Setting Up a Kindle Fire Before Giving as a Gift

Kindle Fire

If you've purchased a Kindle Fireas a gift, and want to set it up before the official unwrapping, I have a few tips for you. These are just for consideration, not necessarily recommendations. Peruse and see if anything seems interesting to you.

Preloading Content

Wouldn't it be terrific for the recipient to already have a few well-chosen books and maybe a dozen songs when they first power up? You can do this, but there are a couple of considerations. First, the Kindle Fire is tied to the account you establish when you set it up. It's easy enough to change accounts, but by doing so, you also lose any content you've purchased. (You don't really lose it; it's just not on that particular Kindle anymore.) So it's best to set up the Kindle with an Amazon account that belongs to its eventual owner.

You could get the eventual owner's information, but then when you purchase stuff, they will be charged. Ho Ho Ho! Another route to consider is setting up a new Amazon account in the eventual owner's name. I did this with a shared email address we have with our cable company. She never checks that email, so it was perfect for this use. I wrote her log-in information on the instruction card that came with the device.

More Content Via a Gift Card

If you don't think that preloading content is a practical idea, you can get an Amazon downloadable gift cardand include it with the Kindle Fire. You choose the amount, pick the style of card, then Amazon sends you a PDF that you can print out and fold. It's personalized, looks great, and is a nice touch to the already thoughtful Fire.

A Home for the Kindle

Since the device doesn't come with a case, you may want to purchase one. This makes a great add-on gift that others can give. You provide the Fire, they add the steak sauce.

Get to Know the Device

If you spend an hour or so getting familiar with the Kindle Fire, then you can help the recipient get up to speed quickly after the unwrapping. Plus, there might be software updates that need to be installed. Why not take care of that beforehand?

Fully Charged and Ready for Action

The Kindle Fire ships with a decently charged battery. But you can top it off and have the device ready for a full day of action.

Hands Off; It's for Her

Once you give the gift, let her enjoy it. It's not your toy. Hands off unless she offers to let you play with it.

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My comment isn't specific to the Fire, but - I was happy to see that you can "gift" Kindle books to someone AND specify the date of delivery! I gifted my wife a couple of Kindle titles and specified a delivery date of 12/25.

My wife already has a Kindle, but if a person were to set up an account per your instructions I'd think it should work exactly the same way - although if she's not already a Kindle owner, I guess there's less reason to wait on book delivery to the device.

That's a good add-on tip, Travis. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

I just got two for my teenaged daughters, and Im disappointed that unlike iPods and iPads, I dont seem to be able to set up parental controls that will prevent them from buying from the store with one click...and they can now that it's enable on my account (13/14 yr olds don't typically possess a Visa). If they add that feature, I'll feel MUCH better. :)

I had just wrapped my wife's Kindle Fire (shh, don't tell her) the day before I read this. Yes, I unwrapped it, pried open the box w/o tearing it or removing the cellophane, and setup the device with her new Amazon account and our wi-fi settings. I added a couple of apps that I know she likes. Today I'll pick up a usb micro-B cable so that I can add some photographs of our daughter.
Wow, won't she be surprised when she removes it from the box to find the Fire all charged up, personalized, and ready to go.

Thanks, Derrick, for such a great Idea!