Detailed instructions on how to create Kindle-DRM-free e-books on a Win 10 system

Hi, all!

Since I had to configure a new Win 10 PC yesterday, I also had to install some software like Calibre, Kindle for PC, etc. So here is the procedure for creating Kindle-DRM-free e-books for a Win 10 system in a bit more detail:

  1. It´s crucial to use the older Kindle version 1.17, not a newer one! Then the conversion process to a DRM-free format should work just fine for many, but perhaps not for all Kindle e-books. Here you can download the Kindle for PC v 1.17 app: Kindle for PC 1.17 Build 44183 Download (Note: Disable the option “Install available updates automatically without asking” under “Tools - Options - General”, otherwise Kindle version 1.17 will be replaced by a newer one!).
  2. Install and open the Kindle app, click on the e-books in your Kindle library that you want to convert and download them to your hard disk (the default path is: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\Documents\MYKindleContent)
  3. Download both Calibre and the plugin DeDRM (the newest versions should work just fine). Here is the link for DeDRM: Release v7.1.0 - Full release · apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools · GitHub
  4. Unzip the DeDRM plugin to a folder, for example: “DeDRM_tools_7.1.0”.
  5. Start Calibre and add the plugin via “Preferences” by navigating to the folder “DeDRM_tools_7.1.0” and choosing the zip file “DeDRM_plugin” ( - see PPPS for “details”.
  6. Restart Calibre.
  7. Add a Kindle e-book that you downloaded in step 2 to Calibre. The default mode is to remove the Kindle book’s DRM immediately (in other words, you don’t have to do anything!).
  8. Convert the book with Calibre to an e-book format that LingQ can import, for example PDF (you can find the converted, DRM-free e-book in your Calibre library on your hard disk: How to Find and Change Calibre Library Location).
    Note: This is neither rocket science nor computer science, so any regular user should be able to follow the above procedure.

Hope that helps & good luck

PS -

  • If there are problems with the latest versions of Calibre / DeDRM, you should try the older versions, that is: calibre 4.23 and DeDRM 6.8.1.
  • If all fails you can also contact the developer to fix the bugs in the newest DeDRM plugin version. See: GitHub - apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools: DeDRM tools for ebooks

Is it illegal to remove DRM from Kindle e-books? That depends on the country you live in.

PPPS (from a LingQ discussion: Importing Books From Kindle - Language Forum @ LingQ) -
You first have to unzip this zip file (…). In the unzipped folder (let´s say the folder name is: “DeDRM_tools_7.1.0” - if you didn´t change the folder name) there are the following files:

  • DeDRM_plugin
  • DeDRM_plugin_ReadMe
  • Obok_plugin
  • obok_plugin_ReadMe
  • ReadMe_Overview
    “DeDRM_plugin” and “Obok_plugin” are zip (i.e. compressed) files.

“DeDRM_plugin” is the zip file you´ve got to select from within the “Preferences” menu of Calibre:

“By the time I get this figured out I could have read the book!”
You didn´t follow the instructions (neither of the original LingQ thread nor of my last comment). That is: Either you didn´t unzip the downloaded file first or you unzipped the downloaded file and then chose the wrong file (i.e. the downloaded, but unzipped file “”) from within Calibre.

However, the downloaded zip file “” can´t be imported into Calibre (via the Preferences menu) because it doesn´t contain any Python files. It just contains the five files (two zip and three text files) mentioned above.

So, from within the Preferences menu of Calibre you´ve got to navigate to the unzipped folder (let´s say: “DeDRM_tools_7.1.0”) and within this folder you´ve got to choose the “DeDRM_plugin(.zip)” file.
If you follow these instructions, you should be able to import the plugin into Calibre within seconds.


Thanks Peter. I’m wondering if a lot of folks are missing the part about turning off auto-updating! That would be pretty key and may be the reason why some have been having issues, assuming they were trying to use the version 1.17 Kindle Desktop.

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Yes, regular users usually like “auto-updates” of software. But, in this case, it can make you unhappy very quickly.

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My kindle for desktop only downloads apnx files which calibre can’t convert =/

Hi Dylan. Don’t use your kindle device…use the desktop software above that Peter is linking to. Version 1.17…turn off auto updates!

Or did you do that and it still downloads an APNX file?? If so, I wonder if it’s just certain books that do this.

Hi Dylan,

“apnx” is the new file format for Kindle 3.x readers. See: APNX - Amazon Page Number Index

Eric is right. You should use the “Kindle for PC” app mentioned above for downloading your Kindle e-books. Don´t use your Kindle device!
If the output is still “apnx” even with the old Kindle app, then that’s a question for another day :slight_smile:

Good luck

This is very useful. Hopefully it can get stickied.

Hey guys, can confirm I’m using kindle for desktop version 1.17 with auto updates off and these books still download as apnx files

edit: scratch that… seems like it somehow updated to 1.30 during the 10 seconds it took me to click through the options and disable auto updates.

Update: I got it working. Some tips for people to get this to work:

Absolutely, 100%, make sure you are on 1.17 you can check by going to help → about
and it will tell you what version you are on. Mine ninja-updated to 1.30 at first.

I had to right click download, then double click my books 2 or 3 times to get it to fully download. Make sure you see the book in the “downloaded” tab. I thought I had a few downloaded but all that existed in the kindle content folder was a database file. Once my books fully downloaded there should be a ton of files like “B081KKSC5_EBOK.phl” other ones with .mbpV2 files, etc.

Excellent, nice job!

I assume you had to uninstall and re-install and just be quicker and clicking the auto-update setting off? Or does it appear that the auto-update is fairly infrequent? Or maybe it’s triggered by something…i.e. download of a book.

Not sure what triggered it, could have been the setting didn’t save the first time when I unchecked auto updates, or any of the causes you mentioned

I’ve had the same thing happen to me. The kindle app will download the update BEFORE you have unchecked that auto-update box and will then apply the update on the next restart regardless of your settings (how kind of them).

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Sounds a bit like the race between the hare and the hedgehog: the user wants to disable “auto-update”, but Amazon has already installed a new version of the app :slight_smile:

Anyway, you could download version 1.17, disconnect from the Internet,
install the app, uncheck the “auto-update” option and then reconnect to the Internet.

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Vielen, vielen Dank! Das war super hilfreich. Hab gestern Stunden damit verbracht mein Buch zu konvertieren und es hat nicht funktioniert, da ich das mit der älteren Kindle-Version nicht wusste. Super und einfach erklärt!


Hi, Mokiya!

Klasse, freut mich!

Hab gestern Stunden damit verbracht mein Buch zu konvertieren und es hat nicht funktioniert,
Ja, es ist schon sehr frustrierend, Stunden mit so einem nervigen Kram zu verplempern.
Hoffen wir nur, dass dieser Workaround 'mal einige Zeit Bestand hat.

Schönen Tag

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Thank you thank you thank you…finally it works!!!


My pleasure, Andrew!
Unfortunately, Amazon seems to automatically update Kindle version 1.17 even if the user disables the option “Install available updates automatically without asking”.
In this case, it’s necessary to reinstall the old Kindle app and download the e-books to be converted immediately.

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Yes even after downloading the kindle app for Windows, when clicking on “MyKindleContent” folder. It is still showing “apnx” file.

Hi, Asad!

You can download Kindle app v1.17, disconnect from the Internet, install the app, disable the “auto-update” option, reconnect to the Internet, and download all the Kindle e-books to be converted immediately .because Amazon seems to update the app even if the “auto-update” option is unchecked.

Hope that helps

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