How to send PDF files to Amazon Kindle devices to read them like a book

Get a PDF on Kindle
(Image credit: Future)

Granted, sending PDF files to Amazon Kindle devices is a little bit of a fiddly process, but we promise that it's worth it and we've broken it down into simple steps that will make the whole process a breeze.

If you've purchased the best Kindle, you don't need us to tell you how convenient these little beauties are. However, while you may have bought your Amazon Kindle to buy and read books, what you may not have realized is that it also supports PDF. This means that rather than having to cart a whole bunch of work documents or university material with you when you're on the move, you can save them all onto your Kindle and read them at your leisure.

If you have a USB cable, you can simply plug it in, and drag and drop the relevant files into Kindle > Documents. If you don't have one, however, the alternative is a bit labor-intensive, to begin with, but once you've got your head around it, it's a breez. This method works for other document types too, including Word documents, JPEG, PNG and GIF files.

Below, we talk you through exactly what you need to do to send a PDF to Amazon Kindle devices in five easy-to-follow steps. If you're also looking to reverse the process, you'll find our guide to how to convert a Kindle book to PDF super helpful. Just make sure that you connect to the internet or your home Wi-Fi before you get started.

Steps for how to send a PDF to Kindle

  • Ensure your file is a PDF
  • Find your Kindle email address
  • Get your personal email address approved
  • Send your PDF file to your Kindle
  • Sync your Kindle

Tools and requirements

  • Kindle
  • Phone / Laptop / iPad with email access
  • Compatible file (See FAQs for which file types are compatible)

Step by step guide

1. Find your Kindle email address

(Image: © Future)

To get send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices, you're going to need to know your Kindle's email address.

Head to the Amazon website and sign in first. Just note, the following steps are slightly different in different regions for versions of Amazon - we'll talk you through the US and UK guide, but if you're in another country, you might have to hunt around for options a little more.

In the US: to the top-right of the main Amazon screen should be an option saying 'Account and Lists'. Click or hover over this, then find 'Your devices and content', which was in the bottom-left for us. Now click 'Manage Devices'. 

In the UK: likewise, click or hover over the 'Account and Lists' option on the top-right of the Amazon home page. From here, select 'Your Devices' from the block to the left. Here, click 'Actions'.

You'll see a toolbar with some options - you'll likely currently be on 'Content', which should be followed by 'Devices'. Click on 'Devices', and in the next menu, select the option for the Kindle you want to send your document to.

You'll be brought to a Device Summary page that tells you your Kindle email as well as the type of device it is, and a few other things. Save your Kindle's email address somewhere you'll be able to easily find it. 

2. Approve your email address

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While you have your Kindle's email address, you now need to approve your personal one, so that when the Kindle receives your PDF, it knows to download this.

To approve your email address follow the steps as for finding your Kindle email address but instead of selecting 'Devices' in the top bar, click the next option; 'Preferences'.

Scroll down this list until you find 'Personal Document Settings', and select this option so it expands into more options. From here, scroll down until you find 'Approved Personal Document E-mail List'. 

Click 'Add a new approved e-mail address' and then enter your email address. Finally, look for and click the 'Add address' button to get yourself approved. If you have multiple email addresses you'd like to send files from, make sure to add them all now. 

3. Send the PDF

(Image: © Future)

Head over to your email client of choice, attach the file to an email, and send the email to your Kindle email address.

You're able to send multiple documents at once, so if you have loads of files you want on your Kindle, you don't need to send separate emails.

It's worth pointing out that if you're sending over a PDF file, you can actually ask Amazon to automatically convert the file into a Kindle one, which lets you annotate the sections and change font size. Simply put the word 'convert' as the subject line and the rest will be handled for you.

You should also get an email through from Amazon confirming you've added a new email address.

4. Sync your Kindle

(Image: © Future)

Once you've sent the file to your Kindle, you should be able to access the file straight away. If it doesn't appear immediately firstly make sure the email has definitely sent, and that your Kindle is connected to the internet. If both of those are the case, you can Sync your Kindle which will likely help. Do this by going to the Kindle home page, pressing 'settings' and then 'Sync Your Kindle'.


What file types are compatible with the Kindle?

Before we walk you through how to send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices, you should make sure the file you're trying to convert is compatible with the Kindle. The Kindle is compatible with:

Word documents
Various Kindle formats

If you're not sure the file format of your file, right click it on your computer and select 'Properties' - here you'll see the type, so you can see if it's right or not.

The compatible file types cover most formats you're likely using, but if you find the document you want on your Kindle isn't compatible, there are a few ways to convert it. In the program it typically opens into, like Microsoft Word for .doc files or an image editing apps for .PNG ones, select 'Save As', and in the drop-down menu, see if any of the compatible options are available.

If not, you could try a PDF converter tool. There are plenty of great paid options and a few good free ones too, so check out our list of the best free PDF editors for guidance.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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