“Update Your Kindle” Greyed Out: How To Fix [2023]

Kindles are designed to update over the air when connected to a functioning Wi-Fi network. However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the ‘Update Your Kindle’ function greyed out. 

Let us look more clearly into what exactly is happening here. Usually, this option pops up when an update is out for your Kindle device.

But if it is greyed out, surely, you cannot initiate the update manually. But why, and how to overcome this predicament? Let's find out!

If ‘Update Your Kindle’ is greyed out, first, check if Amazon has indeed put out a new update for your Kindle. Next, check your internet connection. If the issue persists, power cycle your Kindle and try updating manually. If these don't work, factory reset your Kindle. 

Keep reading for more information on why 'update your kindle' is greyed out and how you can update your device nonetheless.  

Why is the “Update Your Kindle” Option Grayed Out?

Kindle Update your Kindle option grayed out

Updates are one of, if not the most crucial aspect of modern gadgets.

Bat an eye on this regard and you may fall victim to the many evils surrounding this sound product such as Kindle Book stuck on opening.

But why does this update option turn gray?

Sometimes, even when there are updates available for your Kindle, the option to update your Kindle might be greyed out. Here are some reasons why this happens.

First, your device could already be updated to the latest version. More about this later.

Second, you have sideloaded a firmware file downloaded from the Amazon website but you have not copied that file to the root directory of your Kindle device. 

Third, you are operating your device in ‘Airplane’ mode, which hinders your device from accessing your Wi-Fi network.

Even though the way this option works is not that intuitive, you should look towards updating your device using this option in settings only when you are manually sideloading an update. 

Generally, the Kindle firmware is on auto-update which does not give the user a choice to update the firmware. The device goes ahead and updates automatically. 

Even though a version that is much more recent compared to the version you are running on your device is released by Amazon, you might not receive it for weeks. These rollouts are generally slow. 

This is why users tend to sideload or manually update their Kindles.

Check if your Kindle Requires an Update

Check if your Kindle Requires an Update

Before you troubleshoot your device for hours to come, check if your Kindle requires an update in the first place. 

To do this, you need to first figure out the serial number of your Kindle device by accessing ‘All Settings’> 'Device options'> ‘Device Info'.

Kindle Device info tab

In the device information menu, take note of the first four characters of the serial number.

Here is a list of Kindle devices and the first four characters are given below to help identify your device: 

Kindle ModelSerial No:
Kindle 1 (2007)B000
Kindle 2 (2009)B002, B003
Kindle DX (2010)B004, B005, B009
Kindle Keyboard (2010)B006, B008, B00A
Kindle 4 (2011)B00E, B023, 9023
Kindle Touch (2012)B00F, B010, B011, B012
Kindle Paperwhite 1 (2012)B024, B01B, B01C, B01D, B01F, B020
Kindle Paperwhite 2 (2013)B0D4, 90D4, B0D5, 90D5, B0D6, 90D6, B0D7, 90D7, B0D8, 90D8, B0F2, 90F2, B017, 9017, B060, 9060, B062, 9062, B05F, 905F
Kindle 7 (2014)B001, B0C6, 90C6, B0DD, 90DD
Kindle Voyage (2014)B00I, B013, B053, B054
Kindle Paperwhite 3 (2015)G090
Kindle Oasis (2016)G0B0
Kindle 8 (2016)B018
Kindle Serial No.'s

Once you have figured out which model of Kindle you own, take note of the firmware number in the ‘Device Info’ menu. 

Now, you can cross-check the firmware number of your device against the Update file version on the Amazon Kindle software page.

If the latest version on this page for your device is the same as the firmware number on your Kindle device, there is no need to update. You already have the latest firmware on your device.

The firmware version number is always incremented by unit value. If your version number is lower than the one available on the Kindle software page, then there is an update available for your Kindle device. 

On the other hand, if the version numbers are equal, then the Kindle device is up to date.

Check for Network Issues

Check for Network Issues

Another reason why you could have trouble updating your Kindle device is a faulty network. It is worthwhile to carry out a check of your network if necessary. 

Abysmal networking speeds and faltering latency can all compromise the network.

Also, if the traffic exceeds the threshold on your Network, it is bound to crumble. What ensues are issues like Kindle Unlimited not working or the Kindle Store going haywire.

Run a speed test to check the status of the network.

If the results turn out to be poor, you may have to resort to refreshing the Router/Modem.

But first, let's check out how Airplane mode affects network connectivity on the Kindle:

Disable Airplane Mode on Kindle

The first check you need to execute is to make sure that you have disabled airplane mode on your Kindle. Airplane mode restricts your device from accessing any available network.

Follow these steps to access the Airplane Mode Setting:

1. Navigate to ‘Menu’ and select ‘All Settings’.

Kindle All Settings tab

2. Here, you can see an option titled ‘Wi-Fi & Bluetooth’.

3. Once you access this option, you have the choice to turn Airplane Mode ON or OFF. 

Kindle Airplane Mode disabled

4. Ensure Airplane Mode is turned OFF.

Once you have confirmed that Airplane mode is turned off, you can tap on ‘Wi-Fi Networks’ and select your Wi-Fi network to connect the Kindle device.

Ideally, your device should show 3 or more bars of network strength to have a sound connection with your Wi-Fi network.

If you are having trouble connecting your device to your Wi-Fi network, you can forget the network and connect it once again to your Kindle device. 

When connected successfully, the device should show a Wi-Fi icon on top of the Kindle’s screen.

Reboot the Router/Modem

Router unplugged

If you have successfully connected your Kindle to the Wi-Fi network and still can't access the internet, then your modem might be the culprit. 

Reboot or reset your router or modem to restore internet connectivity on your Kindle device. Doing so could also help overcome issues like when Kindle Paperwhite becomes slow.

To reboot your router or modem, follow the steps below:

  • Turn off your router/modem using the power switch on the back of the device or simply unplug it. 
  • Wait for at least a minute. 
  • Now, turn on the router or modem using the switch or plug the cable back into the power source. 
  • Let the device initialize for a minute.
  • Try connecting your Kindle to the Wi-Fi network and check if you have network access.

Additionally, you can try connecting another device to the Wi-Fi network to check how well your internet is performing. 

If you find that your network is not sound, contact your internet service provider to restore proper connectivity.  

Power Cycle Kindle Reader

The next most important step to execute is to power cycle your Kindle device.

A soft reset or power cycle lets your device reconfigure if any bugs or flaws are acting up on your device. 

To power cycle your Kindle device, follow the steps below:

Kindle Power Button

1. Press and hold the power button until a menu appears on your Kindle screen.

2. On this menu, tap on ‘Restart’.

3. If your Kindle has frozen and is unresponsive to touch, you can continue holding the power button for around 40 seconds. 

Kindle Restarting

The device should power cycle automatically. 

Now, navigate to settings and check if your issue has been resolved. 

How to Update Kindle

When there is an update available for your Kindle device, how do you update it?

There are two ways to update your Kindle device. The first way is to let your device update automatically via Wi-Fi, and the second is to update the device manually. 

To update your Kindle automatically, keep your device connected to your Wi-Fi network. The drawback of this method is that the Kindle might not be updated right away even if an update is available. 

So, if you need to update your Kindle immediately, you will have to manually update by following the steps that are given below:

  • By following the steps given in the section ‘Check if your Kindle requires an update’ of this article, you can figure out the model of the Kindle that you own.
  • Now, go to the Amazon Kindle software page and click on the Kindle E-readers software updates link.
  • Find and download the software update that matches your device model. The downloaded file will be saved as a .bin file on your computer. 
  • Now, connect your Kindle device to the computer via USB and copy the update to the root directory of your Kindle device. Make sure the .bin file is copied to the root directory. 
  • Suppose your Kindle device is registered as D drive on connecting to your computer, the update package path should be D:\update_kindle_[version number].bin
  • Disconnect the Kindle from your computer safely.
  • Navigate to ‘Menu’ and then ‘Settings’.
  • Next, tap on ‘Update Your Kindle’ and press ‘OK’. Wait for your Kindle device to update.
  • If the ‘Update Your Kindle’ option is still greyed out, that means that your Kindle device is having trouble locating the .bin file. Confirm that you have copied the .bin file to the root directory and try again. 

You can perform a manual update if you want to downgrade the firmware to a more stable version. Doing so can come in handy for issues like Send to Kindle not working.

Factory Reset Kindle Reader

If you have executed everything mentioned above and are still unable to update the Kindle reader there could be a fault with your Kindle. 

Such an occurrence is rare but not unlikely. For example, if you cannot access the Wi-Fi setup even when Airplane mode is disabled, it could indicate a fault with your device. 

A factory reset is your next best option to restore balance to your Kindle device. 

Proven to be a potent fix for issues like Kindle Paperwhite keeps restarting and so on, factory resetting the Kindle may come to the answer for various other issues as well.

However, factory resetting your device will return the device to its default settings.

It will also wipe any downloaded or added content in your device that has not been synced with your Amazon account and erase personalized settings. 

To factory reset your device, follow the steps below:

1. From the home screen, swipe down to access Quick Actions or open ‘Menu’. 

2. Select ‘Settings’ or ‘All Settings’.

Kindle All Settings tab

3. Go to ‘Device Options’ or select ‘Menu’.

4. Tap on ‘Reset’. For older versions of Kindle, select ‘Reset Device’ again. 

Kindle Reset option

5. A pop will ask you to confirm your choice to factory reset, tap on ‘Yes’ to confirm. 

On completion of a factory reset, your Kindle is deregistered from your Amazon account. You can register the device again and sync it with your Amazon account to restore synced content. 

Final Thoughts

Generally, older generations of Kindle have a hard time updating automatically over the air. They should be updated manually through the steps mentioned above. 

If you find that even after factory resetting your Kindle device, you still cannot update your device, consider contacting Amazon customer support. 

If your device is within the warranty period which is usually a period of 12 months or if you have an extended warranty repair for your device, Amazon might replace or repair your device free of cost. 

Hope the solutions in this article have helped you update your Kindle device.

Have a great day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Kindle will no longer have access to the Kindle Store?

The following Kindles will not have access to the Kindle Store. However, you can sideload content onto these devices:

  • Kindle International (2nd Gen, 2009)
  • Kindle DX International (2010)
  • Kindle Keyboard (2010)
  • Kindle (4th Gen, 2011)
  • Kindle (5th Gen, 2012)

What to do with expired Kindles?

You can simply follow the packaging guidelines and drop your packaged device or accessory off at the nearest UPS location. Amazon pledges to cover all costs associated with shipping and recycling older devices and accessories through the Amazon Recycling Program. 

What is the lifespan of a Kindle?

Typically, a Kindle device lasts for about 5 to 6 years. Kindle Fire tablets, on the other hand, have a much shorter lifespan of around 2 to 3 years. The lifespan of the device can vary greatly based on usage, charging behavior, and environmental factors.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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