Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device”

Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device”

This is hopefully an error on the

Amazon Help Page

It says something which didn’t used to be true in the past, and would be a big change if it is true now.

It says specifically:

“Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device.

You do need to remove all purchased material from the Kindle device. Existing purchased Kindle content already on a device cannot be given as a gift according to the License Agreement and Terms of Use of the Amazon Kindle.”

The first paragraph is new…I thought at first it was contradicted by the second paragraph, but it really isn’t.

Not too long ago, I wrote about people getting a message that their content would be deleted on a Kindle app in this earlier post.

If what this help page says is true, it ends the register/deregister dance (r/dd).  It means you can’t download books on to a child’s Kindle, deregister it so they can’t access the Whispernet, and register it again when you want to add more books.

It means that if you lost your Collections, deregistered and reregistered to bring them back, you’d have to redownload all of your books.

I’ve just recently sent Amazon a couple of questions, and they don’t like it when I send too many too quickly.

I don’t want to test this myself on the Kindle I have with me…I have personal documents on it, and while I would assume those wouldn’t be wiped, I’d have a real problem if they were.

That means I’m not testing this right now.

If any of you have experienced this (where you deregistered and the books deleted from your Kindle) or have other comments, I’d love to know.

I hope this is a mistake…but it may not be.

Update: I’ll back up my Kindle and test this later today.

Update: Okay, I’ve tested it.  Either the Help page is a mistake, or it’s just early in some way.

I backed up Orac (my current Kindle).  I deregistered it.  No change on what was on it.  I restarted Orac: the same.  No titles were removed (Kindle store or otherwise).

One interesting thing: it didn’t forget my wi-fi network.  That makes sense: I didn’t do a factory reset, just a restart.

We’ll see if they announce a change soon, but for now, the r/dd still works, for those of you who do it.

One other thing I hadn’t noticed before.  When I went to


it says

“This device and any content purchased in the Kindle Store are registered to the Amazon user shown below.

Registered User: Bufo Calvin”

I don’t think that was there before.

Update: Amazon has updated the language, so it does say it works the way people think that it works:

“…once the Kindle is deregistered, any books, subscriptions, or other content you’ve purchased from the Kindle Store will no longer be delivered to the device.”

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

38 Responses to “Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device””

  1. Common Sense Says:

    I just did this for my mom’s Mother’s Day gift with no problem but it could be newer. I did notice though, that when she registered it the first time, it looked like all of the content was gone, but a reset brought it all back.

    I find the following statements contradictory:

    “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device.”

    “You do need to remove all purchased material from the Kindle device.”

    If deregistering removes all content then why would you need to remove it manually?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Common!

      Well, I first thought it was contradictory, but since the second one doesn’t say “manually”, they may have just added the “do” to make it explain why they disappear.

  2. Common Sense Says:

    Also, how could that change without a software update?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing again, Common!

      It’s possible that we’ll get a minor update without realizing it. It’s also possible the Help page is leading the actual change. I’ll test it out later on and see what happens. I only noticed the change today, so it might be new…or near future, possibly. Again, it could also be a mistake.

      I’m not convinced that it would need a local software update, by the way…we know Amazon has the ability to delete things remotely…they did it with the Orwell book (although they have said they wouldn’t do it again in those circumstances, these would be different circumstances).

  3. Tom Madsen Says:

    One other thing…
    I had bought my now old girlfriend one. She had my books loaded but then created her own account. Maybe before turning on the wifi, and most of the books she had on there were gone. So maybe if you register another account they can go ‘poof’

    Oh and yes she did blame me 🙂

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      When was that? It used to be that wasn’t true, at least from everything I had been hearing. Many people did the r/dd without a poofing. 🙂 I didn’t test that last night by registering Orac to another account…but the Help page says it’s when you deregister, not reregister.

  4. D. Knight Says:

    I wish I had seen this post yesterday morning. I just exchanged Kindles, and I sent my old one back yesterday. I deregistered and then reset it to factory settings right before boxing it up. I didn’t notice that anything was removed from the Kindle when I deregistered it, but I didn’t specifically look. However, I’m a pretty observant person and I probably would have noticed if a lot of stuff was removed (I had a *lot* of books on the Kindle, but they were categorized). So my impression is that nothing was removed, but I am not 100% sure. It did take a rather long time to do the factory reset–like it was removing a lot of stuff.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, D.!

      A factory reset should remove everything (except operating system updates)…always has before, and that’s what the name suggests it will do. A restart shouldn’t, though.

  5. D. Knight Says:

    I also should add that the deregistration process was very quick–it did not take the time needed to delete a lot of books.

  6. Mark Says:

    Resetting to Factory Default does indeed remove all books and emptied my collections.

    I did however copied the documents folder of my Kindle onto my desktop.

    When I reset my Kindle, I found out that reloading my books back onto the Kindle was much faster.

    I had to go back and re-enter the books back into my collections, but it didn’t take too long for that.

    I believe that this collections issue will eventually be resolved in the next Kindle 4 or even the next few OS upgrades.

    There are far too many books being downloaded that will eventually be required to placed into collections.

    I hope that Amazon will perhaps even offer a ‘collections’ service where the books will offer a customized collections option where you can place your books.

    Can you imagine what it will be like in ten years from now?

    Can you imagine what your library will hold?


    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mark!

      One thing I thought was particularly interesting: I did not have to do anything to get my Collections back.

      When I re-registered the Kindle, it imported the Collections on its own.

      What the process had been in the past was that the Collections for a given Kindle were stored at Amazon…until the device was deregistered.

      Let’s say you had created Collections on Kindle A and then got Kindle B. The process was:

      1. Download the books you wanted in the Collections on Kindle B

      2. Go to Home-Menu-View Archived Items

      3. Add Other Device Collections

      It was important to do it that order: download the books, then add the Collections. I’m not sure what Collections issue you want resolved…what is it in particular?

      The biggest thing that would help with this is device-specific archives, which is something I’ve been speculating about for a while. That would allow the storage of Collections in the archives. Right now, you could have 100 or more devices on the account, and they could each have thier own (and contradictory) Archives.

      When you do want to put a lot of books into Collections currently, it’s easiest to do it from the Collection, not the individual book. I find that is quite fast.

      1. Home-Menu-Create New Collection

      2. Right-click, Add/Remove Items

      3. Add the ones you want, then click Home. You don’t have to go to the bottom and click Done

      I think I can imagine what my library will hold. I haven’t been surprised by what could go into my library for decades. I imagined interactive books with audio/video back then, and books that would evolve as you read them.

      This was a speculation I did ten years in to the future in 2010 (speculating about 2020):

      As to the delivery systems…no, I probably can’t predict that…although I could imagine some options. Amazon has surprised me already with some hardware/software changes. 🙂

  7. Mark Says:

    I was just trying different and faster way to add books to my Kindle by backing up the documents folder onto my Mac instead of downloading them again from Amazon.

    Also trying to sort out books into collections so as to find them easier.

    Not to hard to find a book in a few hundred, but it will pose more of a problem when people start searching a few thousand books. or even tens of thousands.

    Good Reading,


    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mark!

      Yes, I do back up my Documents folder regularly, especially since I keep quite a few personal documents on it.

      Once you put the books into Collections, your Collections are backed up for you by Amazon (well, after a sync). It’s nice to not have to create them again or put the books into them again. They could enhance the functionality, certainly.

  8. horrorsuspense Says:

    Then what are people paying for when they buy a book on kindle?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, horrorsuspense!

      When people “buy a book” from the Kindle store, they are actually buying a license for the book. That license typically allows multiple simultaneous devices to have the book licensed for them at the same time (the default number is six), but they have to be on the same account.

      That’s something that confuses some people: since you have to specify a device, they think the book belongs to the device. It doesn’t, fortunately, it belongs to the account.

      Why is that fortunate?

      If the license belonged to the device and that device was lost/stolen/failed, you’d no longer have access to the book. Instead, since it belongs to the account, if that happens you can simply download it to another device on the account at no additional charge.

      It’s never really made sense to me that when a device was no longer on the account, you could still read the local copies…according to the way it is sold. However (and I realize you may not have seen the latest updated version of the post), the Amazon statement I quoted as the title of the post appears to be inaccurate: I deregistered a device, and the local copies stayed on it.

      Buying a paperbook and buying an e-book license in the Kindle store are two very different things, and they each have their advantages. For me, the Kindle version is better. The big advantage of the paperbook purchase is that you own that copy of the book and can do whatever you want with the copy (not with the content, of course…you can’t adapt it into a movie or make and sell additional copies, typically). You can sell it, you can give it away, you can burn it. If something does happen to that copy, you are responsible for it….drop a paperback in a pool, and you can’t call the publisher to give you a free replacement.

      I’ve never been a person to sell my books, or to give away ones I bought for myself to read (although I’ve bought many for other people). I have, though, had to replace books and had bought multiple copies for people in my family to have and read. With the Kindle store license, we have four people in two timezones reading the same book (even at the same time, if we want) for one purchase price…that works better for us.

      So, a person buys a license in the Kindle store that is independent of a given device, and can be used to read the book on multiple devices.

      They get many other things when they buy a Kindle store book, of course. The Kindle service includes free backup of the book, for example.

  9. Should you own two Kindles? « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] too long ago, I wrote about Amazon saying that deregistering your Kindle would remove all the content. I suggested at the time […]

  10. products Says:


    […]Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device” « I Love My Kindle[…]…

  11. Sam Says:

    My mother and I both have kindles but on different amazon accounts. When I buy a new book that she wants to read I deregister her kindle, register it with my amazon account, and then going to Mange My Kindle and deliver the book to “Lisa’s Kindle.” Once its delievered I then deregister her kindle and put her amazon accout back on it. Nothing disappears and I have done this several times.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sam!

      Yes, that confirms what I said in my testing in the post to which you responded (which is from 2011, by the way). 🙂

      That is not true for the Kindle Fire, which was released after I posted this.

      By the way, you are doing what is called the Register/Deregister Dance (or R/DD…at least I call it that). 😉

  12. E. Wheaton Says:

    Do does that mean that when you deregister your kindle the books d games are still there but you can’t access them?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, E.!

      To clarify this, there was a statement that indicated that deregistering a Kindle would remove the content. As mentioned in the post, I tested that, and the content was not removed. Amazon also changed the language.

      However, that is not the same with a Kindle Fire. When you deregister a Kindle Fire, you will not be able to read the Kindle Store books you downloaded to it. I’d have to check to see if the files are removed, or if they just can’t be opened. I’m not in a good place to check this right now…I believe the books will not show up on the Books tab on a Kindle Fire after you deregister.

      • C. Rowe Says:

        I could use some help. My friend gave her first Kindle to her daughter. When my friend got her third kindle her daughter got the second one, I got the original so it had been deregistered twice. Here’s my problem…all of my friend’s books are there but there is nothing under content on my account. I get it…because I didn’t buy them. But what I really want is just to be able to browse the titles on a device larger than the Kindle to see what I want to keep and what I want to delete. I’ve had no luck opening the Kindle on my laptop.

  13. nannygoat Says:

    I just tried to deregister a Kindle Fire (earlier edition) to keep children from accessing/purchasing. When it completed the deregister, all the content was gone. I had to register and redownload it all. Just FYI.

  14. Betty Says:

    I got a kindle fire last year 2013 and now I’m thinking of giving is to some one. What do I need to do if I give it to someone?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Betty!

      That’s nice of you!

      I would deregister it from the account (unless you are going to share an account), and reset it to factory defaults. That will wipe everything off it. It’s against the Terms of Service with Amazon to give someone a device with Kindle store books on it.

      That said, you could put some public domain books on there after you reset it, such as those from Project Gutenberg:

      You can deregister it at

      where it says “Your Devices”.

      To reset it, go to the home screen and swipe down from the top. Use the Settings Gear. It should be under Device Options…Reset to Factory Defaults.

  15. Timothy Says:

    So I want to deregister my kindle… Will it erase all my progress on games that are stored locally and not saved anywhere other than on my kindle?

  16. Hig8 Says:

    Hi, my fiancée just bought me a kindle.

    She has her own.

    I’ve fired the new one up and it has her details on it. I want to use my own Amazon account to purchase books but received the deregister message.

    My concern is that if I deregister the device (on my device) it will remove everything. From HER device.

    Is that what will happen?


  17. Rose stephens Says:

    Question: I have 3 iPads and 1 iPod. If I deregister one iPad, will this deregister all my other iPad and iPod?

  18. Nancy hays Says:

    How do I stop 10.00 monthly charge for kindle unlimited

  19. It’s ILMK’s 8th birthday…and I’m celebrating with two giveaways! | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Amazon: “Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device” […]

  20. Nick Says:

    Hi. I’ve purchased a Kindle and when I wanted to register. It suddenly lagged and then asked me if I want log in to my Facebook or Twitter but little did I know. I was in someone else’s account and in a moment of panic. I accidentally signed out before I unlinked my kindle account. Can you please Help? Thank You.

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