Amazon’s Kindle is a huge business. Both the hardware and the digital service changed how books, magazines, comics, and more are read each day. Unfortunately, customers can’t simply download Kindle books and read them through any app.
For Digital Rights Management reasons, all Kindle e-books are locked to Kindle hardware. These digital books use Amazon’s proprietary AZW file format, even though Kindle tablets also support MOBI files. That makes reading these e-books outside the Kindle bubble nearly impossible.
However, you can convert them into PDFs. This guide shows you how to convert a Kindle book to PDF so you can read your purchased favorites on any e-book reader, not just on a Kindle.
Download the AZW file(s)
Due to Digital Right Management, the e-book can’t simply download to any PC. Readers must have a hardware Kindle linked to their Amazon account. Otherwise, they will see an error stating, “You have selected content that is not compatible with any of your registered devices.”
That said, even if the e-book is read via the Kindle app on Windows 10, Android, or iOS, without an actual Kindle device linked to an Amazon account, Kindle e-books will not download.
Step 1: With Amazon’s website loaded, click on your name, and then select Account on the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Select Manage Content and Devices listed under Digital Content and Devices.
Step 3: Click the Three-dot Actions button next to the target e-book, as shown above.
Step 4: Click Download & Transfer Via USB on the pop-up menu.
Step 5: A pop-up window appears with the registered Kindle selected. Click the yellow Download button.
The AWZ file will download to the default location on your PC, not to the listed Kindle device.
Note: Calibre now offers a plugin called the KFX Input plugin, which allows you to import KFX files as well. Skip to the Calibre section to find out how to use it.
Convert using EPUB Converter (web-based)
EPUB Converter is a free online utility used to convert e-book files to and from their native format. The tool currently includes options for converting electronic publications like EPUBs, PDF, MOBI, and AZW, among other formats, as well as one for directly converting Kindle files to PDF. It’s speedy, simple, and lacks a heavy desktop footprint.
Step 1: With the website open, click the yellow Add File button displayed under Download Link.
Step 2: Locate the downloaded AZW or MOBI file and click the Open button.
Note: Repeat these steps for more than one Kindle e-book.
Step 3: With all e-books selected, click the yellow Start Upload button(s) shown above and wait.
Step 4: The e-book is converted to a PDF file. Click the link to download the file to your PC’s default location. Alternatively, right-click on the link and select Save As on the pop-up menu to save the e-book to a specific location.
EPUB Converter will host the file on its server for two hours, providing you with plenty of time to download your new PDF. You can repeat the process as many times as necessary.
Convert using Calibre (Windows / MacOS / Linux)
Calibre is a lightweight e-book manager that can convert digital books from one format to another. It handles a grandiose assortment of input formats, from MOBI and HTML to PRC and AZW.
Overall, it’s loaded with intuitive options for customizing the look and aesthetic of converted e-books. The attractive interface is both resourceful and self-explanatory, making conversion easy. Moreover, it can function with or without a persistent or active network connection.
Download and install Calibre before moving forward.
Step 1: With Calibre open, click the Add Books icon located in the top-left corner.
Step 2: Locate the downloaded file on your PC and click the Open button. Alternatively, drag the downloaded e-book into the Calibre window.
Step 3: Click the Convert Books button.
Step 4: A pop-up window appears. On the left, the input format should read AZW. On the right, select the Output Format from the drop-down menu. We chose PDF in this example.
Step 5: Perform any other customizations, like changing the cover image or the page setup.
Step 6: Click the OK button to begin the conversion.
With the e-book still showing within the program, Calibre should now list the new converted version next to Formats, as shown below.
In this example, the e-book shows both the AZW and the PDF formats. Each file is stored in the program’s default save location. For instance, on Windows 10, the default is C:Users[your account]Calibre Library[author][ebook].
Step 7: To save the PDF somewhere else, right-click or CTRL-click on the blue PDF link and select the Save the PDF Format to Disk option.