Kindle Fire: How to Transfer and Read PDF Files

Some books are available for free in PDF format. If you have a PDF file that you wish to read on your Amazon Kindle Fire, there are two ways you can transfer them over.

Using USB Connection

1. Connect the device to your computer using a USB cable. Since it doesn’t come with one, you will need to either purchase one or use one you may have from another device like your smartphone.

2. Unlock the screen and the Kindle Fire should mount to the computer and display the screen below.

Kindle Fire USB connected notification

3. A drive called KINDLE should now be available on your computer. Windows users can check under Computer. Mac users can check on the Desktop. Linux users shouldn’t need to ask. Open the KINDLE drive and drag your PDF files to the Documents folder.

Kindle Fire copying PDF file

4. Once you’re done transferring files, tap Disconnect on the screen.

5. Select Docs from the home page.

Kindle Fire Docs on home screen

6. The PDF file is now available. Tap it to open the file and read it.

Kindle Fire PDF transferred via USB

Using Email

1. Access the email account you used to register your Kindle Fire. Send an email to your kindle address with the PDF file as an attachment. You can locate your kindle address by tapping Docs on the main screen.

Sending email to kindle

2. Wait for about 5 minutes and tap the settings gear in the upper-right corner of the home screen, then tap Sync.

Kindle Fire sync

3. Tap Docs on the home screen.

Kindle Fire Docs on home screen

4. The PDF file you sent should appear in the list. If not, try step 2 again after 5 more minutes and try again.

Kindle Fire PDF sent via email

You’ve successfully learned the 2 ways to transfer a PDF file to your Kindle Fire. Happy reading!


  1. gary says

    i was able to see my pdf files. i opened them up and a password screen came up. now when i try to load them, a blank page comes up and doesnt ask for password anymore. i tried the solutions you gave margie, and they dont ask for the password either. i know the password and i am allowed to have access to the pdfs. what can i do?

  2. Matt says

    VAL – Yes, after you click the link in the web browser the status bar notifies you via a number that the download of the PDF is complete. You can then click on the status bar, then the document to open it.

    Downloading the free Adobe reader app makes opening those web-sourced PDFs easier with its “recent documents” functionality, even though the app is not a requirement.

  3. Val says

    Is there any way that you can open a pdf file & view it coming from a website on the Kindle? need to do my hw!

  4. Mitch says

    Move it to the documents folder with an app called ES File Explorer. It’s available in the Amazon App Store.

  5. Tracy says

    My situation: I actually went to a website and downloaded a PDF on my Kindle Fire. Right now the only way I can get to it is to go to my word processor app, go to internal storage, then to download. Does ANYone know how I can move this to my favorites or to my Docs?

  6. Margie says

    Well Mitch, I appreciate all your help, but when I tap the folder and find the pdf file, once it’s in the pdf viewer it says unsupported encryption filter Adobe.APS.

    I guess it’s not to be but I appreciate all your help.

    Have a good night.

  7. Mitch says

    You’ll have to open qPDF under Apps, then tap the folder in the lower right corner, then browse to the PDF file.

  8. Margie says

    hmmm, not working out too well Mitch, I assume I’m suppose to download/upload the ebook that needs password access “into” the Android ap because just downloading the ebook into the doc area isn’t getting it. When the kindle is hooked up to my computer, I don’t see the Android Ap on the computer that I just downloaded… in order to download the ebook into it. I’m confused.

  9. Mitch says

    I’m not sure if it will work, but you can try to install an Android app on the Kindle Fire that opens password protected PDF files. Try maybe using qPDF viewer. If that doesn’t work, maybe try some other PDF viewers in the Appstore.

  10. Margie says

    Hi Mitch,

    My ebook (PDF) was issued to me via a course from my online college campus, I followed your directions and finally got the ebook on my kindle, only to find out that just as I have to put in my password to open the ebook on my desk top computer, the error message on my kindle says, “this item is protected with DRM and cannot be read on your kindle.” Now that the ebook is on my kindle, I am not asked for the password like I am on the desktop computer. Is there a way to get it to ask me for my password so I can read my ebook on my kindle?

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