When you set up a new Kindle device, or a new instance of the Kindle app on some computer, phone, or tablet, Amazon’s device manager screen lists them for you so you can pick which one to send given e-books to when you buy them.
However, sometimes this can get confusing, as Amazon tends to pick such descriptive names as “Christopher’s Android Device,” “Christopher’s 2nd Android Device,” and so on by default. And if you’re planning to email documents onto your Kindle, you may not find it easy to remember addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, either.
Fortunately, there are ways to change these settings. You can do it from Amazon’s “Manage Your Content and Devices” menu on the web (formerly known as “Manage My Kindle”), or you can handle it from within some of the devices themselves. It’s fairly simple to do either way.
To get to the “Manage Your Content and Devices” screen, simply log into Amazon, mouse over the “Your Account” dropdown menu at the upper right, and select “Manage Your Content and Devices,” about halfway down. The screen will open to a listing of your Kindle e-books, but there’s a “Your Devices” tab above the listing you can click and it will show you the choices. If you’re anything like me, with about a zillion devices and computers, you may be surprised at just how many there are, including ones you can’t even remember. (It doesn’t help that Audible apps get their own separate listing, so many computers or device you have could be on there twice.)
To change a device name, just click on it to select it, then click on the blue “Edit” link next to the name. Change it to whatever you like. Likewise, for those devices that support email send-to-Kindle, you can click on “Edit” next to the email address to change that, too. For mine, I tend to keep the “robotech_” prefix, and then change the number to something descriptive, like robotech_pw for my paperwhite, or robotech_fi for my Fire. That way it’s easier to remember if I need to send a document in.
But sometimes you may run across a case where you have no idea what that application or device listed in this section is. Which of your android devices is your “2nd” one? Which desktop installation of Windows is the one you’re currently using? Fortunately, there are ways to figure that out, too.
The Windows application is the simplest. Launch it, and it should give the device title in the status bar along with the e-book you’re reading. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to change that setting from within that application, so once you know which it is, you’ll have to go back to “Manage My Kindle” to change it.
Android applications are simple enough, too. Launch the application, tap on the “hamburger” icon at the top left, and choose “Settings.” It will tell you what your device is called, and let you change the name or email address from there. But if you’d rather not type it in on one of those little on-screen keyboards, you might prefer to take that knowledge to the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page and do it there with your desktop. There’s also a “Settings” option in the Audible player for Android, accessed from the hamburger on the library screen, that tells you what Amazon thinks that app is called.
The Fire’s apps don’t work quite this way, though. To find your Fire’s device name, you have to tap on the gear-shaped “Settings” icon, then choose “Device Options.” “Change Your Device Name” will be right there at the top. (I didn’t see an option to change the send-to-Kindle address, but it can be done from the Amazon web device management tool easily enough.)
With iOS devices, there’s no way to change the device’s name or email from within the Kindle app itself, but you can at least see what they are by tapping the gear at the bottom right of the app to launch the “Settings” menu. It lists the email address in the Settings menu, then if you tap on “Registration” it shows you the exact device name.
Though you can’t rename the device there, you can deregister it—which I had to do when I noticed only one of my two iPads was showing up in the device listing. I ended up de-registering and re-registering both of them to get them to show up. The iOS Audible app also has a settings menu with a gear at the lower right, and it has its Amazon name listed at the very bottom of the settings menu in fine print.
Finding it on a Kindle device can require diving several menus deep. On a Paperwhite, from the home screen, tap the three-dot icon at the upper right to open the menu, then choose “Settings.” Next choose “Device Options,” then “Personalize your Kindle,” then “Device Name and Personal Info.” Not only can you rename your device there, you can fill in a “Personal Info” section to clarify exactly what device it is in case you have more than one of that kind. On the Kindle Touch it works the same way, though the menus are slightly different.
I’ve noticed that sometimes Amazon can lose track of your device and assign it a brand new name and email address, perhaps as a result of a reinstallation or update. In order to make sure you can still email documents to your Kindle or Kindle application at need, it might not hurt to check your list of devices every so often to make sure they’re all still valid.