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Is there any place where scans or PDFs of instruction booklets can be downloaded?

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Yes, from Lego themselves, for sets from 2002 onwards.

D-N-D Bricks have a lot of older sets' instructions.

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Great tips, both links. Thanks! – Reven Oct 25 '11 at 20:47
Link to Lego site is broken – bakoyaro Aug 19 '14 at 14:03

These sites are absolutely marvellous:

(Having just spent some time looking through these, I just don't know why I hadn't tried looking for this stuff before.)

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If you have an Android device, the app Lego Scans is also very convenient.

Ever lost a LEGO® scan or you maybe want to take a trip down memory lane? This app enables you to browse through 4000 LEGO® scans by box number or by theme. You can choose to save the scan image files to your SD card for offline viewing! This also enables you to view the scan in your favorite image app!

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The following sites all have instructions:

Android Apps

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Unfortunately the app has been removed from Google Play after a complaint from Lego Group. – Wooff Aug 16 '15 at 21:10

Peeron also has a bunch of instructions for sets over 5 years old. In addition, it has a parts breakdown of most sets Lego has produced.

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Besides being a great LEGO community website, Brickset has even different versions of almost every set imaginable.

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