📲 How to add documents to a Kindle

Getting some of my PDF files onto my Kindle has been a blessing in disguise. I really struggle to read documents from my phone, and doing this has made reading when I have a spare 15 mins on the go, a bucketload easier.

It’s not immediately obvious how to add documents to your kindle (other than plugging it in), so I wanted to share how I’ve been emailing documents to my kindle to save time and effort.

Below, you’ll find a quick guide on how to get PDFs and other documents to your Kindle, plus some detail on each step in case you get stuck.

📦 Contents

  • 🏃‍♀️ Quick guide
  • 🤔 What can be sent to your Kindle
  • 🔍 How to find your Kindles email address
  • ✔️ Making sure your personal email is approved
  • 📧 Getting the PDF on your Kindle

🏃‍♀️ Quick guide

  1. Make sure you're sending the right document format
  2. Find your Kindle email address
  3. Check/approve the email address you’ll send docs from
  4. Send your document to your Kindle
  5. Sync your Kindle

🤔 What can be sent to your Kindle

The Kindle seems to accept pretty much anything. Word documents, HTML, JPEG, PDF, multiple Kindle formats (surprise!), even GIFs. The full list is here, from Amazon. But to be honest, if you’re like most people, you’ll either be sending PDFs or word documents. It’s only the edge cases where Kindle might not have you covered.

🔍 How to find your Kindles email address

Each Kindle device has a personal email address that enables you to send documents to it. The next step is to find that address; it’s simple once you know how.

You need to be on the web version of Amazon to locate it. First, go to Your Account and then Manage Your Content & Devices. Make sure you log in if you’re asked, obviously.

Next, select Devices in the tabbed menu and select your Kindle device.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll land on a page, and one of the bits of on-screen information will be an email address starting with something like your amazon email and ending with @kindle.com. This is the email address you will be sending your personal documents to.

✔️ Making sure your personal email is approved

One of the next things you need to do is make sure the email address you’re going to be sending personal documents from is approved. Amazon has a security feature to ensure any emails from unapproved sources are rejected; it helps protect your device from unwanted content. Could you imagine if this wasn’t in place, you might get some of U2s album art added to your Kindle…

Source: https://imgflip.com/i/bzq5a

To do this, from the same screen as where you found your Kindles personal email address, go to Preferences and then scroll down to Personal Document Settings. Once you’re there, you will see a section called Approved Personal Document E-mail List.

For most people (I assume all, but I’m not certain), the email for their Amazon account will already be there. So if this is the email you’ll be using to send documents to your Kindle, you’re ready to go. If you are, planning on sending documents from a different email address, all you need to do is add it by selecting Add a new approved e-mail address. You can have up to 15 approved email addresses. After you’ve done that, you’re ready to start sending some documents.

📧 Getting the PDF on your Kindle

You’re in the final straight. All that’s left to do now is send your personal docs from your approved email address to the @kindle.com email address you found in your Kindles device settings.

You can send multiple documents at once, but the maximum is 25 with a total size of 50MB or less. If you want to send more than 50MB, you’ll need to zip the documents, and your Kindle will do some magic to unzip them and convert them.

Another neat trick is to put the word ‘convert’ into the email’s subject line to your Kindle. This tells it to convert your personal documents into a Kindle format, and it lets you annotate it and adapt the font size of the document.

After all of this, you should now be able to go over to your Kindle sync it. Normally this will happen straight away if your Kindle is awake and connected to the internet.

Thanks for reading 🤟

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By day I'm a product and project manager in the financial sector. By night I write about my ideas and journey to learn code.