freetimeA number of Fire owners have found their tablets spontaneously factory resetting themselves. We first covered this issue in April, when some owners of Fire HD devices found their tablets spontaneously factory resetting, but this glitch seems to be updating all Fires, including the $50 7” models.

This time, the culprit seems to be Freetime, the “best-in-class” parental control suite for Fire tablets. According to customers’ posts on the Kindle forums, this is a known server-side issue, and the only solution is to reregister and start over, losing any saved data and game progress. There doesn’t seem to be any way to recover that data, even if you had the cloud backup option enabled on your Fire tablet.

Some Fire users report their kids’ tablets won’t stay registered—they put the registration data in, and within a day or so it factory resets again. That seems to line up with Amazon telling people to reregister and start over—whatever the server-side issue is, it’s apparently made the existing registrations unable to stay registered for very long. If that’s the case, then even Freetime’s own separate cloud backup setting (under the Freetime tab) won’t help—there wouldn’t be any way to transfer that game data to a new registration. Another support rep told a parent that the developers are working on it but there’s no timeframe for when it will be fixed.

That’s not going to be good news for all the kids who play games on their Fire, such as Minecraft Story Mode. I well remember how frustrating it is to lose all your progress like that. And that’s even leaving aside the issue of getting their e-books back. If you have to reregister, do you lose all the e-books you purchased?

Hopefully Amazon gets this fixed soon.

(Found via The eBook Evangelist here and here.)

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