Removing DRM From Books you Have Legally Purchased From Apple
The purpose of this guide is to help people who have paid for books in the app store legally remove DRM from them so that they can be opened using any ebook reading program you like rather than just being restricted to iBooks.
You might also find this process useful if you want to convert the books to mp3 and have them read with better quality speech than what Apple provides on the iPhone.
Please note, the process does take quite a long time, and although its simple, there are a lot of steps involved, and its not just a five minute job so its something you have to be determined to do.
I suggest that you should read all of my guide fully before beginning the steps that I describe as it is important to follow them.
To start, you will need to download the following software:
- Requiem 3.3.5
- iTunes 10.5.3
The links can be found at
You have to downgrade your iTunes as part of this process, because Requiem hasn't been updated yet to work with the latest iTunes.
Before we get started, you must remember that this method does not let you just help yourself to books from Apple, you must legally have paid for them for this process to work, and you can't use files other people give you. As books have to be authorised by iTunes to be viewable on your I device, so using someone elses files won't work as this authorisation is linked to your computer and iTunes.
So, before you downgrade your iTunes which you must do as part of this process, you should load your current install of iTunes, and if you haven't already, purchase the books you want to remove DRM from. If you have books which you have already paid for that you want to remove DRM from, you can of course skip this step, please pay for the books before downgrading your iTunes.
Now, please follow the below steps:
Uninstall your current iTunes, by going to control panel, in the case of XP add remove programs, and Windows 7 programs and features.
From here, you need to remove the following items
in this order:
- Apple Software Update
- Apple Mobile Device Support
- Apple Application Support
Now that you have done this, you need to go to your my documents folder to back up your iTunes library, this is needed, as part of this process will involveadding the book to a new iTunes library, because the downgraded iTunes will be unable to read the current version of it.
So, go to your my documents folder, find the folder called my music, go into it and look for the folder called iTunes.
Now, I think you don't need to back up the folder called iTunes media, but please back up all other files in this folder, these might be different on yourindividual computer, but hopefully you should have all of these or at least most, if you don't see some of them, I guess it might be that windows has hiddenthem.
The files that I backed up were:
- Album artwork
- Previous iTunes Libraries
- iTunes Library Extras.itdb
- iTunes Library Genius.itdb
- iTunes Library.itl
- iTunes Music Library.xml
- and sentinel
In my case, I just backed my hole iTunes folder up, though I suspect a lot of people will have a lot of music in there media folder unlike me, so that's why I suggested not backing that up.
If you are worried, by all means make a backup of it as well, the best way to be a hundred percent safe is just to back your entire iTunes folder up under my music.
So, now that you have done all the backing up you want, please delete all files apart from your iTunes media folder found in the iTunes folder in my music.
Please also go into the iTunes media folder and then go to books and delete any that are there that you want to remove DRM from, we will be redownloading them later. also, if you have them on your iPhone in iBooks please delete them from there as well, as we will need to sync them back to iBooks later as part of this process.
Next, please install the iTunes old version you downloaded earlier.
Make sure during the install that you uncheck the box that sets it to automatically upgrade the iTunes software.
Once the install has finished, please launch iTunes.
You will find when you launch it that your iTunes is empty and isn't displaying any content, don't worry that's why I told you to back your library up earlier.
Now, sign into your iTunes account using your ID and password.
Go to preferences and advanced, then check the box that says keep my iTunes media library organised, and also check the box that says copy files to library when adding files to library, then apply those changes.
Now, you need to go to iTunes store on the source list and search it, you must download iBooks, or add it to the library from your old library backup.
Now, you need to search the store, but this time for the books you want to remove DRM from, if you have paid for them it should just give you the option to download them and not ask you to pay again.
Once you have done the above, you need to then select to sync the books in iTunes, and maybe also apps by checking the right boxes in iTunes, you do this from the device section of the sources list where your iPhone is shown, so you have to connect your phone.
Once you have done the above, you then have to sync your phone, it will tell you that the phone is synced with another library and ask if you want to erase the phone and sync with another library. You must allow this to happen, and if you have other purchased items on the phone, its up to you if you want to copy them to the new library, you won't be keeping it permanently.
The sync should only delete books from your phone, and leave other content alone.
It's important that the books you want to remove DRM from are synced to the phone, as during the sync the books are authorized for accessing.
If all of the above has worked, the books you want to remove the DRM from should be on your phone.
Now, close iTunes, and find the zip file of requiem 3.3.5 you downloaded earlier and unzip it.
Open the folder after extraction and press enter on the file called requiem.exe.
Assuming you were able to sync the books you want to remove DRM from after a few seconds requiem should be able to remove the DRM. The program isn't very accessible with jaws, so you will know when it is finished as it will say requiem finished on the screen. Requiem does create a log file of what it has done under windows 7, in users, user name, app data, roaming, and then look for requiem.log it will put books with DRM on in your recycle bin, and leave files without DRM in your media folder, so you should check if they can open with an epub reader, and if they can back them up.
If DRM removal was unsuccessful its possible syncing didn't work or something else.
If the book an open using an ordinary epub reader, then you have been successful, requiem automatically converts any books with DRM in your iTunes library when run, I don't know if it can do audio books though.
Once you have finished removing DRM from books, you can then upgrade your iTunes back to the latest version, and restore your iTunes library from the backup you took earlier. The way I did it was just to copy my iTunes folder to another location and then when I had finished paste it back to my music, overwriting the folder already there.
Of course, you will need to sync it again with your phone to restore any books that were removed from your phone when you synced the phone with the old iTunes version.
You can also remove any books with DRM on from iBooks if you like.
Please note, that removal of DRM does not remove identification tags from decrypted files, so this means if you pass books round without removing tags you could possibly be identified.
I believe there is software to remove such tags, but I haven't really investigated this, as I use this method simply to allow me to read books how I like using better quality speech and programs other than iBooks. I haven't past content around which I have removed DRM from, and I strongly discourage anyone else from doing so.
I posted this guide to give people flexibility and freedom not so they can decrypt books and pass them to other people, if you do though, just be careful.
I know this guide has been very long, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions please ask.
I suggest that you ask them before starting out on this process, as I wouldn't want people to get half way through and then get stuck, I will do my best to help where possible, I have only done it a couple of times though.