Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I remove DRM from Kindle books I've purchased from Amazon?

share|improve this question
While I agree completely with the points in your moral aside, do be aware that circumventing DRM - even for fully legitimate, Fair Use purposes - is illegal in the US under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. – Dave Sherohman Sep 7 '11 at 8:21
@DaveSherohman: I disagree, but this isn't the place to discuss it. Please see the meta thread I posted when this question was closed: Is discussion of techniques for removing DRM permitted?. – Jeremy Banks Sep 13 '11 at 1:56
up vote 40 down vote accepted

There is a set of Python scripts for removing DRM from several different eBook formats, including Kindle's. One of them (called KindleBooks) allows you to remove the DRM without needing Kindle for PC. Instead it just uses the serial number from the Kindle they were purchased for to decode the books. It worked great for books downloaded on my Kindle 2.

It also has handy plugins for calibre, which is open source software for reading and converting various eBook formats as well as syncing to many different kinds of eBook readers. I highly recommend it.

The above tools work great on Linux, and should work fine on Mac OS X too as they are all Python-based. In order to run them, you will need to install Python for Windows or Mac (which comes with Python, but apparently has older versions), or make sure you have packages for Python and its Tk binding installed on your Linux system.

share|improve this answer
Worked perfectly on my Mac (I have previously installed Python 2.7 for development, I don't know if it works with the default version). Thank you. – Jeremy Banks Mar 18 '11 at 4:12
Python for mac from MacPorts is better. – Eir Nym Nov 5 '11 at 23:52
The Calibre + plugin worked for me. – MK01 Jul 17 '12 at 15:48

Recently, I de-drm'd our family's collection of purchased Kindle e-books using skindle. The link is to a blog post giving step-by-step instructions for using it. It's Windows only and relies on having an installed version of Kindle for PC.

Here is an abbreviated summary of the instructions:

  • Download and extract the skindle package
  • Download, install, and register Kindle for PC
  • Use Kindle for PC to download a local copy of a book from your library
  • Run skindle against the file with the appropriate arguments
  • Backup the resulting file however you want. If you need to put it back on your kindle in the future, just drop it into the Documents folder on the device.
share|improve this answer

The article Ebook Formats, DRM and You — A Guide for the Perplexed, describes how to remove DRM from Kindle books, using several methods :

  1. The simplest way is to use Calibre, as described in the article.
  2. Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7 users who don’t want to use calibre should use the DeDRM AppleScript, as described in the post, DeDRM AppleScript for Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7.
  3. Windows users who don’t want to use calibre will need to install Python and PyCrypto and use either the DeDRM_WinApp tool or the stand-alone tools, as described in the post, Windows, Python, Ebooks and DRM.
  4. Linux users may also use the Windows versions of the tools under the very latest 1.3.22 or later versions of Wine.

If you encounter problems, see also the Frequently Asked Questions about the DRM removal tools.

share|improve this answer

protected by slhck Feb 17 '12 at 10:23

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.