How to Convert your EPUB file to PDF format after removing the DRM protection

Recently an author’s publisher released a book in hardcover and it wasn’t available to my area. The book only seemed to be available for order online but the e-book  was available to order and was cheaper. I figured this was a much faster way to get my long awaited book release.  So I decided to purchase my first e-book online – and I don’t own a Kindle or a Nook. Everything I read said I didn’t need to own one. That I could download a free app for my computer or cell phone and I could have instant access to my e-book. I thought it would be nice to have a file I could load on to my cell phone and computer or MP3 player and take with me, so I went online and downloaded the free reader PC app for Kobo and purchased my first e-book.

Little did I know the trouble I was going to find with this simple supposedly portable concept for books.

After I purchased the e-book, I wanted to download a PDF file. I found out that I couldn’t download the file to my computer unless I downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). It took me a little bit to find this software for free and install it. Then I found out I had to create/register a free account to activate the ADE program. Finally, I logged back into the online Kobo account I had set up to purchase my e-book and downloaded the EPUB file to my computer – not realizing this wasn’t a PDF file.

I struggled for a good number of hours trying to find the right software that would convert an EPUB file to a PDF file and then I found out that the very EPUB file I wanted to convert was protected by DRM (Digital Rights Manager). The DRM protection prevented me from converting a legitimate e-book  – that I had paid for and downloaded via a reputable bookseller –  to a PDF file. I then had to search again for a one-step solution to remove the DRM protection so that I could convert the EPUB file that I owned to a PDF file via software that was free and didn’t require me to pay later to get the full program to work .

This truly was a test of techie abilities and I am proud to have figured it out as well as I did. I just want to save all of you the hell I went through since it took me several Google searches, several false advertising ‘free’ software download installs and unstalls and 3 different software programs to get a simple e-book into a PDF file format.  I decided to post this blog in the hopes that I could spare anyone else out there who has or will come across this problem.

In this post is information and links on how to 1: download the correct software to read e-book EPUB files on your computer and then 2: how to convert them to a PDF file after removing the DRM protections so that you can transport the converted PDF files to other PDF file compatible devices. I just went through hell figuring all of this out – I really hope you find this post before you go through the same trial and errors that I did.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this post. The good news is that you only have to install these programs once and after that,  it’s a click and go process that takes just seconds to do: (don’t forget to click on the image for a clearer view of the screen shots)

Step 1: INSTALL Adobe Digital Editions onto your Windows PC

First you need to install Adobe Digital Editions which can be downloaded for FREE  (no trials, no pay to have the full program work – completely free) from here:

Click on download now or scroll down to the download now button

Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) and register for a free account and activate your ADE.

ADE looks like this once it is properly installed: (hint – if you click on the image, it will pop out in a new window in a larger readable view)

Step 2: DRM removal: How to Remove DRM from EPUB files using ePubee DRM Removal:

1. Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) v1.7.1 (restating this step since its very import to do first – if you don’t, the DRM program won’t work)

Authorize your copy of Adobe Digital Editions, download the EPUB files to your desktop PC, make sure the EPUB files can be opened on ADE.

2. Install ePubee Drm Remvoal which you can get here for FREE:

The installed program looks like this:

When you install the program, Run ePubee Drm Removal to remove DRM from EPUB files:

Next step is to Input files as follows:

Click on the “browse” button to choose your EPUB e-book / input folder. You’ll find it in “My Documents\My Digital Editions”.

If you just can’t find the EPUB e-book, open Adobe Digital Editions and find the path in the properties of the e-book.

You do not need to find the EPUB Files one by one, just choose the folder which the EPUB files were saved in, the ePub Drm Removal software helps you decrypt tens of DRM protected EPUB files at one time!

Click “unDrm directory”, this removes the DRM  from all of the EPUB files in the folder listed above (“My Documents\My Digital Editions”.

The decrypted EPUB files will be saved to another folder (if ePub DRM Removal installed in D:\program files\ePub Drm Removal\, the DRM-free EPUB files will be saved to D:\program files\ePub Drm Removal\Decrypt\), no change to the source files

Open your newly created DRM-free EPUB file with your favorite application (on whatever device you like).

If you don’t do the above ‘Step 2’ first,  the next product won’t work.

Step 3:  Download and Install Calibre

Next download and install Calibre for FREE (again – no trials, no pay later for the full program to work)  which can be found here:

After installing Calibre, run the program and add your EPUB ebook file to Calibre. If you installed the program correctly and added the EPUB files correctly as well, it should look like this:

Once you have added the file, you have the option to convert your e-book files.

While highlighting the EPUB file you want to convert to PDF format, click on the icon that says: Convert Books, as shown here: (don’t forget to click on the image for a clearer view of the screen shots)

A new window opens up that looks like this:

In the upper left and right corners you have the input file (original file format you added into Calibre) and the output file. These can be changed via the little black arrow down button. Be sure to check that the input file says: EPUB and the output file is changed to say: PDF (since for the purpose of this blog tutorial is to convert the EPUB file to a PDF file. If you want another file you can play around with those once you’ve done this first test run to a PDF file).  Once you have verified the correct output file, click the okay button in the lower right corner. Calibre will convert the file to a PDF format in just a couple of minutes or less.

Once the conversion is completed, you can highlight the book that you just converted and to the left of the window, click on Formats. As you can see in the image below, on the right, the E-book file by Laurie, Victoria is in both an EPUB format and PDF format. If you ‘click to open’ as it says next to ’ Path:’– a new window will open which will show you where the PDF file is stored on your PC.

Now that you’ve installed all 3 of these software programs, you can download all your EPUB e-book files and convert them to PDF files with ease. If you have any questions or issues trying to use these programs, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to try and help you out.

Of course, I did all this to load the e-book onto my cell phone only to find out that the fileviewer on my phone doesn’t work properly. My next step is going to be converting the PDF file to an MP3 file that I can load onto my cellphone and be able to at least listen to the book while I am stuck in line somewhere 🙂 .  I’ll probably post the instructions for that in another post here.

In the meantime, welcome to the world of PC e-books without a Kindle or Nook and Happy Reading!!