The seemingly fixed screen timeout on all my Kindle devices has never been an issue for normal reading. If it goes off on me it is usually because I fell asleep myself, so one cannot blame a device for following suit. However I have also been using my device for some venues in lieu of printed speaking notes. I email the outline of my talk to my device and it makes for very convenient review and works for most venues to speak from. Usually I move through notes fast enough for the timeout not to be a problem, but occasionally I'll be long winded on an issue and come back looking for my next cue to find the Kindle has gone to sleep. Getting it back doesn't take that long but it is awkward in some venues, esp if you forgot where you were going. Was I going to ask something here? Oh ya...

Is there any way to extend the screen timeout on recent Kindle devices. Even if it involved some level of hackery, that might me acceptable.

1 Answer 1


From the tags on this questions, I'll guess that you're talking about a Kindle Paperwhite. I know it's possible to do this on a Kindle Fire as well; it's in Settings > More > Display > Screen Timeout there (screenshots here).

On the paperwhite, and apparently many of the other Touch devices, there are commands that you can input in the search bar to do all kinds of interesting things. Entering ~ds will cause the screensaver to never show. A full list of commands is available at http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Touch_Hacking#Search_Bar_Shortcuts

EDIT: According to this forum post (same thread you linked in the comment, actually), it sounds like restarting the device is required to get the screensaver working again; the ~ds switch is apparently not a toggle. As far as power consumption goes, eInk only uses power to change the image, not to display it. This means that removing the screensaver may in fact extend the battery life, rather than draining it more quickly.

  • Could you please add some information on whether calling ~ds again reenables the screensaver. I have not found anything about this. Also note that disabling the screensaver with ~ds means, that the reader does not go to power saving mode / screensaver if you close the lid, which may or may not affect battery life. The light is said to be switched off. You can still manually start the screensaver by using the power button.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:18
  • Updated the answer to address this question.
    – Tom
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 17:17
  • 2
    Thanks for the pointers, this is helpful. I suspect your point about battery is wrong because the real issue isn't the screen it is whether the linux kernel is awake and doing things or not. When the screen saver comes on, it also stops checking wifi, stops listening to the buttons and an the touch models stops powering up the capacitance based touch screen stuff. That's the stuff that uses power by being on, as you noted the screen itself does not anyway whether on or off. (Although the Paperwhite does have back lighting that takes up power too)
    – Caleb
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 22:53
  • Good point about the battery life--things like scanning for wifi will certainly drain the battery much faster than the screen will. I have no information about the power consumption of listening for buttons and so on--if that requires some active processor time, then you're likely right. I believe that the backlight on the paperwhite, at least, does not stay on with the '~ds' tag.
    – Tom
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 19:02
  • can someone clarify whether this is also a fix for "vanilla" Paperwhite Kindles, or if this is only a solution for "hacked" Paperwhite Kindles that have a "jailbreak" mod. Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 0:10

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