Kindles, like any other small electronic devices, are easy to lose; they’re also a good target for thieves. Here’s what to do if your Kindle goes missing.
By default, anyone who has your Kindle in their possession can buy books from your Amazon account without having to enter a password. This means that if your Kindle gets stolen and you don’t do anything, they can rack up hundreds of dollars of purchases with ease. If you think your Kindle has been stolen, you should act quickly.
Before Your Kindle Goes Missing
There are a few thing you can do before your Kindle goes missing to make it easier for someone to return it to you or make it useless to thieves, although the options are mutually exclusive.
The first option is to add some personal information to your Kindle—like an email address or contact number. The problem with this is that most people don’t know the option exists, so if they find your Kindle sitting in a coffee shop, they aren’t too likely to check for it.
Tap the Menu button and then select the “Settings” option.
Next, go to My Account > Personal Info.
Add some personal information, and then tap the “Save” button.
Now, anyone who thinks to check will be able to find your contact details.
If you’re more concerned about book loving thieves racking up charges on your Amazon account, the other option is to add a passcode to your Kindle. The downside to this, of course, is that whenever you wake your Kindle from sleep, you’ll need to enter it. That’s why a lot of people only set up a password when they’re travelling or if they routinely carry their Kindle around with them.
Tap the Menu button, and then select the “Settings” option.
Go to Device Options > Device Passcode, and then enter a passcode. Confirm it, and then tap the “OK” button.
Now, when your device wakes up, you’ll need to enter the passcode to continue.
This won’t make your Kindle any easier to get back, but it will stop anyone else from using it.
Send a Document to Your Device With Your Contact Details
This is a long shot and should only really be used if you think you lost your Kindle by mistake. Your Kindle has an email address you can use to send files to it.
Create a Word or text file with your name and your contact details. Follow the instructions in this article to send the file to your Kindle. If your Kindle has 3G, it will get delivered instantly. If not, it will get delivered if it ever connects to Wifi.
Again, there’s really only an outside shot this will work, especially if you think your Kindle has been stolen, but sometimes anything is worth a go.
Deregister and Block Your Kindle
To stop someone from purchasing eBooks using your Kindle, you need to deregister it from your account. To stop them from registering it under a new account, you’ll also need to get Amazon to block it.
Head to the Manage Your Devices page on Amazon’s website.
Click the Menu button next to the Kindle that’s been stolen and take down the serial number. Once you have it written down somewhere, select Deregister.
Click Deregister again to remove it from your account.
Whoever has your Kindle won’t be able to use your Amazon account to read or buy books. They can still, however, register the Kindle to their Amazon account. To stop that happening you need to ask Amazon to block it. There’s no way to do this yourself, though.
Instead, you’ll have to head to Amazon’s Contact Us page and fill in the form as best you can. The exact options you pick don’t matter too much as you’re just trying to get in contact with a customer care representative. You can also call 00-1-206-266-2992.
Explain the situation and provide the customer care representative with the serial number you took down earlier. They will mark your Kindle as lost or stolen, which means it can’t be registered with another account. If your Kindle does turn up, you can always contact Amazon again and ask them to remove the block. You can then register it to your account once more.
Get a Refund From Any Purchased Books
If someone does manage to download eBooks using your Kindle before you have a chance to deregister it, you can request a refund from Amazon. It’s important to note that you have to do this within a week of the day of purchase, so if your Kindle goes missing, keep an eye on your emails to see if any books get bought.
Go to the Manage Your Content page on Amazon’s website, and then click the menu icon next to the book you want to return. Select the “Return for Refund” option, specify a reason, and then click the “Return for Refund” link again. Your money will be refunded within a few days.
Check out our article on getting refunds for accidental Kindle purchases for more information.
If your Kindle really gets stolen, the odds of getting it back are pretty slim. The police aren’t going to put many resources into finding a $100 Kindle. Now, at least, you know how to give yourself the best shot at getting it back and also make it useless to thieves.