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How to Update Firmware on Your Kindle Paperwhite

At the core of your Kindle Paperwhite is a small computer run by firmware, complete with hardware, software, and a built-in network platform. Firmware is the core that controls how the device works — everything the Kindle Paperwhite does is controlled by the firmware.

Amazon periodically updates the firmware for the device. Generally, firmware updates fix minor bugs and glitches that may not be apparent to the casual user. However, occasionally a major upgrade or new feature is added. For example, with firmware update 2.5, Amazon added the capability to sort e-books into collections, a feature that had been repeatedly requested by users.

To find out which version of the firmware your Kindle is running, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Menu icon.

  2. Tap Settings→Menu→Device Info.

    The firmware version is listed, along with the serial number, and space available (in megabytes). The Kindle Paperwhite is included in the fifth generation of the devices that have been produced, so the firmware version begins with 5. At the time of this writing, the firmware is version 5.4.0.

If an update is available, your Kindle Paperwhite will download it when you turn on the wireless and connect to a network. If you notice a screen that says Your Kindle Is Updating, this is what's happening.

If you're curious as to whether a more current update is available, you can check at Amazon:

  1. Go to your Amazon account by typing www.amazon.com/myk and log in.

  2. In the left column, choose Manage Your Devices.

    If a software update is available for your Kindle Paperwhite, a blue i in a white circle will be displayed.

  3. If you see the i in a circle, click the picture of the Kindle and follow the onscreen instructions to learn more.

  4. If updates are available, you'll see instructions for determining whether you need to upgrade the firmware and, if so, how to download and manually update your Kindle Paperwhite, if you want.

    If updates are available, you'll see instructions for determining whether you need to upgrade the firmware and, if so, how to download and manually update your Kindle Paperwhite, if you want.

You don't have to manually update your Kindle Paperwhite. Necessary updates happen automatically through the wireless connection. Just be aware that if the screen looks different or if you find new features, the device probably went through an automatic update.

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