How to remove the DRM from kindle ebooks on Windows

This information is only provided for reading your purchased ebooks on whatever device you want, NEVER distribute ebooks.

Amazon is doing a great job at allowing one to read the ebooks purchased from them on most devices (mac, ipad, iphone, windows), but one is still locked to the devices that amazon decides to support.

These scripts only work for Windows, there is currently no support for MacOsX.

These are the following steps to remove the DRM on kindle ebooks:

1. Download and install python.
2. Download unswindle.pyw.
3. Download MobiDeDRM.pyw.
4. Download Kindle for PC.
5. Putting it all together.

1. Download and install python

The link is to python 2.7, newer versions may have come out and is accessible from the download page. The installer is just standard click – install.

2. Download unswindle.pyw

Rename the downloaded file to unswindle.pyw. Any updates to the script will be published on the creators blog

3. Download MobiDeDRM.pyw

There are two blogs to watch out for any changes to the script: Apprentice Alf and Dark Reverser. The latest version is coming from Apprentice Alf, and it isn’t easy to figure out which version the script has come to. The link I’ve given is to MobiDeDRM 0.16.

Rename the downloaded file to MobiDeDRM.pyw.

4. Download Kindle for PC.

I use version 1.0.1 Beta 1 which is the one I have linked to. NB: ONLY USE VERSION 1.0.1 Beta 1.

Make sure that the application doesn’t download and install newer versions of the application on its own. This can be done by starting “Kindle for PC” –> click “Menu” located on the right side –> click “Settings” –>  Uncheck the box located below “Updates”.

5. Putting it all together

Now we have everything to start removing the DRM from the kindle books. Close the Kindle for PC application. Make sure that unswindle.pyw and MobiDeDRM.pyw is located in the same directory.

Doubleclick unswindle.pyw. A window will display itself:

Choose “Select a program from a list of installed programs” and press “OK”.

Locate the “Browse” button, locate the python directory, doubleclick and select “pythonw.exe”.

This will open the Kindle for PC application. Select the book you want to remove the DRM from by doubleclicking the book. This will open the book for reading in Kindle for PC.

Now, just quit Kindle for PC. That will open this window:

In “File name:” make sure to enter a filename, like “”, and press “Save”. Now your book has been decrypted. Enjoy!


If you want a more hassle free way of removing the DRM of kindle ebooks, purchase Kindle DRM Removal. It worked great for me (and I don’t get paid for writing this).

About Haridasi

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59 Responses to How to remove the DRM from kindle ebooks on Windows

  1. Pingback: How to remove DRM from ebooks | Helene Klungvik

  2. RAF says:

    I’ve tried to crack a kindle ebook (Blue-Bloods-Keys-to-the-Repository) by following this procedure and it didn’t work. The last window that’s supposed to save “” never came up. I did try 5 times and I always get stuck in the last step.

    Any idea?
    I’m using Vista 64 Bits.

    Thanks in advance


  3. Did you close the Kindle to PC application and wait a little bit (with no other application open)? After you close Kindle, the application that decrypts the book takes a little time before showing the “save book” dialog box.

    Other than that, I have no idea what could be the reason. I would expect some kind of error message somewhere, but I have not encountered an error so far.

    I use 32-bits windows 7, I don’t know if that matters.

  4. Paul Almond says:

    Hi Nice post
    I’m trying to emulate you here but i get as far as the last stage and when i close Kindle for PC i get an error message as follows

    Error: cannot decrypt Topaz format book

    I’ve followed the steps only thing i was unsure of was where to place the unswindle and mobimedrm files i place them within the application folder.

    Is there a way to resolve this?

    Paul Almond

  5. This method only works for azw-files, not topaz

  6. Jennifer says:

    I keep trying this, but everytime I double-click the unswindle file, I get: Error: could not locate MobiDeDrm script. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but any help would be much appreciated!

  7. The script is not located in the same directory/folder as the script.

  8. bubbah says:

    I had same trouble …but YOU GOTTA READ THIS GUIDE AND FOLLOW IT EXACTLY …you gotta rename that file for it to be found …also, it won’t work with new amazon kindle for pc …you gotta get the old one by the link here to file hippo …after that it works fine …on the windows mobile or pocket pc the books hafta be in the root of the main or storage card in a folder named “ebooks” or they will not be noticed by the software …after that, all works perfectly …thanks for this very useful guide!!

  9. Sachiko says:

    Thank you very much! It worked perfectly well. 🙂 Make my life much better with my sony ereader and the possibilities to buy books on Amazon.

  10. dean says:

    I am eager to get this to work. I have both unswindle.pyw & MobiDeDRM.pyw located in the same directory, but every time I double-click unswindle, I’m getting the “cannot locate mobidedrm script.”

    What am I doing wrong?

  11. John says:

    I found that you need to use mobidedrm with no .py or .pyw, just mobidedrm (looking at the script, they all should work, but …) I’m using Windows 7 and python 2.7 – may have something to do with it.

  12. The file-ending .pyw is there, it’s just hidden. One of the features in windows.

  13. The filename is to be in lowercase letters: mobidedrm.pyw.

  14. dean says:

    Works! are also have some Topaz files and discovered that the apprentice alf site has a nifty solution to that problem.

    Thanks for defending the fair use of protected works.

  15. Michael B. says:

    I tried to convert a book this way three times, it keeps popping up telling me that the PID is wrong, and no key found… or something like that. It doesn’t say to put in or find a PID… and I’ve done everything right. Even followed these same steps from another site and still get the PID error.

  16. Michael B. says:

    Okay, I fixed that by renaming the files (I forgot to do that) but now I’m getting the same “cannot find MobiDeRRM” that someone else said they received. How do I fix this? They’re both right next to each other, the only two files in the folder.

  17. Michael B. says:

    Nevermind, I tried John’s solution (lowercase and no .pyw) and the program opens… but I still get a no key/wrong PID error. How do I fix this?

  18. Michael B. says:

    Argh, sorry for multiple comments. I can’t seem to unpost one while it’s awaiting moderation.

    I just downloaded the new file from the unswindle site called Pastie-something. It doesn’t give me the error when I go to save them, but the file doesn’t show up… it’s as if it doesn’t save… the folder I save it to remains empty.

    How do I combat this?

  19. Michael B. says:

    Wow, got it to work… the file just randomly showed up a few minutes after giving up… I guess the saved file needs a couple minutes to convert and save and show up in the folder. Please delete all of my comments. Thanks for your help!

  20. Jana says:

    Hello, I’m trying to do everything exactly as described, but I got stuck in this step:

    “Select the book you want to remove the DRM from by doubleclicking the book. This will open the book for reading in Kindle for PC.”

    When I do it, Kindle for PC sends me this message: “The book could not be opened. Please remove the book from your device and redownload it.” And when I do so (remove&dwnl), this whole method just doesn’t seem to work – I close Kindle for PC and nothing happens (and I was waiting pretty long).

    Any idea what might be wrong? I use a copy of a book bought on Amazon directly through my Kindle device.

  21. JeraMLuna says:

    I went through and renamed all of the files… I go to click the first file unswindle and kindle for pc comes up and then that errors out. I didn’t see any comments to that regards.. what am I doing wrong? And when I go back I get this message window listing off everything that went wrong and it just won’t go. Please Help : )

  22. j says:

    This is the error I keep getting help please!!!

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “C:\Users\X Mobile\AppData\Local\Amazon\Kindle For PC\application\”, line 851, in gui_main
    inpath, pid = unswindler.get_book()
    File “C:\Users\X Mobile\AppData\Local\Amazon\Kindle For PC\application\”, line 792, in get_book
    grabber = PC1KeyGrabber(debugger, self._hexdigest)
    File “C:\Users\X Mobile\AppData\Local\Amazon\Kindle For PC\application\”, line 652, in __init__
    debugger.set_bp(self._taddr(addr), getattr(self, mname))
    File “C:\Users\X Mobile\AppData\Local\Amazon\Kindle For PC\application\”, line 461, in set_bp
    byte = self.read_process_memory(addr, type=ctypes.c_byte)
    File “C:\Users\X Mobile\AppData\Local\Amazon\Kindle For PC\application\”, line 451, in read_process_memory
    raise DebuggerError(“could not read memory @ 0x%08x” % (addr,))
    DebuggerError: could not read memory @ 0x1000000000014c9df

  23. AH says:

    Dose not work.

    I get “Unsupported version of Kindle for PC” when double clicking

  24. You must download the correct version of kindle for PC. You have installed an unsupported version.

  25. David Quinton says:

    I keep getting failed to determine book path. I double click the unswindle and get a black box open up for python and it just hangs with a cursour flashing.

  26. Sariann says:

    Fantastic, you are wonderful!

  27. mike says:

    I can’t find the file pythonw.exe after downloading everything and extracting the files.please help!!! a novice to all of this!

  28. Jim Melton says:


    To convert some my older ebooks now that I have a Kindle, I purchased the DRM breaker called Digital Editions Converter and it cracked them into a PDF. Then, I used Calibre Ebook Management program to convert them from PDF to Mobi format. Both of those processes went smoothly.

    My only problem is that the text size on the Kindle after the conversion is tiny. Do you know of a way (program?) to increase the PDF text size before I do the Calibre conversion??

    Thank you for your help.

    Jim Melton
    San Diego, CA

  29. Paul Durrant says:

    Why on earth go through PDF, when simple tools exist (even a plug-in for Calibre) that remove the DRM from from Kindle/Mobipocket files to produce a DRM-free Mobipocket book directly?

    Search for Apprentice Alf’s blog, where all will be revealed, with download links, and not cost you a penny.

    (or if we’re allowed links, just go to )

  30. Jacinta Knell says:

    Dear Helene
    Similar to one of the issues that a previous blogger had I too, get the message of, “Unsupported version of Kindle for PC”.
    I have been to the Amazon site to make sure that I have the correct version which seems to be a generic XP, Vista, Win 7 version.
    I am running Vista, the Kindle is v 1.3.0. I have tried Python 2.6.6 and 2.7.
    Anything else I can check or should do?

  31. Athyna says:

    Once i read through the directions & the comments I was able to get this working. I first had to find the old version of Kindle – & make sure that it didn’t automatically update – then i had to make sure that the mobidedrm was all lower case & had no .pyw.

    and viola!!!!!! it worked perfectly!!!! thank you so very much for this, now i don’t have to go out and buy all new books!!!!!

  32. Peter Kale says:

    I have followed your instructions to the letter and put the ebook into a folder in the root directory as suggested by bubbah on Oct 21, 2010. When I select unswindle.pyw python is opened by it followed immediately by Kindle for PC. I then get to the save file option with mobidedrm and the following error box appears:
    Error: problem running MobiDeDRM:
    MobiDEDRM v).16. Copyright 2008-2010 The Dark Reverser.
    MOBI header version=6, length=232
    Extra Data Flags=2
    Error: no key found. maybee the PID is incorrect.

    Any thoughts? I must be doing something wrong – any help much appreciated

  33. Dear Jacinta,
    It seems like you have downloaded the incorrect version of Kindle. Try the link specified above.

  34. Marie Steward says:

    Works like a charm! Thank you very much!

  35. Cris says:

    Many thanks for your invaluable help.

  36. Donald says:

    Hi Helene,

    For some reason, its not working any more. It keeps updating Kindle for PC (despite my unchecking the automatic update box), but even after I deinstall the later version of Kindle for PC it doesn’t work. It *looks* like it works, but then the saved file is still encrypted. Not sure what happened. It had been working like a charm

  37. Donald says:

    Well cancel that… Despite the fact that it *looks* encrypted, I was still able to transfer book to my other kindle.

  38. Corry says:

    I am trying to read library books from my public library and they are epub books that create an .ascm file. Is there any way to be able to read them on my kindle 3? I tried all the steps that you said and it worked great but I don’t have any of my signed-out books in the Amazon for PC program. Help???

  39. Sorry, but ascm books are not amazon ebooks. I don’t know what will help for that.

  40. Radiobroad says:

    I have followed the instructions exactly, including using the exact software versions and scripts via the links… but when I go to convert the saved drm-less mobi book in Calibre, the book that comes up is Aesop’s Fables! Which is NOT the book I was trying to convert, but one of the freebies that came with the reader.

    I even experimented with copying the book I wanted to convert to a new file with a name that began with AAAA just to be sure it was first in alphabetical order, in case that was the issue… that didn’t work either, so I deleted Aesop’s Fables and tried again. That time, it gave me another freebie–Treasure Island. So then I deleted that and the one other freebie, Pride and Prejudice, so the ONLY book in my “kindle content” folder was the one I wanted to convert.

    And when I tried again, I got the error message that it could not decrypt a Topaz format.



  41. melissa says:

    This is great- thanks a bunch!!! I had a bunch of Kindle books on my pc that I wanted to load on my Nook Color and this worked great. Much less complicated than the other websites and great that you take the time to help with users questions!

  42. Julia says:

    Hi Helene
    I have the same issue as Jana – 3 Dec 2010 and didn’t see an answer. Please help. thanks

    “Select the book you want to remove the DRM from by doubleclicking the book. This will open the book for reading in Kindle for PC.”

    When I do it, Kindle for PC sends me this message: “The book could not be opened. Please remove the book from your device and redownload it.” And when I do so (remove&dwnl), this whole method just doesn’t seem to work – I close Kindle for PC and nothing happens (and I was waiting pretty long).

    Any idea what might be wrong? I use a copy of a book bought on Amazon which I want to read on my sony e-reader.
    Thanks for your help.

  43. I’m sorry, but I haven’t experienced this issue myself. Sounds like a kindle issue, not a DRM issue.

  44. John says:

    Dear Helen,

    I did this procedure on two different comps; one with xp and the other with win 7. Both are 32 bit operating systems. Each time I try to open kindle by using the unswindle file, I get the same error message saying that the program can’t find a kindle installation.
    Any thoughts on the subject? I downloaded the latest kindle 4pc so maybe Amazon did some work on their program code?


  45. You have to download the specific version of kindle for pc that I mention in the blog. Not the latest version.

  46. elmonica says:

    Worked for me. Thanks for post. A couple of things for people to watch out for:

    1. you want to make sure to use Python 2.7. I had tried initially with a version 3.x and it didn’t work.

    2. Also, make sure that your KindlePC application that you downloaded from here didn’t get updated before you had a chance to complete this process. I hadn’t paid close attention to the instructions, and then realized that the KIndleApp had already updated to the latest version. So I uninstalled it, and re-installed, and verified that update was turned off.

    3. Verify you rename BOTH python files as instructed. I had initially missed the fact I was suppose to change the name of the second file as well.

    4. If you go into the KINDLE App for some reason before starting this process, make sure you exit it from the Home screen. I had exited it from a book, and this caused me to convert the wrong book during the process.

  47. Deeee says:

    Thank you! Worked perfectly!

  48. Nick says:

    Following up @elmonica’s comments …

    When I installed Python 2.7.2 it automatically associated *.py files to python.exe, which won’t work.

    To fix, right click one of the .py files, select Properties and on the General tab, click the Change button for “Opens With”

    Browse to c:\python 2.7 (or whatever version you’re using) and select pythonw.exe

    Click Apply and OK

    The process should now work fine.


  49. Tony says:

    Just chiming in to say that this worked perfectly for me, thanks. I really appreciate the guide 🙂

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