How to open .lit files

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 9, 2008
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Software, Windows software

I recently came upon a .lit file and was puzzled at first because I did not have any application installed on my system that could read and display the .lit file properly. A web search told me that it was a format for the Microsoft Reader, an e-book reader for Mobile PCs with another edition available for notebooks and desktop PCs.

The .lit file extension stands for literature and it seems to be rather common on Windows Mobile devices. Since I never have owned one it was completely unknown to me. Microsoft Reader is an old program, last updated in 2005, that is available for several languages and operating systems.

The PC version comes with an optional Text to Speech module which reads the texts out loud if so desired. It is possible to convert .lit files to open standard files by using a program called Convert Lit which is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Update: Microsoft has discontinued the Microsoft Reader application effective August 30, 2012. The program has been pulled from the Microsoft website which states the following:

Microsoft has discontinued Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012 which includes download access and activation of the Microsoft Reader from the Microsoft Reader website. However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices. New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format was discontinued on November 8, 2011.

Your best option right now is to convert the lit files into another format. A free program that can do that is ABC Amber LIT Converter which you can download from Softpedia. The program reads Microsoft Reader .lit files and converts them to Adobe PDF, HTML, RTF, CHM, TXT, DOC and a variety of other formats.



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  1. Craig said on September 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I wouldn’t recommend ABC Amber LIT Convertor. I have a few books that used it to convert into MOBI. It advertises itself in the text every couple pages and it’s not a very accurate conversion besides.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Craig, which program do you recommend?

  2. Sophia said on October 21, 2011 at 7:47 am

    very helpful
    thank you very much

  3. Felicia said on January 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    download this first OK
    after that you can read the e-book

  4. mitch said on December 17, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Does anyone know how to transfer the files so that they are readable on a sony reader? I donwloaded Microsoft Reader to my PC, and I cant seem to figure out how to transfer them to my device.

  5. svfx said on August 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Cannot express my gratitude fully to Martin and everyone who has posted a comment. I tried the convert lit program at first but it was too confusing. In the end, I downloaded calibre and followed Marhabu’s instructions. Worked like a charm. Cheers once again!!!

  6. marhabu said on August 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Sorry for double post. It seems like Calibre wont automatically associate lit files with its self-contained ebook viewer.In this case, you can add lit files to your library and then click view in the toolbar on top or right click menu option to open them.
    Calibre is available on Linux and Windows but I am not sure about OSX.

  7. marhabu said on August 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    you can use open source calibre ebook management software to view lit files.

  8. St4inl3s5 said on May 29, 2010 at 3:51 am

    To Martin: fanx man
    To those who still can’t access your .lit files after reading through…go get a good education!!!

  9. wency cortez said on April 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks a lot for this information… It was really helpful especially for me who is not that computer literate.

  10. ipsita said on March 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    that ws sm help..
    how i ws eager to open that file!!

  11. James said on February 18, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    How can i read an lit file plssssssssss

  12. wyatt said on November 21, 2009 at 1:28 am

    HELP! I have an ebook in .LIT format. I would like to transfer this file to my itouch/ipod in order to take it with me so i can read it on this device. How can I convert it? or transfer it? or whatever?? lol.

  13. sagar said on September 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    thanks for “microsft reader”.
    now i read them

  14. D. Spaten said on April 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Heya. Just had to do a search for this file suffix, then I remembered I’d worked with these before. IF the .lit files are giving you issues, there’s a brilliant freeware converter called “ABC Amber LIT converter.” Very fast and pretty user-friendly, and it can translate the .lit files to pretty well anything you need. (.pdf, .doc, .txt, and several others.)

  15. Wraith said on March 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Try changing the filenames to .txt or .html, and the like, Stephanie. Martin is probably right, someone who didn’t know what they were doing probably changed the filenames.

  16. Anonymous said on January 28, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    thank you very much! you made my day!

  17. Martin said on December 27, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Stephanie maybe it is not a real lit file but another file type that has been renamed.

  18. Stephanie said on December 27, 2008 at 5:09 pm


    I downloaded some .lit files along with microsoft reader and after slogging through the ‘activation’ of said reader, it was unable to read the files. I next downloaded a Coverter which again was unable to convert the files. Why?

  19. Cynthia B. Demented said on December 16, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    What program can I use if I’m on Mac OSX?

  20. Vivek said on March 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    I always found reading a book on Mircosoft Reader to be a better experience than Adobe PDF

  21. Dante said on March 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Cool. I’ve downloaded a copy just in case I need it in the future. I currently read hundreds of “free” ebooks right off of the Usenet on my PDA phone. Very convenient.

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