Kindle (Paperwhite) Not Showing Up on Mac? Try These Fixes

There is no denying that the Kindle does a great job of offering multiple convenient ways of transferring files from your computer or mobile device, making it a breeze to get any book of your choice on your Kindle in a matter of minutes.

That being said, in some cases, technical issues that seem to appear out of nowhere can even turn a straightforward process, such as transferring files, into a problematic one, considerably diminishing the experience of using a Kindle, where one of the primary benefits is convenience.

Today, the issue in our focus will be one that you can come across as a Kindle user who uses a Mac computer, in particular, where the Kindle does not show up as a USB drive that you can copy files from and to as it should, making it impossible to utilize perhaps what is the most convenient way of transferring files to the Kindle.

So, how can you get your Kindle to show up correctly on your Mac?

Below, you can find our recommended solutions for fixing the issue of your Kindle not showing up on your Mac:

  • Soft reset the Kindle.
  • Restart your Mac.
  • Fully charge the Kindle.
  • Change the USB cable that you’re using.
  • Connect the USB cable to a different port on your Mac.
  • Mount the Kindle manually through Disk Utility.

In the following sections, we will have a full-fledged troubleshooting guide on fixing the problem you’re encountering with your Kindle, where we will go through all the solutions we have mentioned above in more detail and discuss the potential culprits behind the occurrence of this issue.

Kindle (Paperwhite) Not Showing Up on Mac – Troubleshooting Guide

While there are indeed other ways to transfer files to your Kindle, performing the transfer through a USB connection is usually the most convenient, which makes fixing the issue of the Kindle not showing up on your Mac computer an important one for the best experience.

Below, you can find sub-sections for all the solutions we recommend utilizing to fix the issue of your Kindle not showing up on your Mac computer, in which we will explain the process of applying each fix in detail and discuss how it can be helpful to resolve the issue.

Soft Reset the Kindle

Soft resetting an electronic device, such as your Kindle, is a simple process that can usually automatically resolve minor software problems that prevent the device from operating as intended, making it the first step to take in almost all troubleshooting scenarios.

For this process, all you will need to do is to press and hold the Power button located under your Kindle for 40 seconds or more and release it after the required amount of time has passed, which will cause your Kindle to power off and power back on, effectively restarting it.

Alternatively, you can press and hold the Power button until the Power pop-up appears on the screen (roughly 10 seconds), release it, and tap the Restart button located in the pop-up, which will practically produce the same result as the technique we have mentioned above.

Finally, if you’re experiencing issues with the physical Power button, one last technique you can use to restart your Kindle is to open the context menu (three dots on the top-right corner), press Settings, open the context menu again, and press the Restart button, which is a completely on-screen way of conducting this process.

Restart Your Mac

As your Mac is just as likely to be the culprit as the Kindle behind the issue you’re facing, restarting your Mac is the second troubleshooting step we recommend taking after restarting your Kindle for the same purpose of resolving minor software bugs that can potentially create the problem.

To restart your Mac, you can click the Apple logo on the top-left corner to bring up the dropdown menu, choose the Restart option, and press the Restart button on the pop-up that appears for confirmation purposes.

mac restart

Once you restart your Kindle and your Mac, we recommend removing the USB cable from both ends and reconnecting, which should establish a new and successful connection between the devices.

Fully Charge the Kindle

Even though the USB connection should technically be providing the power your Kindle requires, some users have reported that connecting a low-battery Kindle to their Mac computers resulted in the Kindle not showing up as intended.

Even though your Kindle should fully charge in a few hours under normal circumstances, we recommend giving the device a complete 24 hours to charge in the case of this solution, as this will allow your Kindle’s battery to become full even if there are charging issues that can cause charging to become slower than usual.

For the best results possible, we highly recommend using the official Kindle power adapter with a high-quality USB cable purchased from a trusted seller, as this will allow you to rule out any issues related to charging.

Once you connect your Kindle to the power adapter, the indicator light on the bottom of the device (next to the Power button) should have a solid orange color, which signifies that your Kindle’s battery is not full but is correctly charging without any problems.

On the other hand, if the indicator light isn’t coming on, it means that your Kindle is having a charging-related issue, in which case we would recommend applying solutions such as cleaning the charging port, changing the cable, changing the adapter, and connecting the adapter to a different outlet.

Change the USB Cable That You’re Using

Problems related to USB cables account for a considerable number of cases regarding connectivity issues between two electronic devices, as the cable, just as the devices involved, plays an essential role in the correct transfer of data.

To ensure that a data transfer can occur between your Kindle and your Mac, the USB cable that you use to connect the two devices needs to be a data cable and not a charge-only one, as using the latter will create a scenario where your Kindle charges, but doesn’t show up on your Mac.

usb cable with data transfer example

While there is no easy way to determine whether the USB cable you’re using already supports the transmission of data (unless you still have the packaging), one clue to look out for is the thickness of the cable, as charge-only USB cables are often thinner than data cables.

That being said, to guarantee that the issue does not stem from the cable, we highly recommend replacing it with a new one, as this will allow you to make sure that the new cable is not a charge-only one during purchasing and also rule out the possibility of a cable malfunction due to factors such as wear and tear.

Connect the USB Cable to a Different Port on Your Mac

Connecting your Kindle to a different USB port on your Mac is a straightforward technique that you can utilize to rule out the possibility of that one particular port creating the issue, as issues related to the USB port can easily contribute to the occurrence of the problem that you’re experiencing.

For this solution, all you will need to do is to unplug the USB cable that connects your Mac to your Kindle from the side of your Mac and plug it into another available USB port.

While all USB ports are usually placed right next to each other on most Mac computers, you might also find that they are spread out on the two opposite sides (left and right) in the case of some MacBooks.

Mount the Kindle Manually Through Disk Utility

In some cases, it’s possible for the Kindle to not automatically be mounted as a drive despite being correctly detected by your Mac, which will prevent it from being visible in Finder with the rest of the available drives.

Below, you can find a step-by-step guide that you can follow to mount your Kindle manually through the Disk Utility application on your Mac:

  1. Connect your Kindle to your Mac with a USB cable.
  2. Open the Spotlight Search (click the magnifying glass on the top-right corner of the screen or press the Command and Space keys together on the keyboard) on your Mac.
  3. Type “disk utility” in the Spotlight Search input, and press Enter.
  4. Locate your Kindle on the left pane of the Disk Utility application under the External category.
  5. Click the volume that belongs to your Kindle, which should be right below the main Kindle entry as a sub-item.
  6. Click the Mount button on the top-right corner of Disk Utility or right-click on the volume and click the Mount option in the dropdown.
mac disk utility mount

If you have successfully mounted your Kindle or found it to be already mounted, you should be able to locate it on the left pane of the Finder application.

As Finder settings can prevent external disks from showing up on the desktop and lead you to believe there is a problem, the most reliable way to check whether a disk is correctly connected to your Mac is to utilize Finder.

finder kindle example

To make external disks show up on the desktop, you can modify the Finder settings accordingly by opening Finder, clicking on the Finder menu on the top-left corner, choosing Settings from the dropdown menu, and checking the “External disks” option in the pop-up menu.

mac finder settings

On the other hand, if you are unable to locate your Kindle through the Disk Utility tool or encounter errors when you try to mount it, it indicates that another issue has prevented your Mac from automatically mounting your Kindle as intended, in which case this solution cannot fix the problem.

What Can Cause Kindle (Paperwhite) to Not Show Up on Mac?

Coming across the issue of your Kindle not showing up on your Mac computer can be as confusing of a problem as it is upsetting, as the Kindle usually ends up being charged over the USB connection despite not showing up as a device.

Below, you can find the most common factors that can prevent your Kindle from showing up on your Mac as intended:

  • Using a charge-only USB cable
  • Using a malfunctioning USB cable
  • Hardware issues related to the USB ports on either side
  • Driver issues that prevent your Mac from picking up on the USB connection or mounting the drive correctly
  • Software issues preventing the USB drive mode of your Kindle from operating as intended

As the electric charge will flow from your Mac to your Kindle in a considerable number of the cases listed above, the battery of your Kindle getting charged is usually not an indicator of anything meaningful except confirming that the USB ports and the USB cable are physically capable of carrying power.


While not being able to access your Kindle on your Mac can, without a doubt, be irritating, especially if you don’t have access to any other means of transferring files to your Kindle at the moment, it’s usually possible to resolve the problem by following some simple troubleshooting steps.

Below, you can find a summary of the solutions that we recommend applying to get your Kindle to show up on your Mac again:

  • Soft reset your Kindle to resolve minor software bugs preventing it from connecting to your Mac.
  • Restart your Mac to fix minor software bugs that prevent it from detecting your Kindle.
  • Fully charge your Kindle to rule out potential issues that can stem from a low battery level.
  • Change the USB cable you’re using to rule out the possibility of a malfunctioning cable contributing to the problem and to ensure that the cable supports data transmission.
  • Connect the USB cable to a different USB port on your Mac to rule out the possibility of one particular port creating the problem.
  • Mount the Kindle manually through the Disk Utility tool to rule out the possibility of the issue occurring due to your Mac not automatically mounting your Kindle.

On the other hand, if you cannot get your Mac to detect your Kindle after applying the solutions we have listed above, our recommendation would be to connect your Kindle to a PC instead and either contact Apple Support (if Kindle shows up without issues on the PC) or Amazon Support (if Kindle doesn’t show up on either the Mac or the PC) based on the results.