How to add custom screen saver images to your Kobo e-reader

By Microsoft 6 Min Read

Unlike Kindles, Kobo e-readers don’t have generic screensavers displayed on the screen when in standby mode. Not by default. Even on more premium models like the Kobo Libra 2 and Kobo Sage, your only options are your current book cover or a blank screen that says “Sleeping.”

Luckily, if you’re not happy with that out-of-the-box experience, a quick add to Kobo’s folder structure changes that. You can then add your own images, which will auto-rotate randomly through any assortment you copy to the device.

You can use one of two methods to get custom screensavers, assuming your Kobo is running firmware version 4.13 or later. Below are instructions for the simplest method, which is quick to implement but disables the display of current book covers in favor of new screensaver images. For older Kobo players or to have more control over what appears when your new Kobo is on standby or off, you’ll need to go to MobileRead forum for a solution created by user frostschutz.

How to add screen saver images to your Kobo e-reader

Step 1: Connect your Kobo to your PC.

Using the appropriate cable for your Kobo (e.g. USB-C), connect it to your computer.

Step 2: Let your computer manage your Kobo files

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When your Kobo prompts you to allow your PC to manage your eReader, click Connect button.

Step 3: Open your Kobo files

On this PC, the Kobo is recognized as drive E:/.

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Your Kobo e-reader will become accessible as a USB drive. Navigate to it using File Explorer. (The drive letter varies depending on how your PC is currently configured.)

Step 4 (optional): Back up your Kobo

As a precaution, you may want to create a backup of your Kobo’s storage drive. (Kobo hasn’t published any official documentation on this process—in fact, the knowledge mostly resides in the file MobileRead User Forum.)

The safest way to do this is to open a file explorer, then navigate to This pc and right-clicking Kobo. To select copy.

This method for copying is slightly inelegant, but it avoids the possibility of individual folders accidentally.

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After that, create a folder in the location where you want to store the backup. Inside that folder, choose Dough. Wait for the file transfer to complete. Before moving on to the next step, check a few files to verify that the copy process was successful. (You can open EPUB files with a free program like Caliber.)

Step 5: Create a “screen saver” folder.

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Open the folder named . If you can’t see it, go to View tab in the File Explorer window menu. Click the box for Hidden objects. Then create a new folder and name it .

Step 6: Add images

Composition Photos is a fun and thematically appropriate screensaver, but you can use any PNG or JPG photo.


You can now start adding images to your screensaver folder. Each file placed in this folder will become part of the randomly displayed set on the standby screen. If you want to show only one image, just copy that single file into the folder.

Both JPG and PNG formats work. For the best experience, crop them to your Kobo player’s screen resolution (e.g. 1264×1680 for Libra 2). You can find your Kobo’s screen resolution by searching online. Otherwise, the file will appear in the proper aspect ratio and will not completely fill the screen.

Looking for good images? Try royalty free sites like Unsplash, PexelsAND Pixabay. As for changing apps to crop files, check out our file recommendations top five free Photoshop alternatives.

Step 7: Eject the device

From the Windows system tray or File Explorer, eject your Kobo player as a drive.

Step 8: Change your device settings

To properly see your new custom screensaver images, Show Current Reading and Show Book Covers in Full Screen should be turned on in your Kobo’s settings.

Alaina Yee / Foundry

In your Kobo’s system menu, go to Settings > Energy saving and privacy. To see your screensaver files, the options for Shows the current reading AND Show book covers in full screen it should be checked. Put your device into standby mode. You should now see one of your custom screensaver images.

More tips

As mentioned above, adding custom screensavers in this way cancels the display of book covers in standby mode. To see your book covers again, rename or delete the screensaver folder.

This trick also works for standby mode only. If you turn off your Kobo, it will show the book cover for your current reading. To switch between custom screensavers and book covers in standby mode, or to set different images for standby and shutdown modes, you will need to follow these instructions on the MobileRead forums.

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