How to Read .acsm files

Posted by Mayank on July 1, 2013 in How To

If you’re reading this post on how to read .acsm files, it is likely that you would like to read one of the ebooks issues from the library. The .acsm files are used by Adobe Digital Editions, a program used to manage and read eBooks as well as other digital publications; contains data to activate and download an eBook but does not contain the eBook itself; used to authorize, legally download, and read purchased eBooks in Digital Editions.

ACSM files are served to Digital Editions by Adobe Content Server. They can be opened directly in Digital Editions.

eBooks which are sold nowadays often come encrypted with Digital Rights Management (DRM). This is a way for publishers to restrict the way in which you use your downloaded content – primarily with the goal of preventing piracy.

Adobe Digital Editions supports a lot of devices. This list of supported devices can be found here.

How to Read acsm files

  1. Download Adobe Digital Editions on your computer.
  2. Create a free Adobe ID if you do not have one already
  3. Launch and login to Adobe Digital Edition to authorize your computer (this step is not mandatory). Go to Help -> Authorize computer with your Adobe ID
  4. Logon to the URL of your public library
  5. Download the book and you would be able to see it Adobe Digital Editions!
Note: You can download an .ACSM file to your computer. The .ACSM file is not the actual ebook. It is the pre-file which should trigger download of the actual EPUB or PDF eBook. If your computer is not configured to open downloaded files automatically, you may need to find the .acsm file and then open manually. To do this:
  •  Locate the .acsm file (It will likely be found in your “Downloads” folder)
  • Right click on the .acsm file (for Mac, Control + click)
  • Select “Open with”, then select “Adobe Digital Editions”

You can transfer eBooks to an eBook reader, such as the Nook or Kobo or Kindle or iPad.

How to Read .acsm files on an iPad

You will need the Bluefire Reader app to read .acsm files on an iPad. Search App store for “Bluefire Reader” and install the app.

To read the eBook on an iPad, you will have to transfer it to the iPad. Plug in the device to your computer, open iTunes, and manually add eBooks as an app.A dialog box will appear. Navigate to the “My Digital Editions” folder and select the eBook you want. (The “My Digital Editions” folder is located within “My Documents” folder in Windows and “Documents”folder on a MAC).
You can also download EPUB eBooks directly to a device using the Overdrive Media Console App, which is available for several types of smartphones and tablets. You can also transfer an ePUB or PDF eBook to as much as 6 devices as long as all those devices are tied to the same Adobe ID.


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