Kindle Notepad App – Notes Back up to your PC or Mac

Kindle Notepad App (just $1) stores your notes as Text files and there’s an easy way to transfer them over to your PC or Mac. This post will walk through it.

Jump to the end of the post for a video showing how to do this.

Kindle Notepad – Backing up your Notes on a PC (making a copy of your Notes on your PC)

One Line Version

You are looking for this folder: Kindle > .active-content-data > 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026 > work > user.

When you plug your Kindle into your PC or Mac via USB cable your Kindle will show up as a disk drive – It will probably be Kindle (D:) or Kindle(F:) or Kindle(Some letter) on your Computer.

You find the above folder. Copy all the Notes in that folder. Paste them into a backup folder on your PC like C:/Documents/NotepadBackup – and you’re done. It’s important to do a copy-paste and not move the note files (if you move them then they are gone from Notepad app).

Detailed Version

1) Plug your Kindle into the USB cable you got with the Kindle. Plug the other end into your PC (or Mac).

2a) You should get an auto-start dialog that either opens up the Kindle as a drive and shows you the folders on your Kindle, or gives you options. If it’s the latter, choose ‘Open Folder to View Files’.

2b) If you don’t get the dialog above -> Go to ‘Computer’. You can get here by left clicking on the Start Button (Windows Logo at the bottom left of the screen) and clicking on Computer in the items listed.

********
At this point you should have your Kindle open as a drive with some folders showing, including -

.active-content-data
documents
music
etc.

We’re interested in .active-content-data

Then in this folder – 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026.   The e0026 at the end is the easy way to find it.

Then – the work folder

Then – the user folder.

*******************

At this point you should be in the R:\.active-content-data\8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026\work\user folder.

Where R: is whatever drive your Kindle shows up as. It could be D: drive instead of R:.

Think of it as – Kindle > .active-content-data > 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026 > work > user

************************************

This folder holds your notes. They are simply text files. You can open them using Wordpad or Notepad. You can copy and paste them, or drag and drop them. They’re just like any other file on your PC.

Drag these files to a folder on your computer = Moving Notes from Notepad Kindle App to PC.

Drag text files from your PC to this folder = Moving text files to Notepad Kindle App

Please Note: When making a backup to your PC or Mac you should do a copy and paste. If you do a ‘Move’ then the notes will be gone from Notepad. So, do a copy of all the notes in the work/user folder. Then go to your backup folder (let’s say it’s C:/documents/NotepadBackup) and do a Paste there.

Please leave a comment if you have further questions.

Making a Backup of your Notepad Files on your Mac

It’s the exact same process. The only twist is that the .active-content-data folder is considered a hidden folder on Mac and won’t show up until you use a software like Houdini. After that, the other steps are identical to the ones above.

When you get the Kindle to show up on the Mac, the .active-content-data folder doesn’t show. This is because on Mac it’s considered a hidden file. So you have to use a workaround to see that folder – http://www.mactricksandtips.com/2008/04/show-hidden-files.html.

After that, it’s easy because it’s just like written above.

Please let me know if you need further help with Mac. The key part that’s different is using Houdini (or some other method) to reveal the hidden folder ‘.active-content-data’.

Note: Use Houdini only to make the ‘.active-content-data’ folder visible. After that you don’t need it and should be using your normal File Explorer software (perhaps it’s called Finder on Mac) to copy and paste files.

Kindle Notepad App – Accessing Backup Folders (the Notepad app’s in-built backup slots)

The backups you make in the Kindle Notepad App (the in-built backup feature) are also stored as text files. There is one folder per backup and the folder has all the notes saved in that Backup as text files.

the work folder has a backups folder. That’s where your backups are kept. They are also kept as text files and can be accessed easily.

So Kindle > .active-content-data > 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026 > work > backups

There are 7 folders in the backups folder (might be less if you made less backups).

folder named ‘Slot 0′ – first backup slot
Slot 1 – second backup slot
Slot 2 – third backup slot
Slot 3 – fourth backup slot
Slot 4 – fifth backup slot
Slot 5 – sixth backup slot.

folder named ‘auto backup’ – This is where your automatic weekly auto-save of your Notes is kept. This is only present in Notepad V1.1. This is done by Notepad app automatically and you don’t have to do anything except make a backup of it to your PC or Mac for safekeeping (a copy-paste and not a move).

Please note that over-writing these folders or the files in these folders will overwrite the backups. So you should not do that.

Again, you should only do a copy and then paste of these folders. If you move them then they will be missing from the Notepad app.

Kindle Notepad – Backing up your Notes on a PC Video

Note: If anyone has a Mac and can volunteer a video or detailed instructions – that would be greatly appreciated and would help lots of people.

A simple video – It will only work if you click the little HD icon/button on the top right of the video image.

You could also try:

How to transfer - http://vimeo.com/21718353 if the video on this page doesn’t work for you.

Please let me know if anything isn’t clear or if you have further questions.

24 Responses

  1. I just want to thank you so much for making this app/It is exactly what I was looking for. I tried to figure out how to transfer notes between my Kindle and computer but I run Linux and could not find the correct files to use. Any ideas?
    Thanks

    • you’re very welcome Anne.

      For Linux do you get the Kindle show up as a drive?

      How do you transfer books to your documents folder?

      You’ll have to do something similar.

      Go to the drive/folder represented by the Kindle. Then switch to .active-content-data folder. Then to the folder ending in e0026. Then work, and then user.
      If you list the files in this directory it’ll show all your notes as text files.

      If you let me know a little more about where you’re getting stuck I might be able to help you.

  2. This is a great app. Thank you!

    I’m just wondering if you plan to support diacritics (accented letters) used in other languages like é, è, ç, ü, etc. in the future.

    • At this point – no. However, I have added this to our list of features to consider. Please do keep in mind that there are no other requests for this and we are not sure if KDK can handle these characters – so we will consider it but probability is low.

  3. [...] Posts Kindle Notepad VideoKindle Notepad Help – Detailed Help for Kindle Notepad AppKindle NotepadKindle Notepad App File TransfersTop 25 Kindle [...]

  4. Hello, first off I wanted to thank you for a great Kindle app. I recently upgraded from a Kindle 2 to a Kindle 3 and this was the first app I downloaded and was very pleased. I tried to watch the video above on transferring data from my pc to the Kindle, and it doesn’t play for some reason. I also looked in the PDF notepad file on my desktop and can not find the answer there.
    Thank you for your help,
    Chris

    • Christian, the video will play if you click on the little HD icon.

      When you first click the Play Icon you get a blank screen. On the top right is the little icon that says HD. Click that and it will play.

      Let me know if it still does not play.

    • Also, at the Kindle Notepad Help page there is a document called Kindle Notepad Transferring Notes (Kindle format). You can download that to your Kindle and move to page 2 and 3 for an answer.

      • Thank you kaizenboy….the video worked! And I was able to transfer the “Kindle Notepad Transferring Notes” doc to my Kindle. I really appreciate your response and solution….many thanks!

      • You are welcome Christina.

  5. I just downloaded and used Houdini to copy notes from my Kindle to my macbook pro and vice versa. But now when I open up my Kindle the notes are all gone but when I plug it into my computer all the notes appear when I open up my Kindle icon on on my laptop. So they are still there but are now invisible on my Kindle. What do I do to get them back?

    When I try to select the files to hide them again it gives me an error and says it can’t find the files but when I try to reveal them it says they are already visible.

    • 1) Notes have to be in text format and have to be in this folder -> Kindle > .active-content-data > 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026 > work > user.

      Else Notepad cannot access them. Notes being in the Kindle’s main folder isn’t good enough. They have to be in that exact folder (user folder + user folder in the long directory/folder ending in e0026).

      2) Houdini should only be used to locate the .active-content-data folder. After that just make a shortcut to this folder (Kindle > .active-content-data > 8a5982e82ae68fb2012bc688405e0026 > work > user.) and use that. Please do not ‘hide’ or ‘show’ any of the individual note files.

      3) Please make a copy of your notes and paste a copy to Mac. It’s not advised to ‘move’ all of them out of the user folder. That just increases the chance something goes wrong.

      4) You have to save notes you create on your Mac in plain text format. Most Note-taking Mac apps have an option like ‘Plain Text Format’ or ‘Save as Plain Text’.
      *****************************

      Based on what you’ve written it seems that you moved the Notes from your user folder to the main Kindle folder and Notepad can no longer access them because they are not in the user folder.

      The other possibilities are –

      They are not in text format.
      They are ‘hidden’ or something by Houdini.

      I’ve sent you an email. If the things above don’t help – please email me a few examples of these notes that don’t show up on your Kindle.

  6. [...] goes wrong. Please read this post for how to transfer files from Notepad to your PC – Kindle Notepad to PC file transfers. And then make sure you do a backup of your notes on your PC before doing the [...]

  7. [...] more information check out: http://kappreview.com/2011/03/17/kindle-notepad-app-file-transfers/ Related posts:Amazon Kindle, better than [...]

  8. [...] goes wrong. Please read this post for how to transfer files from Notepad to your PC – Kindle Notepad to PC file transfers. And then make sure you do a backup of your notes on your PC before doing the upgrade. Secondly, if [...]

  9. Is kindle notepad available in Amazon? The page show “Pricing information not available.” and “Not currently available”.

  10. My kindle3 firmware is version 3.1. But, my folder of .active-content-data is empty. I try to search work folder in other folder include documents, audible, music and system (hidden folder). I can’t find work folder. Where could the note data store?

  11. thanks. I guess
    Because I am out of US, Amazon does not sell notepad to outside of US.
    Because I do not have notepad, so my .active-content-data is empty.

  12. Will notepad work with Kindle Touch?

    • No. We are working on a Notepad for Kindle Touch. There’ll be a post on the blog when it’s approved by Amazon.

  13. I have a PC with Windows 8. When I connect my Kindle and click on the Kindle HD connection in Explorer, I do not see the folder .active-content-data. Please help is needed ASAP.

    • I’ve emailed you. That folder is hidden by default. You’ll have to choose the option in Windows 8 to show Hidden Files & Folders.

    • Or you can just type in the folder name in the navigation bar at the top.

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