Kindle Tips, Tricks and Help

Updated: 23 December 2010

Adding a non-Amazon ebook to your Kindle

1. Is the file DRM-free? If it’s locked by the retailer or publisher with copy protection, you can’t legally remove the DRM to put it on your Kindle in the U.S.

2. Is the file in a format that already works on the Kindle? Find out on the FORMATS page.

3. If not, convert it into an acceptable format. See CONVERTING STUFF for tools to help you.

Enabling custom screensaver images

Visit the FREE SCREENS page to find which instructions you should follow.

Need a copy of the user guide?

You can download guides for all Kindle models directly from Amazon for free.

Kindle 3 Shortcuts

(Thanks to Gareth J M Saunders for help!)


  • Alt + Shift + . = Displays barcode and instruction “Press the Home key to continue”
  • Alt + Shift + G = Stores screenshot as GIF in /documents
  • Alt+[Any letter key on the top row] = numbers 1 through 9 + 0 (in other words the missing number row)


  • Alt + Shift + M = Play Minesweeper
  • Alt + Z = Something happens (rescan picture directory?)

“None of the Kindle 1 shortcuts work, on account of there not being number keys. (You press Alt + Q for 1, Alt + W for 2, etc.)”

Kindle 2 Shortcuts


  • Alt + Shift + G = Grab screenshot (image saved to your file directory; accessible from your computer when Kindle is connected via USB cable)
  • Alt + G = Refresh screen
  • Menu = Displays current time in top center of screen


  • Shift + Sym = Start/stop text to speech
  • Alt + Space = Play/pause music or text-to-speech
  • Alt + F = Forward to next music track


  • Alt + Shift + M = Play Minesweeper
  • Alt + Home = Launch Amazon Kindle store

Kindle 1 Shortcuts

Screen Capture: ALT+SHIFT+G (G for “grab”)

Time: ALT+T (T for “time”)

Downloadable Kindle Manual (PDF format)

How to read PDF files on your Kindle (uses Mobipocket Creator)

– Google Maps, show current location (Alt-1 while in the browser)
– Play Minesweeper (Alt-M)
– Make a screenshot (Alt-Shift-G)
– show time from the home screen (Alt-T)

Alt-2 find gas station nearby
Alt-3 find restaurants nearby
Alt-5 find custom keyword nearby
Alt-D dump debug info to the log and toggle highlight default item
Alt-Z toggle zone drawing and show log

A lot of this came from Igor Scotchinsky at Reversing Everything.

Global keys

Alt-Shift-R reboot Kindle
Alt-Shift-. restart GUI
Alt-Shift-G make screenshot
due to an implementation bug, screenshots can only be stored on SD card, not the main storage. A gif file is saved in the card root.
Shift-Sym start demo
Enabled only if allow_demo=true is passed on the Java commandline. Needs a special demo script present on the SD card.


Alt-Shift-M Minesweeper
Alt-Z rescan picture directories
Alt-T show time


Alt-B toggle bookmark
Alt-T spell out time
Alt-0 enable/disable slideshow
Alt-1 start slideshow (if enabled)
Alt-2 stop slidehow
Alt-PageForward/PageBackward go to next/prev annotation or one “chunk” (1/20th of a book) forward or backward

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