The most common Amazon Fire problems, and how to fix them

The Amazon Fire, previously known as the Kindle Fire, is Amazon’s flagship tablet product combining the best of their famous e-book reader with the standard tablet offerings we’ve become accustomed to in recent years. First released in 2011, these tablets have served in a niche space for voracious readers looking for more smart device features for their home or office. For those of you in that crowd, we’re taking a look at the most common problems with the modern range of Amazon Fire tablets. We also keep tabs on common issues for the older Kindle Fire tablets since there are plenty still out there on living room coffee tables.

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Fire tablet won’t charge

A quick skim of the Amazon Help Forums shows that one of the most popular help topics is how to get your Fire Tablet to charge. After making sure that your tablet is not in an environment that’s too hot or too cold, try the following steps to resolve your charging issues.

Potential solutions:

  • Disconnect your device from charging equipment, such as the power adapter and cable. If you’re using a wireless charging dock or mat, remove the tablet.
  • Press and hold the power button for 40 seconds or until your device restarts.
  • Reconnect your device to charge; plug in the cable to the power adapter and your device, then plug the adapter into an outlet.

Your Fire tablet indicator light turns orange while charging. If you’re still having issues then you may have to send your tablet in for service or take it to your trusty local third-party repair shop to repair a fault charge port or battery.

    Tablet freezing

    If you find that your tablet is not responsive or frozen, then performing a soft reset is probably your best bet. To do that, simply press and hold the power button for 40 seconds or until your device restarts. Give this a try if your tablet is acting up, not responsive, or running slowly. 

    Fire won’t connect to Wi-Fi

    If your Amazon Fire tablet won’t connect to Wi-Fi, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take.

    Potential solutions:

    • First check to make sure that airplane mode was not accidentally left on.
    • Make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is live and working. Test it with another device to make sure your internet is working.
    • Try a soft reset by pressing and holding the power button for 40 seconds or until your device restarts.
    • Reset your router or modem. Let your router and modem boot back up then try connecting from the tablet.

    Problem: Massive battery drain

    Some Fire tablet owners have run into issues with sudden and unexplained battery drain. There are a number of discussions on these topics within the Amazon forum. Thankfully, there are several things you can try to alleviate the problem.

    Potential solutions:

    • Press and hold the Power button for 40 seconds or more until it restarts and see if it works normally.
    • There’s a good chance that one of the apps you’ve installed is causing the issue. You could go to Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications and try uninstalling apps one by one and testing to see if you can find the culprit. Or you could factory reset the device and install apps selectively, watching out for any changes in battery drain. If you do decide to factory reset, then make sure to back up any precious photos or other files first, as this will wipe your tablet, then go to Settings > Device Options > Reset to Factory Defaults.

    Workarounds:

    • Get into the habit of turning your tablet off when you aren’t using it. Hold down the power button until the Power off box pops up and then tap OK.
    • If you don’t want to turn it off completely when you aren’t using it, then pull down the notification shade and tap to turn on Airplane mode. You can also go to Settings > Power and toggle on Automatic Smart Suspend.
    • Another option for squeezing more battery life from your Fire tablet is Low Power Mode, found in Settings > Power, but it will dim your display. You can also set it to turn on automatically.

    Since not everyone has the most recent Fire tablet, here are a few common issues on the older range of tablets.

    Glitch: E-books disappearing or not working

    It seems that some people are losing their downloaded e-books after rebooting their tablet, and for others, they’re not working offline, discussed in Amazon forum threads here and here. There are a couple of different ways to tackle this.

    Potential solutions:

    • If you have the Google Play Store installed on your Fire tablet, then it could be the source of your problem. Open the Play Store app, find the Kindle app page in it, and choose Uninstall. Now go back to the main Play Store page and tap the three vertical lines at the top left, then scroll down to choose Settings and tap Auto-update apps > Do not auto-update apps. You can still update apps manually by opening the Play Store tapping the three vertical lines at the top left and choosing My apps & games, then the Updates tab. Tap Update next to the individual apps you want to update, just avoid updating any Amazon or Kindle apps here.
    • If you don’t have Google Play Store, then try syncing your books and then press and hold the Power button for 40 seconds or more until it restarts and see if it works normally.
    • You might also try going to Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications and find the Kindle app. Then, tap Force stop and Clear cache.

    Issue: MicroSD card not recognized or not working

    Many of our readers have been having issues with their Fire tablets not recognizing their microSD card. Content on the microSD card may become inaccessible permanently, or simply intermittently. This issue has also cropped up at the Amazon forum.

    Potential solutions:

    • Start by fully charging your Fire tablet with the original cable and charger, then hold down the Power button for 40 seconds to perform a force reset. Connect to a Wi-Fi network and leave your tablet alone for a while — it should automatically download and install any available updates. You can also do this manually on your PC or laptop by visiting Amazon’s Fire & Kindle Software Updates page.
    • Turn your tablet off and remove the microSD card. Afterward, replace it carefully and try again.
    • If you have a case on your tablet, then try removing it. There’s a slim chance that it’s pressing on the card and causing the issue.
    • Visit Amazon’s Manage Your Content and Devices page on your PC or laptop and sign in. Take a look at the listed devices and make sure that your device is registered. You can also make sure you’re registered on your Kindle Fire by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping Settings > My Account > Register. It might also be worth trying to Deregister — you can register again after restarting your device.
    • You could try looking in Settings > Storage > SD Card and toggling some content categories. However, they should be on for the microSD card by default.
    • If nothing else works, then turn your tablet off, remove the microSD card, and slide it into your PC or laptop. Afterward, back up your files and reformat the card. In Windows, you’ll want to right-click on the SD card and choose Format, then pick FAT32 or exFAT.

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