nothing I tried worked, until I entered it wrong 5-6 times and finally got the link to reset the password using my regular Amazon password. Incidentally, I also had an issue with my son’s profile not showing up at all after the update. He was very frustrated and upset because it took me a while to figure out how to fix it (I had to “re-register” the device, then his profile finally popped up).

    Reply
  43. Evette Smith5 February, 2017

    I have NEVER set up a password for anything pertaining to my Kindle. However even though I have no idea how or why the 5th password attempt was accepted. I just used the same one that I use for other accounts and it worked!!! The problem is that it KEEPS HAPPPENING. Trust me it’s very aggravating, but as long as it keeps working I’ll just keep dealing with it. Thank You and GOOD LUCK

    Reply
  44. Peggy Austin8 March, 2017

    Giving my Amazone password worked right away. Now, I have adjusted to the password log on and feel that it is a good security issue.

    Reply
  45. Tim7 April, 2017

    Just got the update and the same issue. I never setup a password on my Kindle, and now I cannot use it at all.

    Reply

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