Amazon Kindle users must update their old e-readers immediately to stay online
New Amazon Kindle coming next week. In picture: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the Kindle e-reader.Reuters

Amazon released an urgent software update to all models of Kindle, from 1st generation (2007) through 5th generation (2012), Monday. The e-commerce giant said the e-readers must be updated before March 22 to avoid losing internet connectivity, which is essential to access Kindle Store or e-books from the cloud.

The update is for the original Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) and other models that came before that, which include Kindle 4th Generation (2011), Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011), Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010), Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009), Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) and Kindle 1st Generation (2007). The Kindle Paperwhite 6th and 7th Generation, Kindle 7th Generation and Kindle Voyage 7th Generation are exempted from the emergency update.

When the Kindle is not updated with the latest software, users would receive the following message, "Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again."

If Kindle is regularly used and connected to Wi-Fi, the default setting would initiate an automatic update while in sleep mode. However, if the e-reader hasn't been in use, it is important that users charge the device full and connect to Wi-Fi before checking for pending software updates.

To update the Kindle via Wi-Fi, go to Menu and select Sync and Check for Items. Plug in the Kindle for charge and let it update overnight. The device might start several times during the installation, which is part of the process. Once completed, a final confirmation letter titled 03-2016 Successful Update will appear on the device.

Amazon has marked March 22 as the deadline to update all eligible Kindles and failing to do so would require users to manually perform the upgrade. The users can download the update file and transfer it to the Kindle from the computer using USB cable. Amazon has a detailed guide on how to update the affected Kindles as well as the links to download the software for corresponding devices.