Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is free software that lets you add eBooks to your Kobo eReader from other sources.
You might have to use ADE when you want to:
- Read an eBook that you've borrowed from the library.
- Read a protected PDF file you've purchased from the Kobo bookstore.
You can add eBooks to your Kobo eReader using ADE from:
- Public libraries
- eBooks from another store
- eBooks from the Kobo Store that are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM)
An overview of adding books with Adobe Digital Editions
- Install Adobe Digital Editions: Download ADE and install it on your computer.
- Create an Adobe ID: Create an account with Adobe.
- Authorize your computer with ADE: Pair your computer with ADE so that you can load books onto your eReader.
- Add books to your eReader using ADE: Add your books to your eReader with ADE.
What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
DRM prevents the unauthorized copying or redistribution of eBooks to protect the rights of authors and publishers. If you downloaded a book protected by DRM, you’ll get a license in the form of an .acsm file with your book. You'll then use ADE to add the DRM-protected content to your eReader.
To get started with ADE:
- Install Adobe Digital Editions.
- Get an Adobe ID.
- Authorize your computer and eReader with ADE.
When you borrow an eBook from your library, your library should be able to provide you with instructions on how to download your book's .acsm file.
Some books in the Kobo bookstore may be in PDF format which requires ADE to load the PDF files onto your eReader.
If you use a Kobo eReader or Kobo’s reading apps, you may never need to use ADE. Kobo’s reading apps and eReaders can automatically download and open most books from the Kobo Store.
Step 1 of 4: Install Adobe Digital Editions
Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your PC or Mac to transfer Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected content onto your Kobo eReader.
A note about Windows 11:
Adobe Digital Editions has not been tested on Windows 11, and may have issues installing or working properly on your computer. Adobe is in the process of testing their apps in Windows 11 for compatibility. In the meanwhile, it's recommended to install Adobe Digital Editions on a computer that runs other versions of Windows, for example, Windows 10.
- Visit www.adobe.com/support/digitaleditions/downloads.html.
- Download the setup file:
- If you have a Mac: Click Macintosh.
Note: Adobe Digital Editions version 3.0 is not compatible with the latest macOS (Catalina). Please download the latest version of ADE (Version 4.5 or greater).
- If you have a PC: Click Windows.
- If you have a Mac: Click Macintosh.
- Find the ADE installation file on your computer.
- Open the ADE installation file.
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install Adobe Digital Editions.
Step 2 of 4: Create an Adobe ID
Once you’ve installed Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to create an Adobe ID. If you already have an Adobe ID, skip to Step 3.
- With Adobe Digital Editions open, click Help at the top of the screen.
- Click Authorize Computer.
- Click Create an Adobe ID in the Computer Authorization window.
- Make sure the checkbox beside I want to Authorize my computer without an ID is cleared, and not selected.
- Beside the eBook Vendor dropdown menu, make sure Adobe ID is selected.
- Enter your information in the appropriate fields.
- Click Create account.
- Your Adobe ID is the email address that you used to sign up.
- Your Adobe password is the password you used to create the account.
- You can use your Adobe ID and Adobe password immediately after you've created it.
Step 3 of 4: Authorize your computer with Adobe Digital Editions
After you’ve installed Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) and created an Adobe ID, you’ll need to authorize your computer with ADE. You only need to do this once.
- With Adobe Digital Editions open, enter your Adobe ID and password that you've just created.
- Click Authorize.
- Click OK when Adobe finishes authorizing your computer.
Step 4 of 4: Add books to your eReader using Adobe Digital Editions
If you downloaded a book protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM), you’ll get a license with your book. The license is also known as a .acsm file. When you download a DRM-protected eBook, you'll need to download a file that has .acsm at the end of the file name. Your library should be able to provide you instructions on how you can download the .acsm file. To get the book itself, just open that file in Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). ADE will verify your license, and then download your eBook in either EPUB or PDF format.
Some USB-C hubs may not detect your Kobo eReader. If you use a USB hub, connect your eReader with a USB-C to USB-A adapter. Whenever possible, connect your eReader with the USB cable that's included with your eReader directly to your computer's USB port.
- Turn on your eReader.
- Connect your eReader to your computer using a Micro USB cable.
- On your eReader: Tap Connect.
- On your computer: Open Adobe Digital Editions.
- Under 'Devices', right-click on Kobo eReader.
- Click Authorize Device.
Tip: If you don't see 'Kobo eReader' under Devices, close Adobe Digital Editions, then open it again.
- Click Authorize Device.
- Click OK at the confirmation screen.
- Click on File at the top of the screen.
- Click Add to Library. A browse window will appear.
- Browse for the .acsm file:
- On a PC: Click the "E-Books" drop-down menu and select Adobe Content Server Message.
- On a Mac: Click Options, then click ACSM Files.
- Select the .acsm file, then click Add. The book will open.
- Click Library at the top-left corner of the screen to go back to the ADE home screen.
- Click All items.
- Select your new book and drag it to the Kobo eReader bookshelf (listed on the left side under Devices).
- Eject your eReader and unplug the Micro USB cable from your eReader. The book will appear in your Library.
To see the books you added, go to the 'My Books' menu on your eReader. Tap Filter at the top of the screen, then select Imported. You'll see all the items you've added with Adobe Digital Editions.
Common ADE errors and solutions
If you see one of the errors below, follow the steps in Adobe's official support page for details to fix authorization issues.
Content Locked errors
Follow the steps in this article to solve 'content locked' errors:
If you see an error that's not listed above, search for the error name in the official Adobe Digital Editions support page.
Re-authorize your eReader
If you've followed all the steps above and still cannot load the DRM-protected PDF onto your eReader, you may need to re-authorize your eReader with the correct ADE sign in. If you have multiple Adobe Digital Editions accounts, make sure you are signed in to the correct one.
In order for you to sign in to Adobe Digital Editions with a different ID, you'll need to re-authorize your eReader.
Need more help? Here are more resources:
- Learn more about re-authorizing your eReader from Adobe's website here.
- Read about Adobe Digital Editions set up and troubleshooting from OverDrive's support site here.
You can also read more about the supported file types that work with Kobo eReaders.