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Apps for Research & Writing: EBSCO eBooks

A guide containing recommended apps for research, ebook reading, and document storage, sharing, annotating and citing.

Checking Out and Downloading EBSCO eBooks on a Computer

You don't need to download an ebook to read it! In fact, if you are only using a chapter or two of the book, it is probably easier to use it within the browser instead of downloading it.

Note: In order to download eBooks, you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer. We recommend ensuring you have the most recent version of Digital Editions installed. This is a free download available at

To learn more about installing Adobe Digital Editions, please see: How do I install and authorize Adobe Digital Editions?

If you don't want to use Adobe Digital Editions, you can download and read eBooks within the EBSCO mobile app. Please see: Download and read books on a mobile device.

Downloading an eBook

To download an eBook:

1. Click the Download icon for the eBook you would like to download.


If you are not logged into your My EBSCOhost folder, you are prompted to do so. If you don't have an EBSCO login, you will need to create one.

2.Select a Download duration from the drop-down menu and confirm that you have Adobe® Digital Editions or equivalent reader software installed. (If you are on a tablet device, you must confirm that you have Bluefire Reader or an equivalent app installed.)

Note: For some titles, you may see the option to select either the PDF or ePub format for an eBook.


3. Click the Download button.

The eBook is added to the Checkout area of the folder, accessible from the upper-right corner of the EBSCOhost interface.

4. Select to Open or Save the file from the resulting dialog box.

If you Open the file, your eBook is opened with Adobe® Digital Editions.

If you Save the file, the eBook is saved to your computer and can be opened with Adobe® Digital Editions at a later time.

5. When a downloaded eBook is opened, it is displayed in Adobe® Digital Editions.


If when trying to download an eBook to Digital Editions you receive the following error message, E_AUTH_BAD_DEVICE_KEY_OR_PKCS12, you may need to completely remove any authorization using ctrl-shift-D to Adobe Digital Editions (cmd-shift-D if on Mac). Then restart Digital Editions, and reauthorize with your Adobe ID.

When downloading an eBook using the Chrome browser, the download will not automatically open but appears in the download bar at the bottom of the browser as URLLink.acsm. Click the download in the bar and select Open to open the eBook or select Always open files of this type to automatically open future EBSCO eBooks downloads in ADE.

Download and read eBooks on a mobile device

The EBSCO Mobile app provides library users with an easy way to download and read titles from their library's EBSCO eBook collections. In addition, the app enables you to download eBooks and read them in the app without needing an Adobe ID or the Adobe Digital Editions app.

Downloaded EBSCO eBooks can be read in the app while offline if you have not logged out of the app. Simply access the downloaded eBook from your Liked items or the Recently Viewed list on the Home screen of the app.

Note: You must be signed into the App with your personal user account in order to download eBooks. If you are signed in with institutional credentials, you will be prompted to sign in with your account, unless the eBook is available without DRM restrictions.

See the EBSCO Mobile App Quick Start Guide on EBSCO Connect to learn about creating a Personal Account in the app.

To download eBooks on the EBSCO Mobile App:

1. Tap the magnifying glass in the menu at the bottom of the screen, enter your search terms in the search box and tap Search on your device's keyboard.

image of search box

2. After receiving your results, tap the Source Type filter below the search box.

image of narrowing by search type

3. Tap the eBooks filter in the list and click Apply.

4. Tap an eBook result to see the details or download the title to the app.

image of ebook search results

Note: You can tap the Like button to add it to your Liked Items.

5. Tap the Access now button to view your reading options.

The details page tells you have many copies your institution has available for reading.

image of details page

Note: If you are not signed into the app with a personal account, you are prompted to log in with your personal account or create one within the app when you tap the Access now button. Once signed in with your account, you are able to read the eBook.

6. Tap Download e-book to check out the eBook and download it to your device to read it offline.

Tap Read online to read the eBook in the app while you are online without downloading it to your device.

Note: The ability to read eBooks online is currently available in the EBSCO app for iOS devices. Support for Android devices is coming soon.

image of access now options

7. After choosing to download the eBook to your device, use the plus/minus buttons to select a checkout length and tap the Download e-book button.

image of checkout length options

    The eBook is downloaded and opened in the app.


  • If you have reached the simultaneous eBooks checkout limit set by your institution, you will be alerted by a message in the app instead of seeing the Download button.
  • If the title you have selected is not made available for download by your institution, you will be alerted by a message that recommends liking the title in the app and reading it while online in your device's browser.

Placing a Hold on an eBook

If the eBook you have chosen to download is in use by another patron, and if your library offers Holds capabilities, you have the opportunity to place a hold on the eBook to download when it becomes available. Sign into your personal My EBSCOhost folder account (if not already signed in) and click Place Hold to be notified when that eBook is available for you to download.


The eBook is placed in the Holds area of your My EBSCOhost Folder. When the eBook is available, you are notified via the e-mail address associated with your account and the eBook appears in the Checkouts area of your folder.

After you check-out and download your eBook:

  • You may choose to transfer your eBook to your Adobe Digital Editions-compatible eBook Reader device.

  • You can re-download the eBook from your My EBSCOhost folder at any time during your checkout period.

Note: Users may also checkout an eBook for download at a later time.

To Checkout an eBook with the option to download at a later time:

  1. Click the Download icon for the eBook you would like to download.

  2. Select a Download duration from the drop-down menu and click the Checkout & Download button.

    If you are not logged into your My EBSCOhost folder, you will be prompted to do so.

  3. Select Cancel from the resulting dialog box.

    The eBook has been added to the Checkouts area of the folder and can be downloaded at a later time.