How to Remove Ads on Kindle Touch, Keyboard or Kindle 4

If you bought a new Kindle for the holidays, it probably came with Amazon’s Special Offers, which are ads that appear on the screen while the device is asleep. The only Kindle product without a Special Offers component is the Kindle Fire. But if you own a new Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, or Kindle 4 (3G or Wi-Fi), you’ve probably noticed the ads by now.

Chances are, the person who gifted you the eReader didn’t know they were also gifting you advertising pleasure. Amazon has been aggressive about Special Offers releases. Not only do they advertise lower prices as the default price, but all Kindles sold at physical retail outlets are Special Offers enabled.

Consumers can purchase ad-free Kindles from Amazon’s website. If you got it as a gift, there is a way to get rid of these ads. Unfortunately, you have to pay extra if you don’t mind doing a little hacking.

Touch on the left and Kindle 4 on the right

To remove ads by paying, log into your Amazon.com account in your browser and go to: Manage Your Kindle. Click Manage Your Devices in the left-hand column under “Your Kindle Account.”

You will see a list of registered devices as well as columns for Type, Transactions, and Special Offers. Click Edit under Special Offers to start the unsubscribe process.

Amazon will charge you the difference between the Special Offer price and the regular price ($30 – $50) to turn off ads.

Once done, turn on your Kindle’s Wi-Fi or 3G and sync it with Amazon servers (refreshing the library starts this process). Once synced, Amazon will turn off Special Offers and you’ll have an ad-free Kindle.

The process is simple and quick, but I’m sure many people were pleasantly shocked when they discovered that their gift contained warnings. While some will choose to ignore the ads or do so because they can’t pay to get rid of them, others have an unexpected extra vacation expense.

If you’re comfortable with doing some hacking, a hardworking developer named Pat Hartl I found a way to remove ads using a vulnerability in Kindle Touch this allows users to root the device with an MP3 file. No hacking skills required. But note that this may not work with Kindle Keyboard or Kindle 4.

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The first part of the post on his site explains how to jailbreak and then use some Linux commands to get rid of the ads. But if you scroll down, you’ll see that Hartl has found a way to make it a whole lot easier.

  • Click here to download Pat Hartl’s .zip file Contains all necessary components. Unzip it back to a folder you can easily find (I usually create a special folder on my desktop). Replace the screensaver.png included in the zip file with your own.
  • Connect your Kindle to your computer with the USB cable, then copy all the files including the Music folder to the parent folder of your Kindle.
  • Go to the MP3 player (Menu > Experimental > MP3 Player) and tap Your device should reboot without ads and using the screensaver you created.
  • To turn ads back on, go back to the MP3 player and tap the track again. It will automatically reverse itself.

    As with any jailbreak/hacking, there are some caveats. First, this may void your warranty on Amazon; This means that if you need support or a replacement part for your Kindle, you may be out of luck. Second, since this hack is new, there’s no way of knowing if Amazon will know if you’ve turned off the ads. It is possible for them to say. Because Special Offers pricing is a subsidy, Amazon may still charge you the extra money if they find out about you. Finally, this attack also disrupts the Kindle’s ability to receive software updates from Amazon.

    Those are your two choices: pay to get rid of the ads and keep your warranty intact, or get rid of the ads for free and possibly piss off Amazon. I know some people are angry enough about the situation to choose the latter.

    Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.