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Using Dropbox with your Kindle device

Update: I have had some readers report problems with dropbox + the Kindle 2.

Last week Sarah Wendell had reviews of many different electronic reading devices. One thing she mentioned was how she moved her digital books around quite a bit and how she did not like using a cord to transfer her books. I mentioned to her that she could use dropbox with her Kindle.

I’ve mentioned dropbox before and creating your own personal cloud but you don’t even have to go that far. All you have to do is sign up for this free service (2 GB for free) and designate one folder for your DRM free mobi books. You can call this folder “Kindle” or something easy for you to remember.

To access this folder, you use the Experimental Web Browser on the Kindle. The first time you do this, it is a bit tedious because you have to enter the URL and your username and password, but once entered and bookmarked, it is a breeze to access your digital books from anywhere.

Dropbox logo

Step 1: Setting up the Dropbox Folder

First you need to sign up for a dropbox account. Dropbox provides a 2 GB of online memory space for free and works on Windows, MAC, Linux, and the iPhone. Dropbox is has automatic synching abilities. Everytime your files change on your harddrive, Dropbox notes that and uploads the changed file. I don’t get an affiliate fee anytime I mention dropbox or refer a person there. It’s just a service that I love and really couldn’t live without.

So step 1 is signing up for a dropbox account. Sign up and install the software program. The software program will require you to designate a Dropbox folder on your computer. Within the Dropbox folder, you will put your ebooks. This does not have to be a “public” folder.

Note: You can put your Calibre library folder within dropbox which is what I do. Open Calibre. Under the book icon (this is the library icon) select “Switch/create library.”

Calibre switch/create library

This will give you a new dialog box. Browse to your new dropbox folder and click the radio button next to “Move current library to new location. If your database is big, go take a big break.  ┬áCalibre will copy over every file to this new location and that can take some time.

Calibre move library

Step 2: Ensure your files are DRM free

Make sure that the files that you put in your Kindle folder are DRM free and mobi format. The easiest way to do this is to use Calibre because you can convert your files to MOBI using Calibre.

Step 3: Kindle.

From the home page, click the “MENU” button and select “Experimental Settings”

Kindle experimental web

Step 4. Launch the Experimental Web Browser:

Select Launch browser. Once the browser is open, wait for it to get done loading and then hit the “MENU” button again. Using the four way rocker, scroll down to “ENTER URL”. Click the middle of the rocker.

Kindle launch browser

Step 5. Enter the URL.

The URL line should be highlighted. Type in “dropbox.com” (without the quotation marks). You do not need to enter “http://”. Move the rocker to the right so that ” ” is highlighted. Click the middle of the rocker to enter the command.

Kindle experimental web

Wait patiently until the page loads. There is a mobile site for dropbox which is m.dropbox.com but Kindle won’t load it for some reason.

Step 6. Enter your dropbox username (email address) and password.

Kindle experimental web

The entire dropbox webscreen shows up. There will be a magnifying glass with a + sign inside a bounded box. You can move this box to the right and click. The area will be magnified. Manuever the hand cursor up to the username box by using the rocker arrows. Click the middle of the rocker when you are at the username box. Enter your username. Rocker over to the password and enter the password. MAKE SURE YOU CLICK “REMEMBER ME” otherwise, you will have to re-enter your username and password, which on the Kindle would be abysmal.

Rocker over to the “login” button and depress the middle of the rocker. Wait for the site to load.

Step 7. Make a bookmark.

To avoid excess typing on the Kindle, you should now bookmark the Dropbox site. You do this by clicking on the “MENU” button and then selecting “BOOKMARK THIS PAGE.”

Kindle experimental web

Step 8. Access your book.

You can either search for your book by rockering down to the left hand search area (this actually works very well if you remember the name of your book or you can maneuver, using the rocker, to the folder you set up in Step 1.

That’s it. In the future, all you will have to do is Step 3, then “MENU” and then “BOOKMARKS” and your Dropbox bookmark should be on the second page.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

18 Comments

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    Oct 17, 2010 @ 04:37:59

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  2. Natasha Fondren
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 10:53:33

    Wow, Jane! I love Dropbox, and this is totally awesome! I never thought of doing this. Thanks!

  3. Becky @ One Literature Nut
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 14:43:54

    Wow! Thanks for this great tutorial on using Dropbox. I use it for work, but have never tried it for my Kindle downloads. I really have to try this!

  4. Terry Odell
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 08:36:42

    I’ve been using Dropbox for some time, but this is a new one (then again, I don’t have a Kindle — yet). Definitely worth keeping. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Terry
    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

  5. Dalton Ovitt
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 20:31:49

    Can be blogengine better than wordpress blogs in some way? Really needs to be since it is progressively more popluar as of late.

  6. Quora
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 12:38:08

    I am looking to buy a ereader, I need to read it on the sun so I understand kindle would be a good option, but at the same time I need to see my dropbox documents there, what is my best option? is there a dropbox app for a ereader that meets my needs…

    Dropbox does not have support for Kindle at this time, but you can use the Kindle’s web browser to get around this. Basically you just need to access the Dropbox web interface using the Kindle’s browser. (You need to turn on Experimental mode because…

  7. Hannelore Peddy
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 14:24:05

    I really like examining and I believe this website got some truly useful stuff on it! .

  8. eteagle
    May 19, 2011 @ 13:46:33

    Once online calibre library is set up and dropbox entered from kindle 3 browser all works fine but I cannot bookmark the web page. Discussed with kindle support and after lenghy discussion with several agents told its not alowed so I’d have to reenter the very long URL.

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  11. Luciano
    Sep 15, 2011 @ 19:36:09

    Hi. I’ve been doing this using dropbox to keep up my kindle library and worked like a charm… till like 2 weeks ago. Now for some reason I can’t download any file from dropbox to my kindle. Tried to find out why but couldn’t get any answers so far.
    Any clue?
    Thnx alot

  12. Jane
    Sep 15, 2011 @ 21:44:24

    @Luciano I haven’t heard of anything. Maybe try to power down the Kindle and try to restart it? (This is my go to option is something all of a sudden stops working)

  13. david braz
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 18:33:44

    If you dont have dropbox account your can create one via my referral link (you get 250MB extra for free, that is 2.25GB instead of 2GB)http://db.tt/y7Xk5e1 (I also get 250MB)

  14. Dropbox Is Worth $4 billion - Say WHAT? - Travelllll.com
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 08:14:23

    […] use, synchronizing files between pretty much all the platforms and devices you can think of (yes, even Kindle)…it’s also simple, doing something powerful without muddying its functionality with […]

  15. Rick Z
    May 01, 2012 @ 16:11:58

    Hi

    I too use Dropbox for storing and dumping my ebooks into my various e-readers. I’m a bit puzzled though because I’ve not seen any mention in your blog of Calibre’s built in Web Server.

    This amazing feature is easy to start from the menu and let’s you serve up your entire Calibre catalog through the Kindle or other device’s browser. The only downside over your other methods is that Calibre needs to be running in order for the “website” to be reachable. If you’re at home and in a Mac environment it’s simple (mymac.local:8080 for example), but even in the PC world, as long as you can figure out the IP address of your computer, you’re good to go (192.168.1.50:8080 for example).

    Access from outside the home depends on the settings of your home router and so on, since the IP address will be much different from outside.

  16. Jane
    May 01, 2012 @ 17:04:20

    I’ve written on that a while back: http://dearauthor.com/ebooks/stanza-calibre-the-itouch-and-the-mac/

    While this way might seem more challenging to set up, it does allow you the freedom to access your files away from your home network.

  17. Gloria Nakagawa
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 10:43:58

    Really great site, this genuinely answered some of my questions. Thank you!.

  18. Cathy
    Aug 14, 2013 @ 21:26:52

    I have Dropbox account and want to download books onto my kindle however I am unable to get calibre on my computer as I still have windows 7 and it is not compatible. Do u know of another way I can convert my files to mobi so I can get books? I would need detailed instructions if possible.
    Thanks so much

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