HomeHow ToHow to Fix Disappearing Kindle Book Cover Art Thumbnails

How to Fix Disappearing Kindle Book Cover Art Thumbnails

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Recent firmware updates from Amazon caused the cover art thumbnails of sideloaded ebooks on Kindle to disappear. A lot of users are complaining about this issue with their original book covers being replaced by the generic one.

No one wants a generic book cover on their Kindle library, so if you experience this too, learn how to fix it easily in this article.

Why Does the eBook Cover Thumbnails Disappear on Kindle

Amazon implemented a new feature that comes with the new firmware update for Kindle. Your Kindle tries to cross-reference your book details with the data from the Kindle Store. Since sideloaded books do not have a valid ASIN, cross-checking fails and in turn, Kindle adds a generic cover art for those books.

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How to Fix Kindle Book Cover Art Images Disappearing

How-to-Fix-Amazon-Kindle-Book-Cover-Art-Images-Disappearing
Credit: Pinho/Unsplash

Use Calibre 4.17 or Later

If you’ve been sideloading books to your Kindle e-reader, you must have used Calibre at one point. It is a very popular ebook management tool and is being updated frequently to deal with issues like this.

All you need to do is update to Calibre version 4.17 or later to fix the disappearing cover images. The updated version of Calibre fixes the metadata issues and restores the original cover art thumbnails to your content.

After updating to the latest version of Calibre, simply plug in your Kindle device and the metadata will be refreshed including the ebook thumbnails.

Another Workaround using Calibre

If for some reason, the method above does not work for you, you can try this Calibre workaround that a user on Reddit has posted.

This is specifically helpful if you are sideloading self-published books or those from other sources that do not exist in Amazon’s database.

  • Use Calibre to transfer your content as you would normally do. But, before disconnecting your device, navigate to the “\system\thumbnails” folder on the Kindle.
  • If you sort by date, you should be able to easily find the covers of the books you just transferred. The names will look something like this: “thumbnail_[GUID-NUMBER-HERE].jpg”
  • Copy the images to a folder on your hard drive and then dismount your Kindle.
  • Make sure you’re out of airplane mode and wait for the covers to disappear. Once they do, the Kindle is done scanning the new additions and won’t try to replace the cover images a second time.
  • Plug your Kindle back in to your computer and copy the thumbnails you saved back to the “\system\thumbnails” folder, overwriting the broken files.
  • After that, disconnect your Kindle.

Your original book cover art thumbnails should now be displayed instead of the generic thumbnails. Now, you can start reading again and get lost in those pages you flip.

Did any of these two methods help you fix the issue with disappearing book cover art images on your Kindle? If you found another method, let us know in the comments section below.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I manage through it:

    1. Using airplane mode.
    2. Eraising de MOBI-ASIN ID
    3. Converting books to AZW3 files

    I’m unsure if it’s only one of this or the combination of the three. All I know it’s nothing work for me before that.

    • I had this issue too with store bought. So I restarted my kindle and when it came back on, all the books were back with their proper book covers and not the grey generic one with the just the words.
      So maybe try just restarting it. 🙂

  2. The second method worked for me! Thanks!!
    To note: I have Calibre 5.29, and use a mac. The folder with the thumbnails was called: ‘amazon-cover-bug’ and was accessed from the finder window where the Kindle displays like a flashdrive.
    🙂

  3. My Goodness! I used this methode after trying to save Amason asin numbers Which worked on my older Kindle Voyage).
    The second the Kindle was off airplane mode, Poof! the thumbnail covers were replaced by the “generic” cover. Used the second workaround and perfect! I tried a hard-reset to see if the covers would remain and they did! thanks!!

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