Transfer Music, Apps, and Other Data from an Old Gen iPod to a New One

Recently Apple released their new 4th generation iPod Touch & iPhones, and if you get the new generation you probably want to transfer your data. Here we show you how to do it easily using iTunes.
Here we’re transferring our data from the iPod Touch 3rd generation to the latest 4th generation model using iTunes on a Windows 7 computer.
Here we have our iPod Touch 32GB 3rd generation device. Notice we have most everything in folders using the new iOS 4 feature. Since we don’t want to waste time setting up the new device with all the folders, apps, and music…we’ll use the backup feature in iTunes 10…yes iTunes…as it actually works well and you can register the device too.


Backup Old iPod

First plug in your old iPod and back it up. Just right-click on the device in iTunes and select Back Up.

Then wait while the backup process completes.

Register & Restore new iPod

Then connect your new iPod and click on the device and you’ll need to go through the registration process. Or you can register it later to if you want.

Now when you go to set it up, you have the choice to set it up as a new iPod, or restore from a backup. Here we’re selecting the most recent backup then click Continue.

Then wait for the process to complete. The amount of time it takes will depend on how much data was in the backup.

After the restoration is complete we were happy to see all of our data transferred to the 4th Gen iPod Touch successfully, including the folders we had created on the old device. Then of course we have the new featured included like FaceTime and the Camera app.

You can of course set it up as a new device and manually manage your apps and other content if you prefer that method.

Generally we try to stay away from iTunes as much as possible, and there are several alternatives out there. But for registering a new iPod and restoring data from the old one…the backup and restore feature works well.
Download the Latest Version of iTunes

Windows 8.1: Search, Apps, and Search Some More

We now turn our sights toward all things Search, which can actually make your Windows 8.1 experience infinitesimally easier if you know how to use it well. Search is now a large part of Windows and Bing has even been integrated so you can get actual web results within local search results.

  1. What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
  2. Making the Start Screen Fit Your Needs
  3. Personalizing Your Start Screen
  4. Using the Windows Store and Windows Store Apps
  5. Working with PC Settings
  6. Working with Accounts and Exploring Sync Settings
  7. Search, Apps, and Search Some More
  8. The Rest of the Settings
  9. Using the WIN+X Menu for Essential Administration
  10. The Rest of Windows 8.1

So while search in Windows has become more useful, it’s also become a little more complicated. Search now does more and, unlike the infamous “dog search” in Windows XP, there’s now more going on even though it may just look like a simple magnifying glass with a text box next to it. Search is now in everything and you’re never more than a key combination away.
In this lesson we’re going to show you all the ins and outs of search, not just from the Start screen’s interface but throughout the system. We’ll cover the Search and Apps PC Settings first and then from there we’ll get into how to use search more effectively, how to modify the search indexer, and we’ll talk about that whole Bing thing and what that means to our search results.
We aim by the end to give you more tools in your arsenal, i.e. Advanced Query Syntax (AQS), for conquering Windows 8.1 search so that as time goes on, and you acquire more and more data, you will be better equipped to find it with just a few keystrokes.

Search and Apps PC Settings

We continue our journey then through the PC Settings by now stopping off to examine the Search and Apps section.

This doesn’t simply cover search settings, but sharing, notifications, app sizes, and app defaults. It’s kind of a diverse mixture of different settings but they all have distinct purposes and you will definitely need to dig into them from time to time.


The top settings in the Search and Apps group is Search. Here you can erase your “search history” and turn off Bing integration, meaning all your searches will remain local. We’ll show what this means in the next section.

If you want your searches to be personalized, then you can adjust how much personalization you get. This is solely a privacy setting, meaning you can dial back how much location and account info Bing uses to return results. You can completely disable this as well, if you prefer.

“SafeSearch” allows you to filter out adult content like images and videos from your web results. If you set it to “Strict” it means you will not see anything whereas if you set it to “Moderate” then you will not see images and videos but you will receive text results.

Finally, if you are operating on a metered connection, then you can disable Bing results completely or only when you’re roaming.


The Share charm and by extension, the Sharing Options are a new feature that appeared in Windows 8. For anyone who’s used a mobile operating system like iOS or Android, this is really no different. How you share, though, will depend on the apps you have installed.
The Sharing Options are pretty simple. At the top you can decide if you want Windows to show the apps you use most often at the top of the share list, as well as how you share, e.g. if you share web pages via e-mail, that option will be at the top next time you share another web page.
You can also choose how many items are shown in the list, clear the list, and decide which apps can share on an app-by-app basis.

The idea is that you’ll do more and more sharing from the Windows Start environment but for established Windows users, this might feel a little foreign and strange. But, if you’re stuck in an airport without a mouse and keyboard, it will have some usefulness if you have good apps to share with.
Sadly, while it’s good that this feature now exists on Windows, it’s still got a lot of growing up to do. We hope that Microsoft will be able to extend and embrace sharing on the desktop. For example, it would be nice to be able to actually share stuff from the Internet to Mail, Facebook, and other apps from a web browser. Additionally, such added functionality would help a great deal in making the Start/desktop experience feel a little more combined and cohesive.


Notifications on Windows 8.1 aren’t like they are on other systems. In Windows 8.1, events pop out from the upper-right corner as toast notifications.

You can adjust your notification preferences in the PC Settings. As you can see in the following screenshot, you can turn them off altogether, which will disable all the other settings.

If you do decide to leave notifications disabled, you can set them to only appear during certain hours. “Quiet hours” meaning that you won’t be disturbed if you have them turned on.

You can choose whether you want to receive calls during quiet hours or turn that option off. Finally, if you have an app capable of displaying notifications, you can turn it off if you find it bothersome.

For example, if your Facebook feed is blowing up and you don’t want to be alerted every time something happens, you can simply turn off the Facebook notifications instead of all app notifications.

App Sizes

You can reclaim disk space in several ways on Windows 8.1 and through the App Sizes settings.

If you see that an app has gobbled up too much disk space or you simply don’t use it, you can click on it in App Sizes and uninstall it.


Finally, Defaults PC Settings may remind you of the control panel of the same name (pictured below) because it does essentially the same thing.

When you “Choose default apps” you can assign several primary app functions such as your default web browser, e-mail program, music player, and more.

If you scroll to the bottom of the defaults settings, you can also choose to associate file types with apps.

Or, you can do the same with protocols.

All of this is very similar to what you’ll encounter in the desktop equivalent, which can be helpful if you want something to open in a Windows Store app versus the desktop.

Mastering Windows 8.1 Search

Let’s return again now to the specifics of Windows search and its applicable settings, let’s actually delve into the mechanics and inner workings of Search. In this section we want to cover what Windows Search does, how to use it more effectively, and how to tune the Search Indexer for better results.

It’s Got Bing in It

As we explained earlier, Bing is now completely integrated into search results, if you want them to be. The two easiest ways to begin searching is to hit the WIN key and begin typing from the Start screen, or you can use the WIN+Q combo to open the search pane from the desktop.
Looking at the following screenshot, we type “st” and Search automatically auto-fills in the closest results. In this case, the first app Store followed by the troubleshooting tool Steps Recorder, and then followed by other relevant results.

If you initiate a search in Windows 8.1 and then hit “ENTER,” it will return what are known as a “search hero,” which is basically deep Bing results. This means that in our search results below, you get not just local results, we also see whatever Bing finds, provided you leave Bing integration enabled (covered earlier in this lesson).

Search Heroes are useful beyond the obvious search results. For example, if you search for images of New York, you can filter them right within the operating system.

We recommend that, even if you don’t like the idea of Bing in your search results, at least give it a try for a few days and keep in mind, you can always filter your results right from the search pane. So, if you do not want to see web results, you can narrow it down immediately.

Even better, utilizing the power of Advanced Query Syntax, you can refine your results even further.

Searching from File Explorer

As we mentioned, search in Windows is multifaceted and you can perform searches from many places, and you can still search from the File Explorer just as always. Wherever you are in the system, you can search it. You will note that the Ribbon at the top of the File Explorer window changes to “Search Tools” and gives you a bunch of options to help you narrow your results.

Of note here is the ability to search the current folder and/or its subfolders, search by date, file kind, size, use recent searches, save a search, and access advanced options.
You can also search in other locations. For example, the Control Panel has a search box so you can find different settings and options rather than hunting through the Control Panel for something in particular.

As we said, search is everywhere in Windows and it is very easy to use but you can take it even further with Advanced Query Syntax.

How to Use Advanced Query Syntax to Find Stuff

We want to spend some time talking about Advanced Query Syntax (AQS) because even if you have no idea what that is, learning even just a little bit about AQS can help you find anything on your computer, quickly.
The point of AQS is to make your life easier but the learning curve can be a bit steep. Search can be found all over Windows. There are literally search features all over the interface: you can search from the Start menu, control panels, File Explorer windows, PC Settings; if you key in WIN+F, the Search pane slides out so you can search your files; if you use WIN+Q, you can search everything, etc.
The point is, search is ubiquitous so there’s no practical reason why you can’t use it more, and more effectively.

What is AQS?

Think of Advanced Query Syntax as your key to better search results. AQS is a group of queries that allow you to not only refine searches to make them more effective, but produce results based upon a file’s contents and properties. You might think that you’ll never be able to find that one picture you took or video you shot, but just knowing a little bit about that file and then understanding which syntax to use in your search, can often make short work of your efforts.
We could dedicate an entire lesson to AQS (we are in fact, planning an upcoming series on it), which should be an indication to everyone as to just how much there is to it. That said, we mean to merely introduce you and point out a few ways you can make AQS work for you.

How Does AQS Work?

You already know how to search for something, AQS just makes it easier to refine your searches and make them more accurate. You can search using one or more keywords including Boolean operators, and other criteria from one or more parameters:

File properties

Files have a lot of information contained within them other than the bits and bytes that make them up. File properties are comprised of things such as the size of a file, the date it was created/modified, tags that have been attributed to it, and other things that tell us what a file is all about.

File Contents

As Windows has evolved, search has too so that now it can peer even further into your files so you can actually look for keywords contained within a file. Simply put, if you search for an image, you can phrase your search as such so that you only find images, which match a particular description or document that contains a certain phrase or wording.

Kinds of Files

There are many kinds of items on your system. What kinds? Well, there are sound files (mp3, ogg, wav), documents (doc, txt, rtf), videos (avi, wmv, mkv), folders, e-mails, and more. If you know what kind of item you’re searching for, you can narrow down your search results fairly quickly.

Data Stores

Finally, you can search various data stores where items have been indexed (we’ll cover the search indexer in the next section). These data stores might include databases, external hard drives, and anywhere else you’ve specified Windows 8.1 to index.

Don’t Forget Your Boolean Operators!

Throughout all these searches, you can use Boolean operators to further refine your searches. You may already be acquainted with Boolean if you’ve ever searched for stuff on the Internet. Basically Boolean are operators that let you string search terms and parameters together. Here are some examples:

peanut butter NOT jelly
Searches for items that contain peanut butter but not jelly.

peanut butter OR jelly
Searches for items that contain peanut butter or jelly.

Quotation marks
“peanut butter and jelly”
Searches for the exact phrase “peanut butter and jelly.”

“OR” and “NOT” must be capitalized, and cannot be in the same search string. Effectively incorporating Boolean into your searches will allow you to combine, exclude, or even constrain search terms. This is great if you have several different criteria and want to produce logical search results.
We recommend you read Microsoft’s MSDN page on Advanced Query Syntax for an extensive list of Boolean operators and Boolean properties.

A Final Word on Wildcards

Wildcards allow you to fudge the details a bit so you can return results if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Think of AQS as a search scalpel and wildcards as a search axe.
Windows Search has two wildcards, “*”, which matches anything and “?”, which matches any character. In other words, an “anything” search will let you insert a “*” to represent a whole string of text while an “any character” search will let you insert a “?” when you want it to fill in for single characters you don’t know.
There’s so much to Advanced Query Syntax, we can only introduce you to concepts, but there’s a wealth of information readily available on the Internet. We recommend Microsoft’s own documentation as the ultimate source. How-To Geek also has also published a recent article that details some of AQS’s finer points.
Coming up in a few weeks, we’ll be publishing an entire series devoted to Windows Search and AQS, so you should make sure to keep checking back!

Search and Indexing Options

There are two control panels that you should be immediately familiar with to get the best search results. The first one is “Folder Options.”

Let’s first check out the “Search” tab. It’s probably fair to ask why these options aren’t in the “Indexing Options” but here they are in a dialog dedicated to folder options. Nevertheless, there’s some very important things to note here.

First, you can disable the search indexer from cataloging system files. This will result in a smaller index and it also means that system files won’t appear in basic searches unless you search for them specifically in file folders. However, as it states, if you do this, searches might take longer to perform.
Speaking of slower searches, if you search in non-indexed locations (we’ll cover that in a second), you can have search include system directories and compressed files. You can also for search to look through files names and file contents, which will definitely slow things down considerably.
We keep mentioning the indexer and you’re probably wondering what we’re going on about. If you note the previous screenshot of the Control Panel, you’ll probably see that we also included the “Indexing Options” in that red square.
Put simply, the indexing options allow you to specify where the indexer searches and how, meaning that you can exclude folders, partitions, and drives that contain stuff you don’t need to search for (archived data for example).
You can just as easily include areas that you do want to index. Let’s say, for instance, you have a partition devoted to images that you painstakingly tag with relevant information about their subject and content. You’d most definitely want include that partition in your image searches.

Clicking the “Modify” button will open a new dialog that allows you to do just that. You’ll see your drives and partitions, and you can open them to access sub-directories if you do not want the entire location indexed.
Below, you see a summary of what is or scheduled to be indexed. This gives you a quick glance at all your indexed locations, from which you can decide if you’re good to go or if you still need to add/remove stuff.

If you click the “Advanced” button on the previous screen, you’re given options. The “Index Settings” tab lets you decide if you want your encrypted files indexed and whether you want words with diacritics treated as different words, for example, “naïve” would be treated separately from “naive.”
If you’re having problems, say the indexer doesn’t seem to be performing as advertised, or you decide to change what is indexed and want a clean start, you can “Rebuild” it. It’s important to note that indexing your entire system can sometime take considerable time so each time you rebuild, you won’t get complete search results until it is finished.
Finally, you can move the index to another location. We don’t really recommend doing this unless the index has a reason to be in another location, such as if you’re trying to save a little disk space or you can claim more performance. Usually the index is good just where it is.

The “File Types” tab is pretty obvious. You have three ways of configuring file types, you can uncheck all the ones you simply don’t want to index, if you do index a file type, you can choose between whether to index its properties, or its properties and contents.

Additionally, you can add new extensions to the list. You might do this for instance if you add files to your computer that have an extension that isn’t registered on your computer.
For example, when you install Microsoft Office, it registers its file types (docx, xlsx, pptx, and so on) so that Office always opens files of that type. Then, the search indexer crawls your hard drive and indexes files of that type, unless you say otherwise in the above dialog. Thus, if you have files that aren’t a registered file type, you will need to add it here.


Search is, and should be a more prominent part of the Windows experience. In truth, using search effectively can greatly shorten the time you spend looking for files and settings, doing research, and even launching applications. Add in AQS, and you have some very powerful tools that can quickly turn you into a Search Guru!
For your homework, search! Try out the Bing integration, Search Heroes, and maybe do a little AQS research. See what you can do with it and let us know if you have any questions by sounding off in our forums.
Tomorrow, we’re going to wind up our discussions of the PC Settings by focusing on the “Privacy,” “Network,” and “Time and Language” settings groups, and a long overdue examination of Windows 8.1’s “Update and recovery” options.
Next Page: The Rest of the Settings

How to Jailbreak Your Kindle Paperwhite for Screensavers, Apps, and More

We’ve shown you how to jailbreak your Kindle in the past, but the new Paperwhite (with a beautiful higher resolution screen that begs for custom screensavers) requires a brand new bag of tricks to jailbreak. Read on as we jailbreak a Paperwhite and show off the new screensaver modes.


Why Do I Want to Do This?

There are two elements to this tutorial. First, there’s the jailbreak itself. The jailbreak allows you to access your Kindle Paperwhite as if you were a developer with full access to the operating system and file structure of the device. This is awesome because it allows you to use the device as you wish, including loading third party hacks, add-ons, and other cool tweaks.
The second part of the tutorial covers a great example of what you can do with a jailbroken Paperwhite, installing custom screensavers. The original screensaver hack was pretty awesome (as it allowed you to replace the stock Kindle screensavers with your own), but the new screensaver hack is even better as it allows for three modes: custom screensavers, displaying the cover of the last book read, and a lightweight “sleeping” overlay that keeps the current page visible. We’ll detail how these modes work once we’ve installed the hack. We don’t know about you, but around How-To Geek we love customizing things big and small, so this hack is right up our alley.

What Do I Need?

For this tutorial, you’ll need the following things:

  • A Kindle Paperwhite
  • A USB Sync Cable
  • A host computer

While all the Kindles are jailbreakable, the Kindle Paperwhite is the newest and also requires an approach significantly different than older Kindles. If you have an older Kindle, don’t despair, you can check out our old Kindle jailbreak guide here.
RELATED ARTICLEJailbreak Your Kindle for Dead Simple Screensaver Customization
You’ll also need a host computer capable of opening .zip archives and mounting the Paperwhite as removable flash storage. Since the computer just serves as a platform for transferring files to the Kindle, the tutorial is OS-agnostic.
Finally, you’ll need a handful of small files for each step of the process (jailbreaking and installing the screensaver hack) which we will link directly to in each section of the tutorial at the appropriate time.

Upgrading/Downgrading Your Paperwhite’s OS

If your Paperwhite’s Kindle OS version is 5.3.3 or 5.3.6+, you cannot install the jailbreak hack and will need to upgrade/downgrade your OS version to a suitable one.
Note: If your current Kindle OS version, as checked by going to Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Device Info, is 5.3.0, 5.3.1, 5.3.4, or 5.3.5, then you do not need to upgrade or downgrade your current OS version. If your OS version is earlier than 5.3.0 we highly recommend upgrading to to the most current but jailbreak friendly release 5.3.5. If you’re currently on an acceptable Kindle OS version,  please jump to the next section, Installing the Jailbreak.

We opted to jailbreak using the highest still-jailbreakable version, 5.3.5, and had no problems. Some users have reported issues and jump all the way back to 5.3.1. You can download the necessary upgrade/downgrade files directly from Amazon’s servers here:

  • Amazon Hosted Kindle OS 5.3.1
  • Amazon Hosted Kindle OS 5.3.5

If for any reason the above links are broken (e.g. Amazon is no longer offering older Kindle OS files for download) the files are also available on this third party site, hosted by Kindle modder/developer Ixtab:

  • Third Party Hosted Kindle OS 5.3.1
  • Third Party Hosted Kindle OS 5.3.5

Download the appropriate Kindle OS .bin file to your computer.
Before proceeding, put your Paperwhite into Airplane mode by navigating to Menu -> Settings and toggling the large “Airplane Mode” toggle at the top of the screen to “On”. We don’t want the Paperwhite connecting to Amazon’s servers during this process on the off chance that it will attempt an over-air upgrade or other type of interference.

Mount your Paperwhite as a removable device on your computer by attaching it via the USB sync cable. Copy the .bin file from your computer, to the root directory, like so:

Do not be concerned if you do not have the other files present in the screenshot in your directory, such as the .calibre files, as they are a byproduct of using the Calibre book manager (if you don’t use Calibre, they won’t be on your device).

RELATED ARTICLEHow To Organize Your Ebook Collection with Calibre
Once you’ve successfully transferred the .bin file to your Paperwhite, eject the device from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Navigate to Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Update Your Kindle.
Your Paperwhite will reboot and after a moment or so you’ll see a Software Update screen with a progress meter. Leave it be; it will finish the update and restart on its own after about 5-10 minutes.
Once the Paperwhite has rebooted, check the device information again to ensure the proper Kindle OS version has been flashed to the device. Navigate to Menu -> Settings -> Menu ->Device Info like you did earlier in the tutorial and verify that the update was successful.
RELATED ARTICLESHow to Strip the DRM from Your Kindle Ebooks for Cross-Device Enjoyment and ArchivingHow To Check Out Library Books on Your Kindle for Free

Installing the Jailbreak

Now that we’re on the right Kindle OS version, it’s time to get down to the business of installing the jailbreak. Although we’re referring to the whole process as “jailbreaking”, their are actually a few interesting things happening under the hood.
First, the actual jailbreak is applied to the Paperwhite. This is a modified certificate which allows custom update packages to be installed (much like jailbreaking an iOS device allows unsigned packages to be installed on your device).
Second, it installs the Jailbreak Bridge; this little bit of code is designed to help preserve/migrate the jailbreak in the face of future updates.
Third, it installs a set of Kindlet developer certificates. Kindlets are Java Applets for the Kindle (e.g. the little games you can play on the Kindle). By preinstalling the certificates for the most common jailbreak/third party developers active in the Kindle modding community, it makes it much easier to install third-party Kindlets later on.
Fourth, it installs what is known as a “Rescue Pack” developed by Kindle modder Ixtab that enables an SSH server on your Paperwhite. Although it’s pretty difficult to actually hurt the various Kindle models with jailbreaking and sticking to well known jailbreak tools and techniques, it’s always possible to screw stuff up if you start doing more advanced mucking around inside your Paperwhite. The SSH server Rescue Pack provides a point of entry to wipe and reset your Paperwhite should the need arise.
Just like rooting/jailbreaking other devices, the actual jailbreak itself doesn’t do a whole lot. It opens up the potential to do a whole lot, however, which we’ll tap into once we’ve finished jailbreaking.
To get started, download the Paperwhite jailbreak files here: The Official Mobileread Thread (free Mobileread account required).
Once you’ve downloaded the file,, open the file and extract the contents to a temporary location on your computer. Attach your Paperwhite to your computer and open up the mounted volume. Copy the three non-readme files from the kpw_jb archive:, MOBI8_DEBUG, and to your Paperwhite, placing them in the following directories:

--- \documents\

Failure to place the DEBUG and .sh files on the root and the in the documents folder will prevent you from launching the jailbreak. Once you have placed all the files properly, go ahead and eject your Paperwhite from the computer. Remove the USB cable.
Your Paperwhite will return to the last screen you were using; hit the home button to return to the homescreen if you’re not already on it. On the homescreen you should see a new Personal Document:

If you don’t see the new document, check the pulldown menu right below the navigation bar. If you have it set to only display Books, for example, you won’t see the jailbreak document. Click on the new document to open the .mobi file.
Once the document is open, you’ll be greeted with a giant “Click to JAILBREAK” link on the first page:

Apologies for the sudden decrease in screenshot quality, the screen capture is disabled within documents for copyright reasons, so we switched to manually photographing the Paperwhite’s screen.
After you click the link, you’ll see a follow up screen with additional instructions, like so:

Do just as it says: gently press for a few seconds in the corner of the screen. It will quickly boot over to the jailbreak installation process:

Once the process is complete, it will kick you right back to the Paperwhite’s home screen (which is an interesting break from previous jailbreak tools that completely restart the device). The previous jailbreak document will be replaced with log of the jailbreak process, like so:

Opening the document simply lists off what the jailbreak did (which is essentially just a list of what things we talked about earlier in the tutorial like installing the Jailbreak Bridge).
At this point, the device is completely jailbroken! The only functionality not available immediately after installation is the SSH-based Rescue Pack (you need to restart your Paperwhite once to enable the SSH server).

Installing the Screensaver Hack

Now that we have the Paperwhite jailbroken, it’s time to actually take advantage of the jailbreak to do some fun stuff. The number one reason people jailbreak their Kindles is to get custom screensavers, so we’re going to show you how to round out your jailbreak hack with a nice custom screensaver pack.
To get started, we need to download two files, a Python for Kindle pack and the actual screensaver hack ( and, respectively).
You can download them here: The Official Mobileread Thread (free account required)
Once you’ve downloaded the files, it’s time to get started. Before we can use the screensaver hack, we need to have Python installed on the Paperwhite. Mount your device via the USB sync cable and extract update_python_0.5.N_install.bin to the root of the Paperwhite (you do not need to extract any other files from the archive). Once the file has successfully transferred, eject your Paperwhite from the computer and remove the USB cable.

Initiate an update on the Paperwhite, just like we did in the previous section of the tutorial, by navigating to Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Update Your Kindle. Click OK to authorize the update and then wait a few minutes while it completes the update process.
Once you’re back at the Paperwhite’s home screen, go ahead and attach it to your computer via the USB sync cable again. Now it’s time to transfer the screensaver hack. Extract the file update_linkss_0.11.N_install.bin from the archive and place it in the root directory of your Paperwhite (again, there are other files in the archive that remain untouched). Repeat the same update process, via Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Update Your Kindle. After you authorize the update your device will restart again.
After the restart and a successful return to the Paperwhite’s home screen, mount the Paperwhite via the USB sync cable again. When you look inside the root directory of the Paperwhite you’ll see a few new additions:

The /python/ and /extensions/ folder are created by the Python installer and should be left entirely alone. The /linkss/ folder is created by the screensaver hack and contains files and folders of interest to us. While the majority of the files in /linkss/ should be left alone, there are few that require our interaction in order to generate the screensaver effect we want. Let’s look at the different configuration options now.
Note: You can only use one of these configurations at once. Setting up more than one simultaneously will leave you with a blank screensaver in most cases and crashes and errors in others.
Setting the Paperwhite to Cover Display Mode: If you want the Paperwhite to display the cover of the book you last read (or are currently reading) as its screensaver, you need to simply create a blank file named “cover” in the /linkss/ directory like so:

You can create a new text document and simply remove the .txt extension or, as we did here, you can copy the existing blank file “autoreboot” and just rename it. The important part is that its a dummy file with no extension. Delete the “autoreboot” file while you’re in there (more on this in a moment). Eject your Paperwhite and restart it via Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Restart.
When your Paperwhite finishes restarting and has returned to the homescreen, open a book and then wait a minute or two for the hack to process the cover. If you put the Paperwhite to sleep immediately you’ll get a screensaver that reads “The ScreenSavers Hack is currently in ‘cover’ mode, but hasn’t yet successfully processed a book cover :)”. In otherwords, you did everything right but it hasn’t prepared the cover for use yet.
Setting the Paperwhite to Sleep Overlay Mode: If you want the Paperwhite to display a small overlay that indicates the device is asleep over the last visible content, you need to repeat the process from the previous step by instead name the blank file “last”. While you’re in there, again delete the “autoreboot” blank file.
While this method is novel in that it shows you exactly what was on your Paperwhite when you put it to sleep (thus if you could, say, read a recipe without worrying about the device going to sleep) it has great potential to lead to confusion.
Setting the Paperwhite to Custom Screensaver Mode: Although the current-book-cover mode is really cool, this is the mode that most people think of when they think of custom screensavers on the Kindle, the ability to place your own images onto the device and display them.
First, you need to remove any empty files you created for the previous two techniques (if you used them), such as “last” or “cover”. Next, you need to mount your Paperwhite via the USB cable and browse to the folder /linkss/screensavers/.
Within that folder you’ll find a single .png file, that looks like so:

Other than serving as a placeholder and indicating that the screensaver hack was successful, this file also shows us what parameters a Paperwhite screensaver needs. This is important because if a file fails to meet either of the following criteria it won’t work:

  • The file must be in .png format.
  • The file must have the dimensions 758×1024.

While technically the Paperwhite can handle in-device display of color images, you lose control over the process so images may not display the way you wish. With that in mind, it’s highly recommended you convert the image to 8-bit grayscale. You can do the conversion in any common image editing suite like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.
For our test we created a .png of the How-To Geek logo. If you would like to use the screensaver on your Paperwhite, you can download it here.
After you’ve placed your screensaver(s) on the Paperwhite in the /linkss/screensavers/ folder, eject your Paperwhite. Your new screensavers will not appear until you restart the device, so do via Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Restart.
Other Screensaver Hack Tricks: In addition to the techniques we outlined above, there are a few little tweaks and tricks hidden away in the screensaver hack worth mentioning. You can use the following blank files, created just like we created the other blank files, to achieve various outcomes:

  • autoreboot: This is a specific flag used by some plugins for Calibre to automatically reboot the Paperwhite after they’ve done their work. If you aren’t using a plugin that requires it, you don’t need this flag.
  • reboot: If this file is present, Paperwhite will automatically reboot 10 seconds after it is ejected from the computer. This flag is only useful if you’re using your own custom covers (and you add new ones frequently) as a reboot is not necessary when using the overlay or cover method.
  • random: If this file is present, the list of screensaver files will be randomized every time the Paperwhite is restarted.
  • shuffle: The shuffle flag is tied directly to the autoreboot flag and is used to randomize the order of covers after the autoreboot function is called. If you’re not using the autoreboot flag, you shouldn’t be using this flag.

If at any time you no longer wish to employ a given flag (e.g. reboot), simply delete the blank file from the /linkss/ folder and restart the Paperwhite.

That’s all there is to it! Install the jailbreak, install the screensaver hack, apply a tiny amount of initial tweaking, and it’s custom screensavers all the way down.
Have a Kindle or ebook-centric hack, trick, or tweak you’d like to see us write about? Sound off in the comments and we’ll get to investigating.