How-To

What To Do When You Lose your Kindle eReader

Amazon’s Kindle is a lightweight and portable. Because it’s so portable, it can get lost quite easily. I have some tips if you were to lose your Kindle.

Amazon’s Kindle is a lightweight portable eReader. Because it’s so light and portable, people often leave it places. Even worse–they’re easily stolen. I know I’ve panicked a few times wondering where mine is. A little prep in advance, plus an action plan when it happens, can give you some peace of mind.

kindle on the tube

Photo by Annie Mole

Before Your Lose Your Device

Create a Passcode

Depending on the model you have, the instructions may differ slightly. On my Kindle, I go to Settings > Device Options > Device Passcode. But whether you have the Kindle PaperWhite or a Kindle Fire HD, make sure you have a passcode enabled. Here’s how to create a passcode on the Fire HD.

kindlepasscode

Your Contact Information

It sounds obvious, but put your contact information on the outside of the device. Unlike other mobile device or Kindle Fire tablets, there’s not much personal information on the Kindle itself. There is no “Find my Kindle” and you can’t use Siri to ask who the owner is. I don’t like putting my physical address on a device. However, I can put a phone number or email on there so someone can contact me.

If you don’t want to put stickers or write on your Kindle, that’s fine. Put the info inside the case if you use one. Stick it on the space that goes behind the Kindle reader in your case. That way if anyone removes the Kindle they’ll see your information. It won’t stop a thief, but it will help a Good Samaritan.

I also created a “book” called This Kindle is owned by. Kindle allows you to add a pdf as a book to your account through email via the Send to Kindle feature. I created a pdf with key information on how to return the Kindle to me (and mention a small reward).

ownedby

Amazon’s Contact Information

Program into your phone right now Amazon’s contact information. It’s currently 1-888-280-4364. That’s the general helpline. If you have a smartphone, just save a copy of this article. You can also program in the key links later in the article. You don’t want to wait around too long searching for information. The first thing I did when I thought I lost my Kindle was to contact Amazon.

Your Serial Number

If you want to file a police report, or claim a found Kindle, you need the serial number. Amazon tracks this information for you, but why not save yourself time and record it now? I keep this information in both my password management program and contact management program. That contact has Amazon’s support number and my Kindle’s serial number.

When You Can’t Find Your Reader

Assume it’s stolen. You can always revert these changes later. Your goal here is to avoid potential extra charges that add extra injury to your loss. Amazon will probably allow you dispute those purchases, but why take the risk?

Deregister Your Device and Contact Amazon

The first thing to do is to get that missing Kindle off your account. Head on over to Amazon’s Manage Your Content and Devices. Select your missing Kindle and under Device Actions select Deregister. That prevents someone from making any changes to your account.

Deregister Kindle

 

I’d do that before I contact Amazon. Amazon could have long hold times. You want to protect your Amazon account right away. When you call Amazon and report it stolen, they have the option of blacklisting it to others can’t register it. I’d only recommend that if you are sure it’s stolen.

Cancel Subscriptions

You may also want to make sure that you cancel any active subscriptions through Amazon’s Subscription Center. Canceling the subscription will make sure that billing to your account stops. You always have the option of subscribing at a later date. You don’t want to keep paying a bill if you no longer have the Kindle.

Amazon_com__Manage_Your_Content_and_Devices

Change Your Amazon Password

In theory, this isn’t necessary. You’ve already unregistered your Kindle so a thief can’t find your password. I worry about someone being able to find some digital debris of my password on there. Now that Amazon has two-factor authentication on accounts, I wouldn’t worry as much. On the other hand, regularly changing passwords isn’t a bad thing.

Report Your Kindle Stolen and How to Get it Back to You

Letting police and pawn shops know of your loss helps get the item back to you. That’s why you need the serial number. It could be weeks, months or even years, but it’s possible the device might return to you. Try posting on social media and online classifieds with a small reward. One nice site is KindleReunion.com that helps reunite lost Kindles.

Fortunately, I found my Kindle a few days later stuck between two pockets in my backpack. If you ever find yourself in the same situation, now you’ll know what to do.


3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. I am usually very careful when it comes to my belongings. I do not let them out of my sight. However, a little precaution won’t hurt. Thanks for sharing these tips Dave, especially the one for saving my Kindle’s serial number. I will use the kindlereunion.com next time if I found a kindle..

  2. Steven Nevets  

    Keep in mind that when you deregister your Kindle all the information that is in there that could be used to find you gets deleted as soon as that kindle is connected to the internet. Your contact information (if you are one of the very few who actually wrote that information in the “Personal Information” section in the Kindle) will be deleted, including your kindle email address that is actually similar to your personal email address which could still be used to possibly finding you. My suggestion to finding your kindle is to send an email to that Kindle with your contacts information, most of the time if that Kindle is lost and not stolen someone will try to find you and this will give them a chance finding you. Taking a device to the police is pointless because police will not do a thing with it unless someone comes to that specific police department and identifies that specific Kindle. Most places with lost and found items will donate the items after 30 days, but when you report your Kindle lost or stolen to the Amazon they will mark it so and it will become unusable, (besides your books that were on there) you will still be without your books and will most likely purchase a new Kindle while your old one becomes a paperweight instead of paperwhite, and the only one benefitting from all of this is Amazon themselves. Bottom line their lost and found procedures and policies are designed to keep your beloved Kindle lost and unusable because 99 per cent of the time you will purchase a new one, unless those policies are changed.

  3. Yass  

    Hi Steven:

    Thannk u above all for your site that gaves very rich useful contents and not the garbage commercial what other are publishing..

    I like this article and Thank u again to let us know how to protect our datas and claim the sotlen Kindle..
    as i was working in amazon as a customer support.I want to share with you this very useful tip how to save the situation as seen on this Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201755180&qid=1497939886&sr=1-1

    De-registering your device will prevent purchases from being made on your Amazon account using the device. Before deregistering, please make note of your device’s serial number. You can find this in Manage Your Content and Devices under the Your Devices tab. When you contact Amazon Customer Service, we will mark the device as “Lost / Stolen” which prevents the device from being registered to another Amazon account in most cases.

    To de-register your device:

    Go to Manage Your Content and Devices and select the Your Devices tab.
    Select the desired device, copy its serial number to provide to Customer Service, then click the Deregister link underneath the device name.
    In the pop-up message, select the Deregister button.

    Once your device has been de-registered, you should contact Amazon Customer Service as soon as possible. You can contact Amazon Customer Service by clicking the Contact Us button located on the left side of every Help page on the Amazon website.

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