Adding a Book to Kindle Over USB

by Kammy Pow

    Kindle books can be purchased at the Kindle Store either through the Kindle itself or with a computer. Books purchased by the latter method can be downloaded to your computer as a backup copy and then loaded from the computer onto a valid USB-attached Kindle device. In addition to books, you can download newspapers, magazines, blogs, games, personal documents and much more to the Kindle when it is attached as an external storage device.

    Download Kindle Content to the Computer

    Step 1

    Open the Web browser and go to the Kindle Store on

    Step 2

    Sign in to your account page and select "Manage Your Kindle." Go to the title you want to download and, from the "Actions" drop down, select "Download & transfer via USB."

    Step 3

    Select the Kindle drive to receive the transfer. A dialog will ask to confirm which Kindle device, if more than one device is registered to your account. Find the Kindle device and then click on the "Download" button. If you have not purchased the book, choose the "Transfer via Computer" option under "Deliver to" when you do purchase via Amazon's Secure 1-Click payment system.

    Transfer from the Computer to the Kindle

    Step 1

    Connect the Kindle to the computer using the USB cable. The Kindle should appear as an external USB drive under the "Computer" menu.

    Step 2

    Open the Kindle USB drive from your computer to access the folders on it. Kindle Fire devices may need to be unlocked.

    Step 3

    Browse through the folders to locate the Kindle book. Drag and drop the item into the "Books" folder on the Kindle Fire or the "Documents" folder on all other versions of the Kindle.

    Step 4

    Eject the Kindle from your computer when the transfers are complete. Tap the "Disconnect" button at the bottom of the Kindle screen or go to the Start menu and click "Computer." Right-click the Kindle drive and select "Eject."

    Step 5

    Press the Home button to begin reading your new book


    • To unlock the Kindle Fire, turn the device off by pressing and holding the power button for 20 seconds and then tapping "Shut Down" when it appears on the screen. After the Kindle has completely powered off, press the power button to restart it. Wait until the unlock screen appears and then enter your password. Verify that the folders are now visible on the device.


    • Users cannot access any content on the Kindle while connected to the computer. You must eject the device from the computer before you can access its contents.
    • Kindle will only recognize books that are free of digital rights management software and stored in the following formats: .AZW, .ASW1, .TXT, .MOBI or .PRC.
    • The books will not be accessible unless they are downloaded to the correct folder.
    • Content transferred to your device using the USB connection stay on the device and not in the Amazon Cloud

    About the Author

    Kammy Pow studied biological sciences at the University of California Irvine. She spent 13 years as a programmer for the financial, medical research, and healthcare sectors. She has been freelancing since 2005 and currently writes health-care related material and pens the occasional review for Southern California altweeklies.

    Photo Credits

    • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images