Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know

Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know

Congratulations!

You may be one of literally millions of people who are the proud owners of a new Kindle today. :)

If you’re like me, you’ll come to love your Kindle…and you’ll have questions about it, too.

In this post, I’m going to to talk about the key point to understanding  ownnig any Kindle.

For more information for new owners from previous years, see this category.

There’s No Accounting for…Accounts

I get lots of questions (which I love, by the way) and see even more other places, and the idea of how your Kindle relates to an Amazon account may be one of the biggest sources of confusion.

When you buy (or are given) a Kindle, that’s a piece of hardware. It’s kind of cool even by itself. However, it’s using it with Amazon that really makes it come alive. You can think of it like…sitting in a new car in the dealer’s showroom, or taking it out on the road.

In this case, an Amazon account is the road…it’s that whole wide world of experiences you can have with your Kindle. Now, to be clear, it’s hypothetically possible to use a Kindle without an Amazon account…you can get and use books (and music and such) from other sources, but I would guess it’s a tiny, tiny amount of people that do it that way. A Kindle is designed to be used with Amazon.

So, the first thing is to get your Kindle registered to an Amazon account, and to understand that it’s really that account that’s important. Oh, I get attached to my individual Kindles (after all, this blog isn’t called, “I Love My Kindle Account”) ;)…giving them what I think are clever names, for example, and referring to them that way (“I’m taking Schwinn with me today.”)  However, intellectually I know that my Kindle is lost/stolen/fails, I can replace it…and have access to pretty much everything I did on the old one.

Getting an Amazon account is easy (and your Kindle will help you do it if you don’t have one). Essentially, you give them an e-mail address that they use to identify the account. You pick a password, and you (usually) set up some kind of payment method.

That’s about it.

That account is your identity with Amazon.

That’s really key.

It doesn’t matter to Amazon if one person is using the account or a hundred people are.

When you buy Kindle store books, think of it as the account owning the books.

Not an individual person…not an individual Kindle.

Let’s say you are a family of four…however you define family. Amazon doesn’t check that: you could be four friends who meet at Starbucks once a week, doesn’t matter. For convenience sake, though, I’m going to say Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother. Each one of the owns a Kindle. They are all on the same Amazon account, which I’m going to call the “family account”.

Dad buys a Kindle book using the account. That book is available to all four of them. Dad’s Kindle accidentally goes through the washing machine and is destroyed.

Makes no difference to the ownership of that book. Sister, Brother, and Mom can all still read it..and so can Dad, when the Kindle is replaced (or using another Kindle or reader app registered to that account).

Sister goes away to college in another state. Still makes no difference: Sister can read books that  Brother buys, and vice versa…as long as they are using the same old account.

What happens if Mother and Father eventually pass on?

Makes no difference. As long as Brother and Sister have the e-mail address and password for the account, they still have access to the books. The payment method can be changed, the e-mail address can be changed…the account goes on, with all the books in it available to all the devices registered to that account.

Now, to be clear, a person using an account is responsible for it. When you set one up, Amazon says:

===

“YOUR ACCOUNT

If you use this site, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account and password and for restricting access to your computer, and you agree to accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. Amazon does sell products for children, but it sells them to adults, who can purchase with a credit card or other permitted payment method. If you are under 18, you may use Amazon.com only with involvement of a parent or guardian. Amazon reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders in their sole discretion.”

===

Amazon Conditions of Use

Adults, you are responsible for minors using your account.

However, if you think of it as the Kindle store books belonging to the account, it will make the most sense to you.

What happens if you deregister a Kindle from that account?

It no longer has access to the Amazon storage of those books you bought. A Kindle can only be registered to one account at a time.

If you downloaded the books to your Kindle first, they’ll only disappear when you deregister the Kindle Fire . On the other Kindles, they’ll stay there. Importantly, though, they’ll only work on that one Kindle…you won’t be able to download them again to a new Kindle if you get one (more on that below).

Let’s say you have bought a thousand books on your account. A relative gets a new Kindle, and you let them register that Kindle to your account.

Boom! They have a thousand books they can read at no cost.

What if that relative buys a book on the account?

You also have access to it…and it’s already paid for.

What if, instead, that relative opens a brand new Amazon account? There won’t be any books in it, and when your relative buys a book on that account, you won’t have access to it (although there is some limited lending possible).

Different scenario: you and your Significant Other are on an Amazon account together. You pay for a hundred Kindle store books on that account with your own money. The relationship, sadly, ends. You deregister the Kindle from that account and register it to a new one.

Bye-bye, hundred books.

Even if your Significant Other wants to give them to you on that new account, it can’t be done. You either have to be registered to the old account, or lose access.

Update: Let’s go through this account thing and deregistering a little more clearly.

Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother were all on the same account, the “family account”. All of their Kindles had access to all of the books on that account, regardless of who paid for them. You can’t restrict which books are accessible by which Kindle…”the account owns the books”, not the individual devices. I think we may see that change in the future, but that’s how it works now.

Sister left the family account when she decided to deregister her Kindle from that one, and to start her own account (we’ll call it “sister’s account”). She might have done that because she wants to assert her financial independence…or maybe she wants to buy Kindle store books she doesn’t want her family to know about. ;)

When Sister deregistered, she already had books downloaded to her Kindle. Those books stay on that Kindle (unless it’s a Kindle Fire…then, they get removed), until she deletes them.

Sister later buys a new Kindle…her old one failed. She registers it to Sister’s account.

That new Kindle doesn’t have access to the books she brought with her from the family account. Those belong to the old account.

Even if she’d made copies of the files on her old Kindle before it died, they still won’t work on the new one.

Usually, Kindle store book files are keyed to work on a single device…they have code in the file that limits it to, say, “Sister’s Kindle”.

Now, let’s say Brother gets married later, but is still using the family account. Brother’s new spouse (let’s call the spouse “Sweetheart”) gets a Kindle as a wedding gift. Sweetheard already had a Kindle when they met, and it is registered to the Sweetheart’s family’s account.

Registering the new Kindle to Brother’s family account means that the new Kindle has access to all of the books bought by Brother’s family on that account…at no charge. Sweetheart can access the books on Sweetheart’s family’s account only on the old Kindle…and to Brother’s family’s account only on the new one.

Obviously, deciding to which account you are going to register your Kindle is the most important decision you can make about it…even before you get your first book.

What if two of you start out with separate accounts, and then want to merge them…combine the libraries? Officially, there isn’t a policy for that…but I’ve heard of it happening when Amazon has made an exception.

Don’t count on that, though.

Should you have more than one account if you have multiple Kindles in your house?

My feeling is that the default should be one account. The more people you have on it, the more buying power you have. Pay for a book once, everybody has access to it (although not necessarily all at once…the publishers limit how many devices on an account can have the book licensed at the same time. Unless it says otherwise on the book’s Amazon product page, that number is six). Everybody can share in each other’s purchases.

However, if you want to limit somebody’s access to an account, the most effective way is…another account. If you have books you don’t want your ten-year old to see, you might want to open a separate account for the kid. Yes, you’ll be responsible for that account. No, you won’t be able to share books.

I know, I know…I sort of feel like I should have hit the fun parts in this post first, like how to get free books. I get that enthusiasm. I was thinking, though, that if you get the free books on the “wrong account”, you are going to regret it. I’m going to give you information in future posts about having fun with the Kindle…I just don’t want what happens the first day to mess you up later.

Settled on which account? Got your Kindle all registered?  If you are having trouble with it, Amazon can help you here: Getting Started with Your New Kindle Amazon help page.

Okay, here’s a free legal place to find free thousands of free books from the Kindle store:

http://www.ereaderiq.com/free/

Just couldn’t resist giving you that. ;) I’m not connected to them except as a user, but it’s a great place to get started.

Do you have other questions? Feel free to ask me by commenting on this post. If you want your question to be confidential, please tell me in your comment.

Have fun!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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84 Responses to “Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know”

  1. Pam Says:

    Hi Bufo! I was never sure what would happen to my library if I died – good to know that the kids could have access with user ID and password and could change credit cards, etc. You lost me on the deregistering of a Kindle though. Does that Kindle lose all the books it had on it, even if it’s never registered to another account? The remaining Kindles should still have access to books downloaded to the first Kindle as they are in the MYK archive, right? Thanks so much for all your knowledge and being so willing to share it! Merry Christmas!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pam!

      Let me look and see if I can make that clearer in the post.

      For any Kindle except a Kindle Fire:

      When you deregister the Kindle, it loses access to the books in the Manage Your Kindle page on the old account. If you downloaded books to it, they’ll stay on that Kindle. The remaining Kindles, as you say, still have access to those books.

      Even if you register that Kindle to another account, the books that were downloaded to it stay on it.

      With the Kindle Fire:

      When you deregister a Kindle Fire, all of the books on it are removed.

      Does that help?

  2. Anthea Says:

    Wonderful explanation, thanks, I’ll store this for future reference. Can you add it to Amazon’s help page?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Anthea!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Based on a couple of comments, I’m going to take a look at it and see if I can make the deregistration part more clear.

      I’m not part of Amazon…I’m a Kindle owner and author, but it’s up to Amazon what they put on their help pages. :)

  3. Pam Says:

    Bufo, yes that is clearer! I’m surprised that if you register the Kindle to a new account that it doesn’t lose all the previous books, but it’s a win for us! Thanks!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pam!

      Great! I appreciate you letting me know I could explain it better…and then letting me know I did. :)

      To be extra clear, you don’t lose books that were downloaded to the Kindle (except in the case of a Kindle Fire) when you download it.

      One way that is used on RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles) is that parents or other guardians will put books on a Kindle to which they want a child to have access. Then, the parent deregisters the child’s Kindle.

      That child can read those books, but can’t download more. When they want the kid to get more, they re-register the Kindle and download more…then deregister it again.

  4. Sue Says:

    I am a new owner of a Kindle! I registered it with my Amazon acct but when I try to buy a book it tells me I need to register, but when I go to register it tells me I am about to deregister??

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sue!

      Let me get a better idea of what is happening so I can see if I can help you.

      What model of Kindle is it, do you know?

      When you are looking at the Kindle, does it say your name in your top left corner of the screen?

      Try this for me:

      On any Kindle except a Kindle Fire:

      Home-Menu-Settings

      Is it showing a choice to register or to deregister?

      If it’s a Kindle Fire, then

      Settings Gear – More – My Account

      The other thing you can check is by going to

      http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

      Manage Your Devices

      You should be able to tell there is Amazon knows it is registered or not.

      Registration requires two steps: one at Amazon and one on the device (but it may do that one automatically).

  5. Saraba Says:

    It was a kindle Christmas at our house (4 kindles and 1 fire) We started a family account and I have a private account. I registered first to my personal account and downloaded my books then deregistered it to link to our “family” account. Surprise… the books don’t stay with the kindle once the device is deregistered. The only thing that stayed were the library books I had downloaded. Most of our books are freebies so I don’t know it that makes any difference???
    As to the previous poster questioning her kindle not showing the divice to be registered… I had that problem and it resolved itself once I put the thing to sleep for awhile.
    I’m learning a lot from your blog. THanks
    Sara

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sara!

      Congratulations!

      Which model of Kindle did you deregister? I’ve been able to test it before and been fine…not with the Fire, though.

      also, were the books actually downloaded to it, or just showing in the Archived Items list? Once you deregister the Kindle, you won’t have access to that Archived Items list…but I would expect that downloaded Kindle stoer books should still be there…free or not.

  6. Tiffany Says:

    My husband gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I am loving it so far!

    I have a question relating to the one free borrowed book a month you get through having an Amazon Prime membership. Here’s the deal: I registered my Kindle (the very basic lowest model one) on my husband’s account. He has a Prime membership and I was able to borrow the one book for the month. I’d like to buy a couple of additional books but I’d like to do that on my own Amazon account, not my husband’s, because I have some Amazon gift certificates loaded onto my own account that I’d like to use to buy the books. What I want to know is if I de-register the Kindle from my husband’s account (with Prime membership) to register it to my own (without a Prime membership), do you know if the borrowed book will stay on the Kindle or will it come off? And what happens when I want to “return” the borrowed book and borrow another one next month? Will I need to re-register it back to my husband’s account?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tiffany!

      Congratulations…welcome to the Klub!

      Ordinarily, when you deregister a Kindle (except a Kindle Fire), books which are downloaded to it will stay on it.

      However, that may be different with Kindle Owners’ Lending Library books (the ones you borrow with Prime). I suspect that when you re-register it, it may check that and get rid of it. That would be a new behavior, but we don’t know enough about Prime.

      Of course, when you re-register the Kindle with your husband’s paid Prime account, you would likely be able to download it again. The only problem with that would be if Amazon considers it returned if you deregister that, but I doubt that, since multiple Kindles can borrow the same book on a Prime account.

      Yes, you would need to re-register it to your husband’s account to borrow another book.

      Could you possibly use those gift certificates to buy something you would have bought otherwise on your account…and then use the equivalent money on your husband’s account? That would simplify things…and if he gets a Kindle eventually (he may be inspired by you) :) , he would have access to the books as well at no extra charge.

  7. pete Says:

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  8. spage05 Says:

    Isn’t true that if you deregister a Kindle and register it to a friend’s account. You can then read the friend’s books and then register back to your original account and be right back where you started?
    Thanks so much!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, spage05!

      Yes, you could do that. A Kindle can only be registered to one account at a time, and while it is registered it has access to the archives/Cloud of that account.

      To clarify, though, you can’t move the books from one account to another that way. If it is a reflective screen Kindle, the downloaded books would remain on the Kindle when it was deregistered: that is not the case with a Kindle Fire. When a Fire is deregistered, the Kindle store books on it are no longer accessible.

      So, let’s say you have an account and I have an account. You degister from your account and register to mine. You can read the Kindle store books I’ve purchased…while your Kindle is registered to mine. During that time, you will not have access to the archives/Cloud of your account on that Kindle.

      Deregister from my account, and you lose access to my archives/Cloud. If it’s a reflective screen Kindle, the books you’ve downloaded will stay available on the device. If it’s a Kindle Fire, you won’t.

  9. Dianne Hussey Says:

    I have lost my kindle. When I buy a new one can I download the books I have already purchased.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Dianne!

      I’m sorry to hear that! Yes, if you register the new device to the same account, all compatible books you ahve purchased previously will be available to the new device.

      You may want to take a look at this thread of mine in the Amazon Kindle community for more information about what to do. I’ve had it happen to me, so I do understand.

  10. Dianne Hussey Says:

    Thanks for that information Buford Calvin .

  11. Pat Says:

    My husband and I share one account but both have the Kindle Fire 2. Can I delete books from my Kindle without deleting them from his Kindle. Or do we both just have to have the same books that each of download on our own Kindles?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pat!

      Yes, you can delete it from the device without affecting your husband’s device.

      The only way that multiple devices on an account affect each other is that there is a limit as to how many devices on an account can have the same Kindle store book at the same time. Unless indicated otherwise on the book’s Amazon product page, that number is six.

      With only two devices on the account, deleting from one device will not affect the other device.

      The one thing that could be confusing is that the book still appears in the Cloud on the device and in the Carousel when it isn’t downloaded. You can remove it from the Carousel on one device (long press it…hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second) without affecting the other one.

      It would still appear in the Cloud listing on the device when you removed it from the Carousel…that’s just a list of things you can download, not that are downloaded.

  12. Janine Wieland Says:

    Hi – I have a question. A friend who has a Kindle, but no computer (yet!), asked if she could plug it into my computer and download books directly onto it. Is this right? And if so, how do I do it?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Janine!

      Yes, it can be done that way. The Kindle does need to know it is registered…with a wi-fi Kindle, that means it needs to connect once via wi-fi (which can be done at a public wi-fi hotspot, like a McDonalds or Starbucks).

      After that, you choose “Transfer Via Computer” when you buy the book. You specify the device on which it will be used, and the computer gets the book file keyed for that device. Then you use a USB data cable to put it in the Kindle’s Documents folder.

      More information here:

      http://www.amazon.com/kindletransfer

      • Janine Wieland Says:

        Wow! such a quick response, thanks.
        One thing – it says ‘more information here’ – but there’s nothing to click on… but maybe I won’t need more info. :)

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Janine!

        Glad to help! I fixed the link in my comment…you should see it now.

  13. Fun things to do with your new Kindle Fire HD « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] you’ve taken care of the most important thing (choosing which account you’ll use), and maybe set the parental controls so you […]

  14. Janine Wieland Says:

    Can I ask you a question about music please?
    Is it possible to transfer music from my iTunes onto my Kindle Fire? These are predominantly tracks downloaded from my CD’s, not bought via Amazon or iTunes store.

  15. peter Says:

    My wife has a kindle how can she see her account info without having to use her pc?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Peter!

      What account information does she want to see, and which Kindle does she have?

      http://www.amazon.com/help/kindle/which

      I ask because it will affect the answer. For example, you can see the Cloud/Archives from any device, but you can only (easily) see the Country Settings from a Fire.

  16. BELINDA Says:

    I HAVE A BIG PROBLEM I BOUGHT MY AMAZON KINDLE PAPERWHITE IN SOUTH AFRICA HOW CAN I GET MY AFRIKAANS BOOKS ON THE KINDLE

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Belinda!

      Where did you get the books in Afrikaans? Are they your own files? If so, it’s going to depend on the format and any security they might have.

      This should help:

      http://www.amazon.com/kindletransfer

      Also, here is a search for what a USA customer sees (those are the only ones I can do easily) for Afrikaans books in the USA Kindle store:

      Afrikaans books in the USA Kindle store

      Depending on how you are registered, that won’t be the same ones you see, but it may give you some ideas of which ones to check. What I did was search for “Afrikaans” in the Kindle store.

  17. sue Says:

    Hi,

    I have a problem. I bought my Kindle in Japan. And I didn’t really know much about Kindle back then. So I registered my Kindle account and put on my Malaysia address as the home & residence country.

    I tried to buy books but not successful and my Kindle stays empty :(

    Much didn’t I know that Amazon actually didn’t really sell Kindle books to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. Its so sad. So I change my home country to US and change my address to US address which I got from this website. Its like a medium to stuff for a non US cards.

    http://www.comgateway.com/globaleshop/start-shopping.do?l=en&c=MY

    And suddenly, wallah! I can start to buy books for my Kindle. Unfortunately, the next day, Amazon sent my below email:

    “We are writing because the home country registered to your Kindle account may not match your country of residence. Due to publishing rights, the home country registered to your account must match your country of residence.

    To continue purchasing titles available for the United States, please send a copy of your valid government-issued identity card, passport, or a utility bill received within the previous 90 days to our secure fax line:

    Within the US: 206-266-1838
    Outside the US: (00)1-206-266-1838

    For your security, you may obscure the passport, ID, or account number. However, we ask that you do not obscure any portion of your name, your address, or any expiration or statement dates.

    Your fax will be converted to a secure electronic image that will never be printed. Once we have completed the verification process, we will delete the image.

    If you have moved to a different country, you can update your home country in the Manage Your Kindle section of your Amazon account (www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle):

    1. Login to amazon.com/manageyourkindle.
    2. Click “Country Settings.”
    3. Click “Change.”
    4. Choose an existing home address from your account or enter a new one.
    5. Click “Update.”

    We may restrict your home country setting if you continue to purchase from the catalog of titles for the United States without completing the verification process.

    We appreciate your cooperation”

    So sad :(

    I wonder if you know if it is possible for me to deregister my Kindle and register it again under a new account with a US address straight away. With a different email of course. I hope with this I can continue to download books for my Kindle.

    Appreciate your help. Thanks!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sue!

      What’s happening here is based on licensing, which is based on copyright laws. Most (but not quite all) countries recognize the right of an author to control their creations, within certain limitations. That right allows the author to license a book to publishers (which sell it to the public, and pay the author for that). Those rights are traditionally licensed by format and by market (you can think “country” on that one).

      So, a company that has the rights to sell an e-book in the USA may not have the rights to sell the e-book in Malaysia. If they do so, they could be in big legal trouble, not least from another publisher which may have paid the author to license those rights.

      Amazon needs to make a good faith effort to see that books are only sold to the licensed countries, or publishers will not use them for sales.

      It’s quite different with e-books from paperbooks (p-books), due to the way they are sold. With a p-book, Amazon buys copies from the publisher, and sells them to the customer. The sale took place where Amazon is, and, subject to other restrictions, they can sell the book to someone outside that country.

      With e-books, the sale takes place where the customer is, basically. Amazon doesn’t buy it from the publisher and store and then sell it to you.

      All of this stems from recognizing the author’s rights.

      Some people will try and falsify where they live, in order to get around the rights of the author (in a similar way to pirating unauthorized copies). Amazon can’t entirely stop that, but it needs to make the effort…and ideally, do it in a way that does not result in prosecution of that person.

      Another possibility is that a country restricts which products are available within its borders. There are some demographic similarities with some of the countries where Kindle books can not be purchased through Amazon. If Amazon knowingly violated those restrictions, those countries might stop Amazon from selling anything there at all.

      The bottom line is that Amazon does not sell certain e-books to residents of certain countries. They make it clear when you are buying online from them, although of course, they can’t control what information you are given when you buy it in a store. You typically have thirty days to return a Kindle bought from Amazon.com (that return policy may be different where you bought it), and there are other sources for books besides Amazon.

      I can understand your disappointment, and I hope you can find a legal way to make good use of your Kindle or find a legal way to get money for the device.

  18. David Hart Says:

    I have just updated my older keyboard kindle to a paper white and wanted to pass the older one to my daughter but when she registered it onto her amazon account all the books disappeared off it. When I reregistered it to my account they all reappeared. This is obviously not your experience. Why should my downloaded books disappear?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, David!

      What you are describing is what I would expect to have happen with the archived items shown on a Kindle Keyboard, but not with books actually downloaded to the device. That’s been the case in the past when I’ve tested it. However, it’s possible that something has changed.

      Are you sure the books were actually downloaded to it? If you are, I will investigate farther and get back to you.

  19. Suz Selew Says:

    My question…if I download books from my archive onto my kindle and then deregister from my account my books will still be there- correct? If I then register on a friends account could I archive my books onto that account?

    Next question…can we both share a kindle account and use different payment methods? I read something that you can “gift” a book using your amazon account to the kindle account with a separate credit card. Not sure if this is easier than changing payment options?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Suz!

      For the first part of your question, it depends a bit on what kind of Kindle you have. When you deregister a Kindle Fire, you lose access to the Kindle store books you have downloaded to it. If you deregister a Kindle other than a Kindle Fire, the local copies (the downloaded books) should still be available.

      If you register to your friend’s account, you will not be able to put the books you purchased into that friend’s archives. The archives are really a list of the licenses you have purchased, and the licenses are non-transferable. However, if you re-register to the original account, you can download the books again. If you friend registered a device to your account, your friend could download the books in your archives.

      The easiest way to think about it is that the books (really licenses) belong to the account, not the device. However, downloaded copies will stay available on a non-Fire Kindle.

      There are a few ways to deal with the finances on a shared Kindle account.

      You could, as you suggest, keep switching payment methods before you buy something. I think that may be the most awkward method…for one thing, both of you have to have access to the account…you both have to know the username and log-in. To just share Kindle books, that’s not necessary: you can shop directly from the device without having access to the account. I refer to “Managers” and “Users”: Managers have access to the account information, users don’t. I suppose the user could contact the manager to switch the payment method, but that seems complex.

      Another option is to have the user pay for the book with a different Amazon account, and gift the book to the manager. That’s how one person on our account does it. That works quite well, except that the book doesn’t show up on the account (in the archives) right away. I have to first receive an e-mail about the gift and accept it. I check my e-mail pretty often, so the user has the book within a day…but not within minutes, usually.

      You could also fund the account just with gift cards. That protects everybody’s credit cards. However, the gift card still has to be acknowledged by the manager before it is credited. Some people do that at the start of the month, I think, and then just work off that balance all month.

  20. Suz Selew Says:

    Thank you for such a prompt and thorough response! You rock.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Suz!

      No problem…I’m glad I could help! Feel free to ask other questions…I like answering them. :)

  21. Kate Says:

    Can I still use Kindle (e-reader device) for reading books even without an Amazon account. I mean if I deregister or delete my account completely (or Amazon deletes my account :( .). Would Kindle become useless to me after that? I am new to this so I have no freaking idea. Pls help

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kate!

      You could still use the Kindle, but the books would have to be in a compatible format and not have security that would prevent you.

      For example, you could use it to read free books from Project Gutenberg

      http://www.gutenberg.org

      Those are in text format (a very simple one), and are not under copyright protection, so no one has inserted code into the files to control their use.

      You would generally not be able to buy books from Amazon to use on the device, though.

      So, its usefulness would be greatly diminished, but not eliminated. :)

  22. Kate Says:

    Thank you for the quick response. I just recently ordered Kindle and then read some articles about Kindle accounts being deleted and content being removed and I kind of freaked out. And I have many books (classic books) from gutenberg.org or manybooks.net … so, what I was really asking was if I could still read them on the device even if my Amazon account was revoked. So, now I know. Thanks again for such a quick answer. :)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kate!

      No problem…I tend to be pretty quick, although not always that fast! :)

      Yes, books from those sources would be fine.

      As to what you had read…

      Just about four years ago, Amazon apparently accidentally made an unauthorized version of George Orwell’s 1984 available in the USA Kindle store. The copyright terms are different in Australia and the USA, and from what I’ve read, the publisher only intended it to be available in Australia, where it is in the public domain (not under copyright protection).

      Amazon removed the unauthorized copies from people’s Kindles.

      Jeff Bezos personally called the removal “stupid”. People were compensated…they actually profited from what happened.

      Amazon stated publicly that they would not do the same thing again in the same circumstances…and they haven’t.

      People still bring it up like it’s a current threat, when Amazon apologized and made it right…but people do like to knock Amazon. ;) It’s mostly what I call “Chickenlittling”, in my opinion.

      As to deleting accounts, that is possible, but as you can imagine, Amazon is only going to do that in very rare circumstances. If they delete your account, you can’t buy from them any more…and that’s kind of defeats why they are in business, right? :) If somebody really abuses the return policies, for example, they could do it. Let’s say somebody buys a hundred books a year from the Kindle store…and returns every single one of them within seven days of purchase for a refund (you can do that). Amazon would likely first warn them, then maybe restrict them, then warn them again, and so on…deleting the account would be the last resort, although they would be within their rights to do so.

      Hope that helps…

  23. julie Says:

    Bufo my head is going to explode….please just tell me how I can give my old Kindle keyboard to my father and have all my old books and games on my new Kindle Keyboard? He is 87 years old and I probably will be ordering all his books anyway. He has no Amazon account yet…help help help

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, julie!

      Since you are going to be ordering all of the books for him, I would just leave it on your account. So…you can simply hand it to him. :) If you’d like to remove all of the books from it first, you can do that, but it isn’t necessary. You could do a factory reset (which will wipe out everything you’ve done on it…the only thing that stays is Kindle software updates) if you wanted to give him a “clean” one, but up to you.

      As to your new Kindle Keyboard, you just register it to the same account as the old Kindle Keyboard. All of the books and games will be available to you through the archives/Cloud. You can download them from the device, or by going to

      http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

      It’s up to you which ones you actually put on the device. I usually only keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices at a time…just seems simpler.

      Let me know if you have more questions on this.

      • Janine wieland Says:

        I have a question – is it possible to Bluetooth photos from my phone to my kindle fire ?

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Janine!

        Yes, you can. :) It can’t be the first generation Kindle Fire, because it doesn’t have Bluetooth…but the HDs and the 2nd gen work. I just tested it for you…sent a picture from my Galaxy S4 to my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ via Bluetooth with no problem.

      • Janine wieland Says:

        Thanks for the info. I still need your help though :-) I have successfully paired my phone with my kindle. Apparently. But each time the phone tries to send a file it is not successful. A message appears on the kindle saying -incoming file – but the message disappears almost immediately. The kindle shows that 3files were unsuccessful in being transferred.
        Can you help on this one please?

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Janine!

        Hm…are you leaving them next to each other? Bluetooth needs pretty close proximity, and I’ve been that when transferring a lot of data like a picture, that can be more important (than, say, headphones or a keyboard).

        If you don’t mind sharing, what type of phone?

      • Janine wieland Says:

        It’s a Samsung GT S55601. Getting on a bit now, I know, but I normally have no problems transferring from my phone to my computer. Unfortunately my computer is out of action right now so I want to send some photos from the kindle…
        The phone is next to the kindle. I tried sending 1photo only, 1M in size, but it still doesn’t work.
        Any advice will be welcomed.

  24. Paulo Juliano Says:

    I purchase a Paper White and will sell the old. Can I maintain the old books in the two and use the books to increase the value of the old ?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Paulo!

      You would be violating the Terms of Service to sell your old Kindle with Kindle store content on it. If you have books on it that did not come from the Kindle store, it would depend on your licensing agreements with the place where you got them. For example, you could include books in the public domain from Project Gutenberg.

  25. Carolyn Says:

    My husband got a Kindle Paper White for his birthday from our daughter. I also have a kindle ap on my iPhone and would like to use his Kindle to read my books. Do I have to deregister him and register with my username and password to read my books on his Kindle? Will he lose his books if I deregister him?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Carolyn!

      The Paperwhite can only be registered to one account at a time, but you can switch back and forth. It’s easiest to think of the Kindle store books as belonging to the account, not the device…you won’t lose any books by deregistering: they’ll be waiting in the archives/Cloud for you when you re-register.

      So, you could change the registration to your account, download a book you bought previously on your account, and read it. When you are done, you can re-register it to his account.

  26. jake crouch Says:

    My sister gave me her kindle fire and I changed the registration from her name to mine, but after that it said that I need a credit card number to download stuff and buy things but I don’t have one. I’m sixteen years old and I can’t get in contact with my sister cause she’s living far away. Please help me.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jake!

      There are some things that require a credit/debit card, but other things can be done with gift cards.

      How are things normally paid for on the account? Do you apply gift cards, or is someone’s credit card on it? You shouldn’t tell me what sort of credit card, just be general about it.

  27. Stefanie Says:

    I bought my 10 y.o. a Kindle for Christmas. Presently, I have a Kindle registered to my Amazon Account. My husband, has
    Amazon prime and I want my daughter to have access to the “Prime” deals … can) she still have her own account and we will add her name to his Prime membership (w/ me managing it), or does her kindle have to be registered w/ the Prime Member? I hope that makes sense. Thank you!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Stefanie!

      Just so I’m clear:

      Your husband has an Amazon account, and has Amazon Prime.

      I think you have a Kindle registered to that account?

      You’d like your daughter to have her own account, have a Kindle registered to her account, and you want to share the Prime benefits (which go with the other account) with her?

      The Prime shipping benefits can be shared with someone not on your account.

      The other benefits (the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Instant Video) can not be shared.

      Here is the

      Amazon Help Page: Sharing Prime Benefits

      You might be able to accomplish what you want with her being on the family account (which would give her all of the Prime benefits). It depends a bit on which kind of Kindle she has as to which way you would set things up.

      What would you like her to be able to do/not do?

  28. Stefanie Says:

    Thank you! I think you answered my question. I want her to have the Kindle Lending Library. I got her the paper white Kindle (not fire). With that, I think we have no choice but to use my husband’s Prime account. We just don’t want her to have access to his books …although I think he only has 2 ….
    Thanks again!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Stefanie!

      Yes, to take advantage of the Kindle Owmers’ Lending Library, the device should be registered to the account with Prime.

      However, that does result in only up to two books a month (the Kindle First book and one other).

      You can control whether or not she sees your husband’s books using Kindle FreeTime, which is on the new generation Paperwhite.

  29. Kay Bennett Says:

    How do I register my mom’s old keyboard Kindle and create a new account. Does she have to reregister to keep all of her account information on her new Paper White Kindle.

    Thank you for all your help!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kay!

      Just to make sure I have this straight:

      You Mom had a Kindle Keyboard which she is giving to you. She’s gotten a new Paperwhite. She wants to have her new Paperwhite on the old account, and you are going to put the Kindle Keyboard on a different account?

      If that’s right, yes, she would register the Paperwhite to the old account. The Kindle store books she bought previously on that account will become available to the Paperwhite.

      Assuming you want yours on a new account (there is value in both being on the same account…you can share books), you can reset her old one to factory defaults…that will wipe everything off it that she put on there. It will keep the Kindle software, including any updates which have occurred.

      Home – Menu – Settings – Menu – Reset to Factory Defaults

      I think that last one is correct…been a little while. :)

      After it resets, it should take you through the registration. If it doesn’t, this should help:

      Register Your Kindle Keyboard Amazon help page

  30. Jessica Says:

    I had an older Kindle, (black and white) I have tons of books on it and just got a Kindle fire for Christmas from my husband. If im understanding all correctly I can deregister my old Kindle, the book i downloaded on it will stay until i delete them…

    My question, If I deregister my old kindle and delete the books off of the old Kindle, will I lose all my books I ever purchase in the library too? As I want them all to remain on my Kindle Fire. I am just trying to reset the old kindle so I can give it to my dad to use to start up his own thing..

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jessica!

      What you do on any given device won’t affect what is in your archives/Cloud. It is easiest to think of it as the books belonging to the account, not to the device or a person. Go ahead and reset your Kindle before you give it to your Dad, and the books you have previously purchased from the Kindle store will be in your archives/Cloud for you to be able to download to your new device (as long as it is registered to the same account).

      There are very rare exceptions where a book was removed from the Kindle store for legal reasons, such as infringing on a copyright. My understanding is that those will not be available in your archives/Cloud…to a new or an old device.

  31. Crystal Says:

    We registered my son’s kindle to my bf’s account then deregistered it to start a new, fresh account. (Figured a 5 yr old didn’t need to share libraries with a 38 yr old lol) my bf ordered the free trial of kindle FreeTime, would he need to cancel anything on his card or anywhere else to ensure his card doesn’t accrue automatic payments? If we want to use the same form of pAyment do we just reenter the same c.f. info under new kindle acct?

  32. razv Says:

    hello,
    if i buy a kindle paperwhite, i forget to check gift button and i give it to a friend. This firend will have access to my amazon account? He will have access to my personal information from amazon account ( billing, shipping, credit card….)even if he dont have my account password?He can buy anythig with my creditcard?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, razv!

      Your friend won’t have access to any of the account information…no credit card information, no billing address, no shipping. You can go to

      http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

      and deregister it from your account. That would prevent even buying Kindle store books. If a Kindle store book was bought on your account, you’ll get an e-mail…and you can return it (within seven days of purchase) for a refund at the above address.

  33. Carla Says:

    Best blog on kindles I’ve ever read thanks!!!

  34. Bonnie Coy Says:

    Great information but my question is about game apps. If I deregister my nephew’s kindle fire from my a/c, does he lose all the game apps he’s previously downloaded? Thanks so much!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Bonnie!

      The apps (from the Amazon Appstore) work very much like the e-books: they belong to the account. If you deregister his Fire, the apps he has downloaded to the device won’t work, and he won’t have access to the previously purchased ones on the account. If he re-registers to your account, he’ll have access again.

      Some games also can move your game progress from one device to another (on the same account). Those are games in the “GameCircle”. Here is more information from Amazon on that:

      GameCircle

  35. Tom Says:

    If a friend purchased a tv show, do I need to register my Kindle Fire on their account in order for me to watch? I can’t just log into their account?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      That’s an interesting question, and I’ll try to get a definitive answer.

      What you are suggesting is that your friend would authorize your device as a download device for the TV show, but it would stay registered to your account? My intuition is that it would be okay, since we can authorize other things which aren’t registered to our accounts (like a Roku box). I’ll ask, though, and post what I find out.

  36. Tom Says:

    Well the thing is, I wanted to watch a series. My friend already bought it and said I could log into their account and watch on my Kindle. I did this, but was unable to view. It kept giving me buy options even though the account said owned. Thanks for your help on this.

  37. bc Says:

    i have two kindle paperwhites, both registered to the same account. i would like to wipe out the content on the ‘old’ kindle (without having to individually ‘delete’ each of the 1000+ items!), then set up parental controls on ‘old’ kindle for my son. so, can i
    a)deregister ‘old’ kindle (thereby wiping it clean)
    b)re-register ‘old’ kindle BACK TO SAME ACCOUNT
    c)download new content i approve on ‘old’ kindle (and restrict access to the cloud via parental controls)?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, bc!

      Nice initials! ;) (They are the same as mine)

      You can do a factory reset on your old Paperwhite to wipe everything off it (simply deregistering it won’t clean it like that…the only thing the factory reset doesn’t do is remove the operating system and updates to it). Then, yes, re-register it to the same account, download what you want on to it, and set up your parental controls.

  38. ravinder kumar Says:

    I can read pdf doc files in kindle fire send via bluetooth

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Ravinder!

      I am not sure if you noticed, but the article on which you commented came out in December 2011. Things have changed in between. :-) Did you have a question?

  39. Sally Says:

    I can’t trace which account my daughter’s kindle is registered under. Strangely it is not registered on her own Amazon account or neither my one. How do I find out?

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