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How to remove ebook DRM with Calibre

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Intrusive DRM can often mean that ebooks purchased from Amazon cannot be read on more than one device, especially with Amazon products such as the Kindle Voyage.

This article will show you how to remove ebook DRM so that you can view your purchase on all your devices, even competing e-readers.

1. Calibre installed

Calibre can be downloaded for free. The latest version is 1.36.0. Versions are available for OSX, Linux and all versions of Windows since XP SP3.

The Windows version was used to convert files from a 4th Gen Kindle on a Windows 8.1 64-bit PC.

After the 54MB installer is downloaded, open it and it will ask you to point it to any folders that may be used for e-book purchases.

You can create a new folder if you don’t already have one. It will also ask you to enter the type of eReader that you use.

You’ll be presented with several options depending on which option you choose. Calibre will then start for the first time if you fill them in.

2. Install the DRM-remover

Calibre can support various plug-ins. We’re going to use Apprentice Alf’s DRM Removal Tool For e-Books. The latest version can be downloaded from here.

The.zip file contains three folders and a Readme.txt. Unzip the files to a new folder.

Now, fire up Calibre and click on the large Preference button at the top of the menu. Next, select the “Change Calibre behaviour” option. Scroll down to the advanced section and click on Plugins.

You will see a new screen. Click the “Load plugin form file” button in the lower right corner.

Point the software at the Alf’s Tools folder, and then click on DeDRM_calibre_plugin.

Highlight the DeDRM_plugin.zip folder and click the Open button. When the virus warning appears, click Yes. Calibre should be shut down and restarted.

3. Eliminate the DRM

After all the work has been done, import books into Calibre’s library to remove DRM.

You can drag and drop books that you have already saved on your computer to Calibre’s main screen. You can use USB to connect your e-Reader to your computer.

Drag and drop the eBooks from your eReader to Calibre’s main windows using File Explorer. All that nasty DRM will be removed. However, Kindle users will have to go through a few more hoops.

Go back to Calibre’s Preferences menu. Next, go to Advanced and then Plugins. Double-click the line called “File type Plugins”.

Double-click the DeDRM plugin. Click on the first entry, “eInk Kindle ebooks” and then click the green plus button.

A small, empty window will appear. This requires your Kindle’s serial numbers.

Depending on which version of Kindle you are using, the serial number can be found on different pages. For example, on our older 4th Gen Kindle the serial number was located on page 2 of the “Settings” screen.

Simply type the serial location, along with your Kindle model name, into Google to find out where it is located.

Once you have the serial number, enter it in the Calibre window. Make sure to remove any spaces. You will now see the Calibre Preferences plugins window. Click Apply at the top right.

Go back to File Explorer, and navigate to the place on your Kindle where you have stored your books. Each book will have several files associated with them.

Our copy of Doctor Sleep By Stephen King had five file types: *.apnx*.azw3,*.ea*.han, and *.phl.

Drag and drop all files associated with the book to the main Calibre window. As you can see from our screenshot, a warning about duplicates will appear.

Click on the “Select None”, and then click OK. Your book will now be displayed in Calibre’s main window. It’s also 100% DRM-free.

Our book appeared twice in the list. However, only one of the two worked. We removed the second book by right-clicking it and choosing “remove from library”.


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