Kindle showing a screensaver / img by WheresWilson via flickr (CC)

Some of us have learned to love the screensaver images Amazon ships with their Kindle reading devices. Others quietly suffer the rotating ¬†selection of dead poets and educational images of fishes and plants. And yet others simply ask: “What if I’d like to see something else?”

Personally, I belong to the third category. I was neither particularly thrilled nor appalled by the Kindle stock wallpapers of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain and others. But, as so often, a little innocent question led me down a rabbit hole of business interests, hacks and limitless creativity.

So, in case you’re wondering. The answer is NO!¬†You can’t change the screensaver on your Kindle. At least Amazon doesn’t want you to do it. Why? The answer to this question is a bit more complicated, but I’ve read on forums that earlier Kindles ( I think it was V2) actually had an option to choose custom screensaver images but Amazon scrapped it because newer Kindles used this feature to rotate advertisements.

Warning Notices  and Re-Claiming eReading Turf

Fortunately, that’s not the end of this story. Thanks to inquisitive individuals all over the world, there’s now a relatively danger-free way of re-configuring your Kindle so that it will¬†allow you to choose custom screensaver or wallpaper pictures.

Compared to “unjailing” iPhones, there’s allegedly little danger of “bricking” (destroying) your Kindle this way, and the providers of the hack even offer packages to uninstall and reverse any changes you may have made, but it does require a bit of willingness to experiment.

If you want to do it, here’s a¬†link¬†to a detailed tutorial. ¬†At the top it says “WARNING: Use at your own risk!”

At first I was sceptical, too. But never underestimate the power of an innocent question. So, finally, I threw “caution” to the wind, it worked without problems, and I never missed Amazon’s Twains and Dickinsons. Instead, I now choose whatever I want to see, just like selecting a wallpaper on any other device I own.

Where To Get Alternative Screensaver Pictures From

Keep in mind that the best format for a Kindle wallpaper is 600×800 pixels and the e-ink doesn’t display color so you might as well select something grayscale from the start.

The easiest way to find suitable, ready-made Kindle wallpaper material is to browse collections.

Online Collections

Stylish, minimalist collection.

contains some great ones!

note: there are other collections, but I’ve found them wanting.

Browse & Crawl

If you’ve exhausted all collections so far or couldn’t find anything you like, here’s four other ways:

1. Do a FlickR search!

kindle screensavers on flickr

2.¬†Browse Tumblr¬†for everything that was ever tagged with “kindle wallpaper”

3. Look at /r/kindlescreensavers/ on Reddit.

4. my personal favourite: use Google image search and set image size to “exactly” -> 600 x 800 px and color to -> “black & white” (see screenshot)

kindle screensavers on google images

Make Your Own

If all of the above still isn’t enough, be creative and make your own! Tip: Use a service like¬†¬†to transform your snapshots ¬†into the right dimensions.


What’s Your Favourite Source For Kindle Screensavers? Leave a comment¬†below!

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