How to Disable the Screensaver on Amazon Kindle

While the screensavers on Amazon’s Kindle are quite tastefully done, I would like to keep a page open, especially if it’s a textbook. Since Amazon don’t allow you to set the time limit anywhere that I can see in Settings to set how long the Kindle must wait to kick in, I was forced to take rather more drastic measures as I was sick of flicking the power switch each time I wanted to refer back to my book. Here is how you can disable the Kindle screensavers completely. It’s not as ideal as having a settable timer for the screenwavers, but it appears to do the job.

First, press Home so that you are on the home screen of your Kindle and not on any page in a book. Next press Enter and type: –

;debugOn (press enter)
~disableScreensaver (press enter)
;debugOff (press enter)

It’s a bit hack-y and I have no idea if this works on any other version of the Kindle apart from Kindle 3, but it does work :-) Why Amazon felt the need to include screensavers at all on an e-ink display that takes up no power simply to display yet take up power to bring up the screensaver image itself, I have no idea. Nor why they couldn’t throw in an option in settings to change the wait time or disable it in a user-friendly manner.

Perhaps these little niggles will be fixed in the next version of the Kindle, which I’m betting (based on the Amazon Android App Store) will be Android-based (yet still Linux!) and will probably include a touchscreen. I wonder how that will affect the e-ink display?

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  • alleykat says:

    Total Comment by alleykat: 1

  • Nick says:

    Very useful when reading in a bath as the plastic cover gives no access to the power button :-)
    Total Comment by Nick: 1

  • Craig says:

    Thank you! This works on the most recent version of Kindle as of June 2012 (4.0.1 firmware). Really great tip.
    Total Comments by Craig: 2

  • Craig says:

    If you want to enable screensavers again, type ~resumeScreensaver in debug mode.
    Total Comments by Craig: 2

  • jimmy rustles says:

    Confirmed working on Kindle Keyboard 3G with Kindle Software Version 3.3
    Total Comment by jimmy rustles: 1

  • Rashika says:

    Excellent! Works like a charm! Thanks! I have version 4.1.0.
    Total Comment by Rashika: 1

  • Oliver says:

    I just bought the new entry-level kindle and this worked a treat… However, I cannot seem to re-enable the screensaver and I would really like to since my new case randomly changes pages when I am carrying it around.

    I tried:
    ;debugOn (press enter)
    ~enableScreensaver (press enter)
    ;debugOff (press enter)

    This did not work. Does anyone have any ideas?
    Total Comment by Oliver: 1

  • Hunter says:

    To enable screensaver, try this: ~resumeScreensaver
    Total Comment by Hunter: 1

  • Canal Biker says:

    Thanks so much! I think they put it on expecting to use it for ads in a future verison
    Total Comment by Canal Biker: 1

    • jon says:

      I hadn’t thought of that :) Since the e-ink display only uses power when in page transition, it seemed odd to expend that extra energy to display a screensaver, especially when the display doesn’t get burn-in.

  • nguyen chien says:

    I used kindle touch, and i also want disable screensaver mode of kindle touch. Could you guide me to do that? thanks
    Total Comment by nguyen chien: 1

  • Jason says:

    Works on my regular Kindle too. I went to the home screen and entered the commands one at a time by hitting the keyboard button. It was getting really annoying to constantly have to hit the power button while looking at a reference book. Thanks!
    Total Comment by Jason: 1

  • James E. says:

    I suppose if you have Wifi turned on, and you disable the screensaver and do not turn the Kindle off manually, then the wifi will be drawing on the battery 24/7 until it is drained?
    Total Comments by James E.: 2

    • Natalie says:

      Yes, that’s right.

      For some mysterious reason they linked the screensaver and sleep mode and they can’t be turned on and off separately without a hack. If you want to save power when not using the device and screen saver is disabled, you will have to turn the power completely off by holding the slider for 7 seconds. It will take more time and power to turn back on than waking from sleep/screensaver, but it will be completely off for the duration.

      I get around this by keeping my screensaver and my wireless off. I only turn my wireless on when I need to download and then turn it off again. I don’t have any power consumption issues and I come back to a nice page of text instead of a picture of some ugly stranger.
      Total Comment by Natalie: 1

  • twobob says:

    lipc-set-prop com.lab126.powerd preventScreenSaver 1


    lipc-set-prop com.lab126.powerd preventScreenSaver 0

    from the shell.
    Total Comment by twobob: 1

  • Georg says:

    Thank you!

    It also works on Kindle 4. The screensaver was the first issue which annoyed me just one hour after unpacking.

    Only issue with this hack: The kindle does not go into sleep mode, i.e. the WLAN is still active and takes energy.
    Total Comment by Georg: 1

  • zak says:

    From my experience turning the screensaver off, wastes more of the battery life. Then if left on. Here is the code if you want to return to normal.

    debugOn (press enter)
    ~resumeScreensaver (press enter)
    ;debugOff (press enter)
    Total Comment by zak: 1

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