Search Help:
Using Kindle 1st Generation with Your Computer

You can download and read many types of digital documents without using your computer. However, if you decide you want to access large media files that can't be transferred wirelessly, such as audiobooks and MP3 (music) files, you can transfer these files by connecting Kindle 1st Generation to your computer using the USB cable.

Instructions for using Kindle 1st Generation with your computer also appear in Chapter 8 of the Kindle 1st Generation User's Guide (.PDF).

Using Kindle 1st Generation's USB Connection

You can use the USB cable to connect Kindle 1st Generation to any computer system with an available USB port running on a compatible operating system:

  • PC running Windows 2000, XP, or later.
  • Apple computer system running Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

To connect Kindle 1st Generation to your computer:

  1. Plug the USB cable into an available USB port or a powered USB hub on your computer.
  2. Connect the other end of the USB cable to the USB port on the bottom of your Kindle 1st Generation.

Your Kindle 1st Generation will display the message "Your Kindle is in USB drive mode" when connected. In this mode, the wireless service is deactivated, you will not receive any of your subscriptions, and you cannot use any of the Kindle 1st Generation controls, buttons, or keys.

To disconnect Kindle 1st Generation from your computer:

  1. Check the USB activity indicator on the Kindle 1st Generation cursor bar. If the silver cursor is not flashing, you can safely disconnect Kindle from your computer.
  2. Use your computer to unmount or eject your Kindle 1st Generation.
  3. Disconnect the USB cable from Kindle.

You can unplug the USB connection from Kindle even if you cannot use your computer to unmount or eject the device. However, disconnecting Kindle during a file transfer may cause your files to become damaged and unreadable.

How Kindle 1st Generation Appears on Your Computer

If you are using a PC: Kindle 1st Generation appears as a removable storage disk in Windows Explorer. The optional SD memory card also appears as a removable storage disk independent of Kindle 1st Generation. Default drive assignments for network drives or other devices on your computer could cause a conflict with how Kindle 1st Generation and your SD memory card appear in Windows Explorer. You may have to disconnect network drives or give them new drive letter assignments to ensure that Kindle 1st Generation and your SD memory card appear properly on your PC.

If your computer is a Macintosh: Kindle 1st Generation will appear as a drive in the Mac OS Finder. If you have installed an optional SD memory card, this device will appear as a as a drive in the Mac OS Finder independent of Kindle 1st Generation.

Handling Files Through USB

You can use the "drag and drop" functions of your operating system or your computer's file management commands to move or copy files from your computer to your Kindle 1st Generation and vice versa. You can also delete unwanted files from your Kindle 1st Generation memory or create backup copies on your computer.

How Kindle 1st Generation Recognizes Files

Kindle 1st Generation will only recognize and display files on your Kindle Home screen if the file type is natively supported and located in the appropriate folder on your Kindle or optional SD memory card. Also, items purchased from the Kindle store will only be recognized by a Kindle 1st Generation if it is registered to the account used to make the purchase. See Adjusting Your Kindle 1st Generation Settings for information on registering your Kindle.

Here are the file types and locations that Kindle 1st Generation will recognize automatically:



Recognized File Types



Kindle (.azw), text (.txt), Mobi (.mobi*, .prc*)



MP3 music format (.mp3)


Audible (.aa)

* Files containing digital rights management software will not be readable.

Transferring Your Clippings

When you take a clipping from your reading using the "Save Page as Clipping" option, the selected text is stored in a file called "My Clippings.txt" that is located in the "documents" directory. If you want to move the clippings from your Kindle 1st Generation to your computer, you can drag and drop the file onto your desktop or into another directory. If you remove the My Clippings file from your Kindle 1st Generation, Kindle will create a new one the next time you make a clipping.