How to Load PDF Documents on Your Kobo Reader

 A truly responsive touchscreen

This post starts with a confession; I read the manual.  I know this could cost me my membership in the Guy Club.  Though,in my defense, I still don’t ask for directions. Now, for a manual to be helpful, you need to have it with you when a question arises.  Depending on the size of the manual and where you are when necessity or curiosity strikes, having quick access to the manual is not always easy.  But, because most manufacturers make their manuals available in PDF format, if you have a tablet or e-reader, your problem is solved.  You can have all your PDF manuals and other PDF documents available to you on your tablet, reader or smart phone,  This post will guide you through loading PDF documents on your Kobo e-reader (the Touch, Mini, Glo, or Aura).  But, the same steps should work with other readers.  I will also tell you how to make your PDF documents available on your Android, iOS, and Windows devices.  The instructions assume you will be using a Windows computer.  I’d be happy to include Mac instructions if any Mac-using readers would like to donate a computer that I can use for research.

Start by collecting in a file folder on your computer one or more PDF documents that you would like to load on your reader.  As you might imagine from my introduction, I have a Drop Box folder on my computer named “Manuals.”  More on Drop Box at the end of the post.  If you don’t have the manual in PDF format, try searching the manufacturer’s Web site.  I have found PDF manuals for my tech devices, phones, appliances, and my car.

If you haven’t done so already, install the current Kobo PC app on your computer.  The installation is simple.  You will probably be asked to restart your computer to finish the process.

After the Kobo app is installed, attach your reader to your computer using the USB cable.  Your reader will display a screen that says “Computer Detected” and give you the option to connect or cancel.  Touch “connect.” Your computer should install the necessary drivers.  When the installation is complete, click Start>Computer and your reader should appear as a Device with Removable Storage.

My Computer

Double click on your reader and it will open the internal storage.

Now, click New Folder and name the folder “PDF Files.”  You can actually name it whatever you want, but life is complicated and this is one thing  you can make simple, so take advantage of the opportunity.

My computer 2

Once you have created the new folder, simply copy and paste or drag and drop into the new folder the PDF files that you would like to have on your reader.  When you finish, follow the instructions for ejecting your reader from the computer.

When your reader screen refreshes, you should see the newly installed PDF files.  If not, try opening the PDF document on your computer, saving it with a different name, and reloading it on your reader.  You must open the document and resave it with a different name.  Simply renaming the document without opening it is not enough.  I haven’t dug into why this fix works.

If you have the Kobo Arc or any other Android or iOS tablet or smartphone, I recommend using Drop Box to get PDF documents on to your device.  Install the app on your PC and your device.  The PC app will create a Drop Box folder on your PC where you can create sub-folders.  As I said earlier in the post, I have a Drop Box folder named “Manuals.”  There is a catch to using Drop Box, you must have a Wi-Fi or data connection the first time you open the PDF file so that Drop Box can download the document to your device.  After the document has been downloaded, it should be stored on your device and available to you when you need it.  But, I recommend you test it with your device and make sure you will have the information about changing a flat tire available to you when you are in the middle of nowhere with no data connection.

What kinds of manuals and PDF documents to you keep on your reader?  Leave a comment and let us know.  Remember that this is a family-friendly blog.


3 thoughts on “How to Load PDF Documents on Your Kobo Reader

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  2. carlos

    I’ve been having lots of problems with PDF files on my Kobo Arc. They all end up in a folder or tapestry on my reader screen and I can’t move them to any other folder. I’ll try the above instructions but I’m doubtful it’ll work. But thanks for sharing and especially so if it works!

    1. David Post author

      This method is how I have done it. You can connect the Arc to your computer and use the file manager to relocate the files. Let me know if it works for you.


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