How to Add a Nook DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre

How to Add a Nook DRM-Removal Plugin to calibre calibre DRM Tips and Tricks Updated: 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

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Chuck20 July, 2014

    I have installed everything as per the instructions and I guess it kind of does what its supposed to do and that is remove the DRM. My problem, after the DRM is removed is when you go to open the book, parts are missing. Where there are missing chapters it will usually say Limited Demo Version. Am I doing something wrong. Please help.

  2. […] example, if you read on a Nook ereader, you can use the DRM-stripping instructions I posted in late 2012 to automatically transfer your ebooks off of your device and on to a computer […]

  3. Dave21 September, 2014

    I am not able to get this to work after reading and re-reading your instructions. I am pretty sure that I am using the correct credit card details, but there is a small percentage of me that doubts this. You mentioned in a the following note that you could just update your CC details, then delete and re-download the book (Note: If you cannot find the older CC info, enter a current number into your account at B&N. Delete the older copies of the ebooks bought with the older credit cards and download them again. This will let you use the current cc info to de-DRM the ebooks.). When I choose the Delete option, I am told that it is a permanent action and that I will need to purchase the book again if I want it. Is there a way to refresh the CC information without purchasing the book again?

    I am migrating from Nook to Kindle and that is why I would like to take my Nook books and migrate them to Kindle format.

    1. Kris25 September, 2014

      Dave, they’re saying delete the older books from Calibre library NOT your BN library. If you delete them from your BN library then you would have to purchase them again. That way you redownload the books from the BN library online to your Calibre library on your computer, and all of those freshly downloaded books have the new CC info attached.

  4. Deborah14 October, 2014

    I have been using this plugin successfully for quite some time, but I’m finding now that I cannot covert newly purchased NOOKbooks. I have changed the CC I use to buy them, so I think the problem is that I need to add the new CC number to the plugin, but when I highlight the plugin and click “customize plugin,” I get the following:

    calibre 2.5 isfrozen: True is64bit: False
    Windows-7-6.1.7601-SP1 Windows (’32bit’, ‘WindowsPE’)
    32bit process running on 64bit windows
    (‘Windows’, ‘7’, ‘6.1.7601’)
    Python 2.7.8
    Windows: (‘7’, ‘6.1.7601’, ‘SP1’, ‘Multiprocessor Free’)
    Successfully initialized third party plugins: DeDRM && Inept Epub DeDRM
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “site-packages\calibre\gui2\preferences\”, line 292, in customize_plugin
    File “site-packages\calibre\gui2\preferences\”, line 370, in modify_plugin
    File “site-packages\calibre\customize\”, line 152, in do_user_config
    File “calibre_plugins.dedrm.__init__”, line 495, in config_widget
    AttributeError: ‘module’ object has no attribute ‘ConfigWidget’

    Can anyone help me figure out how to add the new CC information? Thanks.

    1. Deborah14 October, 2014

      BTW, in case it matters, I’m running calibre 2.5.0 and DeDRM 6.0.8.

  5. Denise22 October, 2014

    I cannot successfully remove DRM from B&N books anymore. I tried removing from a file off of Nook PC and have installed plug-in twice and still cannot get it to work. Are tools still valid?

  6. Rich9 December, 2014

    I am having the same problem as Denise. I was able to successfully remove drm from books I purchased earlier this year, and still can, but on books I purchased two weeks ago, no dice. I have tried downgrading Calibre from 2.12 to 1.48, and have tried all of the permutations of name and CC#, all with no success. I have also reloaded the plugins multiple times. Has B&N switched to some other DRM scheme?

    1. Timothy Wilhoit9 December, 2014

      If you’ve recently changed your default credit card at B&N, the encryption key is no longer based on your CC # but if you haven’t done that, this might help.

  7. Hiya30 December, 2014

    Sadly, these instructions don’t work anymore. B&N has changed the way it generates keys. Copying files from a device to the computer to run through the Calibre plug-in doesn’t work, thanks to the new key generation method. Unless you are utterly besotted with B&N devices/apps and you want to spend the rest of your life married to B&N (or the life of the company, anyway, which – based on these utterly lousy business decisions – may last too much longer), I would STRONGLY advise against ever buying any digital material from that company. B&N never see another penny of my money, that’s for f***ing sure!

  8. Michelle5 January, 2015

    Tried this multiple times with multiple cards…. no luck. Most were bought with gift cards, and I can’t get any of them to remove the DRM. I followed the directions. Any suggestions?

  9. Mark Ritchie23 February, 2015

    I want to add my comment to this old thread. Never had problems till today. A book I purchased last week worked fine, but a book I purchased today, no dice. If B&N is changing, or has changed, their DRM, it is not consistently applied. The same credit card was used for both books.

    Agree with the other commenter, that the day I stop being able to remove DRM, is the day I’ll switch vendors. What happens when they all become unbreakable?

    1. Tom26 February, 2015

      I now have the same problem. Books I previously downloaded work fine-I can load a 2nd copy into Calibre and the DRM is removed. However, if I remove local copy, download, and try to load the new file in calibre, the DRM is not removed. I am using Nook Study for PC and the software did not update, so I am mystified as to how they could have changed the DRM scheme and still have the old version of Nook Study open the files. Anyway, hoping someone out there can figure out what the issue is to help us out.

      1. Tom26 February, 2015

        I found at this page that B&N did in fact change the DRM:

        If you go into Calibre, Preferences, file type plugins, highlight DeDRM, customize plugin, click on Barnes and Nobles ebooks, click on Help in the upper right, it takes you to a page that explains how it was changed and what you can do about (basically each book will have a unique key)

        1. Tom26 February, 2015

          I successfully followed the instructions and it worked. Clarification-I don’t know if I need to do this for each book, or it is a one time thing for my computer. I will find out the next time I buy a book from them!

  10. Elsa28 February, 2015

    I’m running OSX 10.8, which nook for Mac doesn’t support. I downloaded nook for iOS on my 4S running iOS 8.1.3. I can download books to my phone, but I don’t know how to transfer them from my computer to my phone. Help?

  11. Lou19 March, 2015

    As of this week, the plugin no longer works. I thought it was because my credit card expired and I hadn’t updated it, but that wasn’t it either. Then I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the plug in, and now I’m missing the ignoble piece of the plugin and don’t know how to get it back. I cannot customize the main DeDrm plugin as I get an error message:
    Importerror: No module named PyQt4.Qt

    And I got this error even before I uninstalled it.

    I am bummed because this has been working beautifully for quite a while.

  12. Jeremy Wilson6 May, 2015

    Barnes & Noble no longer uses Nook Study, and has changed over to Yuzu, which so far as I can tell, doesn’t import your library. The old Nook Study can be found here:

    1. Nate Hoffelder11 July, 2015

      Do you have a link to the OSX version?

  13. M. R. Stahl9 August, 2015

    installed the plugin, restarted calibre, already had my B&N books downloaded and imported. still can’t open B&N books in calibre.

  14. DeAnna12 August, 2015

    You, sir, are fantastic. I just found this today, and it worked like a charm. I can’t quite put my finger on what in the past 24 hours has made me realize my HD+ has limited life and support left, but the thought of losing all my ebooks made me very anxious. I am very relieved, and can now happily use my Nook until it, or BN, or both, bite the dust. Salut!

  15. Eric29 August, 2015

    Nook study keeps giving me an internal error: Failed to retrieve adobe account

    1. Nate Hoffelder29 August, 2015

      Are you on Windows 10?

      One user encountered the same problem, and reported that he used the Nook for PC app to download the ebooks before stripping the DRM.

  16. Treeling7 September, 2015

    I’m on a Mac running Yosemite 10.10.5 and I’m also getting errors– if I use my account info, I get the failure to retrieve adobe account message. If I click “create new account,” I get “error retrieving remote data. cannot create account at this time”. NookStudy is borked, maybe.

  17. Kim19 April, 2016

    NookStudy no longer works. So, how are we supposed to go about getting our files onto our PC?

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 April, 2016

      I figured out the solution. I’m going to rewrite this post, but here’s the short version.

      Nook for PC still works (for me, on Win7). Install it, log in, and download your ebooks.

      Install the latest version of the DeDRM plugin. (Restart calibre.) Open the plugin menu again, and choose the “customize” option for the DeDRM plugin. Choose the B&N option.

      Click the green plus sign, and you will be prompted to enter the email and password on your Nook account. Type them in, and the plugin will generate the decryption key required to strip the DRM from your Nook ebooks.

      P.S. This worked for me on Windows 7 (or at least i think it did). Let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

    2. Chris Meadows20 April, 2016

      It still works in the Windows 8/10 version, too.

  18. Gordon Freeman29 April, 2016

    Do I need to have a CC on file with my account to generate a key? I just decided to try this recently and my cards had all expired so I removed them. Now I don’t have a CC on file w/ my account. When I try and generate the key w/ DeDRM plugin, I get a message that the key could not be retrieved. Verified several times that my account name/password are correct.

    1. Nate Hoffelder29 April, 2016

      I can’t say for sure.

      I have always had a CC number on my account.

  19. Jeff29 December, 2016

    If you’re using the Windows 10 B&N Nook app, the files are hiding in
    C:\Users\”my name”\AppData\Local\Packages\BarnesNoble.Nook\LocalState\
    as a string of numbers with an .epub

  20. Leora Hatchwell18 January, 2018

    Thank you for all the help. I successfully unlocked Kindle. However, NookStudy “refuses” to open. I have triple checked the sign-in and password. Have things changed for 2018?

  21. Patrick K ONeil10 March, 2018

    No matter what I do, calibre refuses to install your plugins. In every case it comes back as a bad zip file. I’ve tried downloading and re-downloading, I tried previous versions but in every single case, with Calibre 3.18 the plugin zip files come back as badzipfile: not a zip file.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 March, 2018

      I haven’t touched this in a long time so I could be out of date, but –

      Are you trying to install a plugin or the the zip folder containing the plugins?


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