The Settings menu on the K3
Here’s one of the main Kindle tips: when in doubt, hit the Menu key. That’s sort of like right-clicking on a Windows computer. What it does is give you more choices. It doesn’t change anything itself, so it’s safe.
That’s not 100% true on a Windows computer, because people can make the right-click change something…but that’s not the way it normally works.
The other reason why you should use the menu when you aren’t sure is that the menu changes depending on where you are and what you are doing. It’s what we geeks call “context sensitive”: it changes depending on the context of what you are doing. Even when you are in a menu, hit the menu button…you might be surprised.
Let’s take a look at one of the menus…this is different on earlier models of the Kindle, by the way. I’m also using the 3G and wi-fi model, but I think that one and the wi-fi only model have the same Settings menu.
Hit the Home button, then hit Menu. Next, select Settings.
This is an important one. The choice (which will be automatically underlined when the menu opens) will be to either register or deregister the device (depending on the current state of the device). If you deregister it, it will no longer be on your account. It won’t be able to use the 3G (but will be able to use the wi-fi). You won’t be able to buy things from the Kindle store. However, someone else could register it to their account (you do need the password and the username to do that). You can also do this from
It’s telling me who the registered owner is (in my case, Bufo Calvin). I don’t think it used to do that, but I’m not 100% sure.
The option here is to edit.
Amazon gives your Kindle a default name, but you can change it here (or on that Manage Your Kindle page above). Why would you want to do that? It’s fun. :) Also, you could put your contact information as the name of your Kindle. That way, it would appear on the home page if you lost your Kindle. You need to consider whether you want that information visible or not, though. When you go to download something, it will default (go to automatically) the first named Kindle alphabetically on the account. You can certainly change it so that specific item is sent to a different device, though. You can not have two Kindles on the same account with the same name.
The option here is to view.
If you make this choice when the wireless is off, it will ask you if you want to turn it on. Click OK if you want to check for wi-fi networks, tell the Kindle to forget a network to which you are connected (so it doesn’t automatically connect in the future when you enter the range of that network), and so on.
There are no choices to make here, so there is no option selected.
You’ll see your wi-fi MAC (Media Access Control) address. It’s what identifies your Kindle to a network, basically. Unless you are doing some sophisticated work with your network, you probably won’t use this.
You’ll also see your device’s serial number. You should record this, in case the Kindle is lost or stolen. You may not need it, but the police might want it if you file a report. You may want to just take a screenshot of this page, and store it somewhere else. You do that with Alt+Shift+G (shift is the Up Arrow). The GIF will be in your Kindle’s Documents folder.
At the bottom of the screen on your left, you’ll see Page 1 of 3. On your right, you’ll see the current version of the software on your Kindle…that’s one way to tell whether you have the most recent update or not.
Hit either of the Next Page buttons to get to the next screen of settings.
The default option here is to turn on (unless it already on, in which case the option will be to turn off).
Turning this on activates one of the new features of the K3, the audible menus. This is a great innovation for the visually impaired. If you don’t need it, you’d probably find it too much. I do use it sometimes, like when I am driving, so I don’t have to look at the device. It can help you navigate the menus. If you are helping a person with a vision issue, we got here with Home-Menu-Settings, Next Page, click.
This is an informational section, so no options.
This will tell you what the e-mail address is for this device. That’s the address to which you send personal documents. However, if you send them to that address, you’ll be charged a fee. If you add the word “free” after the @ symbol, it becomes a free address. For example, if it said BufoCalvin@kindle.com, you could send something to BufoCalvin@free.kindle.com. Then, if you do send something to that address, you’ll get a link to the converted file in your normal e-mail (the one you use to log into Amazon). Even better, though, it will deliver to your Kindle wirelessly for free when you are connected via wi-fi. You may wonder why I dared to use my own address here: you can only send documents to a Kindle from an address that has been specifically authorized.
The default option is to turn on.
If you turn this on, you will be asked to enter a password. You’ll have to enter the password to get the Kindle out of sleep mode. For more information, see this previous post. You can also enter a password hint…this is another location where you could put your contact information. If you had the password option on, and someone went to wake up the Kindle, they’ll be asked to enter the password. They’ll be instructed that if they don’t know the password, they should hit down on the 5-way. At that point, they’ll see the hint you entered. Be careful about this password option. If you forget your password and it has to be reset by Amazon, you’ll lose everything personal on your Kindle…including personal documents and web bookmarks.
The default option here is to set manually.
This is new on the K3s. Earlier Kindles got their time from the cell tower. However, since a Kindle with a wi-fi option may never connect to a cell tower, we’ve been given a way to set the time manually.
The default option here is to turn off.
Amazon will back up your annotations (notes, bookmarks, and highlights) for you on books you buy from the Kindle store. You may wonder why someone would want to turn this off. One reason is that you might not want the notes one person is making on one Kindle to go to a second Kindle on the account reading the same book. The other thing is that some people prefer not to participate in the Popular Highlights program. If you have Annotations Backup turned on, and you highlight the exact same thing that at least two other Kindleers participating in the program highlighted, that becomes a “popular highlight”. It will appear underlined on devices which have not turned off the feature (see below). You can not both have automatic backup and decline to participate in the Popular Highlights program.
The default option here will be to turn off.
This is where you choose whether or not to see the popular highlights underlined in books on this device. This does not affect whether or not your highlights become part of the program…you do that with Annotations Backup (see above).
Hit either of the Next Page buttons to get to the next screen of settings.
The default option is to manage.
If you choose manage, you can set up your Kindle’s connection to Twitter and/or FaceBook.
The default option here will be to edit.
You can enter anything you want here as personal information. You could put your contact information here, but that does mean that other people might see it. It would probably take someone who know about Kindles (or is pretty persistent) to find this buried where it is. If you make your device name your contact information, it will appear on the homescreen.
Whew! That’s enough for this post…there is a sub-menu when you hit Menu while in the Settings, but I’ll deal with that in another post.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to ask.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog