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Has Kobo Resolved the Download Issue?

It’s been just over a month since Kobo’s perennial problem with blocking downloads of purchased ebooks came to a head, and it looks like that problem has been resolved.

I was checking my Kobo account this morning and I noticed that virtually all of the ebooks could now be downloaded from the website and transferred to another app or device.  Considering that this time last month about a third of the titles lacked a download option, that represents a major change.

In my library, two ebooks still have no download option. One is no longer available, and the other is a graphic novel which is probably in Kobo’s own proprietary format.

What about your Kobo library?

I would really like to get feedback from Kobo customers, because Kobo hasn’t announced the technical fix yet and so far as I know the issue was only resolved in the past week or so.

As I look back at my past coverage I see that the download issue was still present as late as the 17th when a commenter noted that they had to use the workaround I posted in order to download the DRM-free ebooks they had bought.

Speaking of which, if you find that you still have ebooks with no download option there is a solution. You’ll first have to download the ebook with the Kobo for PC app, and then you can use a 3rd-party Calibre plugin to transfer your purchased ebooks to calibre. (This is a different workaround than the one required for Nook ebooks, which still suffer from blocked downloads.)

That plugin will also convert the ebooks to the standard Epub format and strip the DRM so the ebooks can be read on any device you like.

So, can you download your Kobo ebooks?

image  johntrainor

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1 October 28, 2014 um 12:18 pm

I’m missing the download link on a book I purchased on Sunday.

Rosie October 28, 2014 um 10:09 pm

Do you have Kobo Desktop for PC (or Mac) installed? If the book you bought is in Kobo’s proprietary kepub format only (and not in epub or PDF as well) then that’s where you will find it. Then you can install the plugin that Nate has linked to above (in his article) and follow those instructions and then import the book into Calibre. (I assume that you have Calibre installed?)

Mikaela October 28, 2014 um 1:09 pm

I have download links, but when I try to download the DRM’d book I purchased the server times out. sigh.

Purple Lady October 28, 2014 um 2:00 pm

I had one of my books transferred from Sony without a download link and there’s still no link.

Rosie October 28, 2014 um 10:11 pm

Does Kobo ordinarily sell that ebook? I recall in some of the email literature that Sony and Kobo put out at the time of the ebook merger that Kobo may not have all the books that Sony sold, and therefore they wouldn’t be able to give you your book!

doubleshuffle October 28, 2014 um 2:03 pm

No change in my library so far; books that didn’t have a download option before are still lacking it.

Rev. Bob October 28, 2014 um 10:15 pm

No changes here. The Churn, Hyde, The Last Dragonslayer…all no go.

Julanne Henneessy October 28, 2014 um 5:25 pm

I try not to use the Kobo store because it’s so buggy, but occassionally they are the only ones with the book I want. Seeing your article made me check to see what’s happening this time. I lost the ability to download anything from the web or app a couple of weeks ago but thought it was only me. I thought it had to do with them integrating the Angus and Robertson collection. Seems daft that they would need to disable the existing collection to do that. Now, from the Kobo desktop app I can’t download books, only read online. I’m sure I used to be able to download from the app. If I go in via the website I can download. The other issue I’ve had is Kobo automatically connecting my ereader via wireless to download something. My battery kept going flat! I would turn it off and it would turn back on. I had to tell the ereader to forget the wireless connection to get it to stop.

Caroline October 28, 2014 um 7:52 pm

I purchased a book yesterday and there was no blue button to download. I asked for help and they emailed me to say that I need to sync with my ereader. Nothing works. No button, so cannot download, not onto my laptop or onto my ereader. I tried downloading the Kobo desktop and the Digital Adobe Editions thing, but if there is no download option, nothing to click to download!!! I can read the book from the Adobe thing, but can’t read it on my ereader. 5 quid down the pan. Have asked for them to email me the epub file, or cancel my order and refund my money.

Kaetrin October 28, 2014 um 10:01 pm

Caroline, can you open the book you bought in the Desktop app (ie, is it showing in your Desktop App library once you sync it)? If you can see it in there, you can install Calibre (free) and the obok plugin (which Nate has linked to on an earlier post) and get it on your PC and then to your reader that way.

LS October 28, 2014 um 8:39 pm

The only download problems I’ve had with Kobo (other than the odd format glitch over the years) concerned those supposed new ePub3’s with no downloadable ePubs. I’ve been checking to see if books have a downloadable ePub before purchasing, and today I ran into a new release which did not have a downloadable ePub. Needless to say I bought it elsewhere. I did purchase another new release today from Kobo that did have a downloadable ePub. Both books were from the same publisher too. I have no idea why there is a difference.

Rosie October 28, 2014 um 10:19 pm

Nate, I’m a bit confused …. are you asking whether books that Kobo only downloaded in kepub format at the time of purhcase are now also in epub format (and show that way in Kobo’s website 'My library')?

Nate Hoffelder October 28, 2014 um 10:22 pm

Yes. I can download everything except that one graphic novel.

Rosie October 28, 2014 um 10:50 pm

Is that ebook able to be viewed on a tablet? I recall that some of Kobo’s kepubs can only be viewed on a tablet. If that is the vase with this ebook then you won’t find it Kobo Desktop for PC.

Nate Hoffelder October 28, 2014 um 11:59 pm

kay, now I understand the confusion. I wasn’t clear enough that I am referring to download options on the website. I’ve added a couple details to the post.

Chriss November 1, 2014 um 12:09 pm

Still no DL option for any of my DRM-free Charles Stross epubs, curiously enough. But my PKD novels all have Adobe downloads available now.

JO December 30, 2014 um 4:11 am

I have just tried to unsuccessfully download a copy of A visit from the Goon squad that I originally purchased in 2011.
I have tried a couple of different workarounds, but so far I am unable to get the copy back. According to Kobo, that edition is no longer available, so.. what?
I am not happy to purchase another copy (though there is one available) as I have paid once already. I don’t have to purchase a new copy of a printed book when a new one is issued!

Will try the Calibre option (thank you), but not very impressed. Up until now I have been singing Kobo’s praises.

Kay January 5, 2015 um 7:40 pm

Here is old version of Kobo Desktop installer.
This version worked perfectly on my Win 8.1 and downloaded purchased kepub books.

JO January 5, 2015 um 8:50 pm

Thanks Kay. As I am using a Kobo vox I am having problems transferring from my PC to ereader. The vox doesn’t work well via USB. But.. success. Luckily I had downloaded my unavailable titles onto my adobe digital editions acc so I have been able to add them to my vox. .. but only using another app. So I am reading my missing pre purchased titles on Bluefire Reader. Not what I expected but at least I can still access those books. I had to email the file to Dropbox and then open and add to Bluefire that way.

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