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

March 2021

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: https://www.filehorse.com/download-kindle-for-pc/27553/ (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: https://github.com/apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools/releases/tag/v7.1.0
  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" (https://dearauthor.com/ebooks/dear-jane-ebooks/how-to-add-a-plugin-to-calibre/) - 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: https://www.epubor.com/calibre-library-location.html).

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: https://github.com/apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools/


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

PPPS (from a LingQ discussion: https://www.lingq.com/de/community/forum/support-feedback-forum/importing-books-from-kindle) -


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:

  • "Open Calibre, click the Preferences > Plugins > Load plugin from file.
  • You will see a file browser, navigate to the location of the add-on = the plugin "DeDRM_plugin(.zip)"
  • Double click the "DeDRM_plugin(.zip)" and you have added the plugin to Calibre"

See also:

"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 "DeDRM_tools_7.1.0.zip") from within Calibre.

However, the downloaded zip file "DeDRM_tools_7.1.0.zip" 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.