How to Completely Remove a Book From Your Kindle Library

You’ve probably been happily reading ebooks on your Kindle (or the Kindle app) for years, accruing a nice digital library full of interesting titles. But what if, for some reason, someone else needs to see that library of yours…and there are some items within that you’d rather they didn’t? Say, perhaps, one of those steamy romance novels that makes up a massive 34% of fiction sales in US?

Don’t worry, dear reader. We’re not here to judge your taste in fiction. But if for some reason you want to scrub your Amazon Kindle library clean of any not-so-family-friendly novels, here’s how to do it.

Removing Downloaded Books vs. Removing Them Permanently

For the sake of clarity: this guide is about completely removing a novel or other item from your Amazon Kindle Library, not removing a downloaded book from a linked Kindle or a Kindle app. Books that are downloaded and then deleted are still available as near-instant downloads from your personal Kindle Library, linked to your Amazon account and viewable online.

Removing an item from an individual Kindle is easy: long-press the book in the Home page, then tap “Remove from Device.”

On the Kindle smartphone app, it’s very similar, but you can long-press to select multiple items, then press the delete icon or “remove from device.”

Actually banishing the book from your library completely is a bit more complex.

Managing “Your Content and Devices” on Amazon

In order to remove a book from your cloud library entirely, you’ll want to use a laptop or desktop computer with a full web browser (a mobile browser will do in a pinch, if you have to). Go to the “Manage Your Content and Devices” section of your Amazon account: click this link to go there directly.

This page shows you everything you’ve purchased on your Kindle via Amazon. The link above takes you specifically to “Books,” but you can use the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner to select magazines, audiobooks, or even apps from the Amazon Appstore. We’ll stick to books for this demonstration.

You can find any single item in the list just by looking, but it might be faster to sort through the list with the “Sort By” drop-down menu, or simply do a manual search with the search bar on the right side of the window.

Once you’ve found the book you want to zap away, click the “…” menu button to the left of the title. In the pop-up window that appears, click “Delete.”

You’ll get one more warning, saying that deleting the item will permanently remove it from your Kindle Library. If you ever want to read this particular book again, you’ll have to re-purchase it at full price.

If you’re sure you want the book out of your library, click “Yes, delete permanently.” Poof, it’s gone forever.

Michael Crider has been covering technology on the web since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order. He wrote a novel called Good Intentions: A Supervillain Story, and it's available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter if you want.