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If you’re having trouble with your Kindle e-reader, or simply want to clear it of all personal information, you may need to perform what Amazon calls a "soft reset" or a "hard reset".

A soft reset, also called a reboot, can resolve most minor issues happening with any Kindle device. A hard reset, which is also commonly called a factory reset, will erase all your data and return your Kindle to its factory or original settings. Here are step-by-step instructions for both types of resets and why you may want to choose one over the other for your Kindle.

How to soft reset or reboot your Kindle

If you need to perform a soft reset (aka reboot) on a Kindle e-reader, whether to troubleshoot it or to fix a glitch, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button until the Power menu appears.
  2. Tap the Restart option.
  3. If your screen goes doesn’t turn back on, hold the power button for 40 seconds.
  4. If your Kindle still doesn’t restart, hold the power button again until it does.

What happens when you reboot a Kindle?

When you reboot any Kindle, it will simply restart the e-reader and hopefully resolve any minor issues that may have been causing problems. This process is similar to turning the device off and then on again, and it will not erase any data on the Kindle.

Soft resets can be helpful when dealing with frozen screens or unresponsive buttons. Performing a soft reset is quick and will not affect any of your personal information or settings. If your Kindle continues to have problems after a soft reset, you may need to do a hard reset or contact Kindle support for further assistance because a more thorough troubleshooting process may be necessary.

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How to hard reset or factory reset your Kindle

If you need to perform a hard reset (aka factory reset) on a Kindle, in order to return it to factory settings, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the Quick Actions panel.
  2. Tap the All Settings icon and select Device Options.
  3. Tap Reset (some devices might call this Reset Device)
  4. Confirm that you want to perform the reset.
  5. Wait for your Kindle to reset.

What happens when you factory reset a Kindle?

When you factory reset any Kindle, it will erase all data, settings, and personal information from the e-reader.

This includes all books, documents, and other content that you have downloaded or transferred to the Kindle, as well as any personal settings, Wi-Fi passwords, and Amazon account information. Your Kindle will be returned to its original factory settings. As a result, to use the Kindle again, you will need to re-register it with your Amazon account and re-download any previously purchased content.

A hard reset should only be done as a last resort to fix serious issues or if you are giving away or selling the Kindle and want to ensure that all your personal information is permanently cleared. Perhaps consult Kindle support to make sure it is the right decision for you.

What should you do after factory resetting a Kindle?

After performing a factory reset, and if you want to continue using the e-reader, you will need to do the following:

  • To re-register a Kindle, follow the on-screen prompts when you turn it on after a reset.
  • To download previously purchased content, go to the All tab on your home screen, select the Books or Docs option, and then choose the content you want to download.

If you don't want to use your Kindle again, and simply want to sell it or give it away, you can now do just that - worry-free.

Want to know more about Kindle?

Check out some of Pocket-lint's other helpful guides for additional Kindle FAQ and tips and tricks: