The Amazon Kindle DOES charge over USB

Just in case you were wondering, the Amazon Kindle can charge over USB. I know I wondered, before I bought mine, and lots of people have asked me since I got it. So here’s the proof – that little orange LED next to the USB cable is the charge indicator light. It’s plugged in to my MacBook Pro. It’s probably slower than charging from the brick, but at least it works.

I really like this because it means when I travel, I can go with one less proprietary power brick/charger cable, since a lot of my gadgets can charge from a USB power brick (and many also share the same standard mini USB cable, like the one the Kindle uses).

Posting for posterity, Google, and future reference.


18 thoughts on “The Amazon Kindle DOES charge over USB

  1. I beg to differ. One business trip I forgot my power cord and tried charging by USB and all it did is SLIGHTLY slow down the battery drain. Before the trip was over my Kindle was flat out of battery.


  2. Karen says:

    Ummmm… it even tells you this in the manual (that it charges via USB).

    The User’s Guide states, “USB port โ€” plug in the included USB cable to transfer content between your computer and your Kindle. Your Kindle will also accept a small trickle charge over USB that may extend your battery life if your computer’s USB port or powered USB hub provides power.”

    It is much slower to get a full charge (10-12+ hours vs under 2 on the power block). However, it IS necessary that the USB port you plug it into provide charging power – not all of them do, especially on notebooks (since it drains the notebook’s battery to charge another device, some don’t provide power via USB and require that peripherals provide their own power). You can tell by whether or not the light turns on if you are getting charging power when plugged in.

  3. Michael, was the charge light on? Not all laptop USB ports provide enough power to charge, or charge very well, because it drains the laptop battery to do so. You’d probably get better results if you used a USB hub plugged into wall power, or a direct USB charging brick, like those that come with BlackBerries and iPods/iPhones.

    Karen, I know it says in the manual, but some people (see above ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) don’t seem to believe it, and I get asked that question all the time, so I just wanted to post some photographic proof. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Randy Rathbun says:

    Gotta be careful here. I just got my Kindle yesterday. Went to bed and it was 1/2 charged. Plugged it into a USB port on the PC (note that this was NOT a port on the motherboard but a quick access port which usually are low power ports) and got the charge light. Woke up this morning and had 1/4 charge.

    So, just because you get a charge light does not indicate that you are actually getting a charge. It is really just telling you that there is some form of external power applied.

    Going to try my experiment again tonight on a different port on the computer and see what happens.

  5. It works on your MacBook Pro? Doesn’t seem to on my MacBook. I’ve lost my charger, and I’m trying to charge it via USB. The really weird thing is, when I first turned on my computer and plugged my Kindle in, the orange light turned on, but it turned back off not very much later, and it hasn’t come back since. I honestly don’t understand.

  6. Just wanted to say that I just had to turn it on for it to charge via USB. *facepalm*

    And Jim, it does charge. It was completely drained (I couldn’t turn it on), and I left it plugged for a while and now it’s charged. I’m sure it takes longer than with the power outlet, but it does work.

  7. Ken Fricklas says:

    however if the charge is so far down it won’t turn on, it also won’t charge. Now that’s great design… not.

  8. Burt Waters says:

    Here’s another charging tip. I discovered that my Samsung cellular charger is completely interchangeable with my Kindle charger. A lot easier (and cheaper) to get hold of if you’re traveling and find yourself without.

  9. Michael says:

    I had a problem charging my cell phone on my computers usb port. We have hp computers in my office. The computer has 4 usb ports on the front. we found that if you use the first port it doesn’t work for charging…if you use any of the other 3 it works. I don’t know if it’s a computer thing, or hp thing or what, but it’s the same on all our computers.

  10. Depressed kindler says:

    My AmazonKindle 1 isn’t working . It doesn’t Charge via usb port and i can’t find my charger can anyone help me… ๐Ÿ™

  11. Teresa says:

    The charger adapter pin broken inside the kindle. We tried the usb on the desktop, it lights up only for a moment and powers off without charging/no light. Has anyone tried using usb adapter wall charger on a kindle?

  12. Teresa says:

    Ok, I can assure everyone the Kindle DOES charge via the USB when plugged into a desktop over night. Turn the power off, let it charge over night, and you end up with a FULLY Charged battery in the morning. The orange light turned off after I power it off, but it did charge!

  13. Shelley says:

    Burt – thanks for the tip! My kindle is now charging on my Samsung phone charger.. will test it in the car with the car charger this afternoon!

  14. Jeff says:

    FYI, while it will charge, it may have cause some issues while computing. My wife decided to use the computer rather than the 110v connection to charge her Kindle recently. When I logged on to the computer, I noticed it was running slow and experienced problems sending/receiving email via Outlook and surfing the Web. I restarted the machine (running Windows 7 Professional) which took forever to shut down and restart. Finally I noticed the Kindle was connected. Once it was disconnected, everything went back to normal.

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