Fixed! Download & Transfer via USB Kindle Not Working

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Download & Transfer via USB is a function provided by Amazon which allows you to use the USB cable to transfer Kindle content from a computer to your Kindle Fire and Kindle e-ink device. Additionally, it offers a workaround solution to removing Kindle DRM. Recently, some issues occurred when trying to download Kindle books for USB transfer in Amazon website. Many users reported the download & transfer via USB feature is not working. So here I write this post with the purpose of helping such people to fix the problem.

download and transfer via usb

Part 1. How to Download & Transfer via USB on Amazon

1 Go to the Amazon website page - Manage Your Content and Devices and log in with your Amazon account.

2 Click the “Action” button in front of each book title, and then click “Download & transfer via USB”.

download and transfer via usb

3 From the dropdown list, choose your Kindle device, and click the button “Download”.

select a device to transfer kindle books

A note will show up when you are downloading the content.

download kindle to computer via media library

At most times, the downloaded content would be azw3 file, or azw file occasionally.

downloaded azw3 from amazon site

4 Transfer books to Kindle device via USB.

After downloading, use your USB cable to connect your Kindle device to your computer. Your Kindle will appear as a drive on your computer. Copy your downloaded file from your computer to into the appropriate folder. Depending on your device type, the folder names may vary. For example, on Kindle Paperwhite, move books to the "Documents" folder. On Kindle Fire tablets, move books to the "Books" folder.

Bonus Tips: Remove Kindle DRM via "Download & Transfer via USB"

If you own a Kindle e-ink device, you can try this method to remove Kindle DRM. No matter you are using Windows or Mac (Catalina and Big Sur included), the method of "Download & Transfer via USB" is working well together with Epubor Ultimate to decrypt and convert Kindle books. Just connect your Kindle e-ink device to your computer, and drag your AZW3 or AZW files to Epubor Ultimate, they will be decrypted automatically.

Or you can follow the detailed guide on Remove Kindle DRM via "Download &Transfer Kindle Books via USB".

Download Epubor Ultimate for Free

remove kindle kfx drm

Part 2. Trouble Shotting - Download & Transfer via USB Not Working

Problem 1. Unable Download & Transfer via USB - The download never starts

Trying download and transfer via USB, I'm getting a message that says "Downloaded your Kindle content to your computer via Your Media Library". I have no idea what this means. There is no "Your Media Library" on my computer. The download never starts.

download kindle to computer via media library

In a recent update, Google Chrome (and Firefox, it looks like) stopped allowing HTTP downloads, which is so called "insecure downloads". However, The Amazon Content and Devices webpage uses JavaScript to initiate downloads, so Chrome considers that type of download to be insecure. So if you are using Google Chrome or Firefox when you click "Download", a notice will show "Download your Kindle content to your computer via Your Media Library", but then you will get nothing. The download never starts no matter how many times you click the "Download".

We believe that Amazon will probably get the problem fixed soon, but in the meantime there are a couple of workarounds to get your Kindle ebooks downloaded for USB transfer.

Solution 1 Use a different web browser.

The issue is now affecting Google Chrome and Firefox browser, and might affect some other browsers too. But you can try Microsoft Edge, which has been reported still working normally for downloading Kindle books.

Solution 2 Change a site setting with your web browser to allow insecure content on Amazon’s website.

For Google Chrome users, click the lock icon next to Amazon's Contents and Devices page, and then tap "Site Settings".

change site settings on chrome

On the next page, find "Insecure content". Reset permission and change "Block (default)" to "Allow".

allow insecure downloads in Chrome

Solution 3 Download by opening "Developer Tools".

You can download the file by opening "Developer Tools" (tap "F12" on your keyboard in Chrome) and hover to the "Network" tab. And then proceed the steps described in "Part 1" and in the Developer Tools, look for the "FSDownloadContent" on the list, right click it and select "Open in a new tab" and the download will start.

newwork FSdownloadcontent

Problem 2. No option for Download & Transfer via USB

I click the Download & transfer via USB action on amazon site. The options in the drop down menu are the Kindle apps and Kindle Cloud Reader, but neither of them are selectable. So I cannot finish the download. Must I possess Kindle or Fire hardware to enable the download option?

no option for download & transfer via usb

"Download & Transfer via USB" is only available for Kindle e-ink device or Kindle Fire tablet owners. Kindle apps (on phones, tablets, computers) are not compatible with that function. That's part of the Amazon security as they don't want you to make copies.

Solution If you don't have a Kindle device, you cannot download books from Amazon site. Please use Kindle app for PC/Mac/Android/iOS to download your Kindle ebooks.

If you have a Kindle e-ink device or Fire tablet but still receive such an error when downloading the content, it seems that you haven't registered your Kindle device yet. Please first register your Kindle device with your Amazon account and try once again.

Problem 3. Download an FSDownloadContent file, not AZW3 eBook File

On downloading a book through Amazon website to my computer and then USB transfer to my Kindle, Amazon downloads an illegible file called "FSDownloadContent", rather than the usual .azw3 or .azw file. Is this a problem with the download?


This problem is related to Amazon downloads using Safari browser. The Amazon download is not compatible with some certain combination of Mac OS and Safari versions.

Solution Try downloading the book using a different browser (i.e. Chrome). Another possible solution is to try simply adding the ".azw3" file extension after the file name. Sometimes that solves the problem.

OK. These are all things about Download & Transfer via USB. If you have any more questions concerning this issue, just leave a comment below. Don't forget to download Epubor Ultimate if you want to remove Kindle DRM through this method.

Download Epubor Ultimate for Free

loves reading very much. She seeks the methods to enjoy eBooks and audiobooks more freely and wants to share everything new she has got with you.

01/6/2021 23:28:07
Spot on help with the download and transfer via USB problem. I called Amazon about this and was told that "most books' DRM doesn't allow you to download to USB", which is a crock, so their own employees aren't informed. I would have thought Amazon and/or Google would have spotted this issue in the advance copy of the browser release. I would have thought instead of simply blocking the download, it would be preferable to throw up one of those "are you sure you want to download insecure content" messages.
01/7/2021 01:58:51
Thank you *so much* for your help on problem 1 – I'd encountered Problem 3 (Safari issues) before, so I tried chrome and was utterly baffled that it didn't work. You're a lifesaver. <3
01/15/2021 23:35:21
There's no need to allow insecure downloads. You can download the file by opening `Developer Tools` (F12 on Chrome and derivatives) and go to the `Network` tab, then proceed as described in `Part 1` and finally look for the second `FSDownloadContent` on the list, right click it and select `Open in a new tab` and the download will start.
01/18/2021 14:43:33
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. The method you provided is proved to be working, and we have updated this post. Thank you again for your sharing.
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