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Whether you’ve just bought a new kindle or gotten rid of one, you have one task ahead that can be exciting as well as frustrating: transferring books.
To migrate your Kindle library is actually quite easy if you know what you’re doing. And if you don’t, you might be disappointed seeing your precious books format-trapped while you switch to a different brand device.
To transfer Kindle books, you can log in to the same Amazon account on a different Kindle/device and download the books from the library, or you can locate the Kindle files on your device and convert them to epub or pdf, then transfer them to a different device.
There is actually a lot that you need to know when you decide to transfer books from one device or one account to another. Kindle allows you to transfer certain book formats, while for other formats, you might need some innovative thinking!
In this article, you will learn about different ways to transfer Kindle books from a Kindle device as well as from other devices to Kindle. You will also learn more about transferring ebooks that aren’t the Kindle format to and from Kindle.
By the end of this post, you’ll feel pretty confident and secure about your Kindle library. No eBook shall go to waste!
Did You Know? You can read Unlimited Kindle books on Amazon with Kindle Unlimited! Check out this special offer to try Kindle Unlimited for FREE. Also, read my other article to learn more about Kindle Unlimited!
You can transfer Kindle books from one Kindle to another as long as both the devices use the same Amazon account. However, you cannot transfer books from one Amazon account to another. Furthermore, transferring Kindle books from a Kindle device to another eReader is also not possible!
Understanding which type of book can be transferred to what device can be quite confusing! So, here’s a table that gives you a quick overview of what eBooks can you transfer in different situations!
A Quick Comparison of What Files You Can Transfer When Using a Kindle
|Yes, if both the Kindles use the same Amazon account.
|One Amazon Account
|Not Possible (legally).
|Other eReaders (eg. Kobo)
|Not Possible (legally)
|Other eBook formats
|Other eBook formats
|Yes, but only the following file types can be opened on a Kindle device –
Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW), Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
You can transfer Kindle books from one device to another using cloud access, which is the easiest method and it is compliant with Amazon’s terms and services.
However, there are many ways in which you can transfer Kindle books. And, choosing what method works for you will vary depending on your requirement and the device that you wish to transfer the books from.
But, we will talk more about that in a moment.
Why Can’t You Transfer Kindle Books from One Account to Another?
One thing that often annoys users of the Kindle ecosystem is that you can’t transfer Kindle books from one account to another. The worst part is, you realize this after you’ve amassed a huge library of Kindle books across multiple accounts that you own and you now want to reconcile them!
I’ve written about the detailed reasons why this is not possible and what to do if you are faced with such a situation in another article that talks about how to transfer Kindle books from one Amazon account to another! But, here’s the short answer –
You can’t transfer Kindle books from one account to another as Kindle books are DRM protected. DRM stands for “Digital Rights Management”. It is a method often deployed by organizations for protection against theft or unauthorized distribution of intellectual property.
Many users have tried to game the system by transferring the storage files via USB to their computers. This used to work, but Amazon has fixed the loophole. If you try to use a USB port to transfer the raw file from your Kindle to another kindle device, the file will not be readable.
That’s because while the Kindle app has the ability to read files of .azw, .azw3, and .kfx, it cross-references the file with your purchases. If a file is in your device but hasn’t been purchased via your Amazon account, it will not be opened.
Previously, Amazon’s entire defense against file copying and duplication was that Kindle had its own extension, which most other pdf readers couldn’t open. And while pdf readers like Adobe Acrobat cannot open a .kwz file, a Kindle can open a pdf file.
If your book isn’t initially bought on the Kindle store and is purchased elsewhere as a PDF or downloaded via Kindle web browser, then the book can be transferred via USB from Kindle to almost any other device.
How to Transfer Kindle Books?
As I said before, there are many ways to transfer Kindle books. But, choosing what works best for you really depends on the original device you wish to transfer the books from.
Here’s a simple matrix that will help you decide how to transfer Kindle Books –
|Transfer From Device
|Transfer To Device
|Method to Transfer Kindle Books
|Another Kindle (both using the same account)
|1. Kindle Cloud (login to the same Amazon account)
2. Using a USB cable and a computer
|1. Using a USB cable
|1. Using a USB cable
2. Using Send-to-Kindle email address
|1. Using a USB cable and a computer
2. Using Send-to-Kindle email address
|1. Using a USB cable and a computer
2. Using Send-to-Kindle email address
|1. Using WhisperSync
2. Download books to a computer and transfer them using a USB cable
3. Download books to a computer and email using a Send-to-Kindle email address
Using the above matrix will guide you on what to do depending upon your situation.
In the rest of the article, you’ll get to see the steps that you need to take in order to transfer books from one device to another. I’ll try to cover as many scenarios as possible!
If you recently got a Kindle, there’s some chance you’re excited to get new books on the Kindle Store. But given that Kindle’s greatest asset is its e-ink display and the fact that you possibly own a few books already, you might want to know how to transfer the books from your phone to a Kindle!
To transfer your books from your phone to kindle, you need to follow these steps:
- Connect your phone to your computer via USB or Bluetooth
- Enable file transfer from the consequent prompt on your phone
- Use Windows Explorer (if you’re using android) or iTunes (if you have an iPhone) to copy the files on your computer.
- Connect your Kindle to your computer, tap the file transfer prompt
- Open the Kindle disk on your computer and copy the PDF file to your Kindle.
The final step here is a process that requires further elaboration, which is given later in the article. However, there are nuances in the process that cannot be covered here.
If you have a Kindle app on your phone, transferring those books to your Kindle device requires a different process.
If you don’t have USB cables lying around or don’t want to involve a computer, there’s yet another way to transfer books. You can also use the “Send-to-Kindle” email address and transfer the books directly to your Kindle device!
If you are not familiar with this process, check out my other article on Send-to-Kindle email address. It talks about how to locate your Kindle email address, what you need to know before transferring the books, and how to transfer the books to your Kindle using your Kindle email address!
Also, keep my other article, which acts as a troubleshooting guide, open in a new tab in case send-to-kindle is not working!
But if you really just have a book that you can get to your computer as described in the process above and you need help in understanding how to transfer books from your computer to Kindle, read further.
If you use a USB cable to transfer books to Kindle, then a computer is your middle man, which means you need to master how to transfer files from a computer to kindle.
To transfer books from the computer to kindle, you need a USB cable that connects to Kindle on one end (using a micro-USB port) and has a computer-compatible USB plug on the other. The files need to be in PDF or any other Kindle-compatible format.
Files with Kindle native-formats cannot be opened in your device’s Kindle app as the app only shows what matches your Amazon account’s cloud storage, not what is reflected in your Kindle’s hard disk.
To transfer the files that your Kindle can open from the drive, you need to simply copy and paste them from the computer drive to the kindle drive after connecting the two devices via USB.
If you haven’t transferred files from your computer to an Android-powered phone, then this might be a little confusing for you. Don’t worry; the exact steps are elaborated further in the section below.
Note – If you need further help with the process along with exact steps and images, check out my other article on how to connect Kindle to computer and transfer books.
To transfer pdf files or Kindle compatible files from computer to kindle, you should
- Connect your Kindle to your computer via USB
- Tap the file transfer prompt if it shows up on your Kindle
- Click the “view files and folders” prompt on your computer, or go to “computer”/”This pc” section, which has folders like “Music,” “Pictures,” and “Windows (C):”
- Next to the C drive, there will be a drive reflecting your Kindle device
- Copy the PDF or Epub file from your computer to your Kindle drive
- Right-click the Kindle drive on your computer
- Click “Eject” or “Safely remove.”
- Remove the USB cable.
- Locate the file on your Kindle with the device’s file browser. Now you can read your book on Kindle.
The perks of transferring books from your computer via USB include lack of DRM limits, freedom to read without being tracked by Amazon, and the ability to retransfer these books to another Kindle.
Even if you don’t plan on upgrading your Kindle anytime soon, learning more about the process comes in handy.
In fact, this process works really well if you have an old Kindle device and you want to transfer books without wifi, or if don’t plan to register your Kindle device, or if your device gets deregistered and you are unable to register again.
While transferring books from one Kindle to another via a computer certainly is an option, the fact that you already have it on a kindle means you can cut out the middleman and use file-sharing software. The cloud, in such instances, acts as the intermediary between the two Kindle devices.
To transfer books from one Kindle to another, you should log both the devices into the same Amazon account. This will sync access to your Kindle purchases. For non-Kindle books like offline PDFs, you can use a file-sharing program like a common Gdrive or WeTransfer.
Transferring books to a new Kindle can seem daunting, especially if your books are irregularly distributed across a wide enough range of sources. But if all your books are on your computer or your phone, you can execute a simple mass file transfer and get access to your books on Kindle.
The easiest way to transfer books to a new Kindle device is to register your Kindle device to your Amazon account that contains your Kindle books. For books bought outside of Amazon, transfer them either using a computer and a USB or by using a Send-to-Kindle email address.
If you have been using the Kindle app on any other device previously (even if you didn’t own a physical Kindle device before), DO NOT create a new account. Simply log in to your Amazon account used for the Kindle app.
For other books, you can easily transfer them via a computer using a USB cable based on the method described earlier in the article.
Alternatively, you can also use the “Send-to-Kindle” email address to send the books to your new Kindle. Check out my other article that goes in-depth into how to find your Kindle email address and transfer books.
Transferring non-kindle books from one device to another is possible because Amazon allows it as all its ebook sales happen on the Kindle device. That also means that Amazon is pretty adamant about reducing the possibility of copying a Kindle book.
Permanent transfer of Kindle books from one account to another Amazon account is currently not possible. However, you can return a book and buy it using the other account if you’ve accidentally purchased it from an incorrect account. You can also share or loan a Kindle book.
I’ve actually written a detailed article on how to transfer Kindle books from one account to another where I’ve shared ways you can circumvent this problem.
You can also convert and transfer Kindle books. Although not completely legal, these books will be readable and permanently on a different device. Scroll further down to learn how to convert and transfer Kindle books.
The Kindle app is one of the most downloaded apps on the App Store, and for a good reason: iPads are perfect for reading eBooks as they’re bigger than Kindle devices.
However, when you get a new iPad, you might have to transfer books, which seems like quite a chore. In reality, transferring kindle books from one iPad to another is easier than transferring PDFs.
- Note down the email account with which your Kindle App is logged into the corresponding Amazon account.
- Log in to the same account on the other iPad.
- Click “Library.” This will open up the books in the account or on the iPad.
- If it is on “downloaded” by default, click the “all” tab as it shows books you have access to (on your old iPad).
- Download the books. Now you can read Kindle books from your old iPad on your new one.
Downloading books from the Kindle App to your computer requires you to have a good internet connection, the login email and password of the account that has the books, and a desktop Kindle app.
1. Install Kindle Desktop App on Your Computer
Don’t read your kindle books via a web browser or an emulator. Get the Kindle app from your computer’s appropriate store. For iMac, you can go to the app store and download the Kindle app. For PC, you have to go to the Windows store and do the same.
2. Log Onto the Same Account as Your Kindle Device
This is the most critical part of the process. IF you don’t know the email and password of your kindle device’s Amazon account, you can check it from profile settings in the device.
You will find your registered email there and might be able to recall or recover the password. As long as you can log in the desktop app into the same kindle app as your Kindle device account, transferring books becomes super easy.
3, Go to the Kindle Library on Your Computer
Once you have logged on to the same account on your desktop Kindle app as your Kindle device, you should click on the Library icon signified by a book.
Depending on the iteration of Kindle you’re using, you will find this button at the bottom or one of the sides. It is quite prominent and sometimes opens by default.
4. Click the “All” Tab to Access Books Not Yet Downloaded
By default, the library window will show downloaded books if you have even a single download on the desktop. This is to facilitate the users who are logging in just to read what they have already downloaded.
But this step to avoid clutter makes it a little more inconvenient to download the books. At the top of the right side, depending on the app, you will find the “all” tab. Click the tab to see all books your Kindle has access to.
5. Download the Books
This is the final step: you click download on individual books you want to transfer from the Kindle to your computer. However, these books will not open in a PDF reader and will be unreadable without the Kindle app.
Transferring Kindle books to iBooks is not allowed in Amazon terms of service. However, Amazon isn’t interested in trying too hard to prevent this as it seems fairly simple to rip Kindle files and convert them to e-reader formats that accommodate foreign files.
To transfer your books from Kindle to iBooks, you first need to download the books on the Kindle app, then copy and convert them to the book’s format, and finally add the converted books to the iBooks library manually.
Again, for much richer detail on the subject, you can check out a dedicated post on converting Kindle formats and adding books to different e-readers. A briefer step-by-step guide follows.
Download Kindle Books on Computer
This step is a meta step that encompasses the following: downloading the Kindle app on your desktop, locating the books in your cloud library, and getting them onto your computer hard disk.
Apart from the process highlighted below, you can also easily download the Kindle books to your computer from your Amazon account!
If you already have the books on your computer, you can skip this step.
This step relies on specifics outside of our control. The folder where your content is saved might vary depending on your computer. The exact location can also change if Amazon updates its kindle app. For now, you can find a folder called “My Kindle Content” in the “Documents” folder.
You might have your Eureka moment upon seeing the ebook files in your “My Kindle Content” folder, but you’re about to be disappointed if you double-click any of the files. As mentioned earlier, Amazon prefers changing the extension of ebooks so they cannot be copy-pasted and pirated.
These books open only via Kindle reader, which verifies ownership before letting you read their contents. The loophole comes in the form of file conversion. While the Kindle extension books are not readable by PDF readers, you can convert them to PDF using an online convertor.
That said, you’re not going to convert the books to PDF because iBooks isn’t the best at opening PDF files. Instead, you’ll convert the books to ePub format. If you cannot find the right converter, you can always look for the following:
- .azw to epub converter – Almost all kindle books are downloaded as .azw files.
- .azw3 to epub converter – This format might show up in some of the books you have downloaded. Most .azw converters can also convert .azw3.
- .kfx to epub converter – This is a Kindle-exclusive format that some of the books can have based on how authors have uploaded them.
Whether you want to read the iBooks on a mobile or a computer, you have to use an apple device because iBooks is the native ebook reading app for Apple devices.
To transfer the books you have downloaded in the ePub format, you need to add them to your iBooks library on the same device that has the converted files. The best way to add offline EPUBS to the apple books library is to do so on iMac.
As covered above, you’ll use the Apple Books app to get the converted files into your iBooks library. However, the app doesn’t open on your computer.
Unless you extracted the apps on your iMac, you need to get the apps from your PC to your Apple device. This method can work on different devices like iPads and iPhones but requires a longer individual post on the subject.
Open Apple Books on iMac and get the top-right “file” drop-down menu. Then click the “add books” button and navigate to the converted files on your device. Double-click the files to transfer them to your library. Now you can read the book in iBooks.
If you’re doing this on a different device, the method is still pretty much the same; you just need to locate the “add files/books” button upon opening the app and browse to wherever you transferred the ePub files.
To transfer kindle books to Kobo, you must download the Kindle app on your computer and download the books.
Then you should locate them and convert them to ePub, after which you will be able to drop the files via USB to your Kobo device, where you can open and read the books previously on your Kindle.
Here are the steps with a brief elaboration
- Install the Kindle app on your desktop – You’ll get the Kindle app on Windows Store for Windows PC and the App Store for iMac.
- Log in to your Amazon account – USe the same account as your Kindle to get access to the same books.
- Click library – This is signified by a prominent book icon or the word “library.”
- Click “all” – Move away from the downloaded tab so you can see the books on the cloud.
- Download the books – Get the books you want to transfer or download your entire library.
- Locate the files on your computer – For windows, there is a “Kindle Content” folder in Documents.
- Convert the files to pdf – Use an online .azw to pdf convertor to make the kindle files kobo readable.
- Transfer to your kobo device – Connect the Kobo device to your computer with a USB and copy the files to your Kobo device disk.
You can share a kindle book to another account by temporarily loaning the copy. However, permanent transfers are not possible, and copying using any format loopholes can lead to penalties on both Kindle accounts.
If the person with who you intend to share the book is a family member, you may want to learn more about the “Kindle Family Sharing” feature from Amazon that allows you to share books with certain family members!
About the Author
Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.