How to Authorize Your eReader for Adobe Digital Editions

In this post I’ll show you step-by-step instructions for how to authorize (or re-authorize, if you’ve previously de-authorized) your eReader for Adobe Digital Editions. This is something that is necessary to do if you’re going to be buying and reading PDF or ePub ebooks that are protected by Adobe’s DRM.

Before starting this process, you’ll need an Adobe ID. If you don’t already have one, get one here. You should also authorize your computer before you start authorizing other devices.

BIG IMPORTANT WARNING: If you already have an Adobe ID and you even slightly suspect that you might have used it for ebooks in the past, don’t create a new Adobe ID. Keep using the one you already have. If you don’t remember your login details, use the links on the sign-in page that say “Did you forget your Adobe ID?” / “Did you forget your password?”


The device I’m using in these instructions is a BeBook Neo. These instructions should work for any similar device like a Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo, Cybook, etc. You can see a list of the devices that Adobe supports on their website here. (Update for clarification: The instructions in this post only apply to E-Ink screen style eReader devices, not Android tablets, iOS devices, or other smartphones).

1. Start with your eReader turned off and disconnected from the computer. Also start with Adobe Digital Editions closed. This will help prevent any issues with ADE recognizing the device.

2. Connect your eReader to your computer with its USB cable.

3. Turn on the eReader.

4. When my BeBook Neo detects that it is plugged into the computer, it asks me if I want to connect to the computer. Tapping ‘NO’ would just allow it to charge. Tapping ‘YES’ lets you transfer files to its memory and perform other functions related to the computer, so tap YES. Your eReader might have a similar prompt.

5. Open Adobe Digital Editions on your computer. It should automatically detect your eReader. If your eReader is not currently authorized, you’ll get a prompt like this:

Adobe Digital Editions already knew my Adobe ID from when I authorized my computer, so it just tells me to authorize with the same ID (which is usually the smartest thing to do). If your computer and device had never been authorized, then it should give you a login screen where you enter the email address that you used to create your Adobe ID and your password.

Note: See the “Don’t ask again for this device” in the bottom-left? DON’T CLICK THAT. If you do it’ll be a pain to re-authorize the device in the future if you need to.

So at this point you can either fill in your Adobe ID login information, or accept the ID it detected for you, and click ‘Authorize Device’. Upon success you’ll see this:

That’s it! Now you can transfer purchased content from your computer to your device.

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About The eBook Reader

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

12 responses to “How to Authorize Your eReader for Adobe Digital Editions”

  1. saskia says :

    thank you for all the info. unfortunately, I still have issues with my samsung galaxy tab 10.1 and becoming more and more frustrated. Contacted/chatted with Samsung and Adobe several times to no avail. your article was therefore very insightful. I tried several ways via KIES but still am unable to open Epub either through Ebooks or Aldiko via SD card. error message: failed to authorize device. Actually tab was never detected by ADE. any advice? thanks!

  2. Rod Younger says :

    hi – I’m afraid this does not seem to work for the new Sony Reader wifi – I’ve tried everything and ADE just does not recognise the Sony at all.

    Any ideas?

  3. Matt says :

    I had a problem with Aldiko and the “failed to authorize” error on my rooted Nook Color. Turned out to be a problem with the date (time zone) settings on the device. Found a tip about this on an Adobe forum. Here’s my story, and I hope it will help others.

    I have a rooted Nook Color, which I bought and set up where I live, in Dallas, TX. I already have Adobe Digital on my PC and Laptop and have a registered account. I bought an ebook while visiting Seattle, WA. I downloaded the book on my laptop without any problem and opened it in Adobe Digital Editions. I then copied the pdf file to an sdcard to place in my Nook. On the Nook, I had installed Aldiko for Android. When I tried to open the pdf in that software, it took me to a page to register the device. I entered my ID and password and kept getting the “failed to authorize” error. I could not understand why. I also tried to register a new account with a different email. Same error. I then looked online for help. Oddly, the comments section on the Aldiko support site for this problem is closed. After reading a comment about the time settings, I changed the time zone from what it was set on for home (Central time) to where I was at the moment (Pacific) and rebooted the Nook. When I went to register this time, it worked fine, and I could import and open the book pdf file on my device. Maybe this will work on other Android devices as well. Good luck.

  4. Mikelle says :

    I saw your note warning not to click the do not authorize the device too late and I clicked it. Do you know how to authorize the device after selecting that option? I know you said it is a pain, but I have been looking for hours to try to find out how to authorize my ereader and have come up empty.

    • The eBook Reader says :

      To be honest, I don’t know. I only assume it’ll be a pain since ADE won’t prompt you to authorize your device anymore. You could try uninstalling ADE in the hope that it will get rid of that setting. Beyond that, it might be a matter of editing the registry, which I don’t have any information on or enough experience to really recommend. If you find the answer please post it here!

      • Mikelle says :

        I did try uninstalling ADE and it still didn’t work so as my last resort I De-registered my Nook with Barnes and Noble and then Re-Registered it and it finally brought up the prompt to authorize my device with ADE. All is good now!

  5. Colin B says :

    Thanks for the info in this article, and I wonder if anyone can help with my problem please ?
    I’ve just bought a new Sony PRS-T1 wifi Reader, and I can’t authorise it. I have:
    1. Installed ADE on my PC, and authorised that after a struggle (a large chunk of the Adobe website seems to be down at present so I had to go through their webchat support to get the ID set up).
    2. Connected the Reader by USB.
    3. Selected “data transfer” mode, checked in “My Computer” that the PC can see the Reader
    4. Opened ADE on the PC
    At this point, I get no further. The article suggests a window should open automatically to allow me to authorise the Reader but nothing further happens, all I see is a lot of blank bookshelves. If the window doesn’t open, how do I force-authorise the Reader ? All ideas gratefully received !

    Couple of thoughts:
    1. I can’t log-in to Adobe account because of their system problem – is this likely to affect being able to authorise the Reader ?
    2. The Reader contains some Sony proprietary software for transferring content that i was hoping not to have to use. Do I have to install this on my PC before I can expect ADE to work properly ?

    If I can’t get it to work, it’s going back for a refund !

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Herbert Arrunategui says :

    I have a Color Nook and i already authorize my computer, but I did not use the Adobe ID. How can I change that.

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