Like most consumer electronics, there are times when the Amazon Kindle may freeze or not respond to shut down commands. When the Kindle behaves in this fashion, it can place strain on your Kindle's hardware -- hardware that was intended to be shut down at least periodically. Should your Kindle freeze or refuse to shut down, there are a few things you can do to try and regain control of your device.

Resetting Your Kindle

Using the power switch, you can forcibly reset your Kindle device. This reset will shut down the Kindle without accessing the shutdown command from within the Kindle's operating system -- a particularly useful tool when dealing with a frozen Kindle. To initiate a hard shutdown, disconnect the Kindle from its charger, then slide and hold the power switch for about 20 seconds. This should force the Kindle to shut down, at which point it can be restarted normally.

Software Update

If your Kindle won't respond to a hard reset via the power switch but is otherwise operational, updating the device's software may be a viable solution. The inability to shutdown may be the result of a software error which may be corrected through an update. If your Kindle is operating with version 4.1.0, you can directly update to 4.1.1. If your Kindle uses an older version, you will need to update to 4.1.0 first, then update to 4.1.1.

To update the software, connect the Kindle to your computer via USB cable and download the software files (see Resources) to your desktop or a convenient storage location. Once the computer recognizes the Kindle, drag and drop the update file to the Kindle drive through File Explorer and wait for the transfer to complete. Once it's finished, eject the Kindle. On the Home Screen press "Menu | Settings | Menu | Update Your Kindle." Pressing "OK" will begin the update process, which will cause your Kindle to automatically restart when finished.

Forced Battery Depletion

If neither a forced reset or update is successful, you may have to eliminate the Kindle's energy source. While with some devices you can remove the battery and force the device to instantly shut down, the Kindle's battery is inaccessible without removing the entire back panel. In addition to being a time-consuming and difficult task without the right tools, removing the panel and the battery may void the warranty. However, constant operation will eventually deplete the battery and force the device to shut off. Disconnect the Kindle from all power sources and allow as long as necessary for the battery to completely drain and the device to shut down. Once finished, connect the Kindle to a power supply and restart as normal.

Customer Support

If the Kindle still won't shut down or the problem recurs, there may be something more serious wrong with your Kindle. Should your Kindle continue to function abnormally, contact Amazon customer support (see Resources). Amazon's technical support staff should be able to assist in diagnosing the problem and identifying a solution.