Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Permanently delete books? Amazon says no

Something that Amazon needs to address is the current inability to permanently delete something from the archived items or from content manager, depending on which Kindle you own. There are many reasons for someone wishing to do this.

Countless times I have read on various Kindle forums of people who wish to buy their adolescent child a Kindle and share the account, but are leery of doing this because some of their past purchases have been too racy for children that age. They want to be able to get rid of the books permanently.

It is not the only reason. If you have been at this for any length of time, you have accumulated a lot of books in the archive. Many of these you will never read again and maybe didn't even especially enjoy the first time around. We can't always make good choices.

And sometimes we latch onto free books just because they are free, and they didn't work out for us.

Currently, if an author decides to revise his or her book under the same ASIN number, so that previous buyers will receive the revision at no cost, the revision is not available for anyone who has annotated or bookmarked his copy. This is because of a glitch in Amazon's software. The only thing which will make the new edition available to previous buyers is to issue it under a new ASIN number. Go to the Kindle store and type in David Emberson in the search box. You will see three books, the first of which is The Kindle 2 Cookbook: How To Do Everything the Manual Doesn't Tell You by David Emberson (Kindle Edition - Feb 27, 2009). The third of these is The Kindle 2 Cookbook: How To Do Everything the Manual Doesn't Tell You (Alternate ASIN) by David Emberson (Kindle Edition - Feb 27, 2009). Sandwiched in between is the book for the K1 reissued. David had to do this alternate ASIN thing so that those of us who purchased and annotated the first book would be allowed to buy the 2nd edition. It was the only way.

Why can't Amazon devise a method of allowing us to permanently take books off of our virtual bookshelves? They shouldn't make it too easy or something you could do accidentally. Obviously it should be done from your Amazon account as opposed to doing it from the Kindle itself. I wouldn't even care if it came with a popup box asking if we were sure, and another warning you that you will never see this again. Make it as obnoxious as you want, Amazon, but please let us do it.

99 comments:

  1. It's now going to be even worse than this. I received a note yesterday from the DTP Administrator at Amazon saying that they were discontinuing the ability for a publisher to revise a title under a given ASIN and forcing them to get a new ASIN every time. In practice, what this means is that no one will be able to update an ebook, because they will lose all external links to the product page as well as their ranking on the Top 100 list, if they have one.

    Bad idea!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have just found your post. I've been looking to delete a book I dislike very much. I'm glad to find that I'm not alone in this. I sent an e-mail to Amazon support.
    Conny

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  3. A decent solution by Amazon would be that if you send the item to your "trash" from your collection on the Amazon web page (via my account... digital content... section) -- then they could remove it from you Kindle 2's archived section. They won't let you permanantly delete an item from your "trash" and that's fine, just in case you ever change your mind, and that's fine. I think it is stupid that they force us to keep items in the "archived items" folder that we have placed in our account's trash. Trashing the item should be sufficient indication that I am not just managing the space on my Kindle, but truly don't want to see it anymore.

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  4. Dear Amazon.... You should know that I, and other Kindle-ers are less likely to buy a book that looks somewhat interesting at the store or in a sample BECAUSE, if it turns out to be crap we're stuck with in on our archive library. And it's not a question of memory. I throw out regular books that are unfit for my library at home. I'd like to be able to show friends my archive as an honest sample of books I liked and would recommend to them.

    What's the point of freezing the archive????

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  5. Dear Amazon...I love my Kindle...would take nothing for it...BUT want to get rid of some books for GOOD and cannot. This is something that has limited the sharing of my device since I cannot rest assured my child will not see something out of her league that I choose for her not to see.
    I should be able to make these choices myself. Please FIX this soon!
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am currently on the phone with support who is completely unknowledgeable about this product as you have answered my question and she still has me on hold. I think it is awful (1) that they came out with the DX only a few mths after the 2, and (2) I don't want to see books I read already on my kindle, or put them in a folder of previously read items. I read series and the names are pretty similar, their current method just doesn't work.

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  7. I absolutely agree that Kindle needs to solve this issue. We should be allowed to permanently remove a book from our visible archive list.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm glad to see I'm not alone. I'm an adult and as such, sometimes want to read adult books. Some of those books have titles that are completely impossible to mistake for something else besides what it is. I'd love to show my mother how easy the Kindle is, but I won't in fear of her going to the archives and seeing that there!

    *Please* let us delete content at least off the Kindle, if not off the account.

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  9. I have read that it is possble to delete content from your Amazon media list online (it goes to traqsh), and that it will be removed from the Kindle archives. Does that work?

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  10. It is really annoying that I can not delete a non-fiction book I bought for my new Kindle DX. It turned out to be a dud, and I want it gone. I was about to sign up for a magazine subscription, but this issue gave me a pause. What about the magazine issues? Do they hang around forever as well? Am I going to have years of PC Mag issues cluttering the library list?

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  11. I have the opposite problem. I bought both 1984 and Animal Farm, by George Orwell, a few months back.

    Today I got emails notifying me that they were issuing refunds for these items. I looked and they have been permanently deleted from my Kindle. Talked to their rep in India (!) who admitted that the publisher 'unpublished' the book, so they came to my Kindle and removed them. I told their guy that in the future, I will keep my Kindle radio turned off until I've finished the books I've purchased.

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  12. I feel the exact same way. I don't want unwanted books in an archive.

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  13. does this qualify for a class action lawsuit?

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  14. It's ridiculous that we don't have this option. I have to believe Amazon will resolve this soon, as it is becoming very "loud" out here.

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  15. I just deleted a title that I didn't want by sending it to archives on the Kindle and going to menu and restart. When it restarted all of my archives were gone including the book I didn't want. It is still available to re-download online but at least I don't have to see it on my Kindle.

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  16. I suspect that your archives are going to turn up again. I do not want to lose my archives, merely be able to get rid of all the books that I have no interest in ever seeing again. Some are free books which I grabbed when available. Some are paid books that were not that great. I would be happy as a clam if (1) I could permanently delete what I wanted to and (2) could organize the archived books and my home page books into folders.

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  17. Good news: There is a way to delete unwanted materials from your Kindle. Not having any other models to test, I can only verify that this works with the 2nd generation, small Kindle.

    1) Connect the USB cable that came with your Kindle to a PC.
    2) When prompted, select "Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer."
    3) You should now see 3 folders named: "Audible, music and documents."
    4) Open the "documents" folder.
    5) From the "View" menu in explorer, select "Details." so that you can see all file details -- in columns.
    6) Click on the top of the "Name" column to sort all of your documents by name.
    7) You should see two files for each book you have on your Kindle. The extensions for these files are ".AZW" and ".MBP" The AZW file will be the largest of the two.
    8) For each title you wish to remove, select both related files and delete them. Don't forget you can hold down the "Ctrl" key to select multiple items in the list...
    9) Disconnect the USB cable from your Kindle.
    10) Turn the Kindle off, then back on.
    11) The deleted titles should now be missing from your Kindle home page.

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  18. The title will mysteriously show up in your archive. There must be a way to hack it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Much simpler solution to delete content. On the Kindle 2, scroll to the shaded line below the book you want to delete. Push the mouse button to the right and a menu will pop up - "Remove from Device" is the last option. Scroll to that choice, select and voila!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous of September 2:
    You miss the point. I already know how to get books off the Kindle. I want some of the books off of my Amazon account and that is what we can't do.

    Mary

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  21. When you "remove the book from Kindle device" it automatically goes to the archived. I want it gone, too.

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  22. I was just about to purchase a Kindle DX when I googled a final question: Can I delete a downloaded book to clean up disk space as I do with iTunes? Upon learning that I cannot, I have dropped the idea of owning a Kindle.

    ReplyDelete
  23. In response to the September 15th comment, yes, you can delete books from your Kindle. They just never leave your Amazon account. So you always have plenty of disk space on your Kindle.

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  24. I am in the same exact boat. Downloaded a book to liven up the 35 years together sex life, and now I need it gone off my Amazon content as my 18 year old son wants to use the Kindle given to his dad who doesn't use it. I spent most of the day trying to delete that *&^%$#^ book from my Amazon library or coming up with a reasonable explanation for my son. No luck in either case. The only solution I have been able to come up with is to close my existing Amazon account after loading everything I may want to keep on my Kindle, and opening a new one. This is ridiculous -- and customer service just kept repeating the instructions on how to get content off the Kindle -- either she was dumb as a rock or willfully misunderstanding because there is no fix. HELP!!!

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  25. yes, it is also a privacy issue. Sometimes you goof and hit the buy button on something unsuitable. You don't want to / can't return it for some reason and then boom you are stuck forever with the mistake.

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  26. I, too, want to be able to delete items from the archive. Same issue - I have books I want my pre-teen to be able to read, and books I don't want her seeing or knowing I read. When she's older, sure. Not now. This is a terrible problem. I actually AM NOT BUYING certain books that I would otherwise buy, because I can't delete them from my archive.

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  27. Yuck. Same problem - I want to be able to share age appropriate reading with my daughter, but not certainly EVERYTHING that I've read. Having age-inappropriate books sitting in the archives of my device is not good for curious minds.

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  28. Same issue. I did not realize there was no way to remove adult-oriented materials from the archive. We are all computer savvy, all used to pop up menus asking us if we are "sure" we want to delete something. I now have two archived Anne Rice books I did not realize were porn-ish, and now I can't lend the kindle to my kids. If I permanently delete a book and want it again later, I'll repurchase it. My kindle is now in a drawer, giving me no use and earning Amazon no money. Amazon fix this!!

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  29. I agree fix the archive problem!

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  30. was hoping someone had some ideas on how to clear archived items from the home page of my kindle dx. Like others, I am hesitant to let anyone handle my kindle because I don't want anyone to see what I have been reading. Has anyone suggested to amazon that they offer a password protect option if they won't let you erase or hide your archived items. This would also be helpful to keep anyone from picking up my device and ordering whatever they want.

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  31. I've got a different problem. While I was out of the country, subscriptions to two newspapers went to my archive. Filling up the archive, and I'd really rather they not be there. Hopefully Amazon will fix this problem.

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  32. I found a little work around to keep the content on my children's Kindle for iphone appropriate since we can't delete items from our achieved content. I register their iphone/ipod to my amazon account and then send the books that they want to their phones. After they open the kindle app on their iphone/ipod and the books finish downloading I deregister their iphone/ipods. Once you deregister their device they can no longer see the items in your archieves. Kind of a pain to have to register and deregister their devices every time they want a book, but at least we can still share content.

    ReplyDelete
  33. To Anonymous (October 17, 2009):
    Your deregistering the iPhone or Touch after adding a book has one more advantage. If the phone or Touch is lost or stolen, its new owner has no access to your Amazon account to buy books from it. On the other hand, do thieves read?

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  34. I am so happy to know that I am not crazy or stupid. I couldn't figure out how to delete a book and have emailed Amazon and received an answer that equates to "beating around the bush". Now I understand and am glad I am not alone in this matter! I hope Amazon gets the message and fix's this enormous problem!

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  35. How can we make sure this message gets across to Amazon. Jeff (or colleagues), do you read this blog? Has the above been heard?

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  36. Somewhere in the help files on Amazon, there is a way to send a comment to customer service. This is one way to communicate with Amazon. I suspect that someone from Amazon also monitors their own Kindle forum, so posting a message on there is a good idea also.

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  37. My fiance bought me a Kindle 2 for my birthday. I was super excited about it until I realized the romance novel I bought through Kindle on my iPhone was now on my Kindle 2. Not so much of a problem but my fiance expected that I would be showing off my new gift to my coworkers who are also avid readers. I spent endless time trying to figure out how to get the title off of there so I could share my good news without sweating it. Thanks for posting everyone. There has to be an easier way than this.

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  38. BUYER BEWARE! If you buy it, you own it for life! It would be such a simple thing to fix, and it would then become user friendly. I bought a book about Doc Holliday to see if there was anything in it that I had not discovered in the last 20 books about the man, as I am a historian. I should have known by the title it was smut. Now my teenager wants an Iphone, and hers can not have kindle because of this ONE book. And she is a big reader, much more than I. Amazon has lost a lot of $$$$$ from her alone. Let alone everyone else in this same boat!

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  39. This is the arrogance of big brother, or what else could it be? Being able to remove a book from your archive should not be rocket science, yet they ignore the obvious issue. I will not buy a Kindle if there is no way to remove my book purchase history. Think of the privacy issue. This is so bogus, I cant believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I was able to delete a book off my kindle when I plugged the kindle into my computer and did it from that as my terminal. Hope that helps.

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  41. To Anonymous (11/14/09). After deleting the book from your Kindle in any fashion, it will still be in your archived books.

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  42. Just another voice from the wilderness...Amazon, you're losing business for no good reason. Give me a delete function and make ME responsible for using it correctly. Why in the world would you ignore so simple a request by so many of your customers?

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  43. Some helpful advice for stowing any "racy" titles away from prying eyes until Amazon comes up with a "delete from archive permanently" function:

    "I would like to offer the suggestion of temporarily deregistering your Kindle from your account before showing it to someone that, as you mentioned, may not appreciate the "racy" titles in your Archived Items. Deregistering your Kindle will remove the Archived Items from your Kindle but will not remove the books you have downloaded. The downside to deregistering your Kindle is that you will not be able to browse the Kindle Store until it is re-registered to your account.

    "Another option may be to create a "dummy account" that you can register your Kindle to temporarily to show it off to people. There are lots of free titles on the site, and if you set up a credit card within the 2nd account, it will allow you to browse the Kindle Store without issues."

    - From Amazon's response to my "why-can't-I-delete?!" email

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  44. There must be some reason Amazon needs or has to keep books associated with the accounts. Maybe the publishers require it in their contracts so they can track demographic stats for marketing purposes or they are using it in contract negotiations with publishers. Whatever it is there is a reason. You gotta wonder how they can offer so many books for $0.00. Has to be some give and take in it and my guess this is the account holder's "give".

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  45. Amazon if you are reading this please allow us to delete books. I just bought your $489 DX for my 70 something year old parents and they are driving me NUTS with this delete issue. They keep calling me and telling me they can't delete the books and that they are still there in the archive. I am within 30 days and very close to returing the DX due to this. You don't understand my parents and you don't want to. I am going to have them start calling you guys and you can deal with them. They are old, grumpy and mean. They will yell at your TS reps and make them cry. I am serious. Please HELP!!

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  46. Everyone post this on your facebook... THEN we'll see some changes...

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  47. Wow. I am glad that I found this blog. I have been trying to clean up my archived books for months. I was hoping that, when the Kindle 2 updated software came to me, that would be an option. Not so. Good to know I am not the only one trying to unclog my virtual book shelf and get rid of the ridiculous romance novel I downloaded for free (like anyone would really pay for that c**p). Now I hope the Amazon geeks listen...

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  48. dude. just hook it up to your computer and delete the *.mb and *.mobi files...why is this so hard?

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  49. As a software product manager for the past 10 years, I am shocked that the Amazon/Kindle product management teams are not listening to their customers. Amazon is literally losing new sales of Kindle devices and e-books all because they won'd listen to the customer. Furthermore, they are losing free advertising by way of word-of-mouth. This is surprising to say the least. If you come here with this same problem, do what I did and email a link to this blog to Amazon by clicking on the Help button.

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  50. I would love to be able to delete books from my Archive!!!! It is very frustrating to me to not be given this option. I paid for it, I should be able to chalk it up to experience and then be able to forget about paying money for books that I do not want. I throw books away or donate to my local library all of the time.

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  51. You can now delete titles. In your Manage Your Kindle section, click on the + next to the book you wish to delete and you should see a 'Delete this title' button. Click that, and then yes to the warning message and the book will be gone from your Amazon account immediately and your archive the next time you sync your Kindle.

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  52. Just archive everything you don't want to see anymore, deregister your kindle, create a new amazon account, and register your kindle to the new account (just save the original account info. incase you want to reregister to get any of those books back again). Books on the home page stick with the kindle, books in archive stay with whatever amazon account they were purchased in.

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. Today is December 13, 2009 - today is the day I received an e-mail that described how to delete a book from the archives from Kindle Support. My son had downloaded 4 "porn" books on my Kindle and I have been in distress trying to delete them. I wrote support and the CEO - I received the following instructions and my KINDLE IS NOW SMUT FREE - HOORAY:

    1. to permanently remove a title from Kindle and Archived Items type amazon.com/myk on your web brower.
    2. go to "Your Orders" section. Find the title and click on the title .
    3. Then click on Delete Title to permanently remove.

    WIthin 5 minutes the titles were no longer there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallelujah! It works!

      Delete
  55. The problem is multiplied when you subscribe to a periodical like The New York Times. It archives all the old issues, even after I "delete permanently." It's not so permanent since a copy is still in my archives. Doesn't this use up memory? There has to be a way to "permanently permanently" delete content from the Kindle.

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  56. Amazon has now fixed this for us so that we can delete books from our accounts. For details, see my blog post of December 16, 2009.

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  57. Glad I found this forum. the solution works like a dream.

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  58. In my comment of December 16th, I forgot to include the link to the new blog post of that date detailing how to permanently delete books from your account. Here is the link:
    http://kindlereads.blogspot.com/2009/12/hallelujah-you-can-now-delete-books.html

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  59. No more comments for this particular post will be accepted since Amazon has solved the problem and made it possible to delete books from one's account. Thus, further comment is unnecessary.

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  60. FYI - this did not fix the problem!

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  61. Yes this did work for most of the books in the archive. But I one very stubborn book that refuses to go away. It is now off the your order list but I can not get out of the archive!

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  62. Would love to delete old books!!!

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  63. I have a book that I did not get from Amazon, that I feel I will have forever. Any suggestions.

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  64. YEAH! I finally figured it out! How to PERMANENTLY delete a book from your Kindle AND archives. You have to go to "Manage your Kindle" in your Amazon account online. Look for the book you want to delete and click on the + sign in front of it. A button will pop up that asks if you want to permanantly delete the book - go ahead. Then sync your Kindle or iPhone or iTouch and the book will disappear. *IMPORTANT* The book you wish to delete must be on the list under "manage your kindle", if it is not on that list you must go to "your collection" in your amazon online account and open the drop-down menu at the left-top of the page that says 'view your collection'. Then click on 'trash' and go through the steps to move the book from the trash back to your collection. The book should now appear in 'Manage your Kindle' and you can go through the steps in the beginning of this post to delete it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WORKED PERFECT!!! Thank you.

      Delete
  65. OMG, THANK YOU! I was emailing Kindle back and forth for hours last weekend trying to figure out how to do this. YOU ROCK!

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  66. Great, they fixed the problem for books. They have not fixed the problem for subscriptions. Same issue; I subscribed to something and ended the subscription prior to the "free" period. I was able to get it out of my Archives, but not off my account. There is no "delete" button in the "+" section for inactive subscriptions. Anyone have any suggestions?

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  67. Thanks. this is so helpful!

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  68. Very helpful advices, thank you SO MUCH!!!

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  69. Fixing a problem? Really? So every time I have to give my kindle to my daughter or my mother in law I have to delete all my adult items and buy them later back again! That is extremely good solution indeed! Everybody in this list are happy and singing hallelujah? So I am the only person in world who wants to read the adult content later again after hiding it ?

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  70. NO, you are not the only one. I suspect with the ipod book being released, and it having more capabilities, Amazon might figure out that they need to provide some capabilities. It's very annoying, and I'm ready to sell the kindle on ebay...

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  71. Stumbled across this forum from a Google Search — many thanks to "anonymous" of December 14 for finally passing on a working solution!

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  72. Many thanks to Anonymous of Jan. 23. I, too, was trying to delete books from my archive and couldn't believe Amazon hadn't provided for this eventuality. I was practically tearing my hair out and am gratified that this solution works.

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  73. I am adding my thanks to Anonymous of Jan. 23. Why aren't you working for Amazon/Kindle? You know more than they do! I was finally able to delete the books I didn't want even in Archived.
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  74. I bought a new kindle (I have one of my own) for my dad, I didn't realize until I de-register the new kindle that all my book transfer from the old to new kindle , so how do I delete the archived books on the new Kindle that I biought as a present for my dad?, with out delete everyting in my collection for my original kindle?, hope this make sense.

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  75. Thank you, Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!!

    Thank you again!!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Another Joyful Mother Here! Thank you thank you thank you!

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  77. Why are not my archived books to be found in the My orders list? The solution everybody is so thankful about doesn't work for me because my archived books do not appear on the list you can delete books from... This is driving me nuts now!

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  78. How do I solve this? If I delete books from Home in Kindle, they appear in Archive, and I cannot delete them there. I go to Manage my Kindle, and these books appear in the All your orders list, but there I cannot delete them either. I can delete books from the My orders list, but the archived books do not appear there. Am I missing something?

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  79. I can delete the "unfit" books off my AMZ Kindle for iPad by going to my online amazon account

    > Click "Your Account"
    > Scroll down to Digital Content then click "Manage Your Kindle"
    > You'll see the list of "You Order". Click the little plus sign in front of the title you want to delete.
    > Delete the title
    > Sync the Kindle App on your iPad

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  80. Thanks for the help to delete embarassing books from the iphone or the amazon-account. But I have another problem. I deleted an unwanted book from my amazon-account and it really did disappear :-). But this book still appears on my kindle for iphone in the trash list for archived items and synchronizing with the amazon-account doesn`t delete it. Who knows what to do?

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  81. Thanks so much anonymous Jan 23, 2010 poster! I had to go to the Amazon media library just like you said to view trash collection and restore it back before I could delete it from Kindles manage my orders section! Although... I had one more step. If the unwanted book is in your archives in kindle it automatically is deleted by going through this process, but the other one that was in Kindle home was still showing but I could then right click and delete it from device without it going to my archives. Thank you Thank you!

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  82. If you move the cursor to the book you want to delete, press the directional stick to the right and it brings up a menu. At the bottom of the menu it gives you the option to delete it. Once I did that, it deleted the books and samples I chose but for some reason it sent the Kindle user's guide to the archives.

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  83. Thanks so much for this helpful fix for deleting unwanted books..it worked just like you said, and I did have to restore 4 books from my Media Library Trash before I could actually DELETE them for good! I have been trying to do this for months now...THANKS!

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  84. thanks for that advice..pity it's not clearly in the kindle help..would have saved some time!

    ReplyDelete
  85. This solution works when you truly want to delete a book. But not when you want to show/lend somebody your Kindle without fear of what they see. The solution seems so obvious. Every book you own should either be in Home (i.e., on your device), in your Archive (i.e., available to, but off, your device), or simply on your Account, (i.e., not visible from your device, but available from your account to be sent to your Kindle). Pressing delete from your device should send it to the Archive (as it does now), pressing delete from the Archive should sent it to your Account. That way somebody can quickly clean up their Kindle on the spot without losing their purchases.

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  86. Connect your kindle to your computer and delete the unwanted books on the computer. Your Kindle will appear as an external drive with files in t. So you can remove any file inside it. I did it, it works.

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  87. My two dictionary does not show on the Kindle disk and I can not delete them. How come ?

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  88. If you want to remove the contents of your archive, log in to your amazon.com account. Plug the USB of your Kindle to your PC. Find the unwanted book. Delete it. Eject your Kindle from your PC. Check your archive.

    Voila, the trashed book is no longer there. It worked to me.

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  89. how do you delete them from the kindle app for iphone? books are the biggest battery life suck on my phone right now after music.

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  90. delete it from your kindle account at amazon.com and it automatically deletes the book from your iphone

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  91. I just got a kindle fire and I want to have a private account is there is no way to create a private library for my kindle cause I am going to be sharing it and well I like my books only for me ;p

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  92. I managed to remove books from Kindle using Calibre library management software. It's a free download, but you need to plug your Kindle to your computer to use it.

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  93. Delete it permanently from your kindle account at amazon.com. Works perfectly. No need for any management software.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  95. I have an ipad,i have bought lots of books for my kids from the kindle app, i have also just recently bought 50 Shades of Grey, is there a way to keep the kids books separate? Can you pass code protect this book so the kids can't read it? Can you have a different bookshelf for kids book purchases etc

    ReplyDelete
  96. You do not state which device your kids are reading on. If they are using the $79 Kindle, the latest upgrade allows you to restrict what books they have access to. If using any other Kindle or an iOS device, there is no way to close those off.

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  97. The book that I want to delete is still on my Kindle cloud; it does not appear on my account though.

    ReplyDelete