We are hoping that you followed Apple’s advice and performed a backup before you upgraded your iOS to the latest available version. If you notice that your Books/iBooks are missing after the most recent upgrade, this short article helps you in recovering your items.
This article shows you step by step in how to recover your missing content using iCloud. If you happen to backup your Books/iBooks content using iTunes on your computer, you can try to restore the content from your iTunes backup and ignore the rest of this article.
- 1 iBooks Now Called Apple Books
- 2 Apple Books or iBooks Missing After the Latest Upgrade, Steps to Recover
- 3 Check iBooks Storage on Your iDevice
- 4 Books opens and then immediately closes?
- 5 Not Seeing iBooks in Safari or on the iOS Share Sheet?
- 6 Unhappy With Apple’s Update to iBooks and Apple Books?
- 7 Reader Tips
iBooks Now Called Apple Books
If you use iOS 12 or later, Apple renamed iBooks to Apple Books (or simply Books)–it’s the same app just with a different name!
Locate All Your iBooks and Your Old Content!
Wondering how to get access to all your books, pdfs, and other documents that were stored in iBooks?
Find your old iBooks content by clicking on the Library tab at the foot of Apple Books App interface.
Apple Books or iBooks Missing After the Latest Upgrade, Steps to Recover
Please make sure that you have not accidentally set the setting to hide your iBooks.
1) Tap on Settings > Apple ID Account Profile on your iPhone/iPad and make sure you are using the right Apple ID
2) Tap on iCloud and scroll down to the section with the heading ‘APPS USING ICLOUD.’
3) Locate the Books/ iBooks icon here and switch it to the off position by tapping on the slider
4) Switch off and restart your iPad/iPhone
5) Tap on Settings >Account Profile >iCloud > Books (iBooks) and turn the setting to back “ON”
6) Go to your home screen and launch your Books app. If you see a message asking you to confirm if you want to switch on iCloud, confirm that selection. You should now be able to see your missing books and pdfs on your Books app
Check iBooks Storage on Your iDevice
To verify, tap on Settings >General >iPhone Storage.
Wait for a few seconds and then scroll down till you locate iBooks.
Tap on Books/iBooks and make sure that the ‘Documents and Data’ row shows actual storage usage.
This section indicates if your Books content was successfully downloaded to your iDevice.
If you find that the documents and data show that the iPhone or iPad is using the device storage to store your content, but you are unable to see it in the Books app, you may also try to “Offload App” and then re-install the app.
It might sound counter-intuitive but sometimes deleting the app and then re-installing the app followed by download from iCloud can restore the missing content.
Find Your Apple Books Purchases
- Open Apple Books App
- Tap the Reading Now Tab at the bottom
- Tap Your Profile Icon in the upper-right corner
- Look for your content in My Purchases and Family Purchases sections–and remember to unhide any purchases too!
Locate iBooks Purchases
If you had previously purchased the iBooks, you could open the iBooks App, and on the bottom, there is a tab for ‘purchased.’
Tap on this tab, and you will be able to re-download your prior purchases onto your device.
Please read Apple’s guidance on syncing iBooks as this white paper has some additional tips from Apple.
If you forgot to back up the books and or cannot find it in your purchases, you may need to contact Apple and request them to allow you to re-download.
Books opens and then immediately closes?
If your Books app refuses to stay open, first follow the advice to offload iBooks from your iDevice.
This iOS 11+ feature removes the app BUT keeps all your Data & Documents on your device. When you reinstall, it also automatically updates the app to the latest version.
To offload, go to Settings > General > iPhone (iPad) Storage > and scroll down the list of apps until you find Books
- Tap on Books and then tap Offload App
- Once completed, restart your device by pressing the power button
- When restarted, return to that same Settings menu and this time press Reinstall App
- After reinstalling, reboot your device again
- Then check Books. If it’s still causing trouble, offload the app again and do a forced restart
- Once you offload Books, restart your device by pressing & holding the power button and sliding off
- When your device restarts, return to that same Settings menu and press Reinstall App
- After reinstalling, restart your device again
- Then check Books. If it’s still causing trouble, do another forced restart
Perform a Forced Restart
- On an iPhone 6S or below plus all iPads & iPod Touches, press Home and Power at the same time until you see the Apple logo
- For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo
- On an iPhone X Series or iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and promptly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo
Disable Books Sync Settings
A few readers report that disabling the iBooks Setting Sync Bookmarks and Notes solves this issue.
For Apple Books
- Go to Settings > Books > Syncing > and turn off Reading Now & iCloud Drive
- Go to Settings > iBooks > and toggle off Sync Bookmarks and Notes
- Another suggestion is to toggle OFF Sync Collections, wait 20 seconds or so, and then toggle back on. Go to Settings > iBooks > and toggle off (and later on) Sync Collections
Then try opening Books/iBooks again.
If you’re used to using the option “Open in “for saving pdfs and files to Books or iBooks and now find it’s missing from Safari after your latest iOS update, that’s because the open in Books/iBooks option has slightly changed–it now uses the Share Button and is an option on your iOS Share Sheet!
When working in Safari, look towards the bottom menu and to save a pdf or other file to Books/iBooks, press the Share Sheet button (square with an up arrow) and then find Copy/Save to Books/iBooks in the action menu
If you still don’t see Books or iBooks, press the More… Button and see if there is a toggle for Books.
Unhappy With Apple’s Update to iBooks and Apple Books?
Consider leaving Apple feedback about your experience(s)! This feedback site is the best way to communicate what you think and your unique user experience to Apple’s Development Team.
- This is the only solution that worked for me after updating to iOS 12.1. Had to completely erase the device and restore everything. Took several hours but it finally worked!
- Turn on iCloud Drive for Books in Settings > Books > iCloud Drive. Then in iCloud settings make sure iCloud Drive is on and Books is on via Settings > Apple ID Profile> iCloud > Scroll Down and check that both iCloud Drive & Books are enabled (green). If you have multiple devices, perform these checks on each device connected with the same Apple ID
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.