News Ticker

How to Add a Nook DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre

8100562371_a1014c551e_bUpdated: 11 July 2015

What with B&N giving up on the international Nook Store and having trouble getting their new site to function properly, I've decided to dust off this two-year-old post and update the instructions so that they are applicable to users who find the post in July 2015.

It's easier than ever before to strip the DRM from your legally purchased ebooks, but it does still take some work to rescue your purchases.


The short-short version is that you need to get the DeDRM plugin from Apprentice Alf and install it in calibre (and reboot calibre). Once you've installed the plugin, all you have to do is find where NookStudy or Nook4PC put the ebooks on your computer and drag each ebook into calibre (everything else is automatic).

Luckily for you, you only have to go through the set up process once in order to remove Kindle, Nook, and Adobe DE DRM. (Kobo is a separate process.) If you've followed my instructions for removing Kindle DRM then you've already finished setting up to strip Nook DRM, and you can skip to the end of this post.


But if you're finding this post for the first time, let me start with the standard warning:

  • These instructions are written in order to assist the average user in protecting their purchases. I did not write it to assist in committing piracy; I believe in buying content, when possible. But I also believe in controlling the content I buy and that is why I strip the DRM.
  • Note that these instructions are Windows only, and some details will be different between the various versions of Windows. They were also written without the permission or participation of Kovid Goyal, the creator of calibre.

First Things First

You need to download and install these apps on your computer. If you have either of them then you do not need to install them again:

Calibre is of course the ebook library management tool. I've mentioned it once or twice, and that's what you're going to use to remove the DRM.

And NookStudy is one of the PC apps that B&N released to read Nook ebooks. B&N no longer supports NookStudy, but it still works and you can use it to download your Nook ebooks (You can also use Nook for PC).

Set up NookStudy, and make sure you download the ebooks you bought. Install calibre. While it's being installed, go to the Apprentice Alf website and download this ZIP file full of plugins

  1. UnZip the ZIP file you just downloaded.
  2. Launch calibre. When it's open, look at the icons on the top row. There's one on the far right called "Preferences". Click on it. See Pic 1.
  3. It will bring up a new window with a bunch of icons.  Look on the bottom row for the one that says "plugins". Click it. See Pic 2.
  4. And now you'll get another new window. Look at the buttons on the bottom row. Click on the one that says "load plugin from file". See Pic 3.
  5. Use the file browser window to find the folder you downloaded. Open it, and then open the DeDRM_calibre_plugin folder.
  6. There should only be a single ZIP file in that folder, and it should be called "DeDRM_plugin". Double click to select it.

Tell calibre to install the plugin, and once it is down shut down calibre and restart it.

And that's it. You're done. At this point the plugin should be working, but we won't know until you try it for the first time.

How to Remove the DRM

The DRM removal process is simple in practice. You just need to find where NookStudy put the ebooks on your computer, and copy+paste them into calibre. On Windows 7, the ebooks are stored in a folder with a location similar to:

  • C:\Users\username\Documents\My Barnes & Noble eBooks\email

You can tell that the process worked by using calibre to open one of the ebooks.

Addendum: Just so you know, there are files which NookStudy won't download. That app doesn't support everything B&N sells, so for some ebooks you will need to get the files off your smartphone of tablet and then copy them into calibre.  (I'm still working on a process to get those ebooks.)

images by SvadilfariSon of Groucho

About Nate Hoffelder (11135 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

85 Comments on How to Add a Nook DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre

  1. Who wrote the software (plug-in?) that I’m giving my credit card info to in order to decrypt the DRM? How do I know that my CC account won’t be compromised by using this software?

    Also, isn’t this plug-in in direct violation of the DMCA? How are they getting around that?

  2. You do not need Nook for PC . All my B&N ebooks download straight to cabilre using both windows and linux, with the plugin installed.

  3. Thanks, but I tried that. The website won’t let me download the ebooks.

  4. Good point. This is definitely a reason to not use this plugin – if not for the fact that it has been used by thousands of other users without repercussion.

  5. I would just be wary that you’re using a piece of software that is probably illegal (not illegal to use – illegal to produce and distribute according to DMCA), and you don’t know who wrote it (or possibly modified the version you’re about to use somewhere along the way), and then you’re blindly handing it your credit card info.

    As a software engineer, that’s just a bit too spooky for me. If the source is available and you can audit and build it yourself, that would go a long way toward putting a mind at ease, or if the software was produced by a company that could be sued if they were caught selling valid CC accounts on the black market. That would be another indication that the software was somewhat legitimate. But apparently there are neither of these assurances with this particular plug-in, so who knows what it’s doing with your CC number or any other personal info on your machine.

    Besides, let’s be honest here – you actually have no idea if those “thousands of other users” had their CC numbers stuffed away in a Russian database of stolen credit cards somewhere. What you probably meant to say was, “…except for the fact that I haven’t heard of anyone getting their CC account compromised by using what appears to be a popular plug-in.”

  6. The source _is_ available. The plugin is a ZIP file wrapped around a php script. You can look at the php any time you want.

    And I do know of the person who developed this one originally as well as indirectly know the person maintaining it.

  7. I trust Apprentice Alf, Nate Hoffelder, and Kovid Goyal (I also think Americans will vote smart in November, so take my opinion with a hardy dose of scepticism). It doesn’t change the fact that B&N encoding your credit card information into the DRM scheme was a classically stupid thing to do. This is the single reason I will buy no ebooks from B&N. I’d choose them over Amazon else. It’s only a matter of time before credit card information is cracked from people’s B&N ebooks. That’s just the way the Great Game is played.

  8. I download directly to Calibre too from the Barnes and Noble site. I have to put most Kobo books into Adobe before I can import them to Calibre though.

  9. Will not work with fixed layout ebooks, which Calibre does not yet support.

  10. You’re assuming that the card is used in a reversible way. As I recall when I looked at ignoble some time ago, it isn’t – it’s hashed (ie, passed through a one-way algorithm) that uses the name and card number as initialization values.

    Short of brute forcing for the two factors, there isn’t/shouldn’t be a way to extract the CC# from the book.

  11. THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!!!!!!


  12. Anyone who is concerned about using the Calibre DRM-removal software can limit their potential risk from their credit card number being illegitimately used. Simply buy ebooks using only Visa gift cards with a low starting balance. Gift cards are often available at banks and grocery stores, and can be acquired without any fee for just the cash value of the starting balance.

  13. Thanks again for posting this, I followed the plugin’s instructions (enter B&N account name) and it wasn’t working, it was only after I read your post that the light bulb turned on and I used my mailing address name and everything worked like a charm.

    For those paranoid souls (it’s only paranoid until it happens… so understandable) This is a pretty low risk endeavor, the source is all open code, you can poke around and see if there are any malicious links or IP’s hidden in there before you do anything.

  14. William miller // 19 December, 2012 at 8:15 pm //

    I have tried this several time and can not get to work in my win 7.followed the instructions
    And can’t get it to work.

  15. The trick is to get your name and CC info exactly the same as given to B&N.
    Yes, I used it on Win7. Followed the instructions as given but I didn’t use nook for PC, I just downloaded the file from B&N to my desktop and them added it to calibre.


    Wife happy – books passing between my Nook and her Kobo.

  16. I did everything I was suppose to do and nada. The message says, “this plugin no longer uses “.b64 keyfiles stored in calibre’s configuration directory. Do you have any existing key files there or anywhere that you’d like to migrate into the new plugin preferince method?” So no luck for me. Guess everything changed with the new calibre upgrade. Bummer.

  17. I am having the same problem as Viv. Is there an updated plugin available?

  18. I’ve tried using all combination (full name,only first name, only last name, combined without space, email address) all with the same cc number I used to purchase the ebook. But none is works.

    any other idea?

  19. I am unable to download the Calibre program. I have made no less than 10 attempts in the last hour, and it continues to stall during download, at various points: 65%, 68%, 75%, 98%, etc.

    Any ideas?

  20. To be more secure, I updated my default BN credit card with one that never has a large balance. But that’s not how it works. Two things I had to pay attention to:
    1) use the credit card with which the books were purchased
    2) use the name I have under my shipping address (which is the name that is on the credit card, I think)

    Then the key worked, using the latest version of Calibre updated today.

    I did not understand this instruction: “You’ll need to copy over the ebooks you downloaded, which you should be able to find inside a folder inside the My Documents folder. Copy and paste the files into calibre.”

    I just imported the epubs from the folder to which I had saved them on my pc.

    Thanks a lot!

  21. I’m also having trouble getting this to work – it mentions the bit about .b64 – and I’m certain I entered my info right in the plugin key. I very much would like to know what else to try?

  22. Does the plugin remove DRM from NOOK Comics? I think I have a different DRM removal plugin installed right now, and I recently tried copying the comic files from my tablet and adding them to Calibre, but I still get a DRM popup.

  23. Plugin for new calibre v 0.9.5 works nicely – thanks!
    Ref step 6 above, I didn’t get to “” to select. The new version of calibre allows to select “”. Then execute the “Pict 4” instruction.
    Pict 5 is not valid for the new calibre, which is now menu driven:
    – select the appropriate reader format
    – then select the green plus sign
    I had to delete my previously added book and re-add the title for the DRM to remove.

  24. P.S. – Also, note that the “name” for the B&K (Nook) acct when configuring the plug in, needs to be the name on the B&K acct, not the name on the credit card used for purchase.

  25. Thanks, Gary. This fixed my problems! =D

  26. Thanks, I need to update this post.

  27. Hi.
    I cannot get this to work. I think it is setup right. The problem is that my nook simple touch glowlight hides the books in a partition (I think) so calibre cannot access it. As I am a UK customer, even though I managed to find a download of nook4pc for my windows7 pc, it defaults to the USA .com site so I cannot download my books to my PC. I am a bit stuck. Finally, there does not seem to be any feature on the UK nook site for downloading a book to a pc. Does anyone know where I can get help or advice?

  28. This is still correct today, and that makes me sad.

  29. David:
    I am also in the UK and like you have set up Nook for PC; I cannot see any of my UK Nook purchases, though the three free classic novels I downloaded to my Nook are there. The only solution I could find was to install Nook for Android on my phone, copy the epub files to my PC and import into Calibre from there. Do you have an Android device?


  30. Fred:
    Thanks for that. Fixed!

1 2 3

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Calibre eBook manager hits 0.9, adds better Android phone, tablet support, portable installer - Liliputing
  2. Remove B&N ebook DRM | Rambling localhost @
  3. B&N Says They Took Away the Download Option as a Security Measure - Here's How to Get Around It - The Digital Reader

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.