Menu map: Touch 5.1.0

Menu map: Touch 5.1.0

I’ve done this kind of thing for the Kindle Fire in my book, Love Your Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet, and I’ve done it in this blog before for other models. I think this may become a regular feature, but do let me know if you find it helpful (or not).

I’m going to run through the menus on a Kindle Touch (specifically, a wi-fi only Kindle Touch with Special Offers in the USA). This is based on firmware version 5.1.0.

I’ll add comments where I think that’s appropriate. Do feel free to comment on this post if you have more questions.

What is a menu?

It gives you options, just like a menu in a restaurant. You select a menu (you might be tapping, clicking, arrowing and hitting enter…depends on the device), and see a series of choices. You pick one (if you want), and that “launches” (starts) something on your device.

With the Touch, you would first wake it up or turn it on with the power button on the bottom (press and release).

Those four horizontal lines below the screen are the “Home” button. I’ve heard people asking if that was a speaker or a vent. I personally would have made it look like a little house, because four horizontal lines typically means a menu, rather than Home.

The Menu button is in your top right corner of the screen. Tap that.

  • Menu (with an X…if you tapped this by mistake, the X will close it with no changes)
  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • View Archived Items (these items available to be downloaded to this Kindle from the account…and there is a place here to import Collections from another device. This will only be up to date if your Kindle has done a sync with Amazon since the last change)
  • View Special Offers
  • Create New Collections
  • Sync and Check for Items (this will communicate with Amazon’s servers. Not only will this download new items, it may set the time, get you an update, and so on. If your wireless is not on, it will ask you to do that…your Kindle can’t communicate with the server with the wireless off)
  • Sort By…> (tapping this gives you four sort options…Recent ((which is the default)), Title, Author, or Collections ((if you have created any)))
  • Settings (a very important menu)
  • Experimental (Web Browser, MP3 Player, Text-to-Speech…but TTS doesn’t do anything here. This is a list of experimental features, and TTS only works in something you’ve opened that you can use that feature, like a book)

Let’s take a look at the Settings menu:

There are four sections here:

  • Registration
  • Wi-Fi Networks
  • Device Options
  • Reading Options

Here’s the key thing, and something that might surprise you.

You got here by doing


You can hit Menu again to see another menu.

You got here through a menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Menu to get even deeper.


  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • Update Your Kindle (if you have an update package on your Kindle which hasn’t been executed yet…this option is generally “grayed out”, or what geeks may call “disabled”. You see the option, but can only select it in certain circumstances)
  • Restart (this will restart the Kindle, which is often a fix for problems. You may need to sync with Amazon after doing a restart. This is a way to restart the Kindle using the software (going through the menus and the “user interface”), so you may see it called a “soft restart”. You can also restart a Kindle Touch by holding in the power button for at least twenty seconds. That uses the hardware (the button), so you may see the term “hard restart”. Amazon has indicated that it is better to use the software restart when possible. If your Kindle is non-responsive, that’s when you use the hard restart
  • Reset Device (this used to be called Reset to Factory Defaults. This is a really radical thing to do, and should be used with caution and when other options have been tried. It will wipe out everything you’ve done to your Kindle, except firmware updates. You’ll lose personal documents on the device, it will forget your wi-fi networks ((so you may need to enter a password again)), it will lose your internet bookmarks…pretty much everything. It’s appropriate to do this when giving or selling your Kindle to someone not on your device, or if you have a problem you just can’t fix any other way)
  • Device Info (this is sometimes crucial information for someone helping you, and I do wish it was a bit less buried. It gives you your firmware version, the memory you have left on your device, the wi-fi capability, the serial number, the Wi-fi MAC ((Media Access Control)) address)
  • Legal (254 pages of small print that you can’t enlarge)
  • Sync and Check for Items

You may notice that this sub-menu inside Settings has some of the same options as the main Home menu. Yes, that can happen…not every menu is unique. Gee, for some reason, Amazon likes to make the “Shop in Kindle Store” option available in several places. 😉

Within a book

To access the Menu from within a book, you first tap towards the top of the screen, in the middle horizontally, then tap Menu.

  • Menu
  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • Landscape Mode (switch it so the image is wider than it is tall)
  • Sync to Furthest Page Read (this has to connect to wireless, because it is to coordinate between different devices. Device A has told Amazon’s servers how far you have read on that book. Device B wants to get that information from the server, to set the book to the same point. That works well when the same person is reading the same book on more than one device. It’s not something you are going to use if two different people are reading the same book on different devices)
  • Book description (requires wireless…it gets that information from the Amazon website. An X-Ray enabled book downloads information about the book to store locally, although I don’t believe that affects this menu choice)
  • Add Bookmark
  • View Notes & Marks
  • Share (this lets you write a note about the book and share it with others)
  • Turn on Text-to-Speech (this may be grayed out, if the publisher has blocked text-to-speech access)

Those aren’t the only menus: you’ll have a different menu in different types of content. For example, a magazine will have a menu option to “Keep This Issue”, which keeps a copy of that specific issue locally on that device. If you don’t do that, you’ll eventually lose that issue as new ones come it. That kept issue is not saved for you on Amazon’s servers…just that local copy which is keyed to work only on that specific device.

Let me know if you think this was useful. I think it will help people find what they need more quickly. It also lets me document what is in the menus, so I can compare them after an update. 🙂

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

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