How to Tell If It is a DRM Protected EBook

The books on free eBooks download sites do not have DRM, but if the book comes from eBook stores? Then most likely, it has. Books that need to be paid for are all DRMed. As for those free eBooks on Amazon Kindle store, Kobo store, Google Play Books, some has and some don’t. There’s no DRM checker to scan your eBook library and tell you about that kind of info, we need to check it by ourselves.

How? First you can search the book on the online eBook stores. Sometimes you can know from its detail, but this way does not work for Kindle eBooks, even it shows “Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited”, it doesn’t mean this book is DRM-free.

The Fastest Way to Tell if an Ebook is Locked by DRM

The most direct way to tell if a book has DRM is to open the book with an eBook manager that supports almost all the files. Let me introduce you to calibre. Calibre supports files includes EPUB books, Kindle books, PDF books, HTML books, LIT books, text books, comics, archives, Word processor files. If you can convert the book to another format in Calibre, then the book is DRM-free. If you get an error message “This book has DRM”, then the book is locked by DRM.

Here are the simple steps:

Step 1. Get calibre from its official site. It is an open-source free program.

Step 2. Drop the book (Kindle book, Nook book, etc.) to calibre.

Step 3. Select the book and click on “Convert books” in calibre, if this window pop-up automatically, you can clearly know that this book has DRM. Incidentally, the converted book will be stored by default in C:\Users\USERNAME\Calibre Library.

Calibre Convert Book Locked by DRM

How to Know If a Kobo Book has DRM

The Kobo books in .kepub format can’t be imported to Calibre, but you can easily tell from the Kobo eBook details that whether it has DRM.

Step 1. Have a visit on the website Kobo.com, type and search for the book, and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Step 2. Look at the Download option from eBook Details, if Adobe DRM is shown between parentheses, the book has DRM; if DRM-free is shown, then surely it doesn’t have DRM.

Kobo Website eBook Details

You can use this similar way to know about the DRM of a Google Play eBook.

Can I Remove EBook DRM?

The mainstream eBook stores like Amazon, Kobo, Google Play Books, Barnes and Noble did make some effort on anti-piracy, but that never stop people from cracking encrypted eBooks. It’s actually pretty easy to do, but piracy is immoral and illegal in principle, so if you want to remove DRM of an eBook, it should be just used to back up your own purchased digital library.

We have written some tutorials. Kindle, Kobo, NOOK, Adobe Digital Editions, and Google Play Books can be decrypted in one program: Epubor Ultimate.

Take a look if you need a guide.😉

And you can download the free trial here!
Free Download Free Download


Susanna is the content manager and writer of Filelem. She has been an experienced editor and book layout designer for many years, and interested in trying and testing various productivity software. She is also a huge fan of Kindle, who has been using Kindle Touch for nearly 7 years and carrying Kindle almost wherever she goes. Not long ago the device was at the end of its life so Susanna happily bought a Kindle Oasis.

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