Microsoft Reader FAQ

eBooks in this format are no longer sold at eBookMall.

In August 2011 Microsoft announced that it was going to discontinue Microsoft Reader. According to their website, they will provide access to download the Microsoft Reader software until November 2012.

You will be able to re-download your old Microsoft Reader eBooks until August 30th, 2012. After that date your old download links will not work. Because of this, we recommend that you download them as soon as possible.

Basic Instructions

This is the basic process for setting up Microsoft Reader, activating it, and downloading Microsoft Reader eBooks. Refer to the additional FAQ below for more detailed information.

1. Download Microsoft Reader and install on your computer.

2. Sign in to your Passport or Windows Live ID. If you've previously used a Passport or Windows Live ID to activate Microsoft Reader, make sure to use that same account.

3. Activate Microsoft Reader

4. Download your eBook

General Information

Now that Microsoft Reader has been discontinued, how long will I be able to download my Microsoft Reader eBooks?

What software do I need to read Microsoft Reader eBooks?

On which eReaders and devices can I read Microsoft Reader eBooks?

What are the system requirements for Microsoft Reader?

How do I change the font size?

How can I read my Microsoft Reader eBooks on a new or second computer?

Setting Up Microsoft Reader

How do I install Microsoft Reader?

What is a Passport or Windows Live ID?

What is activation?

How do I activate Microsoft Reader?

Why should I activate Microsoft Reader?

Troubleshooting

I get a message saying that I don't have ActiveX Controls enabled.

When I download my eBook, Microsoft Reader opens but the eBook is not displayed.

I've already activated Microsoft Reader, but I keep being prompted to activate again.

If I already have eBooks in the older version of Microsoft Reader, should I activate the new version using the same information?

What is "Microsoft Passport Mismatch"?

How do I re-activate Microsoft Reader with a different Passport or Windows Live ID?

I downloaded a Microsoft Reader eBook, but I didn't get the option of where to save it. Where did it go?

My eBook downloads to a temporary folder but when the download finishes nothing has actually downloaded.

Windows Mobile and Pocket PC

How do I transfer eBooks from my computer to Windows Mobile/Pocket PC?

I've already updated and activated Microsoft Reader, but it keeps telling me to do it again, so I can't download my eBook.

How do I activate Microsoft Reader on Windows Mobile/Pocket PC?

Windows Mobile 5.0: Microsoft Reader won't activate because it says my device is too old.

I get an error that says: "The digital security software that protects this eBook has been updated. You must re-activate in order to open this title. Please go to www.microsoft.com/re... for additional information."

 

Answers

General Information

Now that Microsoft Reader has been discontinued, gow long will I be able to download my Microsoft Reader eBooks?

In August 2011 Microsoft announced that it was going to discontinue the Microsoft Reader software. According to their website, they will provide access to Microsoft Reader until November 2012. eBookMall will keep your Microsoft Reader eBooks available to you for as long as we possibly can, but we recommend that you download them as soon as possible. In the meantime we are continuing to keep this FAQ page available to you for your reference.

What software do I need to read Microsoft Reader eBooks?

Microsoft Reader

On which eReaders and devices can I read Microsoft Reader eBooks?

Windows PC:

Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT4 SP6, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Windows Mobile:

Windows Mobile 2003 based Pocket PC and Phone Edition devices
Windows Mobile 2003, Second Edition based Pocket PC and Phone Edition devices
Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1 Classic and Professional devices

What are the system requirements for Microsoft Reader?

Windows PC:

Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT4 SP6, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7. Full system requirements can be found at the bottom of the download page.

Windows Mobile:

Windows Mobile 2003 based Pocket PC and Phone Edition devices
Windows Mobile 2003, Second Edition based Pocket PC and Phone Edition devices
Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1 Classic and Professional devices
Full system requirements can be found at the bottom of the download page.

How do I change the font size?

Go to the Settings area and you will see a bar that you can use to change the font settings.

How can I read my Microsoft Reader eBooks on a new or second computer?

1. Install Microsoft Reader on the additional computer.

2. Sign in to the same Passport or Windows Live ID that you used when you activated Microsoft Reader on your original computer.

3. Activate Microsoft Reader on the additional computer.

4. Download your eBooks directly to the additional computer. (Copying the eBooks over via email or an external drive won't work.)

Setting Up Microsoft Reader

How do I install Microsoft Reader?

1. Go to the Microsoft Reader download page and click the download link.

2. In the File Download box, select Save this program to disk.

3. Save the file named "MSReaderSetupUSA.exe" to your hard drive.

4. When the download is completed, locate MSReaderSetupUSA.exe on your hard drive and double-click the file to begin installation.

What is a Passport or Windows Live ID?

Windows Live is the new version of Microsoft Passport. It's a free account from Microsoft that lets you use their services like Hotmail, Windows Messenger, XBox Live, and others. It's also used to activate Microsoft Reader.

You might already have a Windows Live ID. If you don't, you can sign up for one for free.

What is activation?

Activation is the name for the process that ties together information from your Windows Live ID and your hardware devices. Activation uses this information to create a permission code that's stored on your device. This permission code enables you to access Microsoft Reader eBooks that are protected by Microsoft's eBook DRM.

How do I activate Microsoft Reader?

1. Sign in to your Windows Live or Passport account. If you don't yet have one, create one for free.

2. Go to the Microsoft Reader Activation page and click on the "Activate Now" link to start the process.

For more information, follow the Activation Tutorial or read the Activation FAQ at Microsoft's website.

Why should I activate Microsoft Reader?

Activating Microsoft Reader will allow you to use your Microsoft Reader eBooks on more than one computer or Windows Mobile device. It also allows you to re-download Microsoft Reader eBooks in the future, in the case of a computer upgrade or lost data.

If you do not activate Microsoft Reader, you will only be able to use your eBook on the computer that you used to download the eBook. If you skip activation and need to download the eBook again in the future, you will likely encounter an error message that will prevent your download from working.

Activation should be completed prior to purchasing any Microsoft Reader eBooks.

Troubleshooting

I get a message saying that I don't have ActiveX Controls enabled.

To enable ActiveX controls, open Internet Explorer and go to Tools > Internet Options > Security and click on "Custom Level." Scroll down to "ActiveX controls and plug-ins" and select "Enable".

When I download my eBook, Microsoft Reader opens but the eBook is not displayed.

Microsoft Reader uses your temporary internet files folder (or cache) during the download process. If this folder is full, your download won't be able to complete.

You can clear out this folder in your browser. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options. In the middle section called "Temporary Internet Files" click the "Delete Files" button.

I've already activated Microsoft Reader, but I keep being prompted to activate again.

There are three common things that cause this error:

1. A misunderstanding of the term "activate".

Activation is more than just having the program open or running. It's a process similar to registering the software. Follow the instructions in this FAQ.

2. An outdated version of Microsoft Reader.

Sometimes when an older version of Microsoft Reader is installed, it won't interact with the activation process correctly. Download and install the newest version.

3. Browser security settings too high.

Your browser security settings might be set so high that our website isn't able to properly detect whether you have Microsoft Reader installed and activated. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options > Security and lower your level of security with the slider. You can always return to a higher level of browser security after your eBook download is completed.

If I already have eBooks in the older version of Microsoft Reader, should I activate the new version using the same information?

Yes. Make sure that when you activate you use the same Passport account or Windows Live ID that you used previously.

What is "Microsoft Passport Mismatch"?

This error occurs when Microsoft Reader is activated with the wrong Passport or Windows Live ID.

Examples of situations that might cause this:

- You reinstalled Microsoft Reader and didn't activate it again.
- You downloaded the eBook to a different computer in the past, and Microsoft Reader on that computer was activated with a different Passport or Windows Live ID.
- You've gotten the eBook as an email attachment.
- You forgot your Passport or Windows Live ID, then activated Microsoft Reader with a new account.

Microsoft's eBook DRM is set up so that any Microsoft Reader eBook that is protected by DRM can only be opened in a copy of Microsoft Reader that has been activated with the correct Passport or Windows Live ID.

If you have accidentally activated Microsoft Reader with the wrong account, you can redo the authorization. Follow the instructions in the next FAQ.

How do I re-activate Microsoft Reader with a different Passport or Windows Live ID?

1. Sign in to the correct Passport or Windows Live ID.

2. Activate Microsoft Reader.

I downloaded a Microsoft Reader eBook, but I didn't get the option of where to save it. Where did it go?

When Microsoft Reader is installed on your computer, a folder called My Library is automatically created in your My Documents folder. Microsoft Reader eBooks automatically save to that location when downloaded.

My eBook downloads to a temporary folder but when the download finishes nothing has actually downloaded.

Microsoft Reader uses your temporary internet files folder (or cache) during the download process. If this folder is full, your download won't be able to complete.

You can clear out this folder in your browser. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Internet Options. In the middle section called "Temporary Internet Files" click the "Delete Files" button.

Windows Mobile and Pocket PC

How do I transfer eBooks from my computer to Windows Mobile/Pocket PC?

First, make sure to activate Microsoft Reader on your device with the same account that you used to activate Microsoft Reader on your computer. Follow these instructions.

After you finish activation, you can then transfer the eBook to your device:

1. Make sure your Windows Mobile device is connected to your PC via the cradle or USB.

2. Double-click the ActiveSync icon on your desktop, then click the Explore button at the top of the button bar to view the Mobile Devices folder.

3. Double-click the My Pocket PC icon, then double-click the My Documents folder. (If your Pocket PC has a storage card, you won’t need to perform this step. Instead, click Storage Card, create a folder called My Documents if it doesn’t already exist, and open it.)

4. Locate the My Library folder on your PC. It should be located in your My Documents folder.

5. Resize and align the ActiveSync and My Library windows so they are side by side.

6. In My Library, select the Microsoft Reader files that you want to copy, then drag and drop them into the My Documents folder in the ActiveSync window to complete the process.

I've already updated and activated Microsoft Reader, but it keeps telling me to do it again, so I can't download my eBook.

Even if you're only planning on reading the eBook on your device, you must still install Microsoft Reader on your computer, and activate it. Follow the instructions above to do this.

How do I activate Microsoft Reader on Windows Mobile/Pocket PC?

1. While on your Windows Mobile device, use Internet Explorer to go to the Microsoft activation page at http://das.microsoft.com/activate/en-us/default.asp

2. Sign in with your Passport or Windows Live ID.

3. Click the "Activate Your Pocket PC" button.

You must activate through a tethered desktop or laptop connection. Internet Explorer components are required to activate Microsoft Reader on a Windows Mobile device. Specifically, Pocket IE does not support ActiveX controls (downloaded during activation) and does not support the screen size of the device.

Windows Mobile 5.0: Microsoft Reader won't activate because it says my device is too old.

Download and save this file.
(Download by right-clicking on the file and selecting "Save Link As" or "Save Target As".)

Install it by following these instructions:

1. Cradle your device
2. Open ActiveSync on your PC
3. Let the device sync up to the PC
4. Click on the "Explore" button in ActiveSync
5. Go to Tools > Folder Options
6. Go the "View" tab
7. Go to the "Hidden Files and Folders" section
8. Check "Show hidden files and folders"
9. Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
10. Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files"
11. Close the "Folder Options" dialog
12. Click on the "My Windows Mobile Device" folder
13. Click on the "Windows" folder
14. Drop the file attached into this folder
15. Soft reset your device
16. Once the device has been soft reset you may once again attempt Activation.

I get an error that says: "The digital security software that protects this eBook has been updated. You must re-activate in order to open this title. Please go to www.microsoft.com/re... for additional information."

This error usually occurs when you've loaded the eBook onto a memory card. Please try moving the eBook to the main memory of your device.