How to Use the Kindle App for PC

Download and read books on your Windows PC or laptop

You don't need an Amazon Kindle to read Kindle books. With the Kindle app for Windows, you can enjoy the latest bestsellers and literary classics on your laptop or desktop computer. Here's how to read Kindle books on a PC.

What is the Kindle App for PC?

Kindle for PC comes with the same features as Amazon's popular e-book reader. You can place bookmarks, highlight text, and add notes. You can also adjust the text size and page formatting to your liking. Plus, Kindle for PC is compatible with most versions of Windows, including Windows 7 through 10, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, and Windows 98.

There is an older version of the Kindle reader app called Kindle for Windows 8, but it's no longer supported. You can use it, but consider upgrading to Kindle for PC to enjoy new features and updates.

A stack of books beside a laptop
Mayur Kakade / Getty Images

How to Create an Amazon Account

If you don't have one, create an Amazon account to purchase and read Kindle books.

  1. Visit amazon.com.

  2. Move your mouse cursor over Accounts & Lists in the upper-right corner of the page, but do not select it.

  3. Select Start Here from the drop-down menu, located below the Sign In button.

    The "Start Here" link on Amazon
  4. Fill out the registration form. You must provide your name, an email address, and a password for your account. When finished, select Create Your Amazon Account.

  5. You're redirected to the Amazon home page. Select Accounts & Lists to be taken to your account page.

You can now download free Kindle books. If you want to purchase books, set up a payment method. Select Payment Options on your account page and provide the requested information to make purchases on Amazon.

How to Download Amazon Kindle for Windows

No matter which version of Windows you have, the steps for setting up the Kindle for PC app are the same:

  1. Visit the Kindle for PC download page and select Add to Cart.

    Kindle for PC download
  2. Choose your payment method and select Proceed to Checkout.

  3. Select Place Your Order.

  4. On the next page, select Your Digital Items.

    Amazon order confirmation page for Kindle for PC
  5. Next to Kindle for PC, select Download.

  6. Open the file when it finishes downloading. Kindle for PC should install automatically.

  7. Kindle for PC appears on the desktop or in the apps list inside the Amazon folder. When you open it, you're prompted to provide the email address and password for your Amazon account.

How to Read Kindle Books on Your PC

If you have a Kindle, or if you have the Kindle app installed on another device, you can download any books you purchased. Your bookmarks, notes, and progress should all transfer over. Select All under the Library options, then select the cover of the book you would like to read on your PC.

The Kindle for PC app library page

Use the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner of the app window to sort your books by title or author, or enter a title into the search bar.

How to Purchase Kindle Books for Your PC 

Follow these steps to buy a new Kindle book on your PC.

  1. While connected to the internet, select Kindle Store in the upper-right corner of the app window.

    The Kindle Store button
  2. You're taken to the Amazon website in your default browser, where you can browse thousands of titles.

    The Kindle Store has plenty of free books. Check out the Amazon Cheap Reads for Kindle list.

  3. On the product page, select Buy Now with 1-Click to deliver the title you want to all your devices.

    The "Buy now with 1-Click" button on Amazon

How to Use the Kindle App for PC

Here are a few tips to help you become proficient with the Kindle for PC app:

  • Turn pages by selecting or swiping the right or left side of the screen. Alternatively, use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.
  • To adjust the font and page layout, select Aa near the top of the app window.
The font and layout settings for Kindle for PC
  • To set a bookmark, select or tap the upper-right corner of the page. A blue symbol appears, indicating the bookmark was successfully placed. 
  • To make a note, right-click anywhere on the page, or press and hold if using a tablet. Select the index card symbol in the left pane to create flashcards.
  • To view your bookmarks, highlights, flashcards, and notes, select Show Notebook in the upper-right corner.

There's a similar Kindle App for Mac and a Kindle app for Chrome that lets you read books in a browser. See the Kindle apps help page for more details about how to access your books on any device.