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Dealing with Kindle for PC/Mac 1.19 and KFX in calibre
#1  jhowell 02-06-2017, 05:36 PM
Starting with version 1.19 for most books Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac use the new KFX format, which is incompatible with calibre unless the optional KFX Input plugin is added.

These books will appear in a subdirectory of the "My Kindle Content" folder, will import into calibre as "AZW" format, and will fail to convert with the error: "KFXError: This is an Amazon KFX book. It cannot be processed."

The following descriptions apply both to Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac unless one is mentioned explicitly.


Method 1 - Revert to an older version of Kindle for PC/Mac

Older Kindle version 1.17 can be installed to work around this problem. I suggest following steps:

Method 2 - Disable KFX support in Kindle for PC/Mac

As an alternative, a method is available to prevent versions 1.19 through 1.24 from making use of KFX format. This method will not work with Kindle for PC version 1.25 or newer. See the end of this post for ways to deal with undesired updating of the Kindle app.

Method 3 - Use an e-ink Kindle instead

If you have an e-ink Kindle device registered to your Amazon account you have the option of downloading books directly from Amazon instead of using Kindle for PC/Mac.
In addition, the owners of older e-ink Kindles running firmware prior to 5.6.5 (August 2015) can access books in non-KFX formats directly from the device via USB.

Method 4 - Convert from KFX to other formats

It now possible to convert books from KFX to other formats in calibre by installing the optional KFX Input plugin. Due to a change in DRM this will no longer work with Kindle for PC/Mac version 1.25 or newer or with Kindle firmware 5.10.2 or newer. See the end of this post for ways to deal with undesired updating of the Kindle app.


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Downloading previous Kindle versions

Methods 2 and 4 above will not work with Kindle for PC/Mac version 1.25 and later. (Method 2 can be made to work with the latest Kindle for Mac by following additional instructions.)

The last workable versions can still be downloaded directly from Amazon using these links:
Kindle for PC 1.24.3 (51068)
Kindle for Mac 1.23.1 (50131)

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Preventing undesired app updates

The Kindle app can be aggressive about updating itself to the latest version. Even after the option to automatically install updates is deselected the software sometimes will update itself unexpectedly. Here are some tips on preventing this:

If the program updates to an undesired version then run it and uncheck the setting to automatically install updates under
Tools->Options->General and save preferences before uninstalling.

Once the desired Kindle version has been reinstalled go to the setting to automatically install updates, check and then uncheck it again, and save preferences.

When running the app if a dialog pops up indicating that a newer version is available chose the option to "skip this version".

This process may need to be repeated multiple times before the desired version will stick.
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#2  bauerhjb 02-09-2017, 01:03 PM
to: jhowell

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this information. I was ready to give up on my free books from Amazon for the future since I got "improved" version of KindleforPC automatically today. Your directions for uninstalling and re-installing KindleforPC are excellent and worked great for me. One thing I'd like to add. I had downloaded my books once this morning right after the upgrade installed. Then when I tried to download them with the older version of KindleforPC. I found that I needed to go to Amazon and in manage my content, set the books up for delivery again. Once I did that, presto, chango everything was back to normal. Thanks again for the timely help. You are amazing.
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#3  Rellwood 02-09-2017, 10:55 PM
I must be doing something wrong, because this problem hasn't effected me. All my AZW books are downloading as AZW3 and I have had no problems converting, transferring and reading. There must be some kind of catch here.
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#4  Rellwood 02-09-2017, 10:58 PM
Nevermind. I still have 1.171
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#5  Jo69 02-10-2017, 03:53 AM
Quote jhowell
Starting with version 1.19, Kindle for PC (and Kindle for Mac) often uses the new KFX format, which is incompatible with calibre.

These books will appear in a subdirectory of the "My Kindle Content" folder, will import into calibre as "AZW" format, and will fail to convert with the error: "KFXError: This is an Amazon KFX book. It cannot be processed."

At the moment Kindle for PC version 1.17 is still available from Amazon and can be installed to work around this problem. I suggest following steps:
If you have an e-ink Kindle device registered to your Amazon account you have the option of downloading books directly from Amazon instead of using Kindle for PC.
Note: Users of the DRM Tools should refer to Apprentice Alf's Blog for information on the configuration required to support books downloaded for an e-ink Kindle.
This has worked well for me thanks
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#6  Bookburner 02-10-2017, 06:06 PM
Thank you so much jhowell for those instructions on how to uninstall and roll back my kindle for pc to 1.17. I'm back in business.
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#7  pdurrant 02-12-2017, 06:02 AM
I'm not sure if Kindle for Mac 1.19 does download as KFX. I just tried on a new user account, and all the books I tried came down in the old formats. (But inside folders in My Kindle Content)

Oh - but I didn't check for "Enhanced Typesetting" on the book pages at Amazon! Is it that only "Enhanced Typesetting" books comes down as KFX?
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#8  tleon 02-12-2017, 11:53 AM
Thanks for this information.
For me only reverting to Kindle for PC version 1.17 did work. Downloading from the Amazon website does create AZW files but I was unable to import them into Calibre.
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#9  jhowell 02-12-2017, 03:58 PM
(copied from another thread)

Check the Help/About menu to see what version of Kindle for PC you have. Anything before 1.19 doesn't support KFX. If you are using an older version then you probably have updates disabled since Amazon is aggressively pushing the new version to be automatically installed.

If you do have 1.19 or newer there are still some circumstances where books may be present in the older MOBI/KF8 formats supported by calibre.

Any books sent to the app before it was updated to 1.19 will still be in the older formats. You can identify these books because they will be .azw files in the My Kindle Content directory.

Books delivered after the app is updated to 1.19 are placed into subdirectories of My Kindle Content. Some of these will be in KFX format and some will be in the older formats. You can detect KFX because there will be a file with a name beginning with amzn1.drm-voucher.v1 in the same subdirectory.

There are several reasons that a book might still delivered to Kindle for PC 1.19 in an older format.

First, books that do not have Enhanced Typesetting listed on their product page are not delivered in KFX format. (There can be exceptions for fixed layout books.)

Second, it may be a book you purchased a while ago. Amazon locks you in to the version of the book that is current at the time you purchase it. If that version of the book did not support enhanced typesetting, but the product page for the book now shows that it does, you might or might not receive it in KFX format.

Also, KFX format is a moving target. New features are being continuously added to the format and some devices/apps do not support all of the optional features. If a book contains KFX features that a particular device/app does not support then MOBI/KF8 is delivered instead. I have found through testing that Kindle for PC 1.19 doesn't support all of the latest KFX features and so some books are excluded from being delivered in KFX to that app.

Finally, there may be other factors of which I am unaware.
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#10  jhowell 02-12-2017, 04:03 PM
Quote pdurrant
I'm not sure if Kindle for Mac 1.19 does download as KFX. I just tried on a new user account, and all the books I tried came down in the old formats. (But inside folders in My Kindle Content)

Oh - but I didn't check for "Enhanced Typesetting" on the book pages at Amazon! Is it that only "Enhanced Typesetting" books comes down as KFX?
Perhaps Amazon is not (yet) delivering KFX to Kindle for Mac 1.19 for some reason. I do not have a Mac so I haven't tested it myself.

Looking at the installer for Kindle for Mac 1.19.1 it does have support for KFX in a file that appears to be installed to:
/Applications/Kindle.app/Contents/Frameworks/libKRFDynamic.dylib

See my previous post for some conditions under which KFX will not be delivered, including non-Enhanced Typesetting.
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