"Your eReader is not authorized" on Kobo devices

 A kobo reader on a table, a cup of coffee and donuts next to it

I really love my Kobo eReader. Cheaper than Amazon, I can put epubs on it and buy ebook at every store that is not called “Amazon”. Most ebooks are just watermarked and don’t have any DRM attached to them ♡. You can even lend epubs from your local library using awesome services like OverDrive.

There is just one problem. If you own a Kobo eReader you might have seen this:

Your eReader is not authorized to open this book. Because you previously deauthorized your eReader, you need to reimport the book using ADE“

After that point you are not able to add any book from your library to it. My solution to this was to hard reset the device. Luckily there is another workaround. A disclaimer first: I really love most Adobe products, but the Adobe Digital Edition is 🤬. It’s totally unclear to me why that software is in this state and why this is the only DRM solution for ebooks outside the Amazon walled garden nowadays.

So how do you fix this problem? Like this:

  1. Delete the not working ebook
  2. Connect the kobo with your computer and leave it plugged in.
  3. Start the Adobe Digital Editions App on your Mac
  4. Delete the not working book from your ADE, you will need to re-download the .asm file again later.
  5. Remove the authorization of your eReader
  6. Remove the authorization on ADE (Help -> Erase Authorization)
  7. Go to your library and fetch a different book. Yes you have to find a totally different book than the book that is not working.
  8. Open it in ADE, it will ask you to re-authorize it.
  9. Re-Authorize your eReader
  10. Import the new book to the eReader
  11. Open the book on your eReader and check that it is working
  12. Download the book that was not working from your library and add it to ADE. This is really important. Do not re-import your existing .asm file. You need a new one.
  13. Add it to your eReader
  14. Done

I am writing this down to remember these steps when I have to do them again 😉.

Portrait photo of Bodo Tasche
Bodo Tasche
Polyglot Developer

I am a freelance polyglot developer and love HTML5, testing, JavaScript, Ruby and Elixir. In the last 20 years I have been in lots of different roles, from Java to Elixir, from backend developer at a 3 people team in an early phase startup to the CTO of a web agency.

Need help developing your MVP or to add new features into your current app? Need a CTO or a front/backend developer for hire? Send me an email.