Amazon has set tomorrow, March 22, as the deadline to update a range of its older Kindle e-readers so they can remain online.

Kindles bought in 2012 or before need to be turned on, connected to Wi-Fi and updated so that they can remain doing so in the future. Not updating the software on the Kindles will mean readers won’t be able to log on to the Kindle Store to purchase any new books, and considering Amazon’s doesn’t allow readers to transfer books purchased from other digital stores to its e-readers, that will severely limit the usefulness of the devices.

The models which are affected are:

  • Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
  • Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
  • Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
  • Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
  • Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
  • Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)

In order to avoid being unable to buy new books or syncing reading progress from other devices, then all users have to do is click on the “sync and check for items” option in the menu. Kindles do download and update to the latest version of the software automatically, but as many Kindles are used only periodically, they may have disconnected from their wireless networks and so need to be updated manually.

Those who don’t update will see 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.”

Amazon is not leaving those who fail to update before tomorrow completely in the lurch however. Customers who don’t update their software will be able to download the specific update for their Kindle from the company’s help page. Then, simply plug the Kindle into a computer and update the software via USB.