Adobe Digital Editions not allowing me to return library e-books
February 21, 2018 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I just got a new laptop, and installed Adobe Digital Editions on it. I'm an avid library e-book borrower, and have lots of holds on books. In the past, on my previous computer, all I needed to do to return a library e-book was right-click on it in ADE, and select the Return Item option, and it would be returned with no fuss. However, since putting ADE on my new laptop, that no longer works. I get an error that reads "Error returning item. Please authorize your computer first."

I HAVE authorized the computer. I have tried erasing the authorization and re-authorizing; no luck. I have tried uninstalling and re-installing. I have combed through the forums on the Adobe site. I have just spent over an hour waiting on hold in the Adobe customer service chat, only to be told that yeah, they don't actually do any support for Digital Editions, too bad, guess you're stuck.

Has anyone else had this happen? How the heck do I fix it? Yeah, I could just let the e-book loans expire on their own, but I don't WANT to. Especially when I have holds coming in, and cannot check those holds out until I return the items I have borrowed. (There's a limit of three e-books at a time through my local library.)
posted by sarcasticah to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Have you mentioned this to your librarian(s)?
posted by zamboni at 12:01 PM on February 21, 2018

Can you let me know what operating system you are using and what version of Adobe Digital Editions? And, just to confirm, your laptop is online, right? Depending on your library system, your library may be able to "force" a return of the item for now while you figure out what is going on. I worked for Open Library dealing with a lot of this crap day in and day out (it's terrible software except for all the other software which is worse) and it's a headache. One other question, are the items you are trying to return only checked out on one device, or are you reading them on multiple devices?
posted by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Contact the library through whom you borrowed the books, and ask for their electronic resources/technical support staff to help you troubleshoot this. They can also contact the vendor(s) that hosts the ebooks you've got out on loan, explain the situation to them, and request that they release those loans for you, since you can't do it for yourself at this time.
posted by Lunaloon at 12:07 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Perhaps try Bluefire Reader instead? I haven't, but have heard it works as a replacement
posted by kbuxton at 3:08 PM on February 21, 2018

I am my librarian! I can go into Overdrive and return items myself at work, but I prefer the convenience of doing it at home. And it's so weird that it wasn't a problem before I installed ADE on the new computer. Is it a Windows 10 thing, I wonder?
posted by sarcasticah at 3:11 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Jessamyn, it's the most recent ADE, so 4.5? And Windows 10, ugh. I am not a Windows 10 fan.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:13 PM on February 21, 2018

Librarian here! It's not just you. I have had a lot of difficulty getting Adobe Digital Editions to play nicely with Windows 10 too. I've gotten a variety of different answers from Overdrive and Adobe including your computer has an incorrect timezone, there is something wrong with Adobe's authentication server, firewall blocking, etc. I usually advocate that patrons use Overdrive Read in their browser and then follow these instructions if they want to read the book offline. Of course, this doesn't help if your don't have the Overdrive Read function or it isn't offered for that particular book. Another option is trying Overdrive's new app called Libby which you can download from the Microsoft store onto your computer.
posted by AdagioCantabile at 3:34 PM on February 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh man annoying! My best guess is that there's a small phone-home aspect to Adobe that there may be some sort of Windows 10 safety/security thing blocking. I'm not sure if it's possible to disable the firewall even temporarily on your new machine but I might try that. I'd love to know if there's some way to make this work.
posted by jessamyn at 4:05 PM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

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