Kindle devices are actually pretty cheap in comparison with many mainstream tablets. If you’re looking for a less expensive tablet or want to read non-Kindle ebooks, you really don’t need to connect your Amazon account. While Amazon wants you to in order to buy a Kindle-full of ebooks and magazines, you can use your Kindle without an Amazon account.
- Why Should You Use a Kindle Without an Amazon Account?
- What Can You Do without an Amazon Account?
- How to Prevent Signing into Amazon During Setup
- Deregister an Amazon Account
- Finding Ebooks for Your Kindle
- Kindle File Format Support
- Converting Files for Kindle
- Setting Up Calibre to Work with Kindle
- Convert and Transfer With Calibre Software
- Transfer Calibre Ebooks to Kindle
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Use a Kindle Without an Amazon Account?
When you first use a Kindle, you’re asked to connect or create an Amazon account. One of the reasons Kindles are cheaper is that Amazon offers them at a discount with the hope you’ll spend money on Kindle ebooks, apps, magazines, and more. You may even subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.
However, you can actually skip this step. If you just need a basic tablet for reading free ebooks or ebooks from other sites and services, you can still use a Kindle. After all, they are designed specifically for reading.
If you don’t connect your Amazon account, you won’t be so tempted to spend money every time Amazon has a discount ebook deal. Plus, Amazon won’t be tracking your reading habits to personalize your account.
Another benefit is you can easily give a kid a cheaper Kindle, or even an older device, to serve as a low-cost tablet for school or entertainment. Without an account, they’re not making purchases without your permission. This is also a great way to give a friend or family member your old Kindle for use.
What Can You Do without an Amazon Account?
Before you use a Kindle without an Amazon account, know the limitations. Without an account, you can’t buy or access Kindle ebooks and freebies. All the Kindle reader features that are specific to just Kindle books (such as interactive features provided by the author) won’t work. Instead, you’ll just have a standalone e-reader and tablet.
You also won’t have access to the Amazon App Store. Instead, you’ll need to sideload apps from a third party. Additionally, some of Amazon’s preinstalled apps won’t work.
- Open the menu in the top-right corner and tap “Settings.” Choose “Security & Privacy.”
- Select “Install unknown apps” and choose Silk Browser.
- Toggle “Allow from this source” to On.
How to Prevent Signing into Amazon During Setup
If this is a new Kindle or one that’s already been deregistered from another account (more on that later), this is a simple way to skip the account registration step.
- You’re asked to connect to a Wi-Fi network immediately so that you have Internet access to connect to Amazon. Select “Setup Wi-Fi Later.”
- When the prompt to link to or set up a new Amazon account appears, you’ll have the option to skip the step until later. Since you don’t have a connection, you can’t add an account at the moment.
- Some models make it so obvious to set up your Wi-Fi later. If you just see a list of networks, click any network you want. When asked for your login details, click the “Cancel” button at the bottom.
- This takes you back to list of networks. However, you’ll see a “Not Now” button to skip the Wi-Fi setup. Tap “Skip” when you get the warning that you need a Wi-Fi connection to complete the process.
If you already connected to your Wi-Fi network before you read this section, don’t worry. Turn off your router temporarily, restart your Kindle, and repeat the above.
Deregister an Amazon Account
If you no longer want your Amazon account linked to your Kindle or have a secondhand Kindle, deregister the existing Amazon account.
- Start the Kindle as usual, open the menu at the top right, and tap “Settings.” Select “Your Account.”
- Tap “Deregister Device.”
- Tap “Deregister.”
This leaves the Kindle without an account.
Finding Ebooks for Your Kindle
While you won’t be accessing Amazon’s store for ebooks, you’re free to download documents and ebooks from other sources. Upload personal files and ebooks you already have on your computer, such as PDFs, EPUBs, docs, and more.
Amazon has numerous free Kindle ebooks to download, but you don’t have to give up free books even when you use your Kindle without an Amazon account. There is a wide variety of platforms that offer free ebooks to use on any device.
We already have two great lists of free ebook resources (though both do include Amazon as an option, so you can skip over that one). First, check out our list of 10 ebook download libraries. Second, if your Kindle is for a child, try our list of the best sites to find free ebooks for kids.
Another great option is your local library. All you need is a library card to borrow ebooks. Your library has to be partnered with an online service first, though. OverDrive and Hoopla are the most common. They’re free to use. There’s also SimplyE, which goes through The New York Public Library. Check with your library to see if they have any free digital options available.
Another option is to get free, discounted, or regular-priced ebooks from other bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and eBooks.com. (Use the app only on Kindle Fire or download the non-DRM content.) You can sideload the store’s reading app, if compatible, to read purchased books from a different marketplace.
Also, check directly with publishers and indie writers. Many of these offer free downloads or direct purchases. Typically, they’re in PDF, EPUB, or MOBI format.
Wherever you download books from, make sure to do it legally. Don’t download copyrighted books from shady sites, or you could end up with malware on your device, corrupting all your books.
Kindle File Format Support
Natively, Kindle devices support the following file formats:
- AZW and AZW3: proprietary Amazon file type. Amazon is switching to AZW3 for most Kindle books, slowly replacing AZW and MOBI.
- MOBI: a file type developed by Mobipocket. This is just as common as AZW and AZW3 for Kindle books.
- TXT: a simple text document format.
- PDF: Adobe’s portable document format, which many DRM-free ebooks, documents, and other content are formatted in already.
As you may notice, the popular EPUB format isn’t compatible with Kindle devices, but don’t worry – you just have to convert the file first for it to work fine with your Kindle.
Converting Files for Kindle
You have several great options for converting files for Kindle devices. The most powerful and useful by far is Calibre. Not only does it help you convert files, but it’s an ebook library management software for desktops and mobile devices. You can use it keep track of your files and transfer items from your desktop to your Kindle. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be using Calibre for converting and transferring files to a Kindle.
However, several other options you may prefer to try include:
- Ebook Converter (Android-only): quick and easy way to convert free and DRM-free ebooks for Kindle.
- File Converter (iOS / Android): Great overall file converter. It’s not just for ebooks. It handles a variety of document formats, images, videos, CAD drawings, and more. It’ll also compress files. I’d recommend this if you need a converting tool that can handle most anything.
- Online-Convert: ideal if you want to convert ebooks online without downloading any software. Only DRM-free files are supported, of course. You only have to sign up (which is free) if you want to save your conversion settings for future use.
Setting Up Calibre to Work with Kindle
While the other tools I mentioned are great for converting ebooks, that’s all they do. They don’t offer the option to transfer to your Kindle or keep track of your files. If you’re like me and have an overflowing ebook library on your computer, you need a way to manage the chaos. It also lets you transfer ebooks to your Kindle device.
- Start by downloading Calibre on the system of your choice. It’s available for Windows (32-bit/64-bit), macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and as a portable version for USB drives. The latter works well to take Calibre with you to use on other computers.
- Launch the installation wizard and choose a location for your Calibre library. It’s fine to keep the default. Alternatively, you can set up a cloud-based library.
- Select the ebook device you want to use with Calibre.
- If this ever changes, just run the Welcome Wizard again from the “Preferences” tab of Calibre. Choose “Amazon” from the Manufacturers list, then choose your device. Kindle Basic works well as a generic option.
- You can set up Calibre to send books to your device via email using your Kindle email (which you don’t have since you don’t have an Amazon account). Skip this step for now and just choose “Next.”
- You’ll see a Congratulations message and can start using Calibre.
Convert and Transfer With Calibre Software
When you open Calibre the first time, you’ll need to add your books. I’m using the Windows desktop version, so your interface may look slightly different, but the steps should be similar.
- Go to “Add Books” and select the books you want to add. You can select as many books as you want at one time.
- Either convert one or multiple Calibre ebooks at once. Select “Convert books.” If you use the arrow beside Convert Books, you can choose the Bulk option.
- I’ll keep it simple and just convert one at the moment. I’m converting an EPUB to AWZ3. In the conversion window, select “AWZ3” from the “Output format” drop-down box.
- Make any necessary changes. For most ebooks, you probably won’t have to do anything unless any details are wrong, such as the title or author. Then, press “OK.”
- Choose where you want to save your newly converted book, and you’re done. But, of course, that doesn’t get the ebooks on your Kindle – yet.
Transfer Calibre Ebooks to Kindle
Now that your ebooks are in the correct format, it’s time to move them to Kindle. There are three main methods that don’t involve using email.
- Connect your Kindle to your computer with a USB cable. Kindle devices usually come with a USB cable, which works great for this purpose.
- Right-click the ebook(s) you want to transfer and choose “Send to device.”
- Choose “Send to main memory.” This option is only available when a device is connected. If you haven’t already converted the format, you’ll be asked to convert it before transferring.
- When you’re finished, expand the “Device” tab and choose “Eject device,” then enjoy your ebooks on your Kindle.
By using the content server method, you don’t need a USB cable. You’ll just need to use the same Wi-Fi connection for both the device using Calibre and your Kindle.
- Right-click the book(s) you want to transfer.
- Select “Connect/share,” then choose “Start Content Server.” You can also use the “Connect/share’ tab at the top of Calibre.
- Right-click any book and select “Connect/share.” Make a note of the IP address that appears beside “Stop Content Server.”
- Open your Kindle’s browser and enter the IP address and port number in the address bar in the following format:
This lets you browse books in your Calibre library from your Kindle’s browser.
- Select a book and choose “Download.” It’ll download and be ready to read within seconds.
While you might not have a Kindle email address, you likely have an email address. You can send newly added books to your email address automatically or manually, then use your Kindle browser to sign in to your email account and download the book to your device. It’s the more time-consuming process but works well for transferring small amounts of books/documents.
- Open the “Preferences” tab and select “Sharing books by email” under “Sharing.”
- Select “Add” to add a new email address. Enter your email address in the Email field and add “AWZ3” as the format type. If you don’t want a Calibre ebook to automatically send, uncheck “Auto Send.”
- Enter your email address in the “Send email from” field. You can also set up a server to send emails, but this is completely optional.
- If you want to manually send ebooks via email, right-click a book and choose “Connect/share”.
- select your email from the list or choose another recipient.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use Google Play Store on Kindle?
Yes, but you’ll first need to enable your device to install apps from unknown sources. (See the beginning of this article for the steps.) Older Kindle devices (over five to six years old) might not have this option.
Then you’ll need to download the following:
- Google Account Manager
- Google Services Framework
- Google Play Services
- Google Play Store
Please note that not all apps in the Google Play Store will be compatible with your Kindle.
2. What if my Kindle doesn’t have Wi-Fi?
If your Kindle only has mobile data, or the Wi-Fi doesn’t work any more, you can still use it as an ebook reader. You’ll need to use Calibre’s USB cable transfer method to get books onto the device, though.
3. Can I format a Kindle if I don’t know the password?
Yes. If you want to start from scratch or someone gave you a device, and you don’t know their login in order to deregister it, you can format the device.
- Start the Kindle and try logging in five times.
- On the fifth try, you’ll get the option to reset your password (which requires an Amazon account) or factory reset.
- Tap the Factory Reset option to format.
4. What if I don’t have a computer to transfer books with Calibre?
Since it is available for Android and iOS, you can use your mobile device instead. You can also choose to store your ebooks and documents on Google Drive, Dropbox, or another cloud-based service. Then, as you add books to your cloud drive, just visit the drive on your Kindle’s browser to download the books directly.
It’s surprisingly easy to use your Kindle without an Amazon account. While you can’t download Amazon Kindle ebooks, there are numerous free options available that allow you to transfer directly to your device.
You can also use your Kindle to subscribe to and read books using a Kindle Unlimited alternative.