A Quick Post About File Saving

Lately I’ve noticed another trend regarding ebook users and a point of confusion for them. This is a very simple concept but the confusion around it seems to affect both novice and veteran ebook/computer users.

Here’s what happens:

The person does a great job of following instructions for downloading the ebook file, and they even follow the recommended procedure for authorizing their software. They download the ebook file to their computer and all is well.

Saving eBooks To Your Hard Drive

An Image of a Hard Drive

At this point, the next step is to transfer the file to their device. Whether it’s an e-reader, Palm, Windows Mobile, or something else, it’s the same concept: if you’ve downloaded a file to your computer, and you want to also have that file on your device, the file has to be transferred from your computer to your device.

And something goes wrong here. Perhaps the user has a brain freeze, or perhaps they actually don’t understand, but they look at their device and they don’t see the ebook on it, and they can’t comprehend why it isn’t there.

It might be some kind of mixed-up confusion stemming from the fact that sometimes you can download a file directly to a device. For examples, when you buy an app on your phone, or if you have a Kindle and you buy an ebook from within the Kindle itself.

But that’s not what’s going on in this situation. The user has downloaded a file to their computer, and they know that they’ve done that. They see it on their computer. Then they look at their e-reader, and they don’t see it there, and they don’t understand why.

If this describes you, let me clear it up. When you download any file to your computer (an ebook or any other file), it only gets saved onto your computer’s hard drive. I don’t know of any mechanism that will ever save a file to your computer and another location simultaneously. (That’s not to say that there is no software in existence that can automatically copy a file from one location to another, but if you don’t have something like that installed, don’t expect it to happen on its own, because it won’t.)

The method by which you transfer the ebook to your device will vary a bit with each type of device, but in general, you can probably load the ebook onto it just like you would any other file. If you’ve got a Palm or Windows Mobile you just use the Sync software that it came with. If you’ve got an e-reader you can plug it into your computer via USB and transfer the file over the same way you would with an external drive. If your ebook has DRM you might have to use Adobe Digital Editions or some other software, depending on the format of the ebook. That’s enough for a whole different post, and I’ve explained the use of Adobe Digital Editions before.

So here’s a small summary: When you download a file to your computer, it is only saved to your computer’s hard drive. If you’d like to use that file on another device, go ahead and copy it over to that device.

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About The eBook Reader

I love reading and I love technology. eBooks are an interesting combination of the two.

2 responses to “A Quick Post About File Saving”

  1. Viv says :

    I successfully downloaded an ebook from the library, then installed digital reader on another computer on my home network. When I go to open the book on the networked computer, it says that book is not on this computer. I tried sending it to the desktop and open it from there, but no luck. What can I do to read this book on a home network computer?

    • eBook Reader says :

      Hi,
      I have never seen that kind of configuration work with protected ebooks. In general, you have to access the ebook on the same computer where you downloaded it. So my best suggestion is to do exactly that: download the ebook directly onto the computer where you plan to read it.

      However, I don’t work for your library, so they might have more information than me.

      Good luck!

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