I read on multiple devices: Windows, Mac, iPad, Android Phone, even an old Kindle DX all from Amazon.

One problem I have is some books seem to be designed to work only on some devices. I suspect the reason for this is to avoid screen capture which is clearly easier on Windows than on a smartphone.

Lending evidence to my suspicion is the fact that when I try to open some books on Windows, I get this message:

The item is not compatible with this device.

I do not get this error trying to open on either the iPad or Android phone.

I do find it frustrating that I am unable to read some of my books on some of my devices (especially when my Windows computer has a much larger screen).

So, is there a way to work-around this limitation so I can read all these books on Windows?

  • You can also download the kindle app for windows. It lets you read right there on your screen as if it were a kindle.
    – user2555
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 0:28
  • Can you clarify your question? Are you saying that some Kindle books cannot be read in the Kindle Reader for Windows?
    – elixenide
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 14:13
  • @EdCottrell Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. As just one example, there is a book called "Frozen: A tale of two sisters" by Melissa Lagonegro which cannot be opened on Kindle for Windows. It can be opened on Android and IOS, though. There are other books like this.
    – John
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 22:54
  • Have you tried using the Kindle Cloud Reader?
    – elixenide
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 22:55
  • There are indeed books within the Amazon Kindle library that are working only on specific mobile devices like Kindle, iOS or Android but not in the Cloud Reader or Kindle for PC.
    – Tomm
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:52

4 Answers 4


As we discussed in the comments, you can use the Kindle Cloud Reader to read your books in your browser, instead of in the Windows desktop application.

  • 1
    No, you can't. There are titles that are listed as incompatible with both Kindle Cloud Reader and Kindle for PC.
    – Tomm
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:53
  • @Tomm That may be but I don't know how common it is. I think every one of the books I've bought has been readable in the cloud reader.
    – John
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 11:00
  • @Tomm I have to second John on this; I've never run into this issue. It's true that some books are incompatible with some devices or platforms (for example, this book is not compatible with the Kindle Cloud Reader). Such limitations affect a relatively small number of books.That said, I'm not aware of any good options for reading those books on Windows. I will update if I come up with any.
    – elixenide
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 15:32
  • The issue with Kindle Cloud & PC Reader compatibility occurs primarily in books with a lot of scanned graphics. The first volumes of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Series would be an example. I think Amazon actively blocks reading of such books on PC as it would be easy to screen capture the content and, hence, bypass the DRM.
    – Tomm
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 2:13
  • As a test case, I went to the Amazon Store and found "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Book 1. In devices, my iPhone 6+, Kindle DX, and Windows 7 PC were greyed out. But my iPad, Kindle Cloud Reader, and Windows 8 PC were listed as valid choices. Since I could get this book free with Kindle Unlimited, I went ahead and did so and brought it up with the Kindle Cloud Reader. I had no problem doing a screen capture. Same for the book "Frozen: A tale of two sisters" mentioned in a comment under the question.
    – tcrosley
    Commented Feb 4, 2015 at 5:54

You do not mention where you purchased the the work Frozen: A tale of two sisters" by Melissa Lagonegro, but on Amazon it is DRM protected you can tell because "Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" is not listed.

Presumably you purchased it with DRM protection. Transferring from one device to another is governed by the agreement you purchased the work under. As a general rule, transfer is only allowed between devices you purchased from the same vendor with the same account.

  • The devices are all using my same account and I bought the books on Amazon's website. I am sure this is the most common way people buy the books they read on Kindle. I'm not trying to use different accounts or anything 'tricky' and, indeed, most of my books work fine. However, some books seem designed to not work on Windows, which is my main computer. I'm also not "transferring it" in the normal sense, I'm just trying to read it through my kindle app on Windows. I don't think this is about number of devices since it is still a problem the first time I open some books from amazon.
    – John
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 22:49

I used a tool called Calibre to convert books between formats. There are numerous plugins for Calibre to remove DRM and other restrictions so you can read ebooks you own on the device and application of your choice. Google search for Calibre DRM removal.

  • 2
    I would be nice to have a specific reference. I've tried the first page of results and so far nothing that is available (some broken links) will convert ebooks downloaded to Kindle for Android or IOS. So, I'm still stuck because the tools seem to only work for ebooks which already can be downloaded to Kindle for Windows. My problem is that I cannot download them to Windows, only to Android and IOS.
    – John
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 12:21
  • Calibre won't work with titles that cannot be downloaded to the PC as the DRM removal tool requires the Kindle reader's serial to bypass and remove the DRM. So unless the ebook can be downloaded to the computer running Calibre the DRM removal will fail.
    – Tomm
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 9:55

Are you sure you are trying the cloud reader and not simply the Kindle PC app? (I had confused these myself earlier.) I thought I had no way to read the book as it was unreadable on the small screen of my android phone and was not compatible with the Kindle PC app (so no way to download it) and Kindle Paperwhite.

But finally I could read it in the cloud reader.

Go to Amazon in your PC browser, go to "Manage your content and devices", then find the book and on the "..." to the left of the book name and select "Read Now". THe book will then open inside your browser.

  • This seems the same answer as Ed above.
    – John
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 13:19

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