New update available for the Kindle Fire 6.3.1: some people reporting being locked out of the internet
This was just announced by Amazon, and I’m not in a place I can test it right now. Update: I have tested it…see below.
Note: there are quite a few reports of the update locking people out of the internet (and possibly out of other functions on the Kindle Fire). Please see the end of this post. If it’s happened to you, please indicate the factors in the second poll…that may help identify what is causing the problem.
They have a new software update available for the Kindle Fire.
This is just since the last major update on March 29th:
Typically, a major update will change the second number, a minor update will tack on to that…so you would think this would be minor.
However, this description on the page intrigues me:
“We have a new, free software update available for Kindle Fire. This update brings additional parental controls to Kindle Fire, including the ability to password-protect purchases, disable access to specific content libraries, and block access to the Silk web browser. As with all software updates, these new features will be delivered automatically to your Kindle Fire.”
I’m champing at the bit to get more information on this! Can you block Silk without blocking downloading from the archives? What does “specific content libraries” mean here?
As soon as I can give you more information, I will, but I thought you’d want to know. If you do the update, I’d appreciate you letting me and my readers know what you see.
Update: Old Rocker in the
has done the update, and nicely checked a couple of things at my request. I will confirm it as soon as I can.
The choices under Parental Controls were reported to be:
- Web Browser – Blocked/Unblocked
- Password Protect Purchases On/Off
- Password Protect Video Playback On/Off
- Block and Unblock Content Types Newstand/Books/Music/Video/Docs/Apps
- Password Protect WiFi On/Off
I asked if when you clicked on Block and Unblock Content Types if you could block a specific book title, and Old Rocker said no.
If this is accurate, it’s still a big step forward. One issue people have had is young kids watching R-rated free Prime streaming video. This apparently allows you to block video playback, so it would solve that issue.
The Web Browser and Wi-Fi are listed separately…which may mean you can allow download from the archives (the “Cloud”) while blocking going to websites.
Update: okay, I got over to public wi-fi and did the update…it was raining, and I went uphill…both ways. Just kidding, but it was raining on the way over.
I used just my Fire. The trick to that for me has been to use the free ES File Explorer app to put it in my kindleupdates folder on my Fire.
Once done, and the update was complete…I think this is a great enhancement!
First, let me say…I had parental controls on my wi-fi before the update…I wanted to see if the update accidentally wiped that out, and it didn’t. It was still in place when I was updated.
What I’ve seen so far is the changes in the parental controls:
Settings Gear – More – Parental Controls
You now have:
- Parental Controls On/Off
- Web Browser Blocked/Unblocked
- Password Protect Purchases On/Off
- Password Protect Video Playback On/Of
- Block and Unblock Content Types (Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps)
- Password Protect Wi-Fi
- Change Password
Update: regular reader, commenter, and Kindle Forum pro tuxgirl posted this
It suggests that some people have been able to reset the parental control password without resetting to factory defaults. That would be by going to
Settings Gear – More – Parental Controls
I don’t have that confirmed as working yet, though.
Perhaps more importantly, tuxgirl also posted this
about what to do before resetting to factory defaults.
Julie Mattson in the Amazon Kindle community made a good point.
If you are locked out of the Silk browser, but not out of the web (it’s unclear as to who is being locked out of what at this point), you could use a different browser.
There is this one in the Amazon Appstore:
I had downloaded it previously, but I haven’t tried it…I’ve heard good things about it.
Update: here’s a possibility. So far, the poll overwhelmingly indicates that the problem is with people whose Kindle automatically updated, not with people who did manual updates.
If you are having the password prompt problem, you could try going to
and doing the manual update…even if you already updated automatically. I don’t know if that would work, but the update package does appear to disappear after the update has been completed, so it might.
If that works for you (removes the password prompt after the update), please let me know…thanks!
Update: I just let my Significant Other’s update automatically. No problem…and there wasn’t a parental control password on it before.
Update: In this
*~*Pineapple*~* reports that Will K., the forum moderator has a possible fix for the “unknown password lockout” problem. They are recommending deregistering the Kindle Fire and then registering it from
That supposedly removes the password requirement.
It’s unclear if it would work if you did deregister/register from the device. If you have to do it from MYK, you’ll need the serial number, which you can get from
Settings Gear – More – Device
This would be a better solution than resetting to factory defaults (also done in the same place as the serial number), but it still means you’d have to re-do some things. This is what I had happen when I deregistered a Fire before:
* The Kindle store books were gone, but could be redownloaded
* My reading preferences (text size, color mode) were gone
* My music stayed on the device…even if I had purchased it from Amazon
* Videos that I had downloaded from Amazon were gone
* My personal documents were still there (that can be a really significant difference with resetting)
* My apps were still there (and presumably, my game progress and such, but I didn’t check that)
* My web bookmarks were wiped out
Okay, let me clarify my comment a bit, because I see they are doing a particular sequence.
It sounds like they don’t want your Kindle to know it has been deregistered and reregistered, so they have you do that process while the Kindle is turned off. That might mean you don’t have to redownload the things I said in upthread post.
I’m not quite sure how that affects the password, then…I wouldn’t have thought it was stored on the server, or they likely could have reset it.
So, here’s the sequence as I understand it:
Turn your Kindle Fire off (hold the power button in for a few seconds until it asks you if you want to Shut Down the Kindle, and tap that option.
This puts the Kindle out of communication with the Amazon servers. It would seem that turning off the wi-fi would do the same thing, but the restart might have been part of the process.
and click or tap on
Manage Your Devices
Copy your Kindle Fire’s serial number. You can highlight it, do CTRL+C. If you want it for later as well, you could paste it (CTRL+V) into something like Notepad.
Click or tap on Deregister for your Fire.
Click or tap on Register a Kindle (at the top of the list on your right).
Register your Kindle Fire (you should be able to paste the serial number here).
When that’s complete, start your Kindle Fire again using the power button.
It may take a minute to start up.
From what I’m hearing, you won’t need to register it again. You may need to do
Settings Gear – Sync
Supposedly, that will have removed the parental control password.
It sounds like it will have left all of your content on the device as well.
If this works the way I think it does, following the sequence above would be important. If you turned your Kindle on while the server thought the device was deregistered, that might cause you to have your content removed from the device.
Comment this post if you have tried this and it has or has not worked for you.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.