How to Backup, Move and Export Your Library in Calibre

How to Backup, Move and Export Your Library in Calibre

Have you ever lost your files? Crashing hard drives and accidental deletions teach us that there are two kinds of people: those who backup their files and those that will start to backup their files. Thankfully, calibre comes with tools to do just that – quickly and easily. That way you won’t lose your collection the next time your laptop crashes.

How to Export Your eBook Library

If you want to prepare for a disaster or just move your collection to your new device, make a backup. To export your calibre library:

  1. First, click on the “[your library name]” button on the main screen and select “Export/Import all calibre data”. 
  2. Then, choose “Export all your calibre data”. 
  3. In the dialog box select the library you want to export and click “OK”. 
  4. Finally, select the folder where you want to save your backup in. 

This process will create a series of 1 GB-large files with your whole library. You can then save it on a backup drive, burn them to DVDs or just stash them away somewhere safe.

How to Import Your eBook Library

You exported your library. Now, to restore your library after a loss or move it to your new computer, you need to import it:

  1. First, go to “Calibre library > Export/Import all calibre data” once again.
  2. This time select “Import previously exported data”. 
  3. Then, find the source folder of your backup. 
  4. And finally, specify where to save it.
  5. Then, click “OK”.


How to Move Your eBook Library

Say you have two hard drives and the one that has your collection on it is getting full. You decided to move it to another drive. To move your library to another location: 

  1. First, click on your library’s name and select “Switch/create library…” 
  2. On the next screen select the new path for your library and click the option to “Move current library to new location”.
  3. Finally, confirm by clicking “OK”. 

Now your library is in the new location!

Cloud Services Are Another Option

If you want to access your library from any location and keep an additional backup, but for some reason do not want to use calibre’s server option, you can add your library to the cloud service you use (e.g. Dropbox or OneDrive).To do this, you must either move your library to your cloud service location on your device (e.g. your Dropbox folder) or add the library’s folder to be synced in the cloud’s settings. Just remember that if you do that, the cloud service provider will have access to your library. Note that there are also some 3rd party tools to help calibre and cloud services cooperate.Important note: using cloud services with calibre is risky and may lead to data loss. It is known that Google Drive is not compatible with calibre. Use those services at your own risk and always make a backup.To minimize this risk, synchronize your library with only one cloud service and only when calibre is turned off. Read more in the manual.So, there you have it – the basics of staying safe with calibre.
This blog post was contributed by Bartosz Makuch, a Freelance Software Copywriter. He studied Physics and Management and loves to write stories that move people. In his spare time he listens to classic rock and reads sci-fi novels. You can find him at

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