Tips & more

Why you should not buy Kindle ebooks using Transfer via Computer option

Transfer via Computer is one of the delivery options you can select when buying a Kindle book.
• The downloaded file can only be opened on the selected destination device.

What is “Transfer via Computer” Kindle purchase option?

  • “Transfer via Computer” is one of the delivery options you can select when you buy a Kindle book on an Amazon website.
  • Instead of delivering a file directly to one of connected devices or apps, you download the file directly to your computer.
  • “Transfer via Computer” looks like a convenient way to back up Kindle books – you can store all Kindle books on your computer, and upload later to any of the connected devices.

How does “Transfer via Computer” work?

1. When you buy a Kindle book online, you can choose how you want the file to be delivered to your connected Kindle, Fire, or Kindle app.

2. When you click on a “Deliver to” drop-down list and select the last option – “Transfer via Computer” – you will be able to download the file directly to the disc of your computer.

Transfer Kindle via Computer purchase option

3. In the next step, you will be asked to select a device you will want to transfer the file to via the USB cable. You can choose only one device, and it could only be a Kindle e-reader or Amazon Fire tablet.

Transfer via Computer Kindle ebook purchase - select device

4. The file is being prepared, and you should be able to save it to the computer in a few seconds.

Why you should not use “Transfer via Computer” when buying a Kindle book

I have tested the option and in my opinion it comes with one huge limitation: you can only open the purchased file on the device you have selected. The file will be seen on other connected devices as not compatible.

So, if you have selected your current Kindle Paperwhite as a destination device:

  • You will only be able to add the file to your current Kindle Paperwhite.
  • You will not be able to open it directly in a Kindle app on your Android or iOS device – the message will appear saying “The document you tried to send it not of compatible format.”
  • You will be able to copy the file to your other Kindle e-reader or Amazon Fire that are registered with your Amazon account, but you won’t be able to open it directly.

Fortunately, the purchased book will automatically be added to your Kindle cloud library, so if you want to open it on other connected devices, simply open them, tap “All” tab in the home view and download it.

As you see, “Transfer via Computer” Kindle purchase option is not a good backup solution. It’s useful only when your Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet is not connected to the internet at the time you buy a Kindle book.

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