Tips and Tricks: Your PC Fails to Recognize Your Kindle

Young boy reeding a book from his e book reader.
Having trouble connecting your Windows PC to your Kindle? Here are some ways to fix it, listed in ascending order of complexity and effectiveness.

Amazon’s Kindle has evolved over the years from a plain ebook reader to a mobile device capable of surfing the web and downloading readable content like the powerful computer it has become.

Amazon has made sure to make it compatible with most updated versions of the Windows OS, which is why it can be very frustrating when your PC fails to recognize your Kindle.

Nevertheless, there are solutions to Kindle-Windows connectivity issues that you can attempt on your own.

The steps are easy to follow even for individuals that aren’t particularly tech-savvy.

Tip #1: Check the USB Port & Cables

Checking the hardware should be the first thing you do before moving on to the other steps.

Ensure there are no physical damages to your USB cable. If both the port and the cable are functioning properly, then your device will be automatically detected.

If this doesn’t happen, try switching ports then attempting to connect your Kindle again.

This is to rule out whether there’s a problem with the port.

If this fails too, test the USB cable with another device, such as your smartphone, to rule out whether it is the cable that’s damaged.

If your PC detects the other device but still fails to recognize your Kindle, you can try the next method.

Tip #2: Try Connecting It to Another Computer

To rule out whether your PC is the problem, you can attempt to reconnect the Kindle to another computer.

This will also let you know whether the issue is with the USB cable you’re using or with the Kindle itself.

Tip #3: Perform a Hard Reset

If method #1 and #2 do not work, many users report solving the issue successfully after performing a hard reset on their Kindle devices.

Before you do this, charge your Kindle for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the hard reset.

Galsses put on a Amazon's Kindle ebook reader.
Amazon’s Kindle has evolved over the years from a plain ebook reader to a mobile device capable of surfing the web and downloading readable content like the powerful computer it has become.

Kindles aren’t that different from most mobile devices.

They also come with a reset facility which allows you to re-install a clean version of their operating system and to delete all the data in the device.

At this point, it is safe to assume that a software issue is the root of your Kindle-PC connectivity issues, so a hard reset might clear the problem. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Connect your Kindle to your PC.
  2. Hold down the device’s power button until the system turns on again.
  3. Wait until it is finished rebooting, then let go of the power switch.

This will perform a hard reset, and that may clear the problem.

Tip #4: Connect Your Kindle as a Camera

To connect your Kindle as a camera, plug it into the computer then tap on the device’s notification bar.

Choose the specific option that reads “Connect as a camera.”

In some cases, this option may not be available. You can activate it by going to the Storage or Settings option on the device.

Tip #5: Connect Using Calibre

The next trick to try is connecting your Kindle using the Calibre software.

First, ensure that you turn off both your PC and the Kindle device, and disconnect the USB cable.

Restart your PC, then open Calibre first. Plug in your Kindle and turn it on to see if your PC will now recognize it.

If it doesn’t, move to the next step.

Tip #6: Enable Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on Your Kindle Device

Turning on Android’s Debug Bridge function is another way you can solve the problem. If you find that it is already enabled in your Kindle, try disabling it instead and see whether that solves your issue.

A woman reading a book drom her Kindle reader.
Amazon has made sure to make it compatible with most updated versions of the Windows OS, which is why it can be very frustrating when your PC fails to recognize your Kindle.

The process of enabling and disabling ADB can be done through the Settings menu, where you’ll select the Device option.

You’ll then be given a toggle button that allows you to enable or disable the feature.

Tip #7: Update or Install the Appropriate Kindle Driver

The most common root of this particular problem is corrupt or missing drivers.

Updating the Kindle driver or installing a new one is often the only workaround to this issue.

It can be done manually, which is not recommended if you don’t know what you’re doing or delegated to the system which automatically downloads and installs the necessary components.

If you prefer to do it manually, here are the steps:

  1. Bring up the search bar on your computer by clicking on the menu or pressing the Windows key and S simultaneously.
  2. Type “device manager” and hit Enter.
  3. Click to expand the section labeled Portable Devices.
  4. Right-click on MTP Device or Kindle, then hit “Update Driver Software.”
  5. Choose an option that reads “browse my PC for the driver software” then select “the list of all device drivers on my computer.”
  6. Click on “Show Compatible Hardware” then select the option that says “MTP USB Device.”
  7. Hit “Next” once you’re done.
  8. Accept to install the driver.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The reason why manual updating is not recommended is because it’s easy to download the wrong files. These can cause considerable damage to your system when installed. It is better to let the Windows Driver Updater feature to do the work for you. (See Microsoft’s guide on how to update drivers in Windows 10.)

Alternatively, you could find a suitable driver updater program that scans your system and automatically finds the latest and most compatible drivers then installs them. But, you should do so at your own risk, since using outside driver update utilities is not recommended by technical experts.

Tip #8: Reinstall the Kindle Software

Software.
Kindles aren’t that different from most mobile devices. They also come with a reset facility which allows you to re-install a clean version of their operating system and to delete all the data in the device.

An outdated Kindle software on your PC may cause connection issues between it and your Kindle device. Luckily, updating it is quite easy.

You can do it yourself by following these steps:

  1. Bring up the search bar by pressing the Windows Key plus S.
  2. Type in “settings” and hit Enter.
  3. Select “Apps” then click on the left-pane menu and select “Apps & Features.”
  4. Move to the right pane and in the search bar, type in “kindle,” click on it, then select “Uninstall.”
  5. Restart your computer when done.
  6. Visit Amazon’s website for the latest update of the Kindle software for PC and download it.

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Any of these solutions may solve your problems connecting your Kindle to your PC. In case we’ve missed a tip or a trick that worked for you, feel free to let us know in the comments.

 

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