In this week’s mailbag, we received the following question:
I just cleared my old Kindle Fire and gave it to my son. How can I set my new Kindle Fire HDX so my purchases will only go to it, and not the Fire I gave my son?
There is no way to “set” a given Kindle or Fire so that new purchases only go to it, and not to any other Kindles or Fires you have registered to your Amazon account.
However, you can specify where to send the content when you buy it. Under the buy button on Amazon’s product pages for Kindle books, apps, digital videos, etc., there’s a drop-down box where you can select where to have the item “delivered” after your purchase.
Every Kindle or Fire you own and have registered to your Amazon account is listed there (so long as it’s compatible with the content – you won’t see the option to send an Instant Video to your monochrome Kindle or your Paperwhite, for instance), along with—most of the time—an option for Cloud Library (for apps and videos), Cloud Reader (for Kindle books) or Cloud Player (for MP3 music). You can either select a specific device to send the item to, or one of the Cloud options if you want to add the item to your library but don’t want it delivered to a specific device.
What If The Cloud Option Isn’t There?
Note that the Cloud option is not always there, but every piece of digital content you buy from Amazon or Audible is automatically saved to your Amazon Cloud library for free anyway. Where there’s no option provided to save to the Cloud but you only want to save to the Cloud for now, specify a Kindle or Fire to send to when you buy the content, then just go to that Kindle or Fire and delete the item from the device. When you specifically select “the delete from device” option, the content will be removed from your device but NOT from your Cloud library. You can always re-download it to any of your compatible devices at any time in the future, so long as you don’t delete it from your Cloud library.
Remember that the Kindle and Fire families of tablets aren’t intended to be used as content storage devices, they’re intended as content delivery systems. The devices have limited on-board memory because you’re only supposed to download content to the device itself when you’re actually using, or intending to use, it. The rest of the time it’s supposed to stay in your Amazon Cloud library, where storage is limitless and free. Many people make the mistake of downloading every new purchase to their device, but they soon find the device runs out of room or starts behaving sluggishly as the memory reaches its capacity limit.
Content Ordered From Your Kindle Or Fire
One more thing: any content you download directly to a given Kindle or Fire (e.g., when you buy/download an app or Kindle book right on the Kindle/Fire, instead of going online to the Amazon site to get the item) is also added to your Cloud library, just as with any other digital content purchase, but is NOT automatically sent to all your other registered, compatible devices.