Kindle (Windows): manual USB transfer

Instead of using a USB connection, you can also transfer your e-book to your Kindle by email.


If something went wrong with Universalis's direct method of transferring an e-book to the Kindle, using "Save to Kindle", you can transfer the file yourself, by hand.

First, note the name of the file: the Universalis window displays it to you. You won't have to type it; but you may want to be able to recognize it if you have a crowded desktop.

Save to Desktop

Press the "Save to Desktop" button, and the e-book file will be saved on your desktop.

Connect the Kindle

Using the USB cable that came with your Kindle, plug your Kindle into a USB port on your computer.

What happens next depends on your version of Windows, but at some point you will see your Kindle appear in your list of disk drives in "My Computer", something like this:


(we've added the blue highlight to make it clear what you should be looking for).

Open the Kindle window on your PC

Open up the "Kindle" drive (you may need to click or double-click) and you'll see some folders, something like this:


IMPORTANT: go to the 'documents' folder

The important folder is the one called 'documents'. Open it (by clicking or double-clicking, whichever your version of Windows requires) and view its contents:


(your Kindle will probably have a lot more files listed than ours does).

Copy the e-book to the Kindle

Now all you need to do is to take the e-book file which you have just created and put on your desktop, and copy it into the Kindle's 'documents' folder. Windows has lots of ways of copying files. The simplest is to drag the file icon straight from your desktop into the 'documents' folder.

If you prefer, you can copy and paste instead. Click on the file icon and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard, then click inside the 'documents' folder and press Ctrl+V to paste the file from the Clipboard onto the Kindle.

Do not double-click on the e-book file. No harm will come if you do it, but it won't be useful either. Double-clicking tells Windows to open a file on your computer, and this is not what you want to do here. Your computer may not even understand this type of file, in which case you'll get an error message if you double-click. Your computer doesn't need to understand this e-book file. All it needs to be able to do is to copy it to your Kindle.

However you decide to copy the e-book file, the result will be the same. You will end up with your file in the Kindle's 'documents' folder, something like this:


Once you have successfully copied the file, you can delete the original from your desktop. It won't be needed any more.

Eject the Kindle - IMPORTANT

You are nearly there. There is just one thing that you need to do to complete the process. You need to tell Windows to disconnect itself from the Kindle. This will make Windows write every bit of necessary information to the Kindle, and it will change the Kindle back from being a USB drive to being a real, live e-book reader.

Different versions of Windows have different names for the command you need to use. On our Windows systems, the command is called both "Safely Remove Hardware" and "Eject", which can be rather confusing! The easiest thing is to go to the "Kindle" name and right-click on it:


Select "Eject" from the pop-up menu, and two things will happen: your Kindle will go back to being a Kindle again, and your Windows computer will no longer see a device called "Kindle". You can now safely unplug the cable.

Common problems

When people contact us because they have trouble getting a Universalis e-book onto the Kindle, the commonest reason is that they have copied the e-book file onto the Kindle somewhere other than the 'documents' folder. When they look at their Kindle in Windows, the file is there. When they look for the book on their Kindle, the e-book isn't there. The Kindle can only see e-books if you put them inside its 'documents' folder. If you put them anywhere else, they won't be seen. The cure is simple. Remove the e-book file from the wrong place, and put it in the right one.

Another thing that people sometimes do is to copy the Universalis program onto the Kindle - or to drag the Universalis program icon onto the Kindle. These things won't work: the Kindle won't understand them. The only things you should copy onto the Kindle are e-book files - nothing else.