The Kindle Fire range has been a success story for Amazon, claiming as much as 33 percent of the Android tablet market. It all started with the original Kindle Fire, but Amazon has upgraded and overhauled its Android offerings since then. The Kindle Fire HDX comes in two sizes (with a 7-inch or an 8.9-inch screen) and it plugs you directly into Amazon’s world of content.

Feedback on the devices has been generally positive. You can find our thoughts on the smaller variety in our Kindle Fire HDX review. Even the most popular products have a downside and, beyond being limited to Amazon’s content offerings, there are a few Kindle Fire HDX problems you may encounter. We also deal with some common Kindle Fire HD problems. Below are solutions and workarounds to try and help you get past them.

Updated on 01-04-2013 by Simon Hill: Updated to add sound problems, screen flicker glitch, Silk browser issues, and update for Wi-Fi problem.

Problem: Purple or blue haze on the screen

Some people reported a purple or blue haze around the edges of the Kindle Fire HDX screen which is particularly noticeable when the background is white. It seems to vary in intensity on different devices. If you have a major problem then it’s down to a manufacturing flaw, so you should be able to get a replacement.

Solution:

  • Contact Amazon or use the Mayday service and report the problem. If it is clearly noticeable then you should be able to get a replacement. There’s a distinction between a slight blue tint, which is considered normal, and a major haze around the edges, as some people have encountered.

Amazon did post a clarification about its use of blue LEDs which stated “As a result of using these blue LEDs, you may notice a very narrow, faint blue tint around the edge of the device when looking at items with a white background, such as books or web pages. All displays have some level of light emission around the edges, and the light on the Kindle Fire HDX 7″ is blue due to the technology used to render perfect color accuracy.”

Malfunction: Overheating

Some users have reported issues with the Kindle Fire HD overheating while playing games, watching movies, or surfing the Web. In extreme cases the overheating causes the tablet to shut down. You will probably find the problem is worse when you have a case on the device, so try removing it and check the difference. All tablets get warm in use, but if your Kindle Fire HD is getting uncomfortably hot or automatically shutting down when in use then you have a faulty piece of hardware.

Solution: You have to contact Amazon and get a replacement tablet.

Annoyance: Email is not working or not updating

A number of users have struggled to get their email accounts working correctly on the Kindle Fire HD. Several reports suggest that the email will work for a small period of time and then inexplicably stop working and others report that they cannot get it to work at all. This seems to be a common problem for Verizon and Comcast customers, but it has cropped up for people with other ISPs as well. This is possibly caused by a problem with the native email app on the Kindle Fire HD because some people have reported that installing a third-party app worked for them.

Workaround:

  1. Try a free third-party email app such as K-9 Mail or Kaiten Mail.
  2. Buy a third-party email app such as Enhanced Email.

Glitch: It won’t start up or freezes during use

Some people encounter freezes when they are using the Kindle Fire HD or HDX and others report that the tablet won’t power on.

Possible solutions:

  1. Try rebooting the device by holding down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap the power button to turn it back on.
  2. Try holding down the power button for 20 seconds and when the device is completely off plug in the charger, then hit the power button again to turn the device on. If you think the battery might be dead then leave it to charge for an hour before you try turning it back on.

Problem: Device won’t charge

Various battery-related problems have been raised by Kindle Fire HD owners. Issues range from a complete refusal to charge, to a partial charge, to a very slow charge. There are a few things you can double check and try before contacting Amazon. Remember that charging with Amazon’s cable and the optional charger should take four hours, while charging it using the USB plug on your computer will take 13.5 hours.

Possible solutions:

  1. Hold down the power button for 20 seconds to power off and then try plugging in the charger.
  2. Make sure you are using the cable that you got with your Kindle Fire HD. If you didn’t buy the Amazon Kindle PowerFast for Accelerated Charging which costs an extra $20 then you need to check the rating on the charger you are using. A full charge should take 4 hours using the Amazon charger and cable. Many other device chargers will work just as well, here’s an example from PowerGen that’s only $10 (although if you use the dual charging feature it will charge more slowly). If you are using another charger with a lower rating then it will work, but it might take a lot longer and it can cause synchronization problems with the battery monitor so it might not display accurately how much power the battery has left.
  3. Try the charger with another device to make sure it is working.
  4. If the charging light doesn’t come on (it should be orange when charging and green when charged), try pushing the cable in more or gently moving it. Some Kindle Fire HDs have loose ports and if that’s the case you’ll want to contact Amazon and get a replacement.

Glitch: It won’t connect to Wi-Fi

There are all sorts of reasons that your Kindle Fire HD or HDX won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network. If you find that you can’t connect to Wi-Fi then there are a couple of simple things worth trying. Make sure you don’t have Airplane Mode on and that you do have Wi-Fi on via the notifications bar More > Wireless.

Possible solutions:

  1. Try holding the power button for a second and when “Do you want to shut down your Kindle?“ pops up tap “Shut Down”. Turn off your router. Now turn both of them back on again.
  2. Try rebooting the device by holding down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap the power button to turn it back on.
  3. Before you start, make sure your Kindle Fire HD is fully charged. Reset the Kindle Fire HD to factory settings by pulling down the notifications bar and then tap More > My Account > Deregister and read the text then tap Deregister to confirm. Bring the notifications bar down again and hit More > Device > Reset to Factory Defaults, read the text and tap Erase Everything. You’ll have to set up your Wi-Fi network again from scratch.
  4. Download the free Wi-fi Analyzer app and make sure that busy channels are not your problem. This will also reveal any signal strength issues.

If you still can’t connect it might be because your router is unsupported or you have the router set to the wrong channel. It is best to refer to your ISP and check what else you can try.

Problem: No sound through speakers or headphones

Quite a few people have reported issues with the audio coming through the speakers or the headphones on both the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets. There are probably a few separate issues going on here, so here are a few things you can try.

Potential solutions:

  • It’s obvious, but start by trying the volume rocker on the side of the tablet and check in Settings > Display & Sounds.
  • If the speakers aren’t playing any sound then try plugging in your headphones and unplugging them again, or reboot the tablet by holding down the power button for 20 seconds until it turns completely off, then tap the button again to turn it back on. This could be caused by unplugging your headphones when the tablet is asleep, so it erroneously believes your headphones are still plugged in and doesn’t play sound through the speakers.
  • If you’re having a problem with the headphones and you have a case on the device, then try removing the case and plug the headphones in. Some cases appear to have a cut-out for the headphone jack, but it may, in fact, be too small; Or, due to the design of the plug, it might prevent good contact.
  • It is also possible you have a faulty jack or speakers. If you hear static or distortion, or you find that gently jiggling the headphone jack produces audio then you might want to contact Amazon and find out about getting a replacement.

Glitch: Screen flicker

There have been several reports of flickering Kindle Fire HDX screens. Some people have encountered this issue with specific apps or games, while others are suffering from it constantly. It may be a pulsing flicker or a fast temporary flickering. You can try a couple of things to solve this issue.

Workarounds:

  • Pull down the notification shade and tap Brightness and then turn Auto-Brightness to Off.
  • Hold down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap it to bring the tablet back to life and the problem may be resolved temporarily.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have a case or cover then perhaps it is interfering with the brightness sensor. Try removing it and see if there’s a difference in behavior. You can also try manually setting the brightness to a specific level.
  • Try the Mayday feature to contact Amazon and arrange a replacement, some people report encountering the same problem on a replacement tablet, but there’s a good chance you won’t.

Problem: Silk browser crashing or not starting

A lot of Kindle Fire HDX owners have run into issues with the pre-installed Silk browser. It is criticized for being slow and for an unfortunate tendency to freeze and crash a lot.

Workarounds:

  • Try the usual reboot, hold down the power button for 20 seconds and then tap it again to turn back on.
  • Go to Settings > Applications > Manage All Applications and then choose All Applications > Silk Browser and tap Clear data.

Potential solutions:

  • If Silk won’t start it might be because you have Parental Controls on (this blocks access by default). You can check in Settings > Parental Controls.
  • Try an alternative browser like Maxthon Mobile or Dolphin Browser.

More Kindle Fire HD problems

That’s it for now. If you have any other Kindle Fire HD problems or solutions, please post a comment and share them. Remember that you can access some help on the device itself by dragging down the notifications bar and tapping More > Help & Feedback.

Updated on 10-28-2013 by Simon Hill: Updated to cater for the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets, added the purple or blue haze screen problem for the HDX.

Article originally published 3-6-2013.