How To Restore Your Kindle If It Experiences A Critical Battery Error

Here’s a bonus Kindle tip for those of you who take breaks in-between reading bestsellers and sometimes leave your eReaders alone for too long. Unlike most electronic devices, when the Kindle’s battery gets dangerously low, it doesn’t automatically shut itself off. Instead, it will switch from the screensaver to a screen that reads “Critical Battery. Your battery is empty. To continue using your Kindle, connect to a power source.” If you don’t catch this screen shortly after it’s displayed, you may find that just plugging the Kindle into an outlet won’t bring it back to normal functionality.

If the battery isn’t too far gone, here’s how to revive it:

  1. Plug the device into the Kindle A/C adapter (not your computer) and let it charge for a few hours. Be sure the charging light is lit — sometimes a drained Kindle will stop charging a few seconds after you plug it in. Unplug and replug until the light stays on steadily, then leave it alone. Most of the time you’ll come back to a restored Kindle. If not, go on to step 2.
  2. If you still see the same Critical Battery screen after charging, unplug the USB cord, then hold the power slide to the right for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Release the power slide, then immediately press and hold the Home key for another 30 – 45 seconds.
  4. Once the Kindle’s screen begins to flash, release the Home key. The eReader will boot to recovery mode. To continue, press and hold the R key until the screen flashes again.
  5. After the device is finished rebooting, you may see the Critical Battery screen once more. If so, plug in the USB cord and wait for the Kindle to return to the Home screen.

If you can’t get past step 3, the battery might be too far gone. Contact Kindle customer service via phone (866-321-8851) to walk through extra troubleshooting steps. If they can’t revive it, Amazon will usually replace the eReader for free.

The best way to avoid this is to turn the Kindle off completely if you’re taking a break from reading. Click here to learn how.

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  1. TinkerTenor Says:

    This happened to me just today, and after restoring the Kindle through recovery mode I still had a critical battery indicator in the upper right-hand corner. I’m recharging now. This is sort of a stupid problem, Amazon! Because God forbid I let the battery drain…really, Amazon? Now I have to resort all of my books into their respective collections and re-download them. Not cool.

  2. Amr Aly Says:

    My brother asked me to check his kindle 3 for the critical battery problem, I tried to reset several times but this didnt work, as I live in Egypt and sending it back to the UK will cost a lot, so I had to try and fix it my self.
    I found this great site ” ” and I took Mr Kindle apart, I removed the battery and measured its voltage, it was 3.85 (almost empty) so I left it out for 5 minuets and reinstalled it back.
    Now, Mr kindle is up and running again :) I plugged it in a blackberry charger for refueling
    I think the reset does not disconnect the battery completely so it is not a full shutdown. I’m not sure if data is lost or not, I will give it back to my brother in a few days and see.
    PS disassembling is very simple, you just have to be careful, dont force it open, do it gently as the plastic is not that hard.
    I hope this helps any one who’s kindle is out of warranty

  3. Sridhar Says:

    This worked perfectly and my kindle is back online again! thanks a ton.

  4. Rona Says:

    Thank you! This is EXACTLY what my Kindle 3 needed. I was starting to panic and spent a long time searching the internet for a solution and tried many. Yours is the only one I found on how to do a full reset to factory defaults.

    I did find a slight difference in the instructions on my Kindle though, just in case anyone else runs into it.
    In step 4: Once on the recovery mode screen I had to type in the word RESET on the keypad. Then I pressed R to leave the reset screen.

    PERFECT solution to my problem, thanks so much!!


    the screen is notttt flashing what do i do i followed the instructions but the stupid thing wont flash HELP MEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ashlie Says:

    That is so dumb! I turned my kindle off and packed it away (I was moving) I go to load more books on it today and I got the “critical battery” error. I dont understand HOW that could have happened since I turned the device OFF….whatever. I am SO glad I found this page. I was freaking out when my poor lil kindle wasnt working.
    Thanks so much for the advice, Amazon needs to fix this problem in future devices!

  7. Bri Says:

    Thanks so much i was totally freaking out >.< but it worked!

  8. VIjayanand Says:

    Thank You very much for your suggestion. It worked…:-)

  9. Jim Shaw Says:

    This was helpful but didn’t do the job so I called the number you gave. On the voice message, Amazon told me to press the power button for a full 20 seconds, release, and the press again. It worked perfectly and all is restored.

  10. J. Van Says:

    Thanks! My hand-me-down Kindle Keyboard showed the “Battery Empty” screen. Your hint about the charging light staying on only briefly led me to discover that the mini-USB receptacle on the Kindle is a bit loose, and I need to put some directional tension on the plug to keep the charging light on.

    Thanks for the hint that helped me solve my riddle.

    Merry Christmas to all! (Hope Santa puts a Kindle Fire in my stocking :)

  11. jtanti Says:

    This worked great for me! Thanks for the info!!

  12. Cheryl Says:

    I have a kindle keyboard, which has been working fine for all the time I’ve had it. I purchased it new from amazon with the cover which has an inbuilt light. This morning it was working fine. Tonight when I turned it on I got the kindle tree screen for a few seconds, the light would not come on. I plugged it into the charger, but the orange light only stays on for about 10 or 12 seconds. If I remove the plug and reinsert it, the light remains on for 10 or 12 secs and then goes out. Now the kindle Will not turn on at all. The charger is the one I have been using for the past few years with no problem.

    I can’t get past the step 1 described above

    Can any one help?


  13. samantha Says:

    call the number my kindle wouldnt charge and i have te same one cheyl does they helped and are sendin me a new one. good luck!

  14. Ed Says:

    Was half way through a good book and desperate to read what happened next.
    Followed K. T. Bradford’s instructions (top of the page) worked perfectly – thanks!

  15. Som Neo Says:

    Kindle keyboard stuck at boot screen and not charging.
    I use KK often and consider it one of my best gadgets.
    I was reading it with low charge. Suddenly it started indexing and got stuck while restarting.

    1. Stuck at boot screen with progress bar at around 20% ( boy under a tree with progress bar)
    2. It is not charging when connected to power outlet/laptop as orange light automatically turns off after a few seconds
    (tried different charger and cable including the kindle adapter)
    3. Tried hard booting 20 sec method several times without result
    4. Boot screen is consistent throughout (3 days) the time without restart or anything
    5. Unable to connect to computer
    Battery may not be the problem as it was taking charge quite fast a few days back.
    Power switch may be the problem as it seems to trip.
    I have updated firmware to v3.4 a few weeks back – any glitches may be possible

    Will anyone help me to:
    1. Clear-up the boot screen to white screen
    2. Explore it through computer
    3. Factory reset ( Reset switch may be handy but not present )
    4. Any way to drain out the battery completely

    I do not mind dissembling it.

    Chatted with customer care offering me upgrade only not solution which I initially accepted but changed my mind.

    This is my second one within 4 years so I am little bit annoyed.
    We all need a stable solution from Amazon as this is a very common issue without solution.

  16. DavidMotta Says:

    Hello Som Neo, I’ve the same problem,

    1.Stuck at boot screen with progress bar at around 20% ( boy under a tree with progress bar).

    2. after of 1 week this finish to start, and show the Home Explorer, but this is frozen, no response any push of buttons.

    You have some solutions for this problem?

  17. Kaite Smith Says:

    Fantastic this work sooo chuffed !
    Whoever posted this is a star :)
    Many thanks !

  18. Malcolm Says:

    no luck with the Kindle critical battery fix suggested here. It shows the light as charging but will not get past critical battery display.

  19. Yechiel Says:

    I’m having battery issues with my Kindle Keyboard. When I charge mine, the orange light goes on, and then off. Sometimes it’ll stay on for a while with nothing happening. So I took out the battery, and installed it into a different kindle 3, and that charged the battery. Now I tried putting it back in the original one, and nothing happens. Basically, there’s not communication between the battery connections and the device. Anything I can do?

  20. paul Says:

    Worked like a dream!!!
    thank you

  21. John K Says:

    Thanks my wife’s kindle works again gets me some brownie points, thanks again.

  22. ithank Says:

    Found this site after my daughter left her Kindle buried in a box for an extended period of time. It took me two tries, but it came back to life! Thanks!

  23. Jim Davis Says:

    This information was very helpful. I was able to “reboot” and restore to operational status. Thank you for this posting. Cheers :-)

  24. Kathy Barduca Says:

    This worked perfectly on my basic kindle that I had “lost” and found several months later. Thanks for your help!

  25. MisterPilgrim Says:

    My girlfriend’s kindle had become unresponsive and didn’t appear to charge, this guide helped us get things working again.

    Thank you for posting such a helpful and informative article!

  26. ladyman Says:

    hee hee

  27. Chris Hopon Says:

    I cannot believe that I have finally found the answer to this problem AND that it was such a straight forward an easy answer was truly icing on the cake!

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  28. bill Says:

    Spot on thanks

  29. Karina Says:

    This is the most useful thing I have ever found on the Internet. Thanks a million.

  30. Ricardo Says:

    I tried the mentioned methods but none worked (including take out the battery).
    I noticed that when the charger was plugged in, the light was on for a short time (about a minute). So I plugged the charger and when the light turned off I removed the charger and plugava again, imagining that these small loads reborn my kindle. And after about 10 loads, it worked!
    I had a lot of work to remove the back cover (to remove the battery). My kindle was pristine, now got some scratches and dents … it’s better to leave the battery extraction as a last alternative.

  31. Ricardo Says:

    I tried the mentioned methods but none worked (including take out the battery).
    I noticed that when the charger was plugged in, the light was on for a short time (about a minute). So I plugged the charger and when the light turned off I removed the charger and plug again, imagining that these small loads reborn my kindle. And after about 10 loads, it worked!
    I had a lot of work to remove the back cover (to remove the battery). My kindle was pristine, now got some scratches and dents … it’s better to leave the battery extraction as a last alternative.

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