I have downloaded a book from Google Play. The book is a .acsm, which actually isn't the book itself but just a purchase ticket that allows me to download the book on Adobe's servers. I installed Adobe Digital Editions on my computer and downloaded the book. Which programs allow me export the book into a DRM-free PDF?

Any OS or license is fine, but it should be gratis (unlike ebook-converter.com's ePub to PDF Converter).

This is how I exported the book from Google Play's My Books:

Google Play;s My Books Export Menu

In ADE, the print function is grayed out, so I cannot get away with virtual printers it seems:

Adobe Digital Editions File Menu

  • 1
    I've heard there were some Calibre recipes for that (to free eBooks from DRM) – but as I never needed that, I've not dug deeper. While waiting for answers, that might be something you want to look into. Search for "calibre remove drm" to find the articles. Calibre is free/gratis, so it should match your needs.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 10:48
  • Franck: How did you download the ebook in ADE? In ADE, what menu items did you select to do that? Thanks.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 23:37

2 Answers 2


You can use Calibre for this, which was already recommended multiple times for book conversion. An Article named DeDRM plugin for calibre describes a plugin to achieve exactly that:

The DeDRM plugin can remove DRM from Kindle eBooks […], Barnes & Noble ePub ebooks […], any ebooks using Adobe Digital Editions DRM, and the older Mobipocket and eReader ebooks.

(emphasis mine)

The article describes in detail how to install, customize and use the DeDRM plugin, and was obviously written by the plugin's author. The plugin itself can be found at Github.

While I'm using Calibre for years (and am quite happy with it), I have not tried that addon myself. But seeing it having been starred at Github almost 1.000 times, forked almost 100 times, and watched more than 100 times, seems pretty convincing :)

Step-by-step instructions for Microsoft Windows 7.

  1. Install DeDRM pluging:

Calibre Preferences Menu

Calibre Preferences Plugins

Calibre Add plugin window

  1. Import ADE books into Calibre (The DeDRM calibre plugin removes DRM from ebooks as they are imported into calibre):

Select books window enter image description here

Adding books

  1. Save the DRM-free PDF somewhere else on the disk:

enter image description here

  • Glad to read, @FranckDernoncourt – and thanks for adding the details!
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 23:21
  • @FranckDernoncourt and Izzy Thanks. Does this method work on Ubuntu, given that Calibre works on Ubuntu? Is it free, though if you are willing to pay I pointed to a tool that might work.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 8:06
  • @Tim afraid neither Franck (who according to the screenshots uses it on Windows) nor myself (I run Linux Mint, but never had any ADE documents nor do I want to) have tried it on Ubuntu. If you do, be welcome to let us know!
    – Izzy
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 10:56
  • @FranckDernoncourt and Izzy I downloaded an ebook from a library. It has .acsm extension (Adobe Content Server Message), and only 2kB. It is not actually a ebook. Now I can access the book only in browser. Is it possible to download the book, so that I can try the method here?
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 11, 2017 at 3:36
  • Downloaded an eBook in Adobe Digital Editions (4.5) to my Windows laptop (8.1). Used this to get the pdf. It worked like a charm, thank you!
    – Sarah
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 14:17

I created a program called Knock to convert ACSM files to DRM-free PDF files at the command line on Linux:

[user@computer:~]$ knock ./example.acsm
downloading the file from Adobe...
removing DRM from the file...
DRM-free PDF file generated at ./example.pdf

The program is gratis and libre. It doesn't use Adobe Digital Editions and it doesn't use Wine. It is completely free and open-source software for native Linux.


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