Kindle Fire acting funky? Check out our guide to resetting a Kindle Fire

how to reset a Kindle Fire Kindle Fire
Amazon
Maybe you’re selling or giving away a Kindle Fire. Maybe a kid or well-intentioned friend messed up your Kindle’s settings, or perhaps your Amazon account was recently compromised. Whatever the reason you need to know how to reset a Kindle Fire, it’s easier to do than you might think.

Backing up and wiping a Kindle Fire isn’t for the faint of heart, though. A factory reset will delete everything you’ve downloaded to the device, including books, movies, TV shows, apps, and games. The good news is that all your purchases are synced to Amazon’s servers, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing items twice. But if you don’t make a copy of your data before you begin, you could lose that content.

Thankfully, it’s not impossible to safely reset a Kindle Fire — you just have to do it smartly. Here’s how, including all the precautionary steps you should take before wiping it permanently.

How to back up your account data

By default, the Kindle Fire backs up your personal settings, notes, search history, communications, call history, any bookmarks you’ve saved in Amazon’s Silk Browser, and your home screen and app layout. Any music, movie, TV shows, apps, and books you’ve purchased are automatically synced to your Amazon account, and can be viewed from the Kindle Fire’s Cloud tab.

Before you do anything, make sure your Kindle Fire is up to date. Afterward, check to see if it’s backing up your account data:

  • Swipe down from the top of the Kindle Fire’s screen and tap Settings.
  • Tap Device Options, followed by Backup & Restore.
  • Toggle the Device Backup option by turning the switch on.

Now, once daily, when your Kindle Fire is asleep and connected to Wi-Fi, it’ll back up your account data to Amazon’s remote servers. You can also start the backup manually by tapping Back Up Now. Amazon says backup data is saved for at least a year, but warns that if you turn off the automatic backup feature by tapping the Disable Backup button, any data currently associated with your device will be deleted.

How to back up Kindle Fire files, photos, and videos

The automatic backup feature doesn’t copy photos, videos, and documents you’ve saved to your Kindle Fire, but it can be done. Amazon suggests using Amazon Drive — the company’s cloud-based storage solution — to do so, so that’s what we’ll be using in our tutorial.

Every Kindle Fire gets 5GB of free storage, but Amazon Prime members have the added benefit of unlimited photo storage. If that’s not enough to fit the files you’ve accumulated over the years, you can upgrade your storage plan from the Manage Storage page in Amazon Drive. Premium tiers start at $12 a year and net you 100GB.

Here’s how to make sure Amazon Drive is up to date with your latest photos, videos, and files:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Settings.
  • Tap Sync and Check For New Items.

If you’re not an existing Amazon Drive customer, you’ll have to register your Kindle Fire with your Amazon account. Follow these steps to do so:

  • From Home, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Settings.
  • Tap My Account.
  • Tap Register.
  • If you already have an Amazon account, enter your Amazon account information, and tap Continue.
  • If you don’t have an Amazon account, tap Start Here and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a new account.

With Amazon Drive enabled, you’re ready to start backing up photos and videos.

  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Apps & Games.
  • Tap Amazon Applications Settings.
  • Tap Photos. From here, you can upload videos, photos, or both, and choose whether or not to back up files when your Kindle Fire is charging.
  • Alternatively, tap Auto-Save, which will automatically back up new photos and videos.

How to reset a Kindle Fire

how to reset a kindle fire

Now that you’ve backed up your account settings, files, and preferences to the cloud, you’re ready begin the reset process.

Keep in mind that even though you’ve backed up most of your data and files, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to restore everything. Amazon warns that individual app settings, game progress, in-app items, account passwords, and side-loaded content might be lost during the restoration process. That being the case, don’t factory reset your tablet unless you’re willing to risk losing a few things.

Here’s how to reset a Kindle Fire:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Settings.
  • Tap Device Options, and then tap Reset to Factory Defaults.
  • Tap Reset to confirm.

Still having trouble with your Amazon device? We’ve put together a piece outlining some of the bigger Kindle Fire problems, along with a few potential solutions. You should also check out our Amazon Fire tablet tips for ideas on how to get more from your tablet. 

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