Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/162994/how-to-strip-the-drm-from-your-kindle-ebooks-for-cross-device-enjoyment-and-archiving/
You’re not a Jolly Roger flying pirate, you’re just somebody that wants to backup the ebooks they paid for and read them on the devices they want to read them on. Follow along as we show you how to liberate your Kindle books.
Jason, thanks for the easy to follow instructions! I had been putting off doing this because I had trouble following AA's directions (ADHD is a bugger). I did run into trouble but that wasn't because of your instructions (I had to redownload my books to my Kindle for PC before it would work).
Great article, but both SmartScreen and Kaspersky flag the Apprentice Alf’s DRM removal tool as dangerous. Trusting HTG, I downloaded it anyway and ended up with something called NCDownloader which I immediately removed. So, what's going on?
We will check into this. I am not at a computer right now.
The download box is misleading. The big box on the right is actually an ad and you do not want to click on it. The smaller download link on the left is the correct one but you also have to uncheck the option just under it to avoid downloading that stupid downloader. Alf did warn about it but the warning is in a kinda obscure location. The tools themselves are safe but the sneakiness of the associated download links are probably the reason for dangerous ratings.
@Bob_Bortolin NCDownloader is an annoying "download helper" that you don't need. Uncheck the box "use our download manager" to avoid downloading it. The actual DRM removal tools are perfectly safe, I scanned them with three separate tools before recommending them in the article.
Thanks for the clarification - I followed your directions and everything went smoothly!
Thank you for the post.
- It worked with an AZW3 file from the UK store
- It did not work with an AZW file from the US store (a 2013 release, though). I import to Calibre, want to open with Calibre E-Viewer and it says:
This book is locked by DRM. To learn more about DRM and why you cannot read or convert this book in calibre, click here.
I have to add I didn't use a Kindle device for the whole process at all: downloaded from the store to Kindle PC then imported to Calibre. If I don't use a Kindle device then I don't need to enter any serial number into the Calibre plugin?
Why one of the books does not work while the other does?
I use Kindle for PC to download my books. Of the nearly 100 books I've downloaded, I've run into only two books that wouldn't convert and one that some minor formatting issues after converting that didn't render the book unreadable (it was just mildly annoying). Fortunately, the two books that wouldn't convert were freebies and the one that had formatting issues was inexpensive.
I tried all of the above and still couldn't remove the drm.. And then I found the problem. I discovered the kindle serial number was incorrect. The 2nd & 3rd digits were wrong, they were showing as BOO but in fact should be B00 (zero zero and NOT the letter 'O'). After I changed them from the letter 'O' to zero, Hey Presto, drm removed and all conversions worked.
If you need to change your kindle serial number heres how to do it. Click on preferences (top right) in the Calibre main window. A new box appears, click on the green plug-ins icon (a puzzle piece) under advanced. On the left hand side near the top, click the box 'Show only user installed plug-ins'. Now double click on 'File type plug-ins'. Click on the first plug-in (should be DeDRM (ver) DiapDealer blah blah blah) and it should turn green. Now down the bottom click on the button 'Customize plug-in'. A new small box appears, click on 'eInk Kindle ebooks', and you will see your kindle serial number. Click on the green button to add, new window appears, then type your kindle serial number making sure you use zero's and not the letter 'O'.
Click ok, then click ok again. At the top left of the large box click Apply, then close that box, then close Calibre and restart it, and Hey Presto all should be ok..
I'm currently at work and just read your article. Thanks!
I have an older Lookbook reader and KOBO and Calibre soft on my computer ( at home ).
So far I haven't experimented with the conversion in Calibre.
I'm assuming ( I know, shouldn't assume. That's why I'm asking ) with this I can download Kindle and convert for use on my reader? Or will the Kindle soft require a serial number?
I have the Kindle for Mac app, not a Kindle per se. The instructions in your article detail where to find an ebook file on a PC, but not on a Mac. Have searched for 'kindle' and find my Mac is pointing me only to the app; no books or other (perhaps odd-looking) files.
Have you suggestions on where I might find the book which I purchased and had sent to my Kindle app? I'd like to remove the DRM, convert the book to ePub and then add it to my Library in iTunes - for use with iBooks.
Found my own answer, thanks to MobileRead Forums. For anyone else interested in a quick solution to the otherwise obscure placement of Kindle books on Macs, scroll down this page to entry 04-03-2011 10:57 AM, written by DiapDealer (there seems no way to point directly to that entry).
Here's what s/he suggested:
On the newest K4Mac version, you can go to Kindle => Preferences => General and view/change your content folder. That should also tell you where the files are currently.
WOW. That is so cool!
I went the Calibre plugin route. Then
- added my Kindle book to my Calibre library. (Beforehand, I'd changed the location for - and filename of - My Kindle Content to the same location as Calibre Library and named it Kindle Library. See my post above.)
- used Calibre to convert it to EPUB
- navigated to the folder 'Calibre Library' and copied the new EPUB to iTunes whereupon I moved it to my iPad 2 !!
I tried using the tool for for a Kindle format that I hoped to get onto another eReader. It was downloaded as an AZW3 to Kindle for PC.
I dragged and dropped the file into Calibre 1.8 with the 6.0.8 version of the plugins installed.
No complaining dialogs, book shows up in the file list with author info. Try to read it or export it to ePub and you get a 'start byte' error.
I have heard that Kindle for PC is now using a per-book key for encrypting its books (makes sense). If so, this means that books downloaded that way are not going to be easily deDRMable unless I miss my guess.
Anyone tried something similar? I have no actual Kindle, keep in mind.
If Amazon is doing this now per-book for their PC App, this might require a whole new tool to deal with and be considerably more painful.
I've the plugins installed and all is working beautifully, as described. However, I've one follow-up question:
How are these plugins kept up-to-date? I.e., what happens when Alf makes newer versions? Is this something that Calibre keeps track of, or must the user download/reinstall the plugins all over again?
Thanks - it works!
Initially, I could NOT(!) get past the "this book is locked by DRM" popup in Calibre.
After dinking around for a long while I ended up at: http://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-drm-removal-tools/
From there I simply followed the un-install/re-install instructions under the FAQ titled:
I have installed the calibre plugin, and the book is not already in calibre, but the DRM does not get removed. It is a Kindle book.
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