Skip to main content

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

5811777890_73cb670487_bThis 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

Similar Articles


Paul Durrant July 11, 2015 um 5:05 pm

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:

Nate Hoffelder July 11, 2015 um 5:12 pm

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.

Tim Wilhoit July 12, 2015 um 10:00 am

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.

Nate Hoffelder July 12, 2015 um 11:26 am

I’ll go look, thanks.

Ellen July 12, 2015 um 9:49 am

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

Nate Hoffelder July 12, 2015 um 11:26 am


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

Ellen Hage July 12, 2015 um 11:54 am

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.

Nate Hoffelder July 12, 2015 um 12:04 pm

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.

Mark Ritchie July 13, 2015 um 1:44 pm

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.

Nate Hoffelder July 13, 2015 um 1:55 pm

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.

DRM removal | Making Book July 18, 2015 um 12:36 pm

[…] Ink, Bits, & Pixels provides instructions on how to remove DRM from you Kindle, Kobo and Nook e-books. This might not seem all that vital to the non-internet-freedom crowd, but as IB&P points out it will become more important if one of these services decides to go out of business. […]

B&N Names Frederic Argir As Head of E-Commerce, Nook | The Digital Reader July 20, 2015 um 9:16 am

[…] Nook is doomed. Get your ebooks out while you still […]

Tips for New eReader and Tablet Owners | The Digital Reader December 26, 2015 um 2:54 pm

[…] So now is the time to get started with your new gadget. Here are a few links that can help you get set up, find and load content, manage your ebook library, and (if you want) strip the DRM. […]

Mobipocket to Turn Off Its Website and Servers on 31 October | The Digital Reader October 23, 2016 um 9:49 am

[…] who valued the DRMed ebooks they bought in Mobipocket format has already stripped the DRM and converted to another format. (And of course DRM-free Mobi ebooks are technically identical […]

TunesKit Audible Converter Rescues Audible Audiobooks | The Digital Reader November 12, 2016 um 10:03 pm

[…] people use calibre plugins to protect their ebooks by stripping the DRM. Now there is a similar, albeit paid, solution for Audible […]

Just Got a Kindle? Here's What You Should Do Next | The Digital Reader June 19, 2017 um 2:55 pm

[…] bought from Kobo, Google Play Books, or other ebook retailers on your Kindle – you just need to remove the DRM […]

New Plugin Adds Text to Speech to Calibre | The Digital Reader June 19, 2017 um 2:58 pm

[…] best free ebook management tool on the market (it's the most capable, and it's also pretty good at stripping DRM). Now that app is about to get better as an ebook […]

Write a Comment