Kindle Tips & Tricks

Here’s a list of tips, tricks, and hacks for the Amazon Kindle that I’ve uncovered. Some of these are valid for the original Kindle and some are valid for the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Alt+Shift+M – Start a game of Minesweeper.  While in the game you can press G for a version of “Go”
  • Alt-T – Shows time (only on the original Kindle; does not work on the Kindle 2 or Kindle DX…booo!)
  • Alt-Shift-o – In picture viewer, set the current picture as the screensaver
  • Alt-Shift-G – Take a screenshot of the currently displayed screen. A .GIF file will be created in the \documents folder (plug the device in to your computer to access).
  • Hold the power slider for 5 seconds – Reset (Kindle 2 and Kindle DX only).

Storing & Viewing Pictures

The Picture Viewer on the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX is disabled by default and you enable it by creating the \pictures folder on the device. After you’ve created a sub-directory (you can’t put photos in the root of \pictures!) press Alt-A to tell the device to refresh the listing.

ss3 To copy pictures to your Kindle 2 or Kindle DX and be able to view them, connect your device via USB and create a directory named “pictures” in the root of the mounted drive.  Create sub-directories with your pictures in that folder and each sub-directory will show up as a “book” on your home page on the device.

The Picture Viewer is really slow and clunky which explains why it’s a hidden feature…

I found a tool called Mangle that will reformat pictures to the right size (600×800 for the Kindle 2 and 825×1200 fore the Kindle DX) as well as convert them to grayscale. This makes loading them quicker and they take up less space on the device. Mangle is designed for people who like to read Manga (I’m not a fan personally) but works well enough for just converting pictures. 


ss1 In the search box enter simple math formulas (e.g. 2+2) and it will show you the result of the calculation in the search results.  It supports basic math & trig functions and you can use parenthesis for grouping.


Displaying the Time

ss2 On the original Kindle you could display the time by pressing Alt-T.  This no longer works on the Kindle 2 or Kindle DX which really bums me out.  However, I did discovered that you can enter “@time" as a search (see below) and it will display the date & time in a popup.


In any search box you can prefix your search phrase with “@” commands.  To enter that @ character on the 2 and DX you need to type some other character first to get the search box to come up and then backspace over it, then use the SYM key to bring up the symbol menu.

  • @help (searches help)
  • @web (searches the web using Google…boo! It should use Bing!)
  • @wiki (searches wikipedia)
  • @store (searches the Kindle store)
  • @time (shows the time)

Run Diagnostics

While in settings:

Type 411 to show diagnostics information.

Type 611 for even more diagnostics (something called a diagnostic data service call)


  1. Donald Chance says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Would you happen to know information on the new (due to release Nov. 15TH) Kindle Fire? For instance; Which store would receive the “fire” the earliest? Staples will have them three weeks later on Dec. 8TH, I need the kindle Fire by the end of Nov.. Target, which sells Kindle’s does not even have any information on the “Fire”. I enjoyed reading your tips and tricks with kindle devices. You may e-mail me at

    1. I have no idea. Sorry.

      Sent from my Windows Phone. Expect brevity & dangerous driving. ________________________________

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