Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Being able to read Kindles in Calibre

I have a few hundred Kindle ebooks. However, Kindle seem to want us all to use their software. Unfortunately, the software they supply is flaming, horribly, grimly awful for reading books. I find it clunky, obtrusive, has poor controls, and more often than not it impedes my reading instead of assisting it.

I prefer to use other software. I like to use Calibre to read my ebooks on my PC, and FBReader on my phone. But to do that, we've got to get around the DRM, as that limits us only to the terrible kit that Amazon provide. I don't want to give the books away to other people or do anything dodgy, I just want to read them and to enjoy the reading.

The following help me to do just that:
  1. Download an older version of the Kindle software, rather than use their lightweight 'online' version. We can browse and download earlier builds - the latest few versions of which are compatible with Windows 10 - here.
  2. Once we have that installed, we need to ensure that we have downloaded the latest version of Calibre, and installed it. Go to
  3. Then we go here, read the instructions, and download the latest version of the apprenticeharper plug-n here. Extract the zip file for "". We don't need to worry about the sub-zip files.
  4. Then we open Calibre, and go to Preferences | Advanced | Plugins | Load Plug-in from file.
  5. Navigate to the zip file "" in the "DeDRM_calibre_plugin" folder. Click yes to the "Are you sure?" message box.
  6. The plug-in should install. Close Calibre.
  7. It may pay to restart our device.
  8. Then navigate to wherever the Kindle viewer has saved our files to (usually something like "C:\Users\[YourName]\Documents\My Kindle Content"). Import the latest ".azw" file into Calibre. 
Now we should be able to view our ebooks in our chosen software without any difficulty.


  • NB: the same Calibre process also works for pdf files if you would rather not read them outside Adobe Digital Editions. Simply find the folder, and import the file into Calibre.

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