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Customer Discussions > Bufo Calvin forum

What to do if your Kindle is lost or stolen

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Showing 1-25 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2009 10:42:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 12, 2013 3:52:14 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
NOTE: This is an unofficial answer by a forum member like you. :) Please contact Amazon for official answers.

Many Kindle owners become very fond of the devices. It's devastating for many to think of their Kindles being lost or stolen, but unfortunately, it does happen. Kindles have a high value on the secondary market (E-Bay, Craig's List, local newspapers), so there is definitely motivation for thieves.

If it does happen, what should you do?

The first question is whether there is a risk that someone has it that you don't trust. You may feel different if you left it at a family member's house than if you left it in a restaurant.

If a "bad guy" could have it, deregister the device. That is what Amazon recommends here:

If your Kindle is lost or stolen, or you transfer ownership to another person, you will need to deregister your Kindle from your account.

While registered, your Kindle can access your account. A user can make purchases using your 1-click settings, which could place significant charges on your credit card. If you have a gift card/certificate balance on your account, your 1-click purchases will first draw from that, before using the credit card.

It's important to note that the Amazon policy says:

We are not responsible if a Gift Card is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without your permission.

According to the policy, then, if your Kindle is stolen and you have a gift card/certificate balance and purchases are made, you will be out that money.

If you deregister the Kindle, it can not access the Whispernet (the Kindle's internet access), and it can not be used for purchases.

If you do not deregister it, the finder can deregister it directly from the Kindle, so you do not protect yourself by leaving it registered.

EDIT: Maggie Leung, a Kindle forum member, also pointed out that a thief could use a stolen Kindle to get into your e-mail accounts or other websites if your password is stored. This could let them get to confidential information. Deregistering will prevent this.

What else should you do besides deregistering it?

1. Complete a police report. Although a Kindle is likely to be considered petty theft (the typical cut-off is $400: while a Kindle DX costs more than that, it may not be assessed at new value). The police may be able to recover it, and having a police report may help with other steps

2. It's possible your renter's/homeowner's insurance may come into play. Check your deductible: it may be higher than the value of the Kindle. However, if the Kindle was only one of the things stolen, you may have a claim

3. You may want to check the Lost & Found where you were. Some people have reported success with that

4. Contact Amazon, and ask them to "blacklist" the device. When it is blacklisted, it can not be registered by someone else. If it does show up, you can call them and they can unblacklist it so you can re-register it

5. Edited to add: if you have any subscriptions through the Kindle store (magazines, newspapers, blogs) which are delivered to the lost Kindle first, go to, and click or tap "Subscription Settings". You can cancel them or have them sent to another device. Deregistering a Kindle will not stop you from being charged for a subscription going to that device

Amazon is not an enforcement agency, and will not be the ones going after a thief. They do not have a way to verify your report that it was stolen. You could have sold it to someone else, and then reported it stolen. Another likely scenario is that a thief steals it from Customer A and sells it to innocent Customer B. Amazon can not compromise Customer B's privacy by giving any information about that person to Customer A.

If you report it to the police, it's reasonable that Amazon would cooperate with an investigation. In the scenario above, when Customer B went to register it, Amazon could report it to the police (if the police had made such a request). The police might then recover it, and return it to Customer A (after any ownership dispute was resolved). Catching the thief might be more resource-intensive, and Customer B would probably be out both the money and the Kindle.

If your Kindle is recovered and you reregister it, you will still have access to your Kindle store items. If you had personal documents or books from other sources, they will still be on the Kindle unless they were deleted by a thief (who might just do a factory reset).

If you get a new Kindle, you will have access to books you previously bought from the Kindle store (but not back issues of subscriptions). See:

If you buy a new Kindle, and the old one is recovered within thirty days, you can return the new Kindle for a full refund (you need the original packaging and accessories and it needs to be in original condition). The instructions are here:

NOTE: You may want to consider a recovery service like TrackItBack or Stuffbak. You purchase a sticker, which has a phone number a finder can call. The recovery service acts as a go-between, and no personal information is exchanged.

For more Frequently Asked Kindle Questions, please see:

(Amazon threads and pages relevant to the discussion)

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 7:08:37 AM PST
Glenda says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 4:01:07 PM PST
mimi says:
Yikes! I now have my Kindle password protected. It will take an extra 5 seconds to get to my reading material... but well worth it should I "misplace" my Kindle in some form or fashion. The fact that someone has access to an infinite number of books to add to THEIR new Kindle, on my credit card, is food for thought for all new Kindle purchasers. Maybe the directions that come with the new Kindles should emphasize the importance of a password. Thanks for making my Kindle life feel more secure in this crazy world.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 5:17:55 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
kb, maybe I wasn't clear.

There is no risk to your credit long as you are checking the e-mail account. With every purchase, you get an e-mail. You can "return" a book within seven days for a refund. I see I should rewrite that can place charges on the credit card, but you can get them reversed...within seven days.

However, a gift card/certificate balance which was used would be lost, according to Amazon's Help Pages.

Posted on Aug 3, 2011 4:35:13 AM PDT
D. Baker says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 10:00:04 AM PDT
A. Curley says:
Great post! I just realized I likely left my kindle behind on a flight home from Tokyo. I was hesitant to unregister it in case the airline is able to find it but thanks to your post learned I can always go back if it's returned. I've also requested it be blacklisted - hopefully that will increase the likelihood of it's return since it won't be of much use to anybody else.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2011 10:40:16 AM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Thanks, A.!

I hope you get it back, but you've taken the right first steps. Thanks for letting me know you found the post helpful. :)

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 1:23:12 AM PDT
NiteOOwl says:
Bufo, do you think Amazon will ever use a "Find My Kindle" feature? I gave my grandson an extra iPad I had (yes, I had two) and messed with him a couple of times with the "find" before he caught on. It would tell me where he was down to the street in Los Angeles.

Your instructions will be very helpful next time someone asks. Thanks.


Posted on Nov 4, 2012 6:53:55 AM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
Sure, NiteOOwl, that's possible.

I tried out a third party "Find My Kindle" app on my Kindle Fire 1st Generation, and it didn't work at all well for me. That may be easier with a a real GPS in it in the future, and I did have some readers tell me it worked okay for them.

You can find the find :) apps in the Amazon Appstore.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 2:08:38 PM PST
NiteOOwl says:
I don't know how helpful the "find" feature really is, anyway, since it can be turned off on the device being tracked. If I stole an iSomething, that would be the first thing I did.

The app store is amazing. I remember when every program that ran on Apple fit on one spinning rack. Nobody could configure the only word processor (can't remember the name of it) and I ended up making copies of mine right and left for prople.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 3:57:41 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
NiteOOwl, it depends on the implementation, and the situation.

Let's deal with the latter one first. :)

In many cases, it hasn't been stolen...just lost. In that case, it is valuable.

Second, the software can be set up in such a way that it can't be turned off easily...or even deleted easily.

The one I tried was

Locate My Kindle

It has those features; it just couldn't find my location third.

Third, not all crooks are as smart as you. :) I've dealt with a number of them; I was both a retailer manager (lots of shoplifting in that business) and a banker (I was in a number of robberies). Most crooks could make more money working at McDonald's with less risk, so that's a bit of an indicator right there. ;) They don't all do it for the money, of course, and there are smart crooks...but not all of them are.

It might have been WordStar, or maybe MacWrite...there were others.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 5:29:27 PM PST
NiteOOwl says:
Bufo, the word processor was WordPerfect. It used every function key and every combination of function keys that you could imagine. I finally had to make a cheat sheet but it was a great program once you got it working.

Most of the crime here involves stealing from tourists' parked cars when they stupidly leave valuables in plain view.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:37:14 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
People continued to use WordPerfect for quite some time. You had a cheat sheet, but many of us had little plastic cut-outs that went over the keyboard keys, and had shortcuts on them. :)

WordPerfect versus Microsoft Word is an interesting story. The way I understand it is that many people thought it was silly that Microsoft introduced menu-based functions in Word. They figured only people with professional-level typing skills would use a word processor, so why did they need those menus?

Turned out they were wrong... ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 6:52:18 PM PST
NiteOOwl says:
Oh yeah, I remember those plastic things, but I often assigned contrary tasks to my keys and my paper served me better with my specific sequences. I loved that program. I was managing my late husband's medical office at the time and used it to design all the office forms until I finally got the practice computerized in 1985. Is there anyone who doesn't need a word processor these days?

Posted on May 1, 2013 11:50:30 AM PDT
Ken C says:
How do you blacklist your lost/stolen kindle?

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2013 11:57:16 AM PDT
NiteOOwl says:
Read Bufo's post:

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2013 1:13:01 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Ken, contact Kindle Support.

Assuming you bought it from or at a store in the USA, you can start at

If you got it somewhere else, please post again.

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 5:28:17 PM PDT
I think my Kindle Paperwhite might be lost/stolen -- have been turning the house upside down and can't find it.

I know that I set it up so that a password was needed to make purchases, so I shouldn't have to worry about someone using my account. If someone else has it, is there a way to know if they have tried to re-register it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 6:35:22 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Georgann, sorry to hear that!

Unless someone figures out the password, you are correct...they won't get to your account. They can reset the device, but that would not give them access to the account.

You can prevent someone from re-registering it by contacting Amazon through

and having them "blacklist" it.

You won't know if someone has attempted to do so. One of the main reasons people steal electronic devices is to sell them to someone else. That person may have bought it innocently, and not know it was stolen. Amazon obviously can't give out information about that party to someone else, without instructions to do so from a legal entity. If you've filed a police report, then you might be given more information by your police...but they may not get involved very much if only a Kindle was stolen, since that is petty theft, as I understand it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2013 9:54:05 PM PDT
Just wanted to say thanks for the help, Bufo, and to close the loop. I managed to find my Paperwhite (last place looked, and all that).

The real win out of this experience for me is to know about your forum, and the help that's available from other Kindle users. I love my Kindle too, and will definitely keep better track of it in the future! But if the unthinkable happens and it does get stolen, I now know how to handle that too. Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2013 6:51:27 AM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Georgeann, that's great to hear!

Thanks for the kind words!

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 8:47:26 AM PDT
A. Prescod says:
My Kindle is lost. I don't think it was stolen but misplaced. If I deregister it, will it be permanently disabled (bricked)? Can I reregister it again if it turns up?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2013 8:26:30 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
A., sorry to hear that!

A deregistered Kindle is not bricked. It can be re-registered. You do want to contact Kindle Support at

and ask them to "blacklist it" if you think a "bad guy" might have it. That will stop someone else from re-registering it to their account, which complicates things. Then, if it is found by you or returned to you, you can contact them again to remove the blacklist so you can re-register it.

If it's a Kindle Fire, deregistering it will remove Kindle store content, but you can download it again after you re-register it.

Posted on Oct 20, 2013 4:49:34 PM PDT
langerking says:
I left my Kindle on a United Airlines flight on August 7th. I reported the loss, deregistered it and blacklisted the unit.
On October 15th I received an email that my Kindle had been found! Can hardly believe it, but I received it this past Friday and it is alive and well! The dereg and blacklisting will not brick the unit, it was working fine when it was returned. But you can't sign into Amazon to get Apps or updates. One call to Amazon and it's straightened out!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2013 4:54:00 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Thanks for posting that, langerking! I'm glad it worked for you the way I thought it would...and congratulations on getting it back!

If you don't mind sharing, did you get it back directly from Amazon?
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Discussion in:  Bufo Calvin forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  59
Initial post:  Aug 9, 2009
Latest post:  Aug 17, 2016

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