Get the Most out of Your Kindle with These 4 Tools

Take screenshots, get reading statistics, export your highlights, and remove the ads from your Kindle

1. Screenshots

Did you know that you can take screenshots on most recent Kindles? This is useful for quickly sharing a passage, showing an editor or developer a display issue, and sharing tips in an article like this one.

To take a screenshot, tap on opposing corners at the same time.

To retrieve these screenshots, connect the Kindle to your computer via USB. The screenshots will be saved in the main folder as .png files.

2. Reading Statistics with Kindle FreeTime

I’ve wanted reading statistics on my Kindle for a long time. It wasn’t available in the main settings, so I gave up on it and kept track of my reading on my own.

I stumbled across an article one day talking about the Parental Control settings on the Kindle. When parental controls are enabled, kids have a completely different reading experience. Only books that are enabled by the parent’s account are available, the parent can set daily reading goals for the child, and the child can earn achievements based on how much they read. Daily, monthly, and total reading statistics are also available!

The highlights you made in FreeTime are preserved in My Clippings.txt, but you can’t see them on the Kindle unless you are in FreeTime mode. Progress between FreeTime and regular mode are tracked separately, too.

I now pretty much only use my Kindle in FreeTime mode so that my reading statistics are tracked.

If you are a data nerd and want to crunch the data on your own, it is stored in a SQLite file on your device under system > freetime > freetime.db.

3. Export your Highlights and Notes with Clippings.io

The highlights and notes you make on your Kindle are saved on the device in a file named “My Clippings.txt”. You can access it by connecting to your Kindle to your computer via USB. If you take this file and upload it to Clippings.io, you can edit, search, tag and annotate these highlights. Then you can publish them to Evernote or export them to Word, Excel, plain text, or PDF.

4. How to Remove the Ads from your Kindle

The price of Kindles are partially subsidized by ad sales. They show up on your lock screen when the device is turned off and you get special offers based on what you’ve read recently.

I find these ads annoying. Thankfully, you can turn them off! It costs $20, but I think it is worth not seeing them ever again.

To remove ads from your Kindle, go to Amazon.com, click on Your Account, and click Manage Your Content and Devices. Select the Kindle you want to remove ads from. You’ll see your Kindle’s email address, serial number, etc. There will also be a section that says, “Special Offers / Offers and Ads” — Hit edit there and click unsubscribe.

Make sure your Kindle is connected to a network and has synced, then the ads will be gone! Instead you’ll see cool photos on your lock screen.