Kindle users beware: Amazon has announced a critical update for a slew of devices in its Kindle range and you will need to download the new software before 22 March or key features will no longer work.

If you fail to nab the latest version of the software, you will no longer be able to access cloud services, update the device remotely over WiFi or even purchase books from the book store which, all things considered, is quite an important feature for an e-reader.

As previously reported, a number of devices will need the vital update:

  • Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
  • Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
  • Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
  • Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)

First, if you are unsure which version of software your Kindle is currently running, you can check by following these instructions:

  • KindleKeyboard: Press the Menu button on the home screen and select Settings. The software version will be displayed at the bottom of the page.
  • Kindle Touch/Kindle Paperwhite: Tap the Menu icon on the home screen and choose Settings. Tap the Menu icon, then choose Device Info.

Then, you can follow these step-by-step guides to update your device:

Update Your Kindle E-Reader via WiFi

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2015)
Newer models like the Kindle Paperwhite (pictured) are not impacted by the critical updateIBTimes UK

If your Kindle e-reader does not have the latest software version, connect your device to Wi-Fi to receive the software update.

To update your Kindle once connected to WiFi:

  • From the Home screen of your Kindle, select Menu or tap the Menu icon, and then choose Sync and Check for Items.
  • Plug your Kindle in, and leave your Kindle plugged in and connected to a Wi-Fi network overnight.

While the device is asleep, the software update will download and install automatically. Your device may restart multiple times during the update process, Amazon state. Then, you will get a final confirmation letter titled 03-2016 Successful Update on your device when the update is complete.

Update Your Kindle E-Reader via Wireless

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2015)
Users are being urged to update software now to stay connected to key Amazon servicesIBTimes UK

If your Kindle (1st Generation), Kindle (2nd Generation), or Kindle DX (2nd Generation) does not have the latest software version, make sure your device is connected wirelessly, and then sync the Kindle. Based on the model, follow these exact steps:

Kindle (1st Generation)

  • Move the wireless switch on the back of your Kindle to the 'on' position.
  • From the Home screen of your Kindle, select Menu, and then choose Check for New Items.
  • Plug your Kindle in, and leave your Kindle plugged in and connected to its wireless network overnight.

Kindle (2nd Generation) or Kindle DX (2nd Generation)

  • From the Home screen of your Kindle, press the Menu button.
  • Select Turn Wireless On with the 5-way controller.
  • Press the Menu button again and select Sync & Check for Items.
  • Plug your Kindle in, and leave your Kindle plugged in and connected to its wireless network overnight.

While asleep, the software update will download and install automatically. The device may restart multiple times during the update process. Same as the WiFi update, you will get a final confirmation letter titled 03-2016 Successful Update on your device when the update is complete.

If you are unsure about what exact device you own you can consult the Amazon Kindle help page for more information. In any case, don't fret if you can't get the download before March 22 – you will still be able to download it manually by connecting the device to your computer via USB.