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When purchasing a Kindle, you will face an option: whether or not it should contain ads. This is a confusing question, as other similar devices do not give you this choice. Furthermore, when you purchase an e-reader or tablet, you likely expect it not to have ads.

However, Amazon is able to offer its Kindle devices at an exceptionally low price by offsetting part of the manufacturing cost with advertising on the device. Previously, the Kindle devices containing ads were called “special offers,” which made the choice even more confusing.

Don’t worry; we will break down everything you need to know about Kindle’s ad and ad-free versions, as well as how you can remove ads after purchase.

Amazon Kindle Ads vs No Ads: Side-by-Side Comparison

No AdsAds
DevicesKindle E-Readers, Fire, KidsKindle E-Readers, Fire
Price$15-$20 More Expensive$20 Cheaper
LockscreenHas ScreensaverHas Ad
HomescreenFull HomescreenSmall Banner Ad at Bottom
UnlockJust Press ButtonMust Press Button Then Swipe
Ads While UnlockedNoneAd at the bottom of the Homescreen

Amazon Kindle Ads vs No Ads: What’s the Difference?

All-new Kindle (2022 release) – The lightest and most compact Kindle, now with a 6” 300 ppi high-resolution display, and 2x the storage - Black
$99.99
  • The lightest and most compact Kindle, now with a 300 ppi high-resolution display for sharp text and images.
  • Read comfortably with a glare-free, paper-like display. The adjustable front light and dark mode make reading effortless, day and night.
  • Get lost in your story. Tune out messages, emails, and social media with a distraction-free device specifically made for reading.
  • Now with extended battery life – A single charge via USB-C lasts up to 6 weeks.
  • Now with 16 GB to store thousands of books – Double the storage capacity of the previous generation.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/03/2023 05:06 am GMT

Amazon offers its Kindle devices with or without ads, and while ads are annoying, these are not that bad. The first thing you will notice on a Kindle is a lock screen that is always on. This screen indicates that the device is in standby mode, but it does not use any power.

If you have a Kindle with ads, the lock screen will have an advertisement for either a book or another Amazon-branded product. This is in comparison to the ad-free version, which does not have this ad on the lock screen. Instead, you get to choose a screensaver for the lock screen. This is by far the biggest difference between the two devices.

The next difference you will notice is when you unlock the Kindle. The no-ads version just requires you to press the lock button. Whereas the ad-supported Kindle requires you to press the lock button and then swipe the screen. It is not a major inconvenience, simply an extra step.

The last difference between the ads vs no ads Kindle is the home screen. A banner on a Kindle with ads may appear at the bottom of the screen. The banner will cause the rest of the screen to shrink slightly. This banner will not be present on a Kindle without ads, so the home screen can take up the entire display.

The home screen size difference is minimal and the ads are not intrusive. Some of the newer Kindle devices do not have this banner on the home screen, so it may not be an issue, depending on the model you choose. Furthermore, the banner goes away when you choose a book, so it does not affect your reading experience.

Add or Remove Ads

One good thing about Amazon’s Kindle devices is that you can always remove ads later if you change your mind. The price for removing ads on most devices is $20, so it is the same price as if you paid extra initially. Therefore, you may want to purchase a Kindle with ads and remove them later if you find them annoying.

Similarly, you may want to know what you are missing out on or see recommended books when you turn on your Kindle. You can always turn ads back on if you purchase a Kindle without ads or pay to remove them. To turn ads back on, just go to settings and then device management. There will be an option to turn ads off or on.

Kid’s Kindles

All-new Kindle Kids (2022 release) – Includes access to thousands of books, a cover, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee - Space Whale
$119.99
  • Great value – Kindle Kids (2022 release) now with an upgraded high-resolution display, 2x the storage, and longer battery life. Includes a cover, 1 year of Amazon Kids+, and 2-year warranty - up to...
  • Amazon Kids+ is a subscription designed for kids aged 3-12 to safely learn, grow, and explore. On Kindle, kids can have unlimited access to thousands of books, and hundreds of audiobooks. After 1...
  • Establish healthy reading habits – kids read, on average, more than an hour a day when they sit down with their Kindle.
  • Kindle Kids is purpose-built for reading (not a toy)—no apps, videos, or games.
  • Now with a 300 ppi high-resolution, glare-free display for sharper text and images.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/03/2023 05:06 am GMT

Amazon sometimes offers Kindle devices targeted toward children. These “Kindle Kids” devices do not have ads on them. However, Amazon is not consistent with its offerings, so it may not always have a kid’s version. The kid’s version does have parental controls and a protective case.

Amazon has a kid’s version of multiple Kindle devices, including the basic Kindle, as well as several Kindle Fire tablets. Most of the kid’s Kindles also come with a warranty that even includes accidental damage.

Cost Between Ads vs No Ads

The cost between ads vs no ads varies depending on the Kindle model. For most devices, such as the Oasis and Paperwhite, there’s a $20 price difference. The $20 upcharge may not seem high, but keep in mind that some of the Kindle devices are pretty cheap, to begin with.

For some of Amazon’s cheapest tablets, such as the Fire 7, the price is only $15 higher. But, of course, the kid’s Kindles also do not come with ads, to begin with, and you can always opt to remove ads for the same price as upgrading would have cost. Therefore, eliminating ads will still only cost $20 if you decide the ads are too bothersome.

Amazon Kindle Ads vs No Ads: 5 Must-Know Facts

  1. Kid’s Kindles don’t have ads.
  2. You can remove ads at any time.
  3. You can also add ads back at any time.
  4. Kindles with ads require you to swipe on the page.
  5. Ads can be managed on the “manage your content and devices” page on Amazon.

Amazon Kindle Ads vs No Ads: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

There is no physical difference between a Kindle with ads and one without. Plus, you can always remove ads later if you change your mind. Therefore, it is best to choose a Kindle with ads and if you feel they are annoying, pay the extra later to remove them.

Amazon makes very affordable tablets and e-readers, so paying extra for an ad-free version can, at times, equal 25% of the device. So, while some people may find the ads slightly bothersome, you probably won’t find removing them worth the cost.

The only time you may want to consider removing ads is with an Oasis and Paperwhite, as these devices come at a premium cost, and therefore the upcharge is a fraction of its price. The same goes for purchasing a Kindle as a gift, since you may want to give the best version possible.

However, the ads will not be a problem for most people, and you will likely rarely even notice them. Most importantly, they do not appear when reading or on any page outside of the home and lock screen. So, unless you are a really big fan of custom screensavers, the ad-free version will serve you well.

NEXT UP…

Amazon Kindle Ads vs No Ads: Full Comparison FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do ads appear in books on Kindle?

No, you will never see an ad while reading on a Kindle.

Can you get rid of Kindle ads?

Yes, you can always pay a fee (usually $20) to remove the ads.

What does "special offers" mean?

“Special offers” was a term previously used by Amazon to identify their ad-supported Kindles. However, the term was confusing so they began simply stating ads or no ads.

How do you remove Kindle ads?

To remove ads on a Kindle go to Settings and Manage devices. There will be an option to remove ads and it will ask you to confirm payment. You can also do this on a computer by signing into your Amazon account and going to manage devices.

Do Kindle Fire tablets have ads?

Kindle Fire tablets also have an ad-free and ad-supported option. The ads are similar to those on a Kindle e-reader and you can also choose to remove them if you wish.

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