Eight Tips for Extending the Battery Life on Your Kindle

Back in the olden days (circa 2011) we used to be able to buy ereader cases that included their own battery. I actually still have one such case built for the non-touch basic Kindle from 2011, but those days are long past.

Now ereader owners are limited by the battery that coes with their devices, and while screens may be getting larger, batteries generally aren’t. Most ereaders have a 1Ah or 1.5Ah battery, which is actually good enough for a couple months of usage – if you are careful.

Here’s how you can extend the battery life of your ereader.

1. Turn down the frontlight. Frontlights are the best thing to happen to ereaders since Amazon launched the original Kindle with free 3G, but you would be surprised by just how much of an impact they have on battery life. I was recently reading on Kobo’s original 6.8” ereader with the frontlight turned almost off, and that thing actually lasted through 4 ebooks before I had to recharge it.

2. Turn off wifi. And 3G One reason that that Aura HD lasted so long was that the wifi had been turned off. I usually have it disabled by default because while downloading ebooks over wifi is great, it still drains the battery.

3. Change the screen refresh settings. Most ereaders, including both Kindle and Kobo, now have an option in the settings menu where you can limit how often the device refreshes the screen rather than just changing the text. This saves battery life because a full screen refresh entails flipping the entire screen to black before refreshing the screen with the next page.

4. Restart Your Device. Your ereader is actually a small computer, and like any computer sometimes the software goes awry. When that happens to power management software, your batteyr life could be reduced to only a couple hours. If you notice that your device’s battery life is unexpectedly short, and you can’t find a cause, restarting will force the ereader to reload the software. (Turning it off and on again may be a joke on IT but it actually works.)

5 Turn off auto-brightness. Some ereader models have a feature where the device adjusts the brightness of the frontlight so that it matches the ambient light condition. That’s nice and all but it can also impact battery life any time it makes your frontlight brighter.

6. Only add ebooks (or use the wireless networks) while charging. Every time you add an ebook to the Kindle, the OS will index it. And every time you turn on the wifi, the Kindle will sync with Amazon’s servers. These two activities drain battery life, so why not kill two birds with one stone by taking care of them while your device is connected to a power source?

7. Reduce the font size, and line spacing. This may sound silly but if you have more text on the screen, you will be able to go longer between page turn, and each time you turn the page you will get further into the ebook.

8. Turn it off! The last and most important way to expend the battery life of your ereader is to simply shut it down. Yes, putting it to sleep does reduce the drain on the battery, but turning it off does an even better job.

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So tell me, what’s your favorite trick for extending your ereader’s battery life?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. 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.

2 Comments

  1. Ron25 May, 2020

    Turning the Kindle off completely might save battery, if you do not intend to use it in the near future but otherwise could turn out to do just the opposite – draining your battery even more.
    Booting up a device usually takes some computing power, loading all the configurations, checking hardware and drivers and so on. If you do that more than once a day you might be surprised how quickly your battery runs low without reading a single page.

    Reply
  2. Mike Hall25 May, 2020

    I’m not sure what you mean by turning a Kindle off completely. I often power down my tablets to stop battery drain but can you actually turn off the power on a Paperwhite? I mean, I press the off/on switch, but is it really powered down or just sleeping?

    I very strongly second your suggestion of only adding books whilst charging. For the odd one or two books it probably doesn’t matter but when we got a pair of new devices and I decided to add all the books we owned before we went on holiday, the batteries went down to zero very quickly, plus everything came to a stop as the titles were indexed. Indexation takes place in a flash on my PC but on the Kindle …

    In fact I sometimes do searches on the PC if I expect to get a large number of hits because it’s otherwise painfully slow to scroll through the search results.

    I’ve actually mostly given up trying to extend battery life and instead try to remember to charge regularly. As we have the 6 foot Amazon charging leads – and plenty of power outlets in our living room – it’s no hardship to charge whilst sitting reading in our recliners. For plane journeys and other times when I’m going to be away from power outlets, I carry a 20Ah power pack and resign myself to the fact that – whatever Amazon’s advertising might say – the Kindle might not last the flight from London to Singapore, especially if I’ve been reading ever since I got through security.

    Reply

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