Kobo Offline

First boot

Avoid being forced to connect your e-reader to the internet and to create a Kobo account

When you start a Kobo e-reader for the first time, it blocks any interaction until you run the setup software (Win/Mac only) or connect the device to a WiFi point. This initial setup will do two things: it will force you to create a kobobooks.com account, and it will update your device's firmware.

Some users would rather not connect their devices to the internet or create online accounts because of privacy concerns, while others may not be interested in buying e-books on Kobo's online marketplace. Furthermore, there's no setup software for other OSes like GNU/Linux, so you're left alone with the WiFi option.

Skip device registration

There is a simple way to by-pass the above mentioned restriction. The Kobo reader will skip it whenever a user is detected by its firmware. We could achieve this by editing the internal device database. There are two ways to do it: one for average users, and other for tech savvy ones.

Easier option for average users

  1. Install DB Browser for SQLite and open the KoboReader.sqlite file that you will find in the .kobo/ directory.
  2. Click on the Browse Data tab and select the user table in the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the New Record button to register a new user. A new row will be added. Then you can edit each cell value by double-clicking on them.
  4. Enter a random name (e.g. "Foo") in the UserDisplayName cell.
  5. Enter a random e-mail address (e.g. "bar@baz.qux") in the UserEmail cell. It doesn't need to match the standard e-mail address format.
  6. Save the changes by clicking FileSave changes.

Straightforward option for tech savvy users

Assuming you already have a command-line shell for SQLite 3…
  1. Open the database by running $ sqlite3 ./.kobo/KoboReader.sqlite in a terminal (Linux, Mac) or command prompt (Windows).
  2. Add a new record to the user table by running the following query:
    INSERT INTO 'user' (UserID, UserKey, UserDisplayName, UserEmail)
    VALUES (3, '', 'Foo', 'bar@baz.qux');
    You can change those values. UserID is a NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY. UserEmail doesn't need to match a well-formed e-mail account.
  3. Exit by running .exit.

Update E-reader Firmware

Get the latest official firmware right from Kobo

How to Install Offline Firmware Updates

Download the appropriate ZIP file for your device from the list below. Then connect your Kobo e-reader to your computer using a USB cable. Extract the ZIP file contents into the .kobo folder of your Kobo e-reader. Finally, remove your Kobo e-reader with security and your e-reader will refresh itself and start the updating procedure automatically.

Firmware Downloads

Adding Dictionaries

Get official dictionaries right from Kobo

How to Install Dictionaries

  1. Download the appropriate ZIP files from the list below.
  2. Connect the Kobo e-reader to your PC with an USB cable.
  3. Copy the dicthtml.zip files to the .kobo/dict/ folder on the device. Do not extract the ZIP files content.
  4. Safely disconnect the e-reader from your computer.
  5. In the e-reader, tap the menu icon at the top left corner, and navigate to SettingsLanguage and dictionaries.
  6. There you can read: "X dictionaries installed". Tap the Edit button at the right.
  7. Enable each dictionary you have downloaded by clicking on the + button at their side.

Dictionary Downloads