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Overdrive for Windows: Windows 8 and RT

download ebooks, audiobooks, streaming videos and music on your Windows computer

Windows 8 and RT Introduction

Windows 8 and RT


Image of Windows 8 and RT devices

Windows 8 devices feature a Start screen with live tiles, they can also run

in a traditional desktop mode.

Windows 8 devices can install Windows desktop programs as well as apps

from the Windows Store.


Windows RT is an edition of Windows 8 that is found on certain tablets.

Windows RT devices can install apps from the Windows Store,

but cannot install Windows programs.



Windows 8 and RT:

*Note: Windows RT devices only work with Internet Explorer.

Windows 8 only:

Compatible formats

Windows 8 and RT:

  • MP3 audiobooks
  • Adobe and Open EPUB eBooks
  • OverDrive Read
  • Kindle Books (U.S. only)
  • Streaming video

Windows 8 only:

  • WMA audiobooks and music
  • Adobe and Open PDF eBooks

Some examples of Windows 8 and RT devices

Windows 8:

Windows RT:

LAST UPDATED: SEP 15, 2014 01:36PM EDT


Get Started

Install OverDrive app for Windows 8

To install OverDrive's app for Windows 8, simply click or tap the Store tile, and search for "OverDrive."

Note: You can access the search function in the store by pressing Windows key + Q or swiping to the left from the right edge of the screen.

If you're using Internet Explorer 10 or 11, you can  install OverDrive directly from Microsoft with this link.

This version of OverDrive's app is compatible with Windows RT tablets (like the Surface RT and Surface 2) and Windows 8 devices.

Once you find the OverDrive app, select it then click or tap the Install button. After it finishes installing, OverDrive will show up on your Start screen.

Note: If you'd like to install the classic desktop version of OverDrive (which works with WMA titles)


How OverDrive's apps work in Windows 8

How OverDrive's apps work in Windows 8


The first thing you need to know is that Windows 8 comes in two basic flavors.

There's Windows 8, which can run legacy desktop apps, and Windows RT, which cannot.

Why is this important? If you're running Windows 8, then you can install OverDrive

for Windows 8 as well as OverDrive's desktop app.

How do I know which one I'm using?

  1. Open the Search charm (Windows key + Q or swipe left from the right edge of the screen).
  2. Type System and wait for search results to appear.
  3. Select System from the results.
    Screenshot showing system in search results
  4. A window will pop up in "Desktop mode" showing you which version of

       Windows you're using. 

  1. Screenshot showing the Windows version
    Note: Windows RT typically comes on tablets (like the Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2).

What's the difference between OverDrive for Windows 8

and the desktop version?

With OverDrive for Windows 8, you get live tiles and refreshed graphics for EPUB eBooks

and MP3 audiobooks. This version of OverDrive can be used with both Windows 8 and

Windows RT. Additionally, OverDrive for Windows 8 works with your OverDrive account 

to sync your reading progress, saved libraries, Adobe ID, and bookmarks across devices.

Screenshot showing the OverDrive for Windows 8 user interface

OverDrive for Windows 8 does not, however, support WMA titles.

If you'd like WMA (audiobooks and music) support on your Windows 8 machine,

then you'll need to use the  classic desktop version of OverDrive. This version can

only be used with Windows 8 because it requires "Desktop mode."

Screenshot showing the OverDrive for Windows desktop user interface

You can even install both versions of OverDrive if you're using Windows 8 (not RT).

That way, you can read eBooks, listen to MP3 audiobooks, watch streaming video,

and enjoy the refreshed user interface on the Windows 8 version, and use the classic

desktop version to enjoy WMA or WMV titles.

Note: With both OverDrive's desktop app for Windows and OverDrive for Windows 8 installed,

you can burn and transfer audiobooks from OverDrive for Windows 8.


How to use both the Windows 8 and desktop version of OverDrive on one computer

Installing both versions of OverDrive lets you borrow and enjoy more formats, and it lets you choose the user experience you like best. Just follow the standard instructions to install OverDrive for Windows 8 and the desktop version.

Note: OverDrive for Windows (desktop) is required if you want to burn titles to a CD or transfer titles to a mobile device. However, you can start the burn or transfer process from either OverDrive for Windows 8 or OverDrive for Windows.

How to open titles in the right version of the OverDrive app

We highly recommend using OverDrive for Windows 8 to browse for and download titles. This is the easiest option, as it will automatically open each title in the appropriate app.

If you're using Internet Explorer to browse for files instead, please follow the instructions below.

Audiobooks, music, and videos

When you have both apps installed, one of them will be the default program for ODM files, which OverDrive uses to download titles. Follow these steps to make sure the right app is used to download titles.

  1. After you borrow an audiobook, music title, or video, download and save it to your computer.
    To do that, right-click the Download button, then select Save As. Alternatively, you can select the Download button, then Save.
  2. Once the ODM file has finished downloading, right-click (or swipe down) on it (you may have to browse to where you saved it. By default, this is your Downloads folder).
  3. Select Open With, then choose the correct version of OverDrive:
    • WMA and WMV titles: Choose OverDrive for Windows.
    • MP3 titles: Choose OverDrive for Windows 8.1.
      Screenshot of Open with dropdown with OverDrive for Windows 8.1


eBooks (which are downloaded using ACSM files) open in OverDrive for Windows 8 natively. You can open them by tapping or clicking Download from the Bookshelf on your library's OverDrive website.

Note: OverDrive for Windows (desktop) does not work with eBooks.

LAST UPDATED: OCT 27, 2014 11:42AM EDT