Kindle Tutorial: How to Touch a Paperwhite

This video tutorial takes about eight minutes to show you some tips for easy navigation of the Kindle Paperwhite’s touch screen. I had new users in mind when I prepared this, emphasizing the different actions that result from a tap or a tap-and-hold, as well as how to highlight and how to make a screenshot. If you have other tips to help new users get the most out of this latest and greatest E Ink Kindle, please leave them in Comments.

I want to thank Chris Kraft of Splash Media for suggesting that I do this video. Sorry it took so long to get it done!

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Comments 62

  1. K H Acton wrote:

    Can you begin a highlight on one page and carry it over to the next? I can do this on my K3 (keyboard) but not on my Fire.

    Posted 29 Oct 2012 at 9:36 am
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Yes, and I’m sorry I did not mention that in the video. You start the highlight on one page and move your finger (or stylus) to the very bottom-right corner of the screen. Pause for a moment, and the page will advance to the next page, which will all be highlighted. You can keep going to another page, or move your finger back up the second page to where you want the multi-page highlight to end. Thanks for asking the question!

    Posted 29 Oct 2012 at 11:34 am
  3. K H Acton wrote:

    Thanks for the quick answer; it was one of the only things to give me apprehension as I wait for my PW.

    Posted 29 Oct 2012 at 12:26 pm
  4. Chris Westergaard wrote:

    Len, thanks for the video. I pre-ordered a Paperwhite for my wife to replace her damaged Kindle Keyboard. She was having issues getting used to the touch screen, but now she feels very comfortable. I, however, am just plain jealous, as I’m coveting her Paperwhite’s screen while I read on my year old basic Kindle.

    Posted 30 Oct 2012 at 11:29 pm
  5. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Chris, I can understand your covetous feelings toward your wife’s Paperwhite. If it helps you justify buying one for yourself, you could donate your trusty basic Kindle to E-Books for Troops, and we will make sure it has a valued second life!

    Posted 30 Oct 2012 at 11:33 pm
  6. Jason Packham wrote:

    I’ve been loving my Paperwhite. I like the ability to quickly switch the reading progress indicator in the bottom left corner by tapping that area. I also LOVE the ‘X mins left in chapter/book’ feature. One question/minor irritation I have is that I can’t see anywhere how many locations are in the book I’m reading. On previous kindles it says Loc 5 of 2500, or whatever. Now, as far as I can tell, it just says Loc 400. It does tell me % complete but that would require me to do math while I’m reading. Is there something I’m missing? Over the past few years I’ve trained my mind to think more in terms of locations and I can get a better sense of how long a book is by number of locations, more so than page numbers.

    Posted 02 Nov 2012 at 3:58 pm
  7. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jason, I agree it’s not as convenient but here is a way to see the total locations in a book when you have the book open: Tap at the top to reveal the menu bars, tap on “Go To,” tap on “Page or Location.” There you will see “Enter a location ( 1 – X) with X the total locations in the book. It’s a lot more taps than earlier versions.

    Posted 02 Nov 2012 at 4:05 pm
  8. Jason Packham wrote:

    Thanks, Len. That helps…not ideal but at least it’s there. I’d like it if they’d even put it in the product details section of the book description.

    Posted 02 Nov 2012 at 4:21 pm
  9. Len Edgerly wrote:

    That would make a lot of sense.

    Posted 02 Nov 2012 at 4:23 pm
  10. Julie wrote:

    If I tap once at the top of the page of the book I am reading at the bottom left it says

    Loc 1543 of 3990

    I see percentage read in the bottom right, and minutes left in chapter and book.

    Posted 02 Nov 2012 at 6:14 pm
  11. Jim Pugh wrote:

    Do you know of a way to move by chapters on the Paperwhite? It was an ascending or descending (depending on moving forward or back) swipe on the Touch but seems to have disappeared from the Paperwhite. Thanks.

    Posted 26 Dec 2012 at 11:43 am
  12. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jim, I believe they dropped that capability in moving from the Touch to the Paperwhite. One thing I noticed is that my wife Darlene often skipped to the next chapter without knowing what happened, so that may have been a problem they wanted to avoid.

    Posted 26 Dec 2012 at 1:45 pm
  13. Shane Roe wrote:

    Gosh, Len, to me that really makes the Paperwhite a lot less useful for scholarly study where you need to jump from chapter to chapter. It’s fine, I guess, if you’re reading a novel, but for other things, not so much.

    Posted 31 Jan 2013 at 12:00 am
  14. Len Edgerly wrote:

    I see your point, Shane. A well constructed Table of Contents with live links might make up for the loss of chapter jumps with up or down swipes.

    Posted 31 Jan 2013 at 12:11 am
  15. Jackie Busheikin wrote:

    Just got a new paperwhite – I am a bit confused about the collections. Had my previous kindle set with collections and all the books were filed in one or another. I have collections set up on my paperwhite but I can’t get rid of the duplicate titles on my homepage.

    Also , can i set it up so that the collections are always listed at the top of the home page rather than the most recent thing I looked at?


    Posted 06 Feb 2013 at 3:04 pm
  16. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jackie, try setting the sort by pull down on home page to Collections. That should solve both problems.

    Posted 08 Feb 2013 at 12:43 pm
  17. Tracy wrote:

    Thanks soooo much from technophobe new to kindle from the UK! Great tips and look forward now to getting started. x

    Posted 03 Apr 2013 at 1:34 pm
  18. Jude Fisher wrote:

    I just purchased a new paperwhite and it seems that i jump many pages without realizing how? Any suggestions? I’m tapping on the right side of the page but sometimes it just goes…

    Posted 05 Apr 2013 at 6:45 pm
  19. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jude, the tap zone on the Paperwhite is larger than just the right side of the page, so you may inadvertently be advancing the page when your finger or stylus touches what feels more like the center of the page.

    Posted 05 Apr 2013 at 7:02 pm
  20. siri wrote:

    I am trying to figure out how to properly use my kindle paperwhite. how do i get back to the homescreen if i am reading a book? i have tried tapping various points on the screen and turning it off and nothing has worked. help please :(

    Posted 23 Apr 2013 at 11:29 am
  21. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Tap once near the top of the screen. This will bring up a controls bar with the icon of a house at the left. Tap on the house to go back to the home screen.

    Posted 23 Apr 2013 at 2:33 pm
  22. Althea Nelms wrote:

    On my kindle when I want to go to Bible Book List in Bible Gateway, my finger is too big and sometimes hits the wrong chapter they are in such small type. Is there any thing I can buy similar to a pencil that I can press a very small area? Would appreciate an answer. Thank You.

    Posted 25 Apr 2013 at 3:06 pm
  23. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Althea, a stylus might help. Here is one that has three sizes of point, so the smallest one might work for you. It’s $14.99 on Amazon.

    Posted 25 Apr 2013 at 3:15 pm
  24. Michael Clifford wrote:

    I have my first Kindle Paperwhite. I did go through the instructions. But now I turn it on and it has an ad for a book and says to swipe to unlock Kindle, and when I do that it goes to a blank page that only has Loc 1 in the left lower corner and 2% in the right lower corner. And I am stuck on that page. Tried tapping on different parts of the page and swiping, all to no avail. Please help!

    Posted 25 Jun 2013 at 4:14 pm
  25. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Michael, it sounds as if when you swipe the screen to wake your Paperwhite up you are landing on the page of a book or document you were reading. To get off that page, you need to tap once at the top of the screen, which should reveal the menu bar. Then tap on the Home icon at the upper left. That should bring you to the home screen. If this doesn’t work, try restarting your Paperwhite by holding the sleep/power button down for about 20 seconds and then releasing. Your screen will flash a couple of times and then you will see the boy under the tree. It will take a while for the Kindle to reboot, and you’ll see a progress bar going across showing how close it is to being finished. I hope that works!

    Posted 25 Jun 2013 at 4:34 pm
  26. Nancy Carli wrote:

    I am having trouble with my large arthritic fingers searching Bible passages, because the numbers are so close together. For some reason, tapping a stylus on the screen does not work. I tried the abbreviated searches recommended in the Kindle, such as joh4:7 for Book of John Chapter 4 Verse 7, but it comes up with 0 results. It is frustrating. Any suggestions?

    Posted 30 Sep 2013 at 9:58 am
  27. Nancy Carli wrote:

    I am having trouble with my large arthritic fingers searching Bible passages, because the numbers are so close together. For some reason, tapping a stylus on the screen does not work. I tried the abbreviated searches recommended in the Kindle, such as joh4:7 for Book of John Chapter 4 Verse 7, but it comes up with 0 results. It is frustrating. Any suggestions? (Tried posting this once; having trouble getting it to go through.)

    Posted 30 Sep 2013 at 9:59 am
  28. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Nancy, you might try a different kind of stylus. If you are using a wire mesh stylus like this one, try using a hard-rubber stylus like this one, or vice versa. Also, try tapping very lightly on the Paperwhite screen, making sure you touch with as much precision as possible. I hope this is helpful.

    Posted 30 Sep 2013 at 12:31 pm
  29. Nancy Carli wrote:

    It is weird, I tried both types of stylus, hard and soft touch and tap. No response. But a gentle touch of a finger and menus pop up. Almost like it responds to body heat.

    Posted 30 Sep 2013 at 2:50 pm
  30. Dave Gale wrote:

    How do I delete a dictionary I don’t need

    Posted 08 Jan 2014 at 2:59 pm
  31. Dave Gale wrote:

    how is a dictionary I don’t need deleted?

    Posted 08 Jan 2014 at 3:00 pm
  32. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Dave, you can delete any file on your Kindle by connecting it by USB to your computer and deleting it from the Finder or Control Panel. It’s easier on the E Ink Kindles to do this but possible on the Fire as well. For specific instructions for your device, you might try calling or TXTing Kindle support. Hope this is helpful.

    Posted 08 Jan 2014 at 6:03 pm
  33. Charlene wrote:

    I have a kindle paperwhite. I would like to remove the faint underlinings and words that say for example, 6 highlighters.

    Is this possible? Thanks

    Posted 04 Feb 2014 at 10:57 am
  34. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Charlene, you can make a change in settings to hide the view of the public highlights. From your Paperwhite’s home page, tap on the menu icon at the upper right, then settings, then Reading Options, then Notes & Highlights. This will bring you to a page where you can turn off Popular Highlights and Public Notes. Then you won’t see the faint underlinings in your books.

    Posted 04 Feb 2014 at 2:47 pm
  35. Marina wrote:

    When I turn on my kindle paperwhite I don’t have to slide to unlock but on all my friends they do….And when the kindle is asleep I have pics of pens and stuff and not ads…..Why?

    Posted 21 Feb 2014 at 12:56 am
  36. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Marina, your Paperwhite doesn’t have Special Offers, or ads on it. That’s why you see the generic images on the lock screen. That’s odd that you don’t have to swipe to unlock the screen to see your home page once it’s fallen asleep. Mine has special offers, so I can’t test one that doesn’t.

    Posted 21 Feb 2014 at 4:00 pm
  37. Melissa wrote:

    Thanks for the nice video. Wish I had watched it when I first got my kindle, as I learned most of this by trial and error, error, error! But here’s a question I’m having now: In the Home page, I have more than one page of titles… going from page 1/6 to page 2/6 of my books, I find it very hard to do, without accidentally going into one of the books listed on page 1. How best to do this? THANKS!

    Posted 01 Apr 2014 at 11:42 am
  38. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Good question, Melissa. I sometimes have the same problem. What seems to work is to swipe upwards on the screen with a very light tough, quickly. That way you won’t inadvertently tap one of the book titles and enter the book.

    Posted 01 Apr 2014 at 12:13 pm
  39. Melissa wrote:

    Thanks Len. I’ll give it a try!

    Posted 02 Apr 2014 at 9:58 am
  40. Jack Burns wrote:

    I previously used a kindle keyboard. I am in the first stages of Alzheimer’s. When reading, I used notes to reference new names when they are introduced. With the Kindle Paperwhite, I have yet figured out how to do this. I hope you can help me with this. This tutorial has brought many interesting items to help me. Thank you.

    Posted 07 Apr 2014 at 1:10 pm
  41. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jack, you might find the X-Ray feature useful. It’s not on all Kindle books, but when you see a listing at the Kindle Store it should tell you if the book is X-Ray enabled. When you tap on the X-Ray icon at the top of a page, it will bring up a list of all the characters. You can tap on any of the times the character is mentioned, to remind yourself of who they are.
    To make a note on the Paperwhite, tap and hold on a word or several words. When you release your finger or stylus, you will see Highlight or Note. Tap on note and you can then type in a note, just the way you did on the Kindle Keyboard.
    Good luck, and please let me know if I can be of further help.

    Posted 07 Apr 2014 at 1:21 pm
  42. Jack Burns wrote:

    Thanks for your reply. I have another question. When I have completed a Kindle book, how can I remove it from the device? Also, what can I do with my old keyboard? It needs a bit of work in that it will no longer back page, only forward. Thanks.

    Posted 16 Apr 2014 at 11:02 am
  43. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Jack, here is how to remove a book from your Kindle when you finish reading it: From the Home screen of your Kindle underline the title of the book, press the arrow that is pointing to the left on the square button. You will see an option to delete.
    I’m not sure what to suggest about your old keyboard. You might call Kindle support at (877) 441-3836 to see if you can send it to them for repair. I don’t know what they might charge.

    Posted 18 Apr 2014 at 9:21 am
  44. Mary Wilber wrote:


    I want to purchase the Kindle Paperwhite for my husband. I am glad I found this tutorial. My husband likes to read magazines, not books, so would this Kindle Paperwhite work for magazines, if so, how or where on the screen do I download his favorite magazines?


    Posted 31 Aug 2014 at 4:27 pm
  45. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Mary, on the Paperwhite home page, tap on the shopping cart icon. Under the Browse section you will see, in addition to books, newspapers and magazines. From there you can search by name of publication or categories. I hope your husband enjoys his new Paperwhite!

    Posted 31 Aug 2014 at 8:58 pm
  46. Dan Eastes wrote:

    New to Paperwhite from first button Kindle.

    The GO TO page for books displays the table of contents, divided into chapters and parts. Sometimes chapters are displayed, sometimes chapters are hidden under parts titles. The parts titles are delineated with arrows pointing to the right or pointing down. Right indicates the chapters are hidden; down indicates the chapters are displayed. The default condition seems to be chapters hidden’ the part titles, i.e, Part 1: Assessing Your Risk, is an active link.

    How does one display all of the chapter numbers and titles? Touching on the part title takes you directly to that part of the book since it’s an active link. Then, if you navigate back to the GO TO page you see the chapter numbers and names. This is a very illogical sequence.

    I would appreciate any insight you have. The above book is Protein Power by Michael Eades.

    Posted 11 Nov 2014 at 5:32 pm
  47. Karen wrote:

    How do you change the page numbering format. I did it once but can’t get back to it. I’d like to have the option to see the page number as corresponds to the actual print page number or to change from the time left and percentage read or left to read.

    Posted 03 Dec 2014 at 3:03 am
  48. Lori wrote:

    While I’m reading a book, is there a way to find out the title? Example, I’m in the middle of “Gone Girl” and I totally forgot what I’m reading, who the author is… Is there a way to find out?

    Thank you.

    Posted 11 Dec 2014 at 12:06 pm
  49. Stacie Harris wrote:

    Somehow, while using my basic kindle I moved the percentage read from the bottom right corner to the bottom left. How can this be moved back to the right corner?

    Posted 26 Dec 2014 at 6:15 am
  50. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Karen, if you tap lower left of the screen on a Voyage, it will show your reading progress by location, physical page number, time left in the chapter, or time left in the book. To change from one view to the next, simply tap on the lower left corner to cycle through them. If there is no display of where you are, tap anyway; that will bring up the various views. There is a setting on the menu of the Voyage labeled “Reading Progress,” and you can set it for “none” if you don’t want to see the location information. You can also set the default for which view appears at the bottom of the page. At the bottom right of the page you will see your reading progress by percentage completed.

    Posted 26 Dec 2014 at 7:08 am
  51. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Dan, I’m sorry for the delay in answering your question. I bought Protein Power so I could see what you are looking at. I could not find a way to show all of the chapters except by tapping on the Part I, Part II headings, as you describe. It’s the same on the Fire HD 6 as on the Voyage, and from what you’ve said, the Paperwhite. This arrangement is probably part of the formatting of the book by the publisher. I’m not sure if they have an option to show all the chapter headings even if there are higher level sections. I agree it would be good to have an easier way to see all of the chapters.

    Posted 26 Dec 2014 at 7:31 am
  52. Joe wrote:

    On the Paperwhite, is there a way to turn off the location and percentage info at the bottom of the screen while reading? Thank you in advance!

    Posted 31 Dec 2014 at 4:22 pm
  53. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Joe, with a page in the book you’re reading showing on your Paperwhite screen, tap at the top of the screen to reveal the navigation tools. Then tap on the menu icon (three horizontal bars). From the menu, tap “Reading Progress.” From there you can tap “None” and it will remove the location and percentage information from the page. Hope that’s helpful!

    Posted 31 Dec 2014 at 7:55 pm
  54. randy west wrote:

    Someone asked how to move back and forward one chapter at a time. Tap top to open menu, which also opens the bottom menu bar. Swipe up to open the ‘page in a window’ (which I was surprised you did not describe). Now the previous and next chapter arrows are visible. Move to the desired chapter and press anywhere in the page window, you will close the window and move to that chapter. If you close the window (with the X in the corner) you will go back to wherever you were in the book. Not as convenient as having the previous and next chapter buttons all the time, but not difficult. And I really like the page window, where you can move back and forth to check something without losing your place.

    Posted 03 Jan 2015 at 10:35 am
  55. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Thanks, Randy!

    Posted 03 Jan 2015 at 12:20 pm
  56. Cindy wrote:

    This is so frustrating! My old Kindle without a touch screen let me tap on a passage in my Life Application Bible to see the study notes. The paperwhite, since it is a touch screen, just goes to the next page and I have to then go back to the beginning of the Bible and start all over again to access the Study Notes. Help!

    Posted 18 Jan 2015 at 6:03 pm
  57. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Cindy, maybe if you tap and hold on the passage?

    Posted 18 Jan 2015 at 6:07 pm
  58. A. Ciak wrote:

    I cannot get anything on my Kindle except pictures of pencils, ink wells, erasers, keyboard
    letters etc. What is the problem. Nothing else appears on the screen so I cannot try and type in anything, it just went off as I was reading a few minutes ago. What is the problem??

    Posted 01 Feb 2015 at 6:34 pm
  59. Len Edgerly wrote:

    These images sound like the sleep screen when there are no special offers. Have you tried swiping the screen to wake it up?

    Posted 01 Feb 2015 at 6:36 pm
  60. Katherine Kreuter wrote:

    Thank you so much! I inherited a Kindle Paperwhite when my Mom passed away, and struggled to understand the screen as it was so different from my (very old) Kindle. This video was the clearest, easiest tutorial – much obliged.

    Posted 03 Feb 2015 at 7:09 am
  61. claude long wrote:

    Thank you for this tutorial, it was very helpful. I seem to be having problems with my paperwhite. It can’t find my wi-fi network to download the book I bought. I may have accidently messed it up by mis-touching the screen in the middle of the night. Is there a way to re-set the factory settings in case I made a boo-boo?

    Posted 24 Mar 2015 at 10:15 am
  62. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Claude, you might try restarting your Paperwhite first. Press the power/sleep button for a full 40 seconds and then let it start up again. That way you won’t lose all your content, and the WiFi problem might take care of itself. If that doesn’t work, there is a factory reset option on the menu at the right. Go to settings, and then maybe settings again. The last option will be factory reset or reset to default settings. Good luck!

    Posted 24 Mar 2015 at 10:59 pm

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  1. From The Kindle Chronicles - TKC 241 Len Edgerly (interviewed by Mark Roberts) on 15 Mar 2013 at 6:01 am

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