New Nook Hardware Could Become Worthless in the UK After May 2016

New Nook Hardware Could Become Worthless in the UK After May 2016 Barnes & Noble e-Reading Hardware Tips and Tricks With Barnes & Noble set to shutter its UK Nook Store today, its customers are still scrambling to get their ebooks transferred to Sainsbury's. Some report that the transfer service is flaky, while others say that they have yet to receive the email so they can start the transfer process.

Everyone is still trying to parse the frustratingly incomplete FAQs on the Sainsbury's website and get their questions answered. For example, we know that Sainsbury's is promising a credit for any title that doesn't transfer from the Nook Store, but we still don't yet know everything about whether you will be able to read them on Nook devices.

That question  came up in the comment section on this blog today, and after I spent a half hour tracking down the answer I realized that this was an answer worth sharing.

You see, Sainsbury doesn't say anything about managing a Nook device after the transition, It has an FAQ which neglects to mention that you won't be able to buy ebooks from the Nook any more (that would require B&N's servers) while at the same time offering a less than complete explanation of how to load ebooks on to a Nook Uk device (the instructions will not work for the latest Nook model, the Glowlight Plus).

And to make matters worse, that FAQ leaves out a few important details. For example, I found a B&N FAQ which informs us that an unregistered Nook could become useless in the UK after the end of May.

Can I still side-load eBooks on my UK NOOK device after March 15, 2016?

After March 15, 2016 you can still side-load compatible eBooks on your registered NOOK device by using the microSD card or by connecting your device to a computer via USB cable.

Refer to your devices User Guide for specific side-loading instructions:

In order to continue to have access to your device for side-loading you must sign in on your NOOK device and remain signed-in BEFORE May 31, 2016.  After May 31, 2016 the option to sign in will no longer be available on your NOOK device.

In other words, if you should have to reset a Nook UK device in June, you won't be able to reauthorize it to the same account. And if someone gives you a Nook UK device in June or later, you won't be able to log in using your current credentials.

And since B&N requires that a Nook device be authorized before you can use it, that is a problem.

Sure, you might be able to set up a US account with and register the Nook to that account, but as I understand it that requires that the owner know about the option and (I think) have access to a VPN. And even at the best of times, the B&N website is wonky, so that option might not work.

B&N is about to render a lot of hardware worthless.

Okay, that sounds alarmist and clickbaity, but consider for a moment Nook UK device owners who are not particularly tech savvy. They will have a lot of problems come June if they try to register a Nook UK device.

And frankly, there's not much we can do about it other than to help each other out. So if you figure out a trick, workaround, we'd like to hear about it.

Or if you have a question about your Nook UK device, feel free to ask in this comment section.

image by wizardjournal

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. fjtorres15 March, 2016

    Hmm, could the part about *staying* signed-in mean there will be a firmware update coming?

    1. Nate Hoffelder15 March, 2016

      Unlikely. There are too many models, and B&N was never all that big on updating their devices anyway.

      1. fjtorres16 March, 2016

        Plus it would be the most ethical solution. Not exactly what one would expect of them. They sure were quick to update their tablets to block sideloading, though. If they retain even a fraction of that update zeal…

  2. Similar problems for those of us with old Kindles who don’t have wi-fi.

    The only way I can buy from Amazon here in West Africa is through my UK registered account. Amazon blocks downloads otherwise. With no wi-fi I have to download and sideload all ebooks via the laptop. When I need to reset the device (all too frequently) it means an expensive trip to a tourist hotel, paying by the hour.

    Now Amazon are demanding I have the unit connected to wi-fi overnight to get the updates or next time I need to re-set it it’s game over.

    As an aside, in mind KU “scams” – the reason I don’t use Kindle Unlimited UK is because, as I have to sideload every title, there is no way the authors would get paid for any sideloaded title read with no wi-fi sending back the data.

    Amazon would collect the monthly fees and the authors would get nothing.

  3. […] UK store, handing off its customers to Sainsbury’s instead. As Nate notes at The Digital Reader, there’s no guarantee that new Nook hardware will have any use at all in the UK going forward, and there’s certainly no guarantee Nook UK customers will be able to take all their titles with […]

  4. Michael16 March, 2016

    Many or most Nooks have a factory screen that can be accessed through a particular button sequence, and this screen provides an option to skip the normally mandatory registration, aka the OOBE (Out of Box Experience). I’m not certain DRM-encumbered books would work without registering, but I think they would as long as they’re sideloaded with Adobe Digital Editions.

    1. Rachel23 November, 2016

      Any more information on how to do this? I missed the memo about logging on and staying logged on, so currently sitting with a lump of tech that does nothing…

  5. Hazel phelps16 March, 2016

    I need a new nook charge cord?

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 March, 2016

      Which Nook?

      If the cord is for the Nook HD, then you might have a problem. A;; the other models use a standard microUSB cable.

  6. Basem16 March, 2016

    If there is a workaround, these Nook devices, even the older ones, are still solid e-readers. Also, the Nook HD+ still offers access to Google Play (some apps don’t work, as it is based on an out-dated version of Android).

  7. Basem16 March, 2016

    I no longer own Nook devices, after going back to Amazon. However, I have a small library with Nook and activated the transfer. On the positive side, Sainsbury’s allow direct downloads of your e-books!

  8. […] New Nook Hardware Could Become Worthless in the UK After May 2016 (The Digital Reader) This is really, really bad and is the reason why licenses are not as good as owning something. […]

  9. puzzled16 March, 2016

    Can you say: Class Action Law Suit?

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 March, 2016

      The more likely outcome will be a high volume of complaints to the UK’s consumer protection services.

      1. puzzled17 March, 2016

        If B&N sold any Nook devices after they started to more down the shutting down path, some lawyer is going to have a field day.

  10. Steve17 March, 2016

    Meanwhile, here in the U.S., B&N has launched yet ANOTHER new website at I just tried signing in on the homepage and – surprise! – the member log-in is a mess. As of early this morning, logging in doesn’t even allow you to get to your account. I had to scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on ‘customer service’ and then access the pull-down menu (with order history, account info., etc.) in order to get into my account information.

    1. Nate Hoffelder17 March, 2016

      I found that I can get to my account by going to the Nook page, and then clicking “my account” in the upper left corner. That brings up a login button which works.

      There are other login buttons which don’t work.

    2. Michael17 March, 2016

      They’ve had for years. It’s just a shortcut to the regular website. Unfortunately B&N’s website regularly breaks. The search function goes down more often than anything else, returning 0 results for any search term, but at times the login gets borked and then most of the login links won’t work. Sometimes both blow up at the same time. B&N is a mess indeed.

      1. Steve17 March, 2016

        Yes – it was the ( that was briefly redesigned early this morning. I was on the site around 8am ET, and the new design was up. It has since been taken down . . . because, I’m assuming, of the log-in problems that both Nate and I experienced. The homepage was completely redesigned, and the branding totally changed.

        1. Michael17 March, 2016

          Ah, I see. Doesn’t surprise me they screwed up a site makeover when they couldn’t even keep the old site working reliably for more than a week or two at a time.

  11. Jessica19 March, 2016

    Hi, my nook stopped working on the 15th March!! It doesn’t turn on at all and doesn’t react to anything… Does anyone know whats going on and how to fix it??

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 March, 2016

      I asked over at Mobileread Forums. No one else is having this problem.

      Did you try holding down the power button, and forcing it to turn off?

  12. john clutterbuck23 March, 2016

    Sick as a dog about B&N as a uk pensioner i don”t have the cash to by a different reader, my nook worked like a swiss watch. Any help re workround please e mail me, thanks

  13. Robert Cartman31 March, 2016

    My wife transferred her extensive Nook library to Sainsburys, used the £5 voucher to buy a book and downloaded it. Opening the book seemed fine until she got to the text which was microscopic and the app seems to have no ability to resize the text.

    I fear for anyone who has recently bought the glowlight and would suggest a rapid return for refund.

    I was going to buy a Kindle to replace the Nook but will probably just go for a Windows laptop and have no ties to any ebook portal.

  14. Andrew Salmon1 April, 2016

    My wife and I each have a Nook Glowlight, they are now both completely useless. I bought a 99p book and managed eventually to transfer it to one of the Nooks, but when opening it it said it does not recognise the format. So we are now stuck with two useless e-readers. I think this is a disgusting way to treat customers.

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 May, 2016

      My I suggest that you take your Nook to your local library and ask for help?

      It sounds like you are one of many ereaders owners who are struggling with loading ebooks onto your ereader. Your local public library should be able to help.

      Mine could help with this, at least.

  15. Rachel4 April, 2016

    If you have a laptop & Adobe Editions, most UK libraries now offer a free ebook lending service. I’ve been using it for over 6 months now on my nook glowlight and love it – great choice of books, newspapers & magazines. Once you get used to Adobe, it’s a simple drag & drop to borrow or renew books. If your library is like mine, you can download the Adobe software from their website and there’s lots of info on how it works. Since the UK nook site closed, the library website has really come into its own & helped calm down this consumer’s annoyance. Hope that helps 🙂

  16. Jane Withers13 April, 2016

    My nook library transferred completely to Sainsburys Entertainment on Demand and I have since bought 4 books from Sainsburys and transferred them to my nook to read. You just need to have Adobe Digital Editions open on your laptop, buy the book you require from Sainsburys, right click on the purchase ‘transfer to nook’ and plug your nook into your laptop. Ok, it’s not as simple as before but worth it as I will never buy a Kindle due to the association with Amazon.

  17. Andrew Salmon13 April, 2016

    I purchased a book and transferred it to my Nook but it cannot read the format so my wife and I will dispose of our Nooks and not get involved with Barnes & Noble ever again.

  18. roger browne14 April, 2016

    Will netflix streaming still work on my nook hd?

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 May, 2016

      It should. That app is provided through Google Play, and does not depend on the Nook platform in any way.

  19. Harriet Peet19 May, 2016

    I need to reregister my Nook. At the moment I cannot do so, which means I cannot access the 300+ books I have on there. It has all been transferred to Sainsbury’s but they can’t or won’t help me. Does anyone have any ideas how I can reregister my nook before the cut off date please?

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 May, 2016

      According to B&N, you are supposed to be able to register it (link). I think you’re going to have to contact them.

      Edit: As an alternative, have you tried using the Sainsbury’s app on your smartphone or tablet? You should be able to read the ebooks that way.

  20. Andrew Salmon19 May, 2016

    We have two Nooks which are now completely useless. I have downloaded a book to one of the Nooks from Sainsburys but it says it is an unreadable format. I have decided to dispose of the Nooks and never get involved with Barnes & Noble ever again.

    1. Nate Hoffelder19 May, 2016

      Did you follow the steps in this FAQ?

      P.S. See, this is why I strip DRM first thing. It’s the only way to be safe.

  21. Bill Woods3 June, 2016

    My advice? Do nothing. Keep logged in to your Nook. All your existing downloaded books will still be as they were. I don’t have a laptop, only a tablet and smart phone, so side loading isn’t possible. I can’t buy any new books but I have over 100 on my Nook. I can only buy new books from Sainsbury, Amazon or iBooks to read on my iPad. I might buy a Kindle. Wait till the price drops. It sometimes does for Black Friday.

  22. Bill Woods9 June, 2016

    Kindle on offer for Fathers Day at John Lewis and Currys. 20% off

  23. Rocco10 June, 2016

    My UK nook simple touch can not activate any more.

  24. Catharine10 June, 2016

    Its now June and after 8 emails and a phone call to Nook flagging up having received no transfer link to Sainsburys I STILL haven’t had a reply. Sainsburys useless – they just direct me to B&N. I give up and will now buy a Kindle.

  25. F Horton28 June, 2016

    My nook simple touch stopped working on holiday and I was required to go through the setup process again…. I was unable to get past the wifi setup abroad and now I am back home in the UK, I am unable to reregister. I get an error message – sorry we are having trouble setting up your NOOK. Please shut down your device and try again…. I have and get nowhere! Is there any solution, or do I have a useless device?

    1. Anna1 July, 2016

      I have the same trouble. It says error and please shut down and try again. But this doesn’t help

  26. Mark28 June, 2016

    Can you just root the device and use it as you see fit? Since I’m in the USA I haven’t tried to do that yet. Sample link:

    1. Frank28 June, 2016

      Yes, the Nook can be rooted so the user can put their own software on it, but most users are not going to bother with rooting it because it is an advanced technique.

  27. F Horton29 June, 2016

    I have managed to bypass the registration process and regain access to my nook simple touch by following advice on a post from 2011 entitled ‘how to use the book simple touch without registering’. V pleased.

  28. Rhian Trevor14 July, 2016

    For anyone like me who has been struggling to read any new ebook purchases from Sainsbury’s on my Nook HD I thought I would share how I have finally managed to get it to work. My Adobe Digital Editions would not recognise my Nook and after all sorts of fixes and advice from various sources I decided to go the Micro SD card route. I now just copy and paste the file on to the sd card which is mounted in an integral usb sd card holder on my laptop. I already had registered my Nook with ADE and when the card is in my Nook I can now the book. I was seriously thinking of abandoning my Nook as the thought of only being able to read my previously purchased books was depressing but there’s life in the old Nook yet!

  29. Stephen Spencer17 July, 2016

    The Nook Simple Touch is still usable and set-up able from scratch or a complete wipe, as alluded to above. No rooting or re-registration required. Nobody’s devices have been reduced to digital doorstops, if you follow a few straightforward steps.

    (Assuming you’ve transferred your library to Sainsbury’s already)

    1. If your Nook doesn’t boot (mine was like this), hold down the power button for 10 secs to forcibly switch it fully off, then press both bottom page turn buttons immediately after turning it back on – it’ll give you the option to wipe+reset.

    2. Once it wipes itself and reboots, select a language, but on the screen afterwards, don’t proceed (you won’t be able to get past the registration step as the UK servers have been shut down) but instead hold down the top-right page turn button and swipe your finger left to right over the n-patterned top area. Let go of the button. Press the Factory button that has appeared. Again press the top-right page turn button but tap in the bottom right area where a 3rd button could exist – and one appears! Press it to abort from the setup procedure. Step/skip through any further steps, and you should be in the normal Nook experience, just the shop and other internet stuff won’t load.

    3. Plug in your Nook to the PC with a USB cable. Download and set up Adobe Digital Editions on your PC, authorising your Adobe account against it (Help menu, oddly). The Nook should appear in the sidebar, authorise that against your account too (I had to reboot my Nook and restart Digital Editions for it to appear).

    4. Now you can go to the Sainsbury’s website and download all your old books (or buy new ones) via “Library”, “Read now” on each, “Download this eBook file now”. They should load straight into Digital Editions, from where you can right-click and copy to Nook. They’ll now be in the library once you “safely eject” the Nook, although they will be missing cover images and the initial pages may be different to how they used to be, they will be perfectly readable with the ability to change the font size etc. and everything exactly as before.

    1. JOHN19 July, 2016

      Thanks very much for posting this. Followed your method and managed to reregister my Nook Simple Touch and download again my books from the Sainsbury’s library. The books disappeared about a week ago following a holiday in Canada and the US.I was about to give up on the Nook.

    2. Jane Francis10 December, 2016

      Dear Stephen, you are truly amazing. Thank you so much for this explanation, easy to understand and follow and WORKS! I have resuscitated my nook and can now download library books again.

    3. david robertson14 December, 2016

      well done mate, been searching endlessly for a way in without the blocked registering page. no-one it seems has found that seemless way in you suggest. works a dream.

    4. Tim27 February, 2017

      Stephen, you are a total gem! Worked exactly as you described for my Glowlight. Thank you!!!


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