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How to send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices and read it like a book

It's never been easier to send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices - we walk you through it in five easy steps that will have you kicking back in no time flat

Get a PDF on Kindle
(Image: © Future)

Wondering if it's possible to send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices? Well, boy oh boy do we have good news for you because the answer is a big, fat YES! Granted, it's 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. If you're a voracious reader like we are, it can be hard to cram several bulky novels into your suitcase or bag when you go away and often you end up having to leave them behind because you need the room for other things. The Kindle resolved that issue when it burst onto the scene back in 2007, offering the option of storing all those must-read books on one slim device.

And while you may have bought your Amazon Kindle to buy and read books, what you may not have realised 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. 

By the way, if you are going to be traveling with your Kindle a lot, we recommend you invest in one of the best Amazon Kindle cases to protect your device - the last thing you want is to have taken the time to send all those PDFs over to your Kindle and then not be able to read them because you accidentally dropped it. Disaster! A good case will ensure it survives any tumbles.

Now, when it comes to figuring out how to convert and send PDF to Kindle devices, we're not going to lie, it is a bit labor intensive to begin with. But once you've got your head around it, it's actually pretty easy to do. Plus, this method works for other document types too, including Word documents, JPEGs, PINGs and GIFs.

Below, we talk you through exactly what you need to do to send 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. 

PDF to Kindle: the basics

  1. Ensure your file is a PDF
  2. Find your Kindle email address
  3. Get your personal email address approved
  4. Send your PDF file to your Kindle
  5. Sync your Kindle

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

(Image credit: Future)

PDF to Kindle: in depth

Compatible file types

Word documents
Various Kindle formats

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 - so it should be a PDF or .doc, .html or similar - we'll list the full compatibility list to the side, courtesy of Amazon.

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 PDF editors for guidance.

Find your Kindle email address

Amazon Kindle (2019)

(Image credit: Future)

To get send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices, you're going to need to know your Kindle's email address. If that last clause makes no sense, don't worry - not many people know, but your Kindle has its own bespoke email address, using which you can send files to it.

You'll need to look up yours, as you're not told when you set up your Kindle, but it's little hassle. You'll need to head over to the Amazon website (opens in new tab) and sign in first. Just note, the following steps are slightly different in different regions' 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 this, then select 'Your devices and content', which was in the bottom-left for us. Now click 'Manage Devices'. 

In the UK, the 'Account and Lists' option should still be clicked to the top-right of the Amazon home page. From here, scroll past the 'Your Account' settings to the 'Digital content and devices' block to the left. In here, click 'Content and devices', and you'll be in the same place as our US counterparts.

Now, you should see a list of the books you have assigned to your Kindle account - but that's not what we're looking for right now. Above this list, in a toolbar should be some options - you'll currently be on 'Content', which should be followed by 'Devices', 'Preferences' and 'Privacy Settings'. Click on 'Devices', and in the next menu, select the option for the Kindle you want the document on.

You'll be brought to a Device Summary page which tells you your Kindle email as well as the type of device it is, and a few other things. What you'll need here is your Kindle email address - save this somewhere you'll be able to easily find it. We'd recommend saving it as a contact in your email app of choice, so you can email it at ease. 

Approve your email address

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

(Image credit: Future)

Not just anyone can email your Kindle and have their PDFs accessible on the device - though 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.

Make sure the email you approve is the one you're planning to send documents to your Kindle from otherwise it won't work.

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 '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'. This list will show people who can email stuff to your Kindle, and obviously you want to be on this VIP list.

Below the emails is an option to 'Add a new approved e-mail address', which you should, of course, select. Enter your email address and click 'Add address' to get yourself approved. If you have multiple email addresses that you could send PDFs to your Kindle from, you should add them all now. 

Send your PDF to your Kindle

Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Now the hard work is out the way, you're all set up to send PDF to Amazon Kindle devices. Simply 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.

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'.

Tom Bedford
Tom Bedford

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

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