How to Remove the DRM From Your Kindle, Kobo, and Nook eBooks And Rescue Them

How to Remove the DRM From Your Kindle, Kobo, and Nook eBooks And Rescue Them calibre DRM Tips and Tricks This week's news about B&N retreating from the international ebook market inspired me to make sure that all my Nook purchases are backed up in DRM-free form.

This takes very little effort, and I would recommend that you do the same. The process is more tedious than technically challenging, and if you can install an app or upgrade a piece of software then you can strip the DRM from your ebooks.

To get you started, this morning I dug out and refreshed the three posts I have written on removing DRM from Kindle, Nook, and Kobo ebooks.

I had already worked my way through the ebooks I bought from Amazon and Kobo, but curating my Nook library is proving to be far more work.

It's not just that my Nook library is larger, but also that NookStudy has a broken search function and is slow to download and open ebooks. Also, its developers don't seem to understand the concept of multi-tasking.

This is an annoying experience but at least I'll only have to mess with it this one time.

P.S. If you happen to know of an easy way to get Nook ebooks off a Nook device so that the DRM can be removed, please leave a comment. I've had a couple of requests from readers who have had problems with NookStudy. Thanks!

images by plenty.r, Pitel

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.

17 Comments

  1. Paul Durrant11 July, 2015

    For some people, the encryption key from the nook Study log will also work for books from an actual nook device.

    There’s also a way to get a decryption key by using a web browser and a special URL including your email address and account password (it retrieves it from the B&N servers). For some people this key is different to the nook Study one. The details are in a comment somewhere at Apprentice Alf’s blog. Ummm… a quick search turns up this recent comment that seems to have the required details:

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 July, 2015

      Thanks, but first I need to find a way to get the ebooks off the Nook partition on a Nook device. Calibre can’t see it.

      Reply
      1. Tim Wilhoit12 July, 2015

        The only Nook device that did not download books to the dark zone was the original e-ink. The original configuration of Nook Color also downloaded books in a visible area, IIRC. However, I recall that there was a mod for the ST that caused books to download to the SD card rather than to the dark zone. I’d say XDA would have the info for that mod.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder12 July, 2015

          I’ll go look, thanks.

          Reply
  2. Ellen12 July, 2015

    Thanks Nate for the reminder. I used to be diligent about doing this as soon as I bought a book.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 July, 2015

      Welcome.

      I too had gotten out of the habit, and I’m regretting it now.

      Reply
  3. Ellen Hage12 July, 2015

    I think I stopped because I thought we were finally at a point where ebook stores were stable. Sony proved me wrong and I should have been more proactive. I did at least transfer my Sony books over to Kobo. When Fictionwise closed, I lost about eleven books when they finally all transferred to BN (although I may have copies somewhere). I have so many books that I got overwhelmed and just left things as they were (with DRM). My PC died and I forgot all about desktop software . I will definitely take the time to add everything to Calibre and get my library straight.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 July, 2015

      I started stripping the DRM in 2007, way back when the best option was to buy MSReader and convert so I could read on my Sony ( and later, Kindle).

      I stopped stripping the DRM because (and it took me a while to realize this) I had mostly stopped buying DRMed ebooks after agency. This is why I have so few titles in Kindle and Kobo, and so many from Nook; those were my pre-Agency purchases from Fictionwise.

      Reply
  4. Mark Ritchie13 July, 2015

    I think you need NookStudy to figure out your actual key, but getting the book files is much easier. Just download the original Nook for PC application, and download all your books there. They all show up in My Documents\My Barnes & Noble eBooks.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder13 July, 2015

      Now that you mention it, I probably should switch to Nook for PC. NookStudy is immensely frustrating,and Nook for PC has the better library interface.

      Reply
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