How to convert ePub to Mobi ebook format – for free

ePub and Mobi have emerged as likely the most popular ebook formats on the net, and If you find yourself needing to convert ePub to Mobi (whether it is because the Kindle supports the latter and not the former or for any other reason) then read on. This article will present FIVE different ways to perform the conversion.

As you might expect, ePub to Mobi conversions can be performed using downloadable tools running on your desktop as well as online tools that you can upload your ePub file to (and then download the converted Mobi version).  The tools presented in this post are all 100% free and include: Kindle Previewer (Windows, Mac), Convert EPUB to MOBI (Windows),  Calibre (Windows, Mac, Linux), 2Epub (online, browser based), and Free File Converter (online, browser based).

Here are the 5 tools. You can use any one of them to perform the conversion.

1. Kindle Previewer (Windows, Mac)

This software from Amazon is designed to give you a preview on your desktop of how any particular ebook file will be displayed on the Kindle, useful for when you are converting ebook formats and would like a preview of the result. However, Kindle Previewer can also perform ePub to Mobi conversions on the fly. It is available for both Windows and Mac, and can be downloaded and installed without requiring an Amazon account.

Here’s a step-by-step:

Step 1: download it here and install. You will need to accept the terms of use.

Step 2: run Kindle Previewer then drag and drop your ePub file onto the interface.

You will see a notification that is compiling the book (Screenshot on the left, below).

Step 3: Once the process is finished (and before actually previewing the book), you can access the converted Mobi file.

Click on the blue link in ‘The Output File Has been generated here’ notification in order to access your Mobi file (see the red arrow in the screenshot below, right). You may want to copy the Mobi file to the desktop and rename it, as Kindle Previewer adds a date string to the converted file name.

Kindle Previewer Screenshot1Kindle Previewer Screenshot2

 

2. Epub to Mobi (Windows)

A freeware that can convert ePub to Mobi in batch. It can process ebook files in batch and uses the same ‘engine’ that Kindle Previewer uses (Kindlegen from Amazon). However, you will need to download this file from the Amazon site separately and move it into the appropriate folder on your PC.

Step 1: download Epub to Mobi here and install it.

Step 2: download Kindlegen here, and extract it the archive into a folder using your favorite uzip program.

Step 3: copy ‘kindlegen.exe’ from the extraction folder and paste it in the ‘Epub to Mobi’ installation folder (this will typically be ‘C:\Program Files\EPUB TO MOBI\’ or on 64 bit PCs it will be ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\EPUB TO MOBI\’). If unsure, wait on this step and the program will tell you once you attempt to start a conversion (see below).

Note that you will need administrative privileges on Windows in order to do this.

ePub to Mobi Screenshot2

Step 4: run Epub to Mobi. Add some ePub files using the file menu  ‘File/Add Files’ or via Ctrl+O.

ePub to Mobi Screenshot

Step 5: run the conversion from the file menu  ‘File/Convert’ or via Ctrl+E.  Choose the output folder and press ‘OK’.

That’s it, you’re done.

 

3. Calibre (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Calibre is the world’s foremost open source e-book library management application. It can perform a myriad of ebook format conversion operations, including ePub to Mobi.

Note that Calibre is a very ambitious program, and is designed to manage your entire ebook collection rather than simply convert a file (or files).

Step 1: download Calibre here and install it. Note that it is a 44 meg download, and that there is a portable version if you like.

Step 2: run Calibre, then drag and drop your ePub file onto the interface.

Note that when you do this, Calibre immediately creates a copy of your file in it’s own ‘Library’ folder.

Step 3: right click on the book that appears in the list, then select ‘Convert books’ and ‘Convert Individually’

Calibre Screenshot1

Step 4: select ‘EPUB’ for input format and ‘MOBI’ for output format using the dropdowns. (They may both be selected by default, see screenshot below).

Next, click ‘OK’

Calibre Screenshot2

Step 5: when the conversion is finished, you can grab the MOBI file from the ‘Calibre Library’ folder. You can move it to wherever you want it.

An easy way to find the file is to simply right click on the ebook entry in the Calibre interface and select ‘Open containing folder’.

Calibra Screenshot3

That’s it, you’re done.

 

4. 2EPUB (online service, browser based)

Despite the name, this service can convert documents to and from a range of formats, including ePub to Mobi. Here’s the step by step.

Step 1: go to 2Epub.com using any browser.

Step 2: click on the ‘browse’ button (in the middle of the page), then select your file. You can select multiple files if you want. Click the ‘Upload Files’ link to start uploading.

2Epub Screenshot1

Note that you you can upload a maximum of 25 megs for a single file or all of your files combined.

Step 3: once uploaded, you can enter ‘Title’ and ‘Author’ data and even change the text encoding (if uncertain, leave it as is on ‘auto’). Click on the ‘Convert Files to EPUB’ to start the conversion.

2Epub Screenshot2

Step 4: Finally, right click on your book and select ‘save as’ to save it, or simply click on the ‘files.zip’ link to download all of your converted ebooks at once.

2Epub Screenshot3

That’s it, you’re done.

 

5. Free File Converter (online service, browser based)

Another free document conversion service that supports a wide array of formats. This one is similar to ‘2Epub’ above, but will allow you to upload a document as large as 300 megs.

Step 1: go to the Free File Converter service using any browser.

Step 2: click on the ‘Convert File’ tab, then press the ‘Choose File’ button and upload your file. Next, select ‘mobi’ in the output format dropdown and click the ‘Convert’ button.

Free File Converter Screenshot1

Step 3: after a brief wait, you can download the converted file from the links provided (including a zipped archive for faster download).

Free File Converter Screenshot2

That’s it, you’re done.

 

More options:

Although we stopped at five in this article (because sometimes less is more), there are a couple more free options which you might want to look at: Hamster Free eBook Converter for Windows (which uses the Calibre engine, and is a 48 meg download), and Convert.Files (another online conversion service).


Any thoughts, ideas, comments? Please share them in the comments section.


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • mckinley120

    How clean are these conversions, I mean, is the format and layout exact?

    • SamerKurdi

      @ mckinley: my assumption was that ePub documents do not feature too much formatting and already formatted to small-screen reading, and that MOBI will be equivalent to the ePub original. Although I could be wrong about it, this has been my experience converting several dozen ePub ebooks to Mobi.

  • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

    Surely ePub is the most popular and common format and most readers support it? I think we are on ePub 3 now.

    • SamerKurdi

      @ Carbonize: Kindle, strangely, doesn’t support it

      • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

        Reminds me of Apple forcing everybody to use AAC with the iProducts

        • nzjss

          Apple is NOT ” forcing everybody to use AAC with the iProducts”

          > All my music is Mp3 in ipod/iPhone, iPad etc
          > When you buy a song from iTunes simply use iTunes to convert it to Mp3

          • http://carbonize.co.uk/ Carbonize

            I never said they were doing it still now did I? No I was refering to when iPods and iPhones first came out when they only supported AAC so everything you synced got converted.

  • Kelcy

    I would suggest to your list of free software alkinea to convert a book to mobi and epub.
    K.

  • Fletch

    I tried the Kindle previewer but it didn’t work too well. Going to stick with Calibre.

  • Bassnlly

    Fixed Layout EPUB is very early in development and hasn’t yet becomea standard. It currently only works in Apple iBooks (I believe, could be wrong). If you go to the Lynda.com website, Anne-Marie Concepcion has done a title on creating Fixed Layout EPUB from Vibosoft ePub creator: http://www.vibosoft.com/ebook/convert-mobi-to-epub-mac-win.html.

  • guest

    Why bother with conversion? ‘ Mobi Reader ‘ can read both epub & mobi. or try the latest version of Sumatra PDF .

    • SamerKurdi

      I like Sumatra, but I am unaware of ‘Mobi Reader’ – do you have a link? Or did you mean MobiPocketReader?

      In any case, I would think people would who would want to convert ePub to Mobi are doing it because Kindle (ereaders and apps) do not support ePub,

  • kathine

    You might have gotten many eBooks in MOBI format which is readable on
    your old Kindle. Any way to read these eBooks on your newly bought iPad,
    without downloading or purchased them once again from the Internet?
    Sure! To convert MOBI to ePub,you need a third part software to help you.

    Read more here: http://www.coolmuster.com/epub/mobi-to-epub.html

  • PierreLe

    I know this is an old Topic, but you have to know that CALIBRE does that like mentionned but I personally use it to REDUCE considerabely the size of my EBOOK by convert them in MOBI format in calibre ant re-convert in Epub after the size is considerably reduced

    Ex: my original Epub was
    2.5 Meg The conversion to mobi bring it to
    422 k and re-conversion to Epub with Calibre is now 270kb.

    I did that modification on all my big Epub files
    The reading format is kept as the original,
    For those who have many books to place on the readers’s memory this is a BIG +

  • Emma

    Thank you for this page. Really helpful.