How to Download Word Files to Your Kindle

Have you ever wondered how to download a Word file to your Kindle? This was one of the reasons I wanted a Kindle in the first place – so I could stop printing out drafts to read them. I wasn’t sure if reading them on the Kindle would be the same as paper, but it’s close, for me at least. I can make notes and easily navigate through the manuscript. I can also send the manuscript to other people’s Kindles – to beta readers, for example.

If you’re unsure how to do this, follow these steps to send your .doc or .docx file directly to your own Kindle:

(1) Make sure you’re using the email address associated with your Kindle/Amazon account. Let’s use youraddress@gmail.com, for example. Pretend that’s your address.

(2) Attach the .doc file to your email.

(3) Address the email to your own email address, but change the last bit: youraddress@free.kindle.com. This will send the document to your kindle FOR FREE. If you put youraddress@kindle.com (without the “free” in it), it will cost you a fee. You must have WiFi enabled on your Kindle in order to download it for free. 3G wireless will not work unless you use the @kindle address, and that’s when it costs you a fee.

(4) Hit send. Your document will arrive to your Kindle soon – formatted as .mobi file! Sweet, huh?

To send a .doc or .docx file to someone else’s Kindle, follow these steps:

(1) Make sure the person has enabled you on their Kindle/Amazon account. Tell them to go to their Amazon account online, click on “Digital Services”, then “Manage My Kindle”, then “Your Kindle Approved Email List” and add your email address to the list: youraddress@kindle.com.

(2) Send your .doc file to the person’s email address associated with their account: yourfriendsaddress@free.kindle.com. Read the above information about free vs. fee-charged files.

(3) Hit send.

Tada! You’re now able to read .doc files on your Kindle. Enjoy! If you  have questions, please ask them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle

24 comments

Jordan McCollum

I love reading my files on the Kindle! But the formatting didn't work out well when I had Amazon convert them. (It removed all the tabs, so reading the paragraphs was hard.)I liked the formatting better when I converted my files myself, using MobiPocket and then Calibre.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Jordan: The missing tabs don't bother me at all, and it also depends on how you have formatted the file in your document. If you remove all ^t (hard return tabs) and instead use the ruler to set tabs, they will convert over just fine. Writers need to learn to do that anyway. Hard returns are bad, bad, bad. :)I'm not saying you have to do this – just getting it out there to those who are interested.

I don't have a Kindle yet, but I've got a friend who does & was just asking me about this. I'm going to forward her the link and bookmark the page for myself later. Thanks a bunch!

Thanks Michelle, I'll bookmark this.

I do this and was trying to explain the process on Twitter in 140 char. tweets. Oy! It took like five or six tweets and didn't say it nearly as well as you did. I wish there was a way to transfer files back into word to do a revision with notes, but… le sigh.

Thank you, thank you for explaining this. I've had a Kindle for 18 months now, and I never knew how to do it!

Catherine Stine

Wow, this is quite helpful, thanks!

Jacqueline Howett

I shall book mark this for when I get my Kindle. Funny you should be doing a tecq post. I just posted one up on how to get Kindle eBooks on your computer, laptops and notebooks for those without a Kindle, as I was surprised how many still don't know how to do that.

This is great! I got a Kindle over the holidays and definitely want to read word docs on it.

Wow, thanks for the walkthrough. I was wondering how I was going to do my edits when I finish this draft since I wanted to completely write out the new draft and didn't want to lug around my computer or a printed manuscript around.

Jordan McCollum

Michelle: Hard tabs are bad? The only time I've ever heard someone say something about this publicly was Janet Reid saying hard tabs are mandatory.(You do not want to hear my rant against Word's auto-indent "feature"!)

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Hmm, does Janet Reid format ebooks or format any books for publication? Because if she does she'd learn really quick hard tabs aren't the best way to tab.

Solvang Sherrie

Awesome! Thanks for this!

This is so helpful! Just got my Kindle and this is one of the features I want to use but haven't had time to sift through the owners guide to figure it out.Thank you!Joan

Hello, I have graphical content on three Word files totaling about 20 Megabytes. Currently, the content is divided into three files. I've been told I should combine them into one file. If I do that, will the file be too large to submit? Compressing it using ZIP probably won't help, since graphical files don't compress very much. Thanks! Bill

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Bill: If by 'graphical' you mean the files contain images, then yes, they might be too large to submit all in one file. Honestly, I don't know what the size limit is to submit to a Kindle. If they're all in a Word file, try combining them all into one file and submit it and see if it works. If not, just do 3 files instead.

Hi Michelle, greetings from Chile.What do you think about the Kindle versus Nook discusion? I am up to buy an e-reader but not sure about wich so far, some say that the Nook is better to grab but it does not handle doc files I guess. Hope you can guide me a little bit.Regards,Gerardo Ruiz.

Michelle Davidson Argyle

@gerardo: I have owned several Kindles and I love them. I like the e-ink and that I can easily buy my books from Amazon without shuffling files around. But if you like B&N better, the Nook is good too. The one think I DON'T like about the Kindle is that it doesn't seem to handle PDF files very well. It does well with doc files though. The Nook, I don't know. I've never owned one. Now, however, I own an iPad and I have a Kindle app on it. In all honesty, I haven't used my Kindle since I got the iPad …

Thanks Michelle!

Suzanne Furness

Hi I just found your blog while doing a bit of research to find out how to do just this! Thank you I'm going to give it a go. I'm a children's writer from UK so I am going to follow your blog. It looks really useful :)Suzanne

Michelle Davidson Argyle

Thanks for following! I hope the Kindle Word File downloading works out for you! This is a little out of date, so I should probably makes sure its' all the same still. 🙂

A friend emailed a file to my Kindle. As I’m reading it, I have added notes to it.

How do I now email this file back to him with the notes?

I tried moving it into an email, but it says the file type (AZW3) is not supported. I emailed it to his regular email and he was able to convert it with Caliber and then send it to his Kindle, but he lost the Notes.

Any ideas?

Thank you!!

Michelle D. Argyle

Hi, Ted! I’m no expert at this, but nothing I’ve ever seen allows your notes to be emailed with the file. I’ve always transferred notes by hand to a Word document. If you find a way to do this, let me know!

Dang it! Thanks for the reply!

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