Fixing iBooks Not Syncing PDF Files And ePub Books On Mac, iPad And iPhone

iBooks for Mac logoiBooks not syncing PDF files and ePub books not purchased in the iBooks store is a big problem for many people. In this tutorial I will show you to how iBooks is working and syncing on Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7 (Update: Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, iOS 8 and iOS 9 included) and how to fix the iBooks not syncing issue. iBooks for Mac was introduced with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and brings the existing features of iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to any Mac with OS X Mavericks installed. iBooks for Mac is comparable to iPhoto for Mac meaning iBooks for Mac is the syncing center for PDF files and ePub books not purchased in the iBooks store. iBooks and iBooks collections are synced via iCloud, but PDF files and ePub books are not!

Update March, 31, 2016:

iBooks is now natively capable to sync PDF files, ePub books (‘ebooks’) and iBooks author books via iCloud. The requirements are OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan for Macs and MacBooks and iOS 9.3 for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). There is no need anymore to sync PDF files, ePub books and iBooks author books via iTunes.

Background:

When you browse your Book library in iTunes 11.1 or later, iTunes notifies you that your books have been moved to iBooks for Mac. After clicking OK, you no longer see Books as a category in the media list in iTunes. Future book purchases made from the iBooks Store through iTunes or iBooks are downloaded to your iBooks library instead of iTunes.

Note: This applies only to a Mac with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan installed. If you have a Windows PC or a Mac that is using OS X Mountain Lion or earlier, you continue to browse and purchase books through iTunes. To read books you will need to sync your books to an iOS device with iBooks for iOS installed by either downloading past book purchases, enabling auto-download of books onto your iOS device, or tethering your iOS device to your computer.

Provisions:

First of all you should make a backup of all of your devices and of all of your PDF files on your devices, e.g. send the PDF files via email for backing up.

Then check that you have set up iBooks sync on your Mac (Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan), your iPhone and/or your iPad correctly following the corresponding Apple support document.

If you don’t see all of your purchased items in iBooks, make sure you “Show All Purchases” is turned on:

On your Mac:

  • To see all your purchased books on your Mac, open iBooks app and choose View > Show iCloud Books.
  • Select iBooks > Preferences > General. Then, select the option to “Sync bookmarks, highlights and collections across devices“. This setting should be on by default.

On your iOS devices:
Download iBooks from the App Store:

  • To see all your purchased books on your iOS device, choose Settings > iBooks > Show All Purchases. Update: In iBooks 4.0 (since iOS 8) or later, tap the name of the collection you’re at the top of the screen in iBooks. Then turn off ‘Hide iCloud Books‘ at the bottom of the pop-up window.
  • On your iOS device, open Settings > iBooks. Then, select the options to “Sync Bookmarks and Notes” and “Sync Collections“.

    Source: miApple.me

    Source: miApple.me

If you don’t see all of your info on all of your devices, make sure you’re using the same Apple ID in the iBooks Store on your Mac, and on each iOS device. Also, make sure the sync settings listed above are active on all of your devices.

Solution:

It is important to know that iBooks syncs iBooks purchased in the iBooks Store and names of collections (without any content!) via iCloud across your devices. However, iCloud does not sync ePub books or PDF files!

For syncing your ePub books and PDF files you need to use iTunes sync and a “fresh” start for the very first time, meaning you need to import all your ePub books and PDF files to iBooks for Mac!

I show you in detail how to proceed:

The first step is to import all ePub books and PDF files to iBooks for Mac:

A) Importing ePub Books and PDF files from one iOS devices to your Mac and any other iOS device:

 

The next step is to sync all ePub books and PDF files from your iOS device(s) to iBooks for Mac via iTunes.

B) Syncing ePub Books and PDF files from one iOS devices to your Mac and any other iOS device:

The next step is to sync all ePub books and PDF files from iBooks for Mac to your iOS device(s) via iTunes:

C) Syncing ePub Books and PDF files from your Mac to your iOS device(s):

But what about moving or deleting items and how to get everything synced?

D) Moving ePub Books and PDF files from one collection to another collection

  1. iBooks for Mac: Drag & Drop the ePub book or PDF files to the collection.
  2. iBooks for iOS: Tipp on ‘Edit‘, select ePub book or PDF files, click on ‘Move‘ and select the collection or create a ‘New Collection‘.
  3. The changes are immediately synced via iCloud between the devices. Note: Sometimes it is necessary to close and re-open iBooks or change the collection to push the syncing process.

E) Importing ePub Books and PDF files to iBooks for iOS device(s)

  1. Search PDF file on the web and click to download it. Same for PDF email  attachments.
  2. Click on “Open in ‘iBooks’“.
  3. The PDF file is automatically opened in iBooks for iOS.
  4. Click on ‘Edit‘, select PDF file you want to add to a collection and click on ‘Move‘.
  5. Select an existing collection or create a new one.
  6. The PDF file is moved to the selected collection.
  7. For importing ePub Books and PDF files from your iOS device to your Mac and any other iOS device follow the steps described in A)

F) Deleting ePub Books and PDF files

Deleting in collection ‘PDFs‘ ePub Books and PDF files on iBooks for Mac:

  1. Go to iBooks for Mac and delete the ePub Book or PDF file you want to delete.
  2. Close iTunes for Mac.
  3. Connect your iOS device(s) to iTunes for Mac and sync.
  4. All ePub Books and PDF files selected in 1. are deleted on your iOS device(s).

Deleting in collections other than ‘PDFs‘, ‘Books‘ or ‘Purchased Books‘ (Apple collections in bold) ePub Books and PDF files on iBooks for Mac

  1. Go to iBooks for Mac and ‘delete’ the ePub Book or PDF file you want to delete. The ePub Book  moved from the original collection to ‘Books‘, PDF files to ‘PDFs‘.
  2. Go to ‘Books‘ / PDFs‘ and delete the item(s).
  3. Connect your iOS device(s) to iTunes for Mac and sync.
  4. All ePub Books and PDF files selected in 2. are deleted on your iOS device(s), but they are deleted from the original collection and moved to collection ‘PDFs‘.

Deleting ePub Books and PDF files on iBooks for iOS:

  1. Go to iBooks for iOS and delete the ePub Book or PDF file you want to delete.
  2. Connect your iOS device(s) to iTunes for Mac and sync.
  3. None of the ePub Books and PDF files selected in 1. are deleted on your other iOS device(s) or on iBooks for Mac.

Summary:

Overall iBooks for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan is a mess for syncing ePub books not purchased in the iBooks store and PDF files between a Mac and iOS devices like iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Apple couldn’t have made it more complicated for us users. It is not obvious for users how the syncing process is working because on the one hand books from the iBooks store and collections’ names are synced through the iCloud, other ePub books and PDF files have to be synced via iTunes for Mac. Apple must optimise these syncing processes to get back the excellent user experience we are used to have with Apple products! What is your experience with the iBooks not syncing PDF files and ePub books? Let us know and comment!

Stay tuned! 😉

About 

Hi there,

my name is Gee Are, blogger and analyst. Blogging is my Passion! I’m the founder and owner of the two blogs called pabst.socialmedia and miapple.me - Tech.Blog.

My work experience as a blogger and analysist (Internet Intelligence, SEO and social media) is the basis of the services of pabst.socialmedia.

Find more about me.

77 replies
  1. demetersrest
    demetersrest says:

    I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get this working – thanks for the detailed instructions!

    Reply
  2. Joe Walch
    Joe Walch says:

    I created an ePub file through InDesign. It’s a simple export and email procedure but recently it’s been very frustrating. In apple email the option to open in iBooks is still there but non responsive. I read through your description above but I’m not sure what to do in the instance. My example does not go through iTunes, never did – it’s a simple click and download. To make situations worse, the iBooks in iPhone works perfectly, it’s only iPad that’s not showing. Suggestions? Recommendations? I’m looking for guidance and a response and not a link to another discussion.

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Joe,

      sounds wired! If you will send me the ePub file, i check it by myself. Then we will see if this is just your ‘personal’ problem 😉 or a general one. Email to contact(at)miapple.me (if it is not too large, otherwise dropbox it).

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
  3. Steve P
    Steve P says:

    Another irritation with iBooks is that, unlike iTunes, you can not store your library on a different drive. If you are running an expensive SSD boot drive, you really don’t want to fill it up with books & PDFs, when you have a Terabyte free on your RAID.

    Reply
  4. Nyssa
    Nyssa says:

    This article has been hugely beneficial to me. I am a uni student with a brand new iPad and my idea was that my purchase would help make my uni life easier!!! Hopefully Apple tidy this up because I don’t really want to use third party apps at the moment.

    Reply
  5. Patrick Devlin
    Patrick Devlin says:

    I have been looking for the way to transfer pdf files from ibooks on my ipad to ibooks on my macbook for months. i’ve read a ton of posts. This is the only one that nails it. Not one of literally dozens of posts I’ve read mentioned the FIle-Devices-Transfer Purchases tip.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was sure I didn’t need to buy a third-party product to do this.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Chris D
    Chris D says:

    Thanks a lot for these advices, I had exactly the same problem as Patrick Devlin – not able to sync my PDF’s and ePubs from my devices to iBooks on my Mac. Didn’t know about the File-Devices-Transfer Purchase thing, so again thanks a lot 🙂

    Reply
  7. Mooonnii
    Mooonnii says:

    Hi,

    I have a problem that my hard disk got damage and I replaced it with new one, and when I tried to sync my ibook and music it said that it will erase the content on my iPad and replace it with the one on my iTunes (which is empty because I replaced my hard disk and it was like a new computer), so I didn’t sync my iBook, later when I did the update to iOS 8 and my Macbook to Yosemite all my pdf files were gone, does that mean they are gone for good or is there a way I can got them back?

    Note: the folders I made to arrange my pdf files are still there, and I noticed that when I downloaded a pdf that I had before it goes directly to the folder that it was on before it was gone, while if I download a new pdf file it goes to the main pdf file.

    The problem I don’t have a back up for the pdf files, and when I tried to get my data out of my damaged hard disk I only could retrieve around 80% of the content but iTune content were one of the lost data.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Mooonii,

      at a first sight, there isn’t any option if you didn’t back up your files. Did you make an iCloud back up with your iPhone before updating to iOS 8? If so, you can try to restore it and send every single PDFs file per email to your computer. Then you can add the files via iBooks again to your iPhone.

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
      • Mooonnii
        Mooonnii says:

        Thank you.

        Unfortunately I didn’t and I know I lost all my files.

        But I’m having another problem now I tried downloading what I can remeber from my lost pdfs but after a while iBook keep erasing them again. -_-

        I didn’t do anything to the iPad, I didn’t update it nor connected it to my mac book and suddenly I saw all my pdfs gone again.

        Do you have any idea why this happened?

        Thank you and sorry for asking you so many questions.

        Reply
        • Gee Are Pabst
          Gee Are Pabst says:

          Hi Mooonnii,

          first, let the iPad sync with your computer, then add the pdf files again and sync for the second time. Now all your pdf files should be synced on your iPad and on iBooks on your Mac.

          Cheers,
          Gee Are

          Reply
  8. Ankara Ankara
    Ankara Ankara says:

    This worked like a charm, and it took less than 3 minutes. Meanwhile, every other advice on how to do this on the web was a complete waste of time. Thank you so much for this post.

    Reply
  9. Lesley
    Lesley says:

    Thank you for all that. The problem I have with iBooks is that regularly on the iPad some ePubs disappear — and only one section of the ePubs. I have to download again. It doesn’t occur with iBooks on my MBP.

    Reply
  10. JH
    JH says:

    Anyone know how to fix this issue…iTunes won’t remember my syncing preferences for my iPad. I’ll check sync “all books” but then a few books that I have will disappear over time from my iPad (they have been downloaded from apple) and when I sync my iPad again, only “selected books” is selected and the books I lost aren’t checked. I can select sync all books again but the same things keeps happening again religiously. Thoughts?

    Not sure if this will help but, when I check purchases on my iPad, books that are on it atm, say they are available for download under the “purchased” button.

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi JH,

      have you bought the books on your iPad? Did you transfer ‘all purchases’ on iTunes from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac? Maybe this is the r as on for your issue.

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
  11. Hans Rahm
    Hans Rahm says:

    I am very sad that it is so complicated to take my PDF with me. I need all our legal texts with me and it would be so easy when iBooks could synchronize between my iPhone, my iPad, my office computer and my home computer. I need to consult my collection also offline. The sync by iTunes is no solution, iCloud would just be fine. Please!

    Reply
  12. Chris Muirhead
    Chris Muirhead says:

    Having spent (wasted) many, many hours trying to sync my PDFs and ePub books across my iPad, iPhone and iMac without any success I gave in and called Apple support. Two hours and three different Apple support guys later I was still no further forward.

    Thank you Gee Are, your procedure has rescued me from a downward spiral of despair and hair pulling! Apple really need to get this simplified – or at least provide a well documented work around like yours to lift their customers out of their misery.

    Thanks again
    Chris

    Reply
  13. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    When I select Devices in Itunes, it’s not even showing Sync lit up as an option – and I have 4 devices listed in my account. I have no idea how to get anything moved, much less the pdf files. Apple is so complicated it’s unbelievable.

    Reply
    • Jeannie
      Jeannie says:

      So….no idea why this is happening then? Why isn’t Sync even showing as an option under Devices for me?

      Reply
      • Gee Are Pabst
        Gee Are Pabst says:

        Hi Jeannie,

        are you on a Mac or Windows PC? Do you mean that you cannot see any sync option, if you go to iTunes –> File –> Devices? Have you already tried to restart both your computer and your devices?

        Please, go again through my post and tell me exactly at which step you cannot go further. Then I can try to help you.

        Cheers,
        Gee Are

        Reply
  14. Theresa K
    Theresa K says:

    Thank you sooooooo much! You fixed my problem in 5 minutes…I’m only sorry I didn’t find your page 2 hours ago. Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  15. William Stewart
    William Stewart says:

    My problem is that iTunes constantly “forgets” my settings on iOS 8 and reverts from “All Books” to “Selected Books” on both my iPhone and iPad. I don’t know why, or how to fix it. Other than that, I seem to be able to sync non-iPurchased ePubs and pdfs pretty well on iTunes 12.1.2.27 (Yosemite), although often my notes and highlights in ePubs fail to sync.

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi William,

      I had this phenomenon of forgetting, too. I think I solved it by restarting my iPhone, iPad and my computer. Let them switch off for a minute. And then try again. Another option is that one of your books isn’t available anymore. Check that you can open every single book or pdf.

      In regard to your notes and highlights in ePubs, I think it is not possible to sync them via iBooks. Or did you succeed in some cases?

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
  16. Yana
    Yana says:

    iTunes is only syncing the books themselves but no highlights or collections are synced. I restarted many times and will not leave this process to chance. At this point I want to stay clear of iBooks. Can you please tell us what are iBooks alternatives we can use to sync our non-purchased PDFs and ePubs across devices?

    Reply
  17. Jim
    Jim says:

    Thx a lot!

    I have been trying to sync books not purchased from apple book stores for the whole day and you just provide the solution!

    Meanwhile, may I know if there are any ways to sync pdf docs other than using ibooks?
    Cuz I am trying to highlight and sync pdf docs , but I can’t do that in ibooks cuz ibooks do not allow highlighting function of pdf docs

    I would also appreciate it if you could let the readers know if there are any alternative ways to sync, as, like you mentioned, using iTunes and i books to sync every time, is not fun at all.

    Thx a lot

    Jim

    Reply
  18. Jeff hall
    Jeff hall says:

    So what happened to the pdf’s that I had on my iPad/phone before I found your process!? I only found you because when I went to read a pdf manual I downloaded the other day, it was gone… Along most of my other pdf’s! I hope iTunes has them… (Running Yosemite on desktop and Mavericks on laptop. Syncing iPad on desktop and iPhone on laptop.)

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Jeff,

      if you followed this post exactly, all of your iPad’s PDFs should be on your desktop, and all of your iPhone’s PDFs should be on your Laptop.

      If you want all PDFs on all of your Macs, you need to sync all iDevices on one Mac at least.

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
      • Jeff Hall
        Jeff Hall says:

        Hi Gee Are!

        I did read the entire post but was at work and did not have access to my computer. I feared that the pdf’s I already added to iBook on my iPad were lost. It was a lot of work getting them in the first place! To make matters worse, when I synced the iPad the other day, I ran into a “loop” where the iPad would get to “saving changes” in the iTunes dialogue but then drop offline and re-sync. A reboot of both devices solved the problem. It was probably caused by my copying of home share audio/video to my laptop at the same time as I was trying to sync. On top of all that I am transitioning my MacBookPro data and setup to my new MacPro and was still in transition as some devices still sync with the MacBook and some with the MacPro. I wanted to keep the MacPro for production use only but it is more convienent to do all from one computer. In short, Thank you for your post as the pdf’s did transfer to the MacPro iBooks and now I have it set up correctly! Cheers

        Reply
  19. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    Hello! All of my Epub and pdf’s show up in iBooks, but when I go to transfer them to iTunes like it is shown, they don’t transfer over. Any suggestions? We just installed el capitan for our mac and I have about 40 epub books I’ve gotten from various locations other than the iBooks store

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Melissa,

      do you mean the ePubs and PDFs are showing up in iBooks on El Capitan? On iBooks, go to ‘File’ –> ‘Move Books from iTunes…’, then sync your iPhone and check that all Books are selected for syncing. This should work.

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
  20. Harry
    Harry says:

    Hi there, i have been trying for weeks to sync my pdf files across all my devices and only today i found your page. Your advice has worked on my iPhone, but didn’t work on my iPad. When i try to “Transfer purchases from my Ipad”, the process initialises on the top information bar on iTunes but doesn’t go until the end and none of the pdf from my iPad get transferred into iTunes. Do you have any idea why is this happening?

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Irine,

      in iBooks 4.0 (since iOS 8) or later, tap the name of the collection you’re at the top of the screen. Then turn off Hide iCloud Books at the bottom of the pop-up window.

      OP updated. Thank you very much for your question!

      Cheers,

      Gee Are

      Reply
  21. Thuy Vuong
    Thuy Vuong says:

    This is crazy. I have e-pub books and some PDF on IPad 2, and using your suggestion on B) Syncing ePub Books and PDF files from one iOS devices to your Mac and any other iOS device, and going to ITunes > File –> Devices, Sync and every function under Devices is disabled. Can you help?

    Reply
  22. Robyn
    Robyn says:

    I can only wish the actual staff at the Apple store knew this and that I had thought to check Google before I lost everything in iBooks. I had to return a work iPad at the end of June and to ensure I would not lose everything I did an iTunes back up and iCloud backup as well as to an external drive. It was several days later, after I had reformatted the work iPad and returned it, that I discovered that dozens of e-pub books I had bought and multiple PDFs, many of them my original workbooks for seminars, that I had saved in iBooks were gone forever. I was quite clear when I asked for everything to be copied over in the store that I was anxious about the amount of original material that I stood to lose and was assured that the Restore from the Cloud would bring everything across. It took two trips back to the store where two different staff members said ‘I’ve never seen that happen before!” and they called a tech genius in to tell me what you have explained in this post.

    Even more infuriating to me was that every single thing in Adobe Reader, Kindle, Bluefire reader and Kobo copied over beautifully, but the one, specific e-reading app designed for the actual brand and device does not. It is beyond stupid and has left me with a high level of distrust towards anything Apple. All I heard from others was how simple, co-ordinated, clever and wonderfully designed Apple products were compared to the opposition and I fell for it. What it means to me now is a high level of anxiety when I do any kind of upgrade and and an Android phone that I will never change for an iPhone.

    Thanks for making me feel better that I am not alone in not knowing this could happen.

    Cheers,

    Robyn

    Reply
  23. Pablo Arista
    Pablo Arista says:

    Thanks so much. I’m reseting my iPad and I wanted to back up everything on my mac (I forgot my encrypted password lol, so I have to reset). I thought I was going to lose my pdfs. You’re a lifesaver man!

    Reply
  24. Bradley Nolan
    Bradley Nolan says:

    This isn’t working for me i’m afraid.

    I have almost 2,000 books in my e-library and everything was working fine until I was forced by El Capitan to use iBooks (previously was deleting the app from the computer and was able to manage through iTunes.

    So after my books were transferred to iBooks and I synced my iPad (not realising that everything that synced before would not sync anymore), only 282 books were copied to my iPad – all the others were available through iBooks for Mac, but not on the iPad.

    No matter how many times I “Copy books to iBooks” there are 282 left in iTunes.

    I have worked out that I can see almost all (for some reason not all) books on my device after ensuring iBooks was selected in my iCloud settings on both computer and iPad. But now even though I can see almost all books, when I try to open non-purchased books on my iPad I get a message saying “not enough memory to download” even though I can see in my iCloud settings that there is 1.4GB of files in the drive, there is over 2GB free on the drive, and over 30GB available on my iPad!

    This is quite seriously doing my head in. Before El Capitan, I could happily sync all 1,800 books through iTunes, see them all in the library and open and read them all – now I cannot do that.

    I should also say that of the 282 books that sync, 89 of them require “updating” that iBooks for Mac cannot manage to update, and when trying to update on my iPad it quite often freezes and I have to re-start – and these are purchased books!

    I would love some further advice if you have any to add – at this point I am about ready to start throwing things…and all I want to do is read a freaking book!!! (frustration overload).

    Reply
    • Bradley Nolan
      Bradley Nolan says:

      Looks like I may have solved the problem by clearing out the iBooks memory form my iCloud account and then reloading it all. iTunes now recognises all my books and they seem to be transferring to my iPad…

      Reply
      • Gee Are Pabst
        Gee Are Pabst says:

        Hi Bradley,

        thanks for your detailed comments! I really appreciated it! Where did you delete the iBooks memory from your iCloud account? Could you explain it, please?

        Cheers,
        Gee Are

        Reply
  25. khionna
    khionna says:

    I have a similar problem to Bradley but none of the above worked for me. Can you offer some other suggestions? I have over 200 epub books and everything worked well until I installed El Capitan. All my books are in iBooks but when I open iTunes to sync my iPad they don’t show up in iTunes. I didn’t realize this until I updated it and it removed all my books from my iPad. I was able to get them back by using iCloud but they have since disappeared. But through all of this all the books show up in iBooks. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
  26. Jishua
    Jishua says:

    Please can someone out there help me? I had an iPad Air which synchronized well with my HP laptop. (Have used the first edition of iPad on this system too). However, my Mac Pro notebook would not allow me to use the iPad Air on it (it said it would wipe off my data on it). I didn’t bother until I got a new iPad Pro. I configured it through iCloud, but my PDFs on iBooks did not appear on my iPad Pro, same with some of my photos. Please, what should I do to have these documents on my new iPad Pro?

    Reply
    • Gee Are Pabst
      Gee Are Pabst says:

      Hi Jishua,

      forward all of your PDFs (and all other files) from iBooks on your iPad Air to your MacBook, safe them and import them to iBooks on your Mac. Then sync your iPad. Then all PDFs will be back on your iPad Air.

      Cheers,
      Gee Are

      Reply
  27. Laurel
    Laurel says:

    If anyone gets all the way down here to me, i tried everything above, without anything working. What i did figure out is that icloud, itunes and ibook were not playing nicely together. I tried MANY things but finally I must have hit the right combo. First, make sure your apple id is the same across all devices. Then completely disable icloud. Make sure you have backups of your books somewhere, could be on icloud, could be itunes (even if you can’t see them, they are often hidden in the library files, so do a spotlight search for your books i.e. All ePub, mobi, pdf on your computer). Make sure you do this because we are going to clean out everything here and start over. Delete ibooks off of your ipad, phone and computer. Delete books off your itunes and synch your devices with the books unchecked so it removes all the books (if you have any). Then reinstall ibooks on all devices. Make sure you do not allow icloud to get in on the game meaning in sys preferences you must go into icloud and click through to ibooks and uncheck it. Make sure in your settings on your device is not sharing with icloud too. Find your back up books and add them back to your now clean ibooks on your Mac. Then go to itunes and see if they start popping up. If you don’t see them continue to look for connections to icloud, and delete and reinstall ibooks, it eventually works. Now, i haven’t turned back on icloud and i did loose bookmarks and my highlights in some cases but i got all my books back. And a test run adding a new book completely worked. I will try to turn on icloud and see what happens when i feel like troublshooting again but for now i know i can find this thread and figure it out again when it hits me a year from now and i forgot i wrote this.

    Reply
  28. treugeneTrevor
    treugeneTrevor says:

    I have an iPad 2 that was becoming slow – advice I received was to perform a full backup, reset and restore. I did it to my windows computer – not iCloud as I am suspicious of anything “cloud” that I have no material control over. After performing a factory reset of my iPad and an iTunes Restore all my work related pdf technical documents that were in iBooks have now been lost which have taken me years to collect. What is generally understood in computer terminology with a “backup” action obviously has a different meaning to Apple as it appears to be Apple selective. I also cannot find any advice from iPad Gurus that appear to work for me finding my lost documents on my backup files on my computer.

    I am completely done with Apple products forever and I have now started migrating to newly purchased Android devices where I can take personal responsibility for my data. Loosing all my professional technical documents obviously is of no concern to big companies like Apple and as such I have already swayed a number of persons to go down the Android route as I believe Apple has obviously adopted a stupid dictator attitude with a zero care philosophy. Well done Apple!

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