Menu map: Paperwhite 5.3.3

Menu map: Paperwhite 5.3.3

In the Menu Maps series of posts, I take you through the menu options on a specific Kindle device. That will make it easier for you to find things, and may make you aware of things you didn’t know your Kindle could do.

This time, I’m going to run through the menus on a Kindle Paperwhite (specifically, a wi-fi only USA model with Special Offers). This is based on firmware version 5.3.3. By the way, that “5” at the beginning is the same thing that the Kindle Touch used, suggesting Amazon considers this to an evolution of that device (models are indicated by the first number in the firmware version).

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 Paperwhite, you wake it up by pushing the power button on the bottom edge, and releasing it. That will light up the screen…you then swipe the screen (rub your finger on it) in any direction to complete the process. You may be opening to the Homescreen, or to something you were reading.

The “icon ribbon” (series of pictures at the top) represent something like a menu (it would be called a “toolbar” on a Windows PC). The first one (going left to right as you look at the screen) looks like a house, and will bring you home. Then, there is a left pointing chevron < (like an arrow without the stick), which is a back button (it will take you to your last activity). The next icon is a lightbulb…that lets you adjust the lighting. Next, there is a shopping cart, which takes to the store. The magnifying glass lets you search your device, and then we get to the menu (three horizontal lines).

Tap the menu, and you get:

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • View Special Offers
  • Cover View (or List View…it will be whichever one you aren’t on now. List View shows you the names of the items on your device…Cover View will show you the cover of, for example, e-books)
  • Create New Collection
  • Sync (with Amazon) and Check for Items
  • Settings
  • Experimental Browser

I think most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but feel free to ask questions about the ones I don’t cover by commenting on this post.

If you tap Settings, you’ll get an important sub-menu:

    • Airplane Mode: you’ll see the current state, and you can turn it on or off. Airplane Mode means that the wireless is turned off. Why not just say that? On devices with other connectivity, Airplane Mode turns them all off, and calling it that makes it consistent. For instance, my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE 64 GB has wi-fi, 4G, and Bluetooth. Turning on Airplane Mode there turns off all three of those with one move. Some people find the term “Airplane Mode” confusing. When  you are getting on the airplane, you would turn on Airplane Mode. When you are getting off, you might turn it off (to gain access again)
    • Wi-Fi Networks: use this to connect to networks
    • Registration: tap this to deregister or register your device
    • Device Options: Tap this for another submenu:
    • *Device Passcode: enter a password to protect your Kindle
    • *Parental Controls: you can turn on and off access to: the Web Browser; Kindle Store; Cloud. The third one means the user (who may or may not be a child) can not access the archives on your account. If you enable Parental Controls, the device can not be deregistered or reset. When you’ve locked the Kindle Store, you can still send books to the device by buying them on your computer or sending them from
    • Device Time: choose between setting it automatically, or set it manually. You might use the latter if you were traveling somewhere (say, camping) where you won’t have wi-fi
    • Personalize your Kindle: the choices there
    • * Device Name
    • * Personal Info (you can add a message here, including contact information)
    • * Recommended Content: you can turn on and off the recommendations that appear when you are in Cover View
    • * Send to Kindle E-Mail: this address is used when you e-mail documents to your Kindle. You can not change it here, but it is displayed here. You change it at the Manage Your Kindle address above
    • Language and Dictionaries: you can change which interface language your Kindle uses (SimplifiedChinese, English UK, English USA, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish); change keyboards (to match the above language choices); and set the dictionaries
    • Reading Options:
    • * Annotations Backup: on or off…this lets Amazon automatically back up your notes and  highlights, the last page read, and your Collections (so you can import them to another device)
    • * Popular Highlights: on or off…you can see what other people have highlighted in this book (if at least three people have, I believe)
    • * Public Notes (if you follow people at, you can see their notes in your books
    • * Page Refresh (you can choose whether or not your Paperwhite refreshes the screen with each page turn)
    • * Social Networks: connect to Twitter and/or Facebook (you’ll need a wireless connection to do that)

When you are in the Settings menu, you can get to another menu by tapping the menu button again:

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • Update Your Kindle (this will only be active if your device has downloaded an update which has not yet been applied)
  • Restart: this is how Amazon says you should restart your device if it is responsive…if not responsive, you can hold in the power button on the device
  • Reset Device: CAUTION…while this often fixes things, it will wipe everything personal off your device. That means you would lose wi-fi networks you’ve had the device remember, internet bookmarks, personal documents, and so on
  • Legal: 274 pages of legalese
  • Sync and Check for Items

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 the menu.

You’ll see the same icon ribbon as you saw on the homescreen, and there are four more options before you even get to the menu:

  • Aa: that’s where you can set the font size, the font, the line spacing, and the margins
  • Go To: lets you jump to the Beginning, the Page or Location…and may give you a link for each chapter, as well as to the end of the book
  • X-Ray brings up the x-ray information for the book…characters and terms. Not all books have this
  • Share: you can type a message about the book, and share it with Twitter and/or Facebook

In the Menu inside a book:

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • Book Description: it will need to connect to the book’s product page using wireless
  • About the Author
  • Landscape or Portrait Mode: it will show you whichever one you aren’t right now…landscape is wider than it is tall, portrait is taller than it is wide
  • Sync to Furthest Page Read: it will check with Amazon to get that information
  • Add Bookmark
  • View Notes & Marks
  • Reading Progress: you can choose between it displaying your location in the book, the time left in the chapter, or the time left in the book. This is what shows when you are reading the book and you don’t tap the menu. The latter two average out your reading speed, so it won’t work right when you first get the device
  • Settings: that opens the Settings menu from above. You can put your Kindle in Airplane Mode by tapping toward the top middle of the page, tapping the Menu, tapping Settings, and tapping Airplane Mode

Other types of content, like blogs, newspapers, and magazines will have additional menus, but that should get you started. 🙂

I like to do this from time to time to keep a record of the menus as Amazon issues updates which may change them in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment this post.

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


2 Responses to “Menu map: Paperwhite 5.3.3”

  1. G. B. Anderson Says:

    One thing I’m not clear on is how to both highlight and leave a note about a particular passage. Any advice?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, G.B.!

      Sure. First, you can highlight the passage. Then, touch drag it again, and choose to add the note. I believe you just have to do it in two actions.

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