Kindle Touch – Unable To Start Application

Had an issue with my Kindle Touch today where anytime I tried to activate certain applications (like, for instance, the Special Offers app), I’d receive an error message that said “Unable to Start Application”. Since there was an awesome deal to get an award-winning book from a selection of books for $1, I spent some Google-juice figuring out how to fix it.

Keith and his beloved Kindle Touch
Oh, Kindle....why are you tasking me?

Turns out, there’s a way to reboot the Kindle Touch beyond holding the power button down till it blinks (which evidently is a fake reboot).

To hard reboot the Kindle Touch:

Press the Menu button. Press Settings. After the Settings menu appears, press the Menu button again. Then press Restart.

If your Kindle is particularly depressed and you can’t get to the Menu, try holding down the power button to fake reboot, then try again. You could also try resetting to factory default — although it always pains me greatly to have to do that to a device.

Hopefully, this is just a firmware problem that will be fixed in the next go-round.


22 thoughts on “Kindle Touch – Unable To Start Application

  1. Thanks for the tip. My Touch 3G was working fine until yesterday. It started acting slow and I started getting those “unable to start application” notices. I was reading some comments and some people were suggesting the issue started after they downloaded a book so I deleted the most recent one I downoaded. Didn’t change anthing. The tip seems to have done the job. I’ll give it another week or so to see if anything changes. Otherwise, I’m bringing it back. Is this something that can be fixed with an update? These things get updates, yea? I know the Keyboard 3G one gets updated. Or is this strickly a hardware issue? Thanks again.


  2. I’ve seen people suggest it’s after they downloaded a certain number of books at a time. Knowing how to reboot it is probably the key thing. I’m thinking this is a firmware thing that Amazon can fix with a software update.


  3. Got into the search bar and searched at the store. Then I got an update (i.e.”We’re updating your kindle experience “). Then the store seemed to load ok, and the kindle was more responsive. Then, I was able to get the menu to load, and performed the reboot mentioned above. Bouncing to the store seemed to do it.


  4. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I was worried that I was going to lose all of my books when I did this, but I didn’t! YAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!


  5. Thanks for the tip as well. I didn’t realize that the power button wasn’t doing a hard boot. Once I selected “restart” from the menu, my ads worked again.

    I have a similar issue with my Blackberry Bold. It only does a hard reboot if you pull the freakin battery out and put it in again.


  6. Had the same problem but didn’t know the reason. Connected the Kindle to PC with usb cable, delete all the files that may cause the problem, reboot the kinlde several time by pressing the power button for a long time. Last time, the kindle restores the system (with processing bar on Kindle screen ), and the problem gone. I’m luck. good luck to all of you.


    1. If you can’t get to Settings, you might try deleting some books from the Kindle via a USB connection. I’ve heard some people say that sometimes helps in getting the Settings option back on the menu.


  7. My Kindle is particularly depressed and I can’t get to the Menu,
    Then hold down the power button for more than 1 or 2 minutes.
    Then everything goes well~


  8. Thank you! I had reset it several times using the menu option, but that didn’t resolve the issue. I reset by holding the power button down, and it is resolved!


  9. Thank you for the hard reset tip! I started to freak out when I could not get back to my home screen. All my books were still there and collections. This happened when I download about 8 books and was did a sync.


    1. If you can’t get to the menu via the fake reboot (holding down the power switch) you’re probably going to need to get in touch with Amazon and see about getting the Kindle repaired. Sorry I can’t be of more help!


  10. Thank you thank you thank you!!! My K Touch crapped it self this afternoon and this is the best info I found to fix the problem!! Did not feel like reloading 700 books!!!


  11. Thanks this helped a lot. My touch wouldn’t load some books and wanted me to delete it and download it again from archived items. I would do this and it would have the same problem, it would go into the book , but it wouldn’t load the text. I did what you said and fully restarted the device( the fake reboot didn’t work) and after it restarted, the device was smooth and loaded the book fully. Thanks!


  12. So glad I found your suggestion and comments to reboot. My Kindle Touch accepted a program update automatically and then started running slow and then gave me a application error every time I pushed the menu button. Did the fake reboot and all is good.


  13. Thank you so much for the info I needed to get my Kindle Touch to wake up from the slump it was in last night. Out of the blue it started to freeze up and give me the ‘application error’. I couldnt access any books. I did what you suggested and *fingers crossed* my Kindle will continue to behave.


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