Factory reset Kindle with semi-frozen screen

The steps for performing factory reset of a Kindle are quite easy:

  1. From the home screen, select Menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Menu again then select Reset Device.

The problem appears when your screen is frozen and you don’t see anything or almost anything.

I had this situation that only tiny part of my screen was still responsive. I wasn’t able to see most of the menu and settings sections, but at least I managed to see:

  • When my Kindle is awaken
  • When its menu is or isn’t opened up (I didn’t see many menu items though)
  • Which page of Settings I am currently at

This allowed me to figure-out a key combination needed to blind-reset my Kindle.

If your Kindle has a completely dead screen and you don’t see anything of above then sorry, this article won’t help you.

Soft-reset or hard-reset before you begin

If, as in my case, you want to factory reset your Kindle before trashing or recycling it due to frozen screen, make sure that you soft-reset or hard-reset your device before factory-resetting it, because this may help with your screen.

To soft-reset your Kindle 4th Generation:

  1. Press the Home button.
  2. Press the Menu button.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Press the Menu button.
  5. Select Restart.

If you can’t see your menu then continue on reading.

To hard-reset your Kindle:

  1. Disconnect your Kindle from any power source.
  2. Slide and hold the power switch for 15 seconds before releasing.
  3. Wait for approximately 30 seconds while your Kindle restarts.

Kindle 4th Generation User Guide can be your friend in this case.

Assumptions for this article

This guide assumes that you have your Kindle

  • Registered within any Amazon account and
  • Able to access the Internet

So for example Sync & check for Items and View Downloading Items menu items are available and you must pass them “on your way” to Settings menu item. This significantly changes number of items available (enabled) in menus and in settings pages and thus number of steps you must undertake.

If your menu items are different than mine then this guide may be useless for you. In this case this video or maybe this one will be more useful.

Doing a factory reset of your Kindle

The steps would be somewhere around this:

  1. Press or slide Power button to wake up your Kindle.
  2. Press Home or Back several time to make sure that you land at your Kindle’s home page (i.e. exit any book you’ve read).
  3. Press Menu and ? six times:
    • pass to View Archived Items
    • pass to View Special Offers
    • pass to Search
    • pass to Create New Collection
    • pass to Sync & check for Items
    • land on Settings
  4. Press OK to confirm and enter settings screen.
  5. Press Menu again and hit ? two times (or once, if you just want to soft-reset your Kindle):
    • pass to Restart
    • land on Reset to Factory Defaults
  6. Press and OK to confirm and enter settings screen.
  7. Wait for about 2-3 minutes while your Kindle resets.

You will then go through standard sequence of initial run of Kindle (i.e. language selection) as you (probably) did when purchasing it.

After this process is completed you will have a brand new Kindle:

  • with all your settings reset to default and all your user dictionaries or bookmarks purged
  • with all your content removed (only Kindle Users Guide remains / is restored)
  • with all your Wi-Fi networks forgotten
  • not connected to any Wi-Fi network
  • de-registered from Amazon account

Note that this process has nothing to do with hardware, so it for sure won’t fix your frozen screen issue.

What’s next?

With your Kindle purged out of private content and reset to factory defaults you can:

  • Trash or recycle it
  • Trade-in it for Amazon.com Gift-Card and/or purchase new Kindle with 20% reduction (US customers only)

Or… well, you know… your 10+ old year Amazon Kindle 4th generation is still a valid 1.35 GB pendrive after all (even with totally screwed screen). That might sound like a very little in 2021, but still… this is 1+ GB for another backup copy of your very important data.

You can also encrypt it easily with BitLocker to increase security of your private data stored there. Only you have to first format it using Windows into NTFS file system. Because original file system, used by Amazon, does not allow you to use BitLocker on such “pendrive”.

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