So my girlfriend’s Kindle suddenly refused to connect to WiFi, and it took hours and more forums and websites than I can count to troubleshoot. Hopefully this helps someone. The Kindle I worked on was a 7th generation Paperwhite, but these steps should be applicable to most of them.
First of all, let’s talk about these generations. They’re not labelled at all on the device, but the first 4 digits of the serial number can tell you if you Google it. Alternatively, you can check here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=201263790
The first thing I did was checked my router. A lot of people are saying that too many devices on the router can kick your Kindle off. There were about 2 dozen devices connected to mine and they all worked fine, so out of all the possibilities I wouldn’t worry too much about that one.
The first real step was to make sure the SSID (name) of the wireless network was in all capital letters. This is a thing, no one knows why, so you can try that. The next thing was to try changing the wireless mode to only 802.11b/g. Mine was in 802.11b/g/n mode, so the change would be to try to accommodate older Kindles. If your Kindle is 5th generation or before, this may work, but the 6th gens and up are 802.11n compatible (citation needed, I didn’t check every one). The last thing to check on the router was to manually assign it a wireless channel. I used a wireless scanner application to check the channels my neighbors’ routers were broadcasting on and picked one as far from it as I could. In my case, most people in my area were predictably on channel 6. I changed it to 1, but you could change it to 11 as well.
None of that worked, so I went to the device itself. Obviously you want to give it the ol’ restart. There’s 2 different restarts for a Kindle. When you hold down the power button for about 5 seconds, a pop-up will come up and you can restart it like that. If you hold it down for about 20 seconds, it will restart itself. You want to try the longer button press.
Next, try a software upgrade. Navigate to this link to see what’s available: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200529680 . I had 188.8.131.52, and 5.7.3 was available. I downloaded the .bat file with the update, plugged the Kindle to my PC via the USB cord, dragged the file onto the Kindle, unplugged it, and then went into settings and the “Upgrade Kindle” option was now available. If your update option is still grayed out even after you drag the file over, then you’ve put the wrong generation’s software on there (ask me how I know… the 6th and the 7th gen Kindles are almost identical physically). Try another.
If that doesn’t work, try to manually assign your Kindle an IP address. When you connect to a network, select the advanced option. Begin by typing in the SSID of your WiFi network. For the IP, select something in your network that isn’t being used already. For most people who go to Best Buy and plug their self-configuring routers in, you have 253 options – 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.254. I picked 192.168.1.100. Your subnet mask is usually 255.255.255.0. Your default gateway (the address of your router) is usually 192.168.1.1. You can test this by typing the IP into a web browser and seeing if your router’s administration page pops up. Lastly, select the type of password you have (I had WPA2) by pulling that information from your router’s password page and enter in the password.
If that doesn’t work, you have to factory reset the device. Anything you have on it that’s not in the cloud (synced) will be lost. This is where it gets weird.
If your Kindle has a passcode on it already, you can go into settings and hit “Reset Device” and be done with it. If there isn’t one, you need to put one on there under Device Settings, or there’s a chance it won’t let you reset. I set the passcode “1234” temporarily, since a reset will wipe it out anyway. Once I set it, I put the Kindle to sleep by tapping the power button, then tapped it again to wake it back up to get the passcode prompt. Instead of typing the code I just set, put in “111222777” instead. This forces the device to factory reset, as this code was put in by Amazon for that reason. With great knowledge comes great responsibility – please don’t troll your friends by wiping out their Kindles.
After the factory reset I manually put in the network information with the static IP and all that again and it worked just fine. Happy reading!