Common Kindle Fire problems, and how to fix them

Kindle Fire tablets deal
The Kindle Fire range has been a success story for Amazon. It all started with the original Kindle Fire, but Amazon has upgraded and overhauled its Android offerings since then. With its most recent Fire tablets, Amazon has dropped the Kindle name altogether.

While feedback on the devices has been generally positive, even the most popular products have a downside and, beyond being limited to Amazon’s content offerings, problems can arise, whether you have a Kindle Fire HDX, the old Kindle Fire HD or a newer Fire tablet. Below we have some possible solutions and workarounds to try and help you get past them.

Problems with battery drain, app loading, storage optimization, and more

Problem: Massive battery drain

Some Fire tablet owners have run into issues with sudden and unexplained battery drain. There’s a big discussion about this in 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.

Glitch: Ebooks disappearing or not working

It seems that some people are losing their downloaded ebooks 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: Kindle Fire stuck on logo

Quite a few people have run into issues with their Kindle Fire HD tablet refusing to start up properly — it gets as far as the logo and gets stuck. Restarting the device simply takes you as far as the logo again. There are forum posts about this problem going back a few years now and some of our readers recently asked about it in the comments.

Potential solutions:

  • Plug your tablet into a charger and let it charge for at least 15 minutes. Now, keep it plugged in, and press and hold the Power button until it restarts and see if it works normally. You may need to hold it down for 40 seconds or more.
  • Try plugging it into your computer and see if the device is recognized.
  • If it still won’t progress past the logo, then it’s probably a good idea to contact Amazon support.
  • You could try and see if you can get into the recovery menu. Turn the tablet off, then turn it on and press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons simultaneously. Sadly, some tablets require you to use the Power and Volume up buttons, however, so if Volume down doesn’t work, then try Volume up. If you manage to get into the recovery menu, then you can use the volume keys to highlight options and the Power button to select them. You could also try performing a factory reset via wipe data/ factory reset, but be aware that it will wipe everything on your tablet.

Problem: App won’t load or keeps crashing

This issue has cropped a few times in forum posts. If you have a recurring problem with a specific app on your Kindle Fire tablet — perhaps it won’t load, or it keeps crashing or freezing — then here’s what to do:

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications and find the problem app. Then, tap Force stop and Clear cache.
  • If that doesn’t work, then try uninstalling the app via Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications > [App name] > Uninstall. Restart your device by holding down the Power button for 40 seconds, and then reinstall the app.
  • You can find some additional advice in Amazon’s help section.

Glitch: Stuck on “Optimizing system storage and applications”

Some of our readers have found that their Fire HD tablet gets stuck on the message, “Optimizing system storage and applications,” or keeps showcasing the message repeatedly. This is a fairly common problem, which has been raised in the Amazon forums.

Potential solutions:

  • Plug it into the wall using your original cable and charger, and give it half an hour or so to complete.
  • If it’s still not working, then try holding down the Power button for 40 seconds to force a restart.
  • There’s also a chance that this problem is related to your MicroSD card. If you have a MicroSD card in your tablet, then turn the tablet off and remove it, and then test to see if the issue is resolved. If your MicroSD card is causing the problem, then try plugging it into your PC or another device, copy your files, and wipe it. Afterward, copy them back over before reinserting it into your Fire tablet.
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