Kindle Bonus Tips – Undocumented shortcuts, features and easter eggs

May 2013: Subscribe for Free Daily Emails that list 95 free kindle books every day. Hand-curated.

(courtesy Igor S’s excellent Blog Posts on Reverse Engineering the Kindle – this is taken verbatim). Again this is best read on Igor’s blog. And his work is the basis of nearly all the good tips and tricks related to the kindle you might find.

Picture viewer

I’m not sure why Amazon didn’t make it public (maybe because paging is kinda slow), but there is a basic picture viewer in Kindle.
To activate it:
1) make a folder called “pictures” in the root of Kindle drive or SD card. Kindle also checks for “dcim” made by cameras.
2) put your pictures for a single “book” into a folder inside that. The subfolder name will be used as the “book” name. Supported formats are jpg, png, gif.
3) in Home screen press Alt-Z. A new “book” should appear. Open it to view your pictures.
4) In the local menu you can toggle dithering, resize to fit and full screen mode.

Keyboard shortcuts

Various undocumented/underdocumented keyboard shortcuts. I italicized most interesting ones.

Global keys

Alt-Shift-R reboot Kindle
Alt-Shift-. restart GUI
Alt-Shift-G make screenshot
due to an implementation bug, screenshots can only be stored on SD card, not the main storage. A gif file is saved in the card root.
Shift-Sym start demo
Enabled only if allow_demo=true is passed on the Java commandline. Needs a special demo script present on the SD card.


Alt-Shift-M Minesweeper
Alt-Z rescan picture directories
Alt-T show time


Alt-B toggle bookmark
Alt-T spell out time
Alt-0 enable/disable slideshow
Alt-1 start slideshow (if enabled)
Alt-2 stop slidehow
Alt-PageForward/PageBackward go to next/prev annotation or one “chunk” (1/20th of a book) forward or backward


411 show diagnostics data
511 run loopback call test
611 diagnostic data service call
126 Lab126 team members

Font List

J show/hide justification options

Picture viewer

Alt-Shift-0 set current picture as screensaver
F toggle fullscreen mode


I,J,K,L up,left,down,right
M mark mine
R restart
Space open cell
Scroll move cursor up/down
Alt-Scroll move cursor left/right
H return to Home screen

Text input

Alt-Backspace clear all
Alt-H/Alt-J move cursor
(the following don’t work in search field for some reason)
Alt-6 ?
Alt-7 ,
Alt-8 :


It seems there is a location capability (GPS?) in the CDMA module. I cannot check it as I’m not in USA but the following shortcuts are programmed inside the browser.
Alt-1 show current location in google maps
Alt-2 find gas station nearby
Alt-3 find restaurants nearby
Alt-5 find custom keyword nearby
Alt-D dump debug info to the log and toggle highlight default item
Alt-Z toggle zone drawing and show log

Audio Player

Alt-F next
Alt-P play/stop

Search commands

These command work in the search field. You can enter only beginning of the command if that’s enough for it to be unique.

Public commands (always available)


Semiprivate (available but not mentioned in @help)

;dumpMessages dump current debug log into the “documents” directory
;debugOn set log level=2 and enable private commands
;debugOff set log level=1 and disable private commands

19 thoughts on “Kindle Bonus Tips – Undocumented shortcuts, features and easter eggs”

  1. I read this is only capable in USA. Shouldn’t I be able to download books via the USB connection through my laptop? Is there a way to use this thing in France? I need to give a good present to a marathon english reader living in Provence, Fr…help?

    1. US only? for electronically downloading content, yes. For outside of the US, simply download purchased book from site and use the USB cable and drag and drop the downloaded purchased Kindle books from your computer to the Kindle device.

  2. I’m in the US, get good connection for feeds and downloads, but when I do alt1, it says “not available, not available” as my location. I’ll try it tomorrow when I’m in a bigger city, but it’s not working out in my little rural burb.

      1. I tried this on the kindle 1 and got “Not avail,not avail”. Why do you think this is the case? (sorry i’m a year later =D)

        1. Tried which one?

          Some of the features might have been removed in the Kindle 1.2 upgrade. If you let me know what’s ‘not available’ will check and update here.

      2. Alt+1 to get location. That would really stink if they took out the triangulation on the update–seems like it would be very useful.

      3. I’m sorry, what?
        When I press Alt+1 from the Basic web on my Kindle 1 (probably latest software update), it takes me to a google maps mobile page. In the search box are the words “Not avail, Not avail”. Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough last time.
        So, do you think that they removed the triangulation feature? Will it always show “not avail, not avail” or can i fix it?

        1. Oh. Yes, that was a Kindle 1 feature and didn’t know it was removed.
          They might have removed it. Because it wasn’t carried forward to Kindle 2.

          You should check with Amazon’s Kindle customer support.

  3. Pingback: Kindle Easter Eggs
  4. Don’t forget Alt-Shift (0-9) to change text spacing in Reader Mode. I can’t believe all these undocumented shortcuts. Many were taken out after the last updates. GPS locator won’t work. It’s these undocumented and unauthorized contents that could be causing the Kindle to work so slowly. Just tried to load CNN and it told almost 3 minutes to load. That’s worst than dial up (33 kbps). Terrible.

  5. Just purchased a Kindle DX and it appears that the ALT-1 will not work on this version.

    Is there an updated short cut key list for the Kindle DX?

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