This 2020 ‘how to’ guide for the Amazon Kindle Keyboard (3rd generation) eReader is about both the ‘Wi-Fi & 3G’ and the Wi-Fi only model covering jailbreak, custom screensaver, comic reading, book conversion, audio books and other instructions.
Warning: Following some of the instructions in this blog post could damage your Kindle or stop it from working and break Amazon’s T&Cs! You use any of my information at your own risk! Don’t take any risks if you’re not comfortable with ending up with a dead or faulty ereader!
Please note: This blog post covers how I’ve used two different Kindle 3 models. There is some serious tech heavy ‘how to’ stuff accompanying the simple tips. It’s not a complete guide, but based on how I’ve used the Kindle 3 over the years.
This blog post covers:
- How to deregister a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- How to assign an Amazon account to a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- How to download ebooks to a Kindle 3 via USB
- How to download ebooks to a Kindle 3 via WiFi
- How to change the font size on a Kindle 3G
- How to turn on Text to Speech if the eBook allows it
- How to change the volume on the Kindle 3
- How to rotate the screen on the Kindle 3
- What do the Kindle 3 charging lights mean?
- How to turn the Kindle 3 on and off
- How to convert ebooks for reading on the Kindle 3
- How can you find out if you have the Kindle 3G model?
- What is the latest Kindle 3 firmware version?
- How to update the Kindle 3 firmware/software – Method #1
- How to update the Kindle 3 firmware/software – Method #2
- How to activate a Kindle 3 Keyboard for Audible use
- How to Transfer Audible audio books to a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- How to view comic strips/photos on the Kindle 3
- How to take a screenshot on a Kindle 3
- How setup custom screen savers on the Kindle 3 keyboard B00A (includes Jailbreak details)
My father gave me a refurbished Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G + WiFi many years ago and I was so impressed, that I purchased my fiancée the Kindle Keyboard WiFi.
This is a third generation Kindle released in 2010 and I’ve been happily using my Kindle 3 for a decade. I mostly keep the wifi off, don’t listen to music and I’ve not had a need to replace the battery yet.
I place my ebooks into categories, kept the software up-to-date, did a jailbreak in June 2020 and now my screen saver is the book cover of the ebook I’m currently reading. Ten years after first starting to use the old Kindle, I’m still a fan of the ebook reader.
This is a huge web page, but it doesn’t cover all functionality and buttons, but what I’ve used over the last decade. I didn’t write this guide quickly, but took my time and I hope you find it useful.
If you’ve got a Kindle ereader, please leave a comment at the bottom.
How to deregister a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
- From the ‘Settings’ menu, select ‘deregister’.
- From the ‘Deregister Your Kindle’ pop-up, again select ‘deregister’, to confirm you wish to unlink this Kindle from an Amazon account.
You can also deregister a Kindle 3 via the Amazon website. It should be noted you don’t require access to a person’s Amazon account if you’re deregistering via the Kindle itself. I purchased a deceased person’s Kindle (not a Kindle 3) at a car boot sale and deregistered without using a password.
How to assign an Amazon account to a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- Press the ‘Menu’ button and then join a trusted wireless network.
- Again from the ‘Settings’ menu select ‘register’ from the ‘Registration’ option.
- If you already have an Amazon account, select that option and continue. *
- In the ‘Amazon Account Information’ pop-up, type in your Amazon email address and password, then select ‘submit’.
Once successfully registered, the account holder’s name will be displayed in the ‘Registration’ section in ‘Settings’.
How to download ebooks to a Kindle 3 via USB
- Connect the Kindle 3 to a PC via a USB cable.
- Copy the ebooks across to the Kindle’s drive.
If I’ve not purchased an ebook from Amazon, the above method is how I transfer an eBook to the Kindle.
How to download ebooks to a Kindle 3 via WiFi
- Connect the Kindle 3 to a WiFi network.
- Select the ebook from the list and press the right arrow.
- Then select ‘add to home’.
At the time of writing, you can also select to send an ebook to the Kindle 3 keyboard. Another method is to open an ebook on your Kindle that hasn’t been downloaded yet. Then if you have an internet connection it should download the ebook.
How to change the font size on a Kindle 3G
- Open an ebook on your Kindle.
- Press Aa at the bottom of the keyboard.
- Now select your font size.
You can also select the typeface, line spacing and words per line via the same menu.
How to turn on Text to Speech if the eBook allows it
Please note: I think TTS support is disable for some ebooks, which is a huge shame. Perhaps there is an ‘audible’ version of the book instead?
- Open an ebook.
- Hold the shift key (arrow up) and ‘Sym’ key to toggle on and off.
A second method to turn the text to speech on, is to press the Aa button and then you can again toggle the option on and off, as well as select pause.
This is one of the most underrated features on the device! When you turn it on, it will take a moment and then a male voice will start reading the ebook and it will turn the pages automatically as it reads.
How to change the volume on the Kindle 3
- At the bottom of the Kindle you can toggle volume pressing the minus and plus symbols.
How to rotate the screen on the Kindle 3
- Press the Aa button on the keyboard.
- Scroll down to ‘Screen Rotation’ and choose the orientation.
What do the Kindle 3 charging lights mean?
If the orange light is on when charging, it means the device is still being charged. When the green light appears, it means the Kindle is fully charged.
How to turn the Kindle 3 on and off
- Briefly slide the power toggle to turn on.
- To turn off hold the power toggle until the screen turns goes blank.
If you need to do a ‘hard reset’, you hold the power switch for thirty seconds.
Even when you’ve turned the Kindle 3 off, at some stage it will eventually lose charge and you will need to recharge the battery.
How to convert ebooks for reading on the Kindle 3
I’m not saying it will be possible to convert all unsupported ebooks, but you might want to use the impressive free Calibre software to attempt a conversion.
From my own experience, I’ve found Calibre helpful with document and formatting conversions. I have no need to remove DRM protection, but I believe the Calibre software could be used to attempt DRM ebook removal.
How can you find out if you have the Kindle 3G model?
- When not reading a book, press the ‘Menu’ button.
- Scroll down and select ‘Settings’.
- Under ‘Device Info’ you see either ‘Wi-Fi’ or ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ under ‘Network Capability’.
What is the latest Kindle 3 firmware version?
You can find out the version of your Kindle near the device info, which was mentioned above. At the time of writing this part of the blog post (June 2020), the firmware version I’ve installed on both the Wi-Fi only and the Wi-Fi and 3G Kindle 3 keyboards is: Kindle 3.4.3, which I found here.
Warning: As well as reading the warning at the beginning of this blog post, please also understand that to update the firmware/software you should make sure your Kindle is fully charged before proceeding.
How to update the Kindle 3 firmware/software – Method #1
- Visit the Amazon Kindle software page and download the correct version for your Kindle.
- Connect your Kindle to a PC with it being in ‘USB Drive Mode’ and move the firmware file to the Kindle.
- Once the firmware has been moved across, eject the Kindle safely from the PC.
- Turn off the Kindle and then turn it back on.
If the above didn’t work for you, try what I did on the Kindle 3 Keyboard (Wi-Fi only)
How to update the Kindle 3 firmware/software – Method #2
- If reading an ebook, return to the book listings.
- Press the ‘Menu’ button and then select ‘Settings’.
- Again, press ‘Menu’ and select ‘Update Your Kindle’.
- Then if you’re willing to proceed, agree to ‘Update Your Kindle’.
How to activate a Kindle 3 Keyboard for Audible use
When I tried to activate my Kindle 3 to listen to an audio book from Audible via a WiFi and broadband connection I got a ‘Device activation error’.
However I was able to activate (June 2020) by connecting the Kindle 3 to a Windows 10 PC running the AudibleManager software.
How to Transfer Audible audio books to a Kindle 3 Keyboard
- Connect your Kindle 3 Keyboard to the Windows PC so it’s in ‘USB Drive Mode’.
- Open the AudibleManager software on a Windows PC.
- In the Audible website look at your library of purchases and select ‘Download’.
- Once the admhelper.adh file has been downloaded, open it and it should download and transfer the audio book to the Kindle.
Please note: Above is how I download and transfer Audible audio books to my Kindle. I am not stating it is the only way to download and transfer audio books to the device! I don’t know if there are other methods in 2020 and I’m informing you of the method I use.
How to view comic strips/photos on the Kindle 3
- Connect your Kindle 3 to a computer.
- In the ‘pictures’ directory, either create a new folder and move the images to that folder or move a zip file containing images to the folder.
- Safely disconnect the Kindle from the computer.
If you don’t see your files listed on the Kindle 3, press Alt-Z to refresh the file list. When viewing an image you can press Aa for options such as rotate and size. I’ve viewed jpg and png images on the Kindle 3 and you use the page turn buttons to move between images.
The picture mode is really meant for manga comic book reading, but it might be okay for comic strips. Whilst it would be ideal to resize photos to 600×800, it should resize images. If you don’t resize images, the Kindle could struggle and even crash after a while.
The files are listed onside your ebook listings and an advantage of using a zip file is that you save on file space.
If you want to go further you could use the ‘Kindle Comic Converter’ which works with a variety of file formats, including being able to convert CBZ, CBR and CB7 to EPUB and MOBI format. The software even has a configuration for the Kindle keyboard!
Then with a MOBI ebook you can press Aa for the options: fit-to-screen, 150%, 200%, 300% and actual size. Personally I wouldn’t bother trying to view large comics that originally weren’t B&W on a Kindle 3 keyboard, but I thought I would tell you how you could do so.
How to take a screenshot on a Kindle 3
Whether you’re reading an ebook or viewing an image file, you can press the alt, shift and g buttons together to take a screenshot which is saved as a gif file.
How I setup custom screensavers on the Kindle 3 keyboard B00A
In June 2020 I installed a custom screensaver on the Kindle 3 Keyboard Wi-Fi and 3G GB version with serial B00A.
Warning: Please note that I’m not recommending you modify your Kindle 3 and you could break it as well as break Amazon’s T&Cs. The below instructions are only for the Kindle 3 Keyboard ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ GB model that has a serial that begins with B00A.
If you break your Kindle, don’t blame me! I am not vouching for any files you download and use! If your serial doesn’t begin with B00A don’t use the files linked.
The instructions below ‘jailbreak’ the Kindle as well as customise the device to show custom screensaver images. I am unsure if all the steps below are required, but steps one to nice are what I did to my Kindle 3 Keyboard with a serial beginning with B00A.
I don’t know if any other features don’t work because of what I did to my Kindle 3. I have not tried to uninstall the custom screensaver and I’m unsure if the Kindle 3 can be reset to factory settings once modified.
If you do try these instructions, please make sure your Kindle is fully charged before you begin and at any stage, make sure you have plenty of battery power left to complete a task.
I want to thank everybody for all their hard work modifying the Kindle. Below are the exact steps I took for my specific version of the Kindle 3 keyboard. The files I used and associated uninstall files can be found here. I performed the below instruction on a Kindle that is running software version 3.4.3.
- Connect the Kindle as a USB drive to a PC and place Update_jailbreak_0.13.N_k3gb_install.bin in the Kindle’s main directory.
- Safely eject the Kindle from the PC.
- Press the ‘Menu’ button, select ‘Settings’ and then press the ‘Menu’ button again. Now select ‘Update Your Kindle’, followed by a restart.
- Repeat steps one to three, but this time for the Update_mkk-20141129-k3gb-B00A_install.bin file.
- Place the file KUAL-KDK-1.0.azw2 in the documents folder and open the file via the ebook listings to run it.
- Repeat step one to three for the Update_python_0.14.N_k3gb_install.bin file.
- Now again repeat the first three steps for the Update_ss_0.47.N_k3gb_install.bin file.
- Place 600×800 PNG images in the \linkss\screensavers\ folder.
- Safely eject the Kindle from the PC and reboot the Kindle.
You can find some alternative Kindle 3 screensaver images here.
Apparently I’m using over a 1GB of user content on a Kindle 3 keyboard. This includes some Audible audio books and I’ve still plenty of storage space left.
I monitor a list I have for Kindle ebooks on Amazon if a price drops on an ebook, I then make a decision. I’m still happily using an old Kindle 3rd generation.