Amazon got there first, yes, but Apple managed to nail it right with iBooks. Amidst some new email correspondences between Jobs and News Corp (that controls HarperCollins), we learn that Apple was specifically intent on making iBooks a revolutionary product not just for iOS but for the whole of eBook publishing industry.

So by now, you’re probably having a sizable collection of iBooks which you read. Or may be you’re just starting out with iBooks and your collection is growing with all the new books you found on the iBooks store.

How to Sync iBooks Between Mac and iPhone, and iPad

One of the coolest features of iBooks is that you can read something on your iPhone and then pick it up from where you left on the iPad and Mac. The sync feature of iBooks – which is usually enabled by default – works flawlessly. But then, there are cases and instances where iBooks doesn’t sync. It just doesn’t work. So how do you fix that?

How to Sync iBooks from iPhone or iPad to Mac

Step #1. iBooks syncs via your Apple ID used in the App Store/iBooks store. It has no relation to iCloud so no matter what your iCloud sync is set up to, iBooks doesn’t play a part in it. So in order to make sure your iBooks are synced across all your iOS devices, you need to first make sure your iBooks account on iDevices has the same Apple ID logged in.

Step #2. You might have to make sure iBooks sync is enabled. Since the options aren’t available in iCloud settings, you have to go to: Settings → iBooks.

iBooks Settings on iPhone and iPad

Step #3. Make sure that Sync Bookmarks and Notes and Sync Collections are turned ON.

Turn On Sync Bookmarks and Notes and Sync Collections in iBooks on iPhone

With these settings, your iBooks should now sync. If in case it still doesn’t, reboot your iOS device where the sync isn’t working.

Alternatively, if for some reason iBooks still doesn’t sync, you might have to resort to iTunes. In this method:

  • Connect your iDevice (where the iBook collection is downloaded) to iTunes.
  • Sync the device with Books enabled for sync. This will get the book collections up on iTunes.
  • Now, disconnect this iDevice and connect the one where you need the book collections. Sync again and the books should be transferred to the new iDevice.

How to Sync iBooks from Mac (OS X Yosemite)

By default, the iBooks app on Mac is set to sync with iTunes and all your iOS devices. Every change that happens on any of your iOS device is reflected to Mac. But just in case you want to fix issues or sync:

Step #1. Open the iBooks app on Mac.

Step #2. Go to Preferences (from the menu) and click on General tab.

Click on iBooks Preferences on Mac

Step #3. Make sure Sync bookmarks, highlights and collections is checked.

Click on Sync Bookmarks, Highlights and Collection in Mac

In case you have a collection of pdfs and epubs downloaded from other sources (not the iBooks store), you might have to do one more thing:

Step #1. Open the iBooks app on Mac.

Step #2. Click on File.

Step #3. Now, click Move Books from iTunes…

Click Move Books from iTunes in Mac

That should put all your iBooks into a separate library within the app.

Got any tip related to iBooks? Share it with us / in the comments below.

  • Steve

    Did all the stuff previously mentioned and it didn’t work still UNTIL I did this: In iTunes->File->Devices->Transfer Purchases from iPhone6+.

    • Petr

      Great advice!!! Thanks a lot. It was the last step I was missing:))))

    • Lex

      AND from Macbook to iPhone you also have to enable “Sync Books” checkmark on iTunes Settings

  • Richard Tench

    How about if my wife wants to use iBooks on my iPad synced to her iPhone and her Mac, but I want my apps on my iPad synced to my Mac? I can’t figure out where to sign on to a new Apple ID in iBooks.

    • Sumner_Vengeance

      Buy her an ipad.

  • REH

    This doesn’t work for me either. I don’t think your steps are bad, I think Apple has some issues. My PDF’s do not sync to Mac, but they do sync between iPhone and iPad.

  • kja

    Very helpful. Finally some info that actually works!!!! Thank you very much.

  • david

    what if none of the books in your library were bought from i tunes amazon etc…no syncing then huh?

    • iGeeksBlog

      Technically, you should be able to. The “Move Books from iTunes” option
      in iBooks -> File -> should do it. We’ve described it as the last
      step in the tutorial. Check it out and let us know if it worked for you.

      • ievgenii10

        still doesn`t syncing

      • Clare Maxfield

        My “move books to iTunes’ tab won’t illuminate and become active. I saved something on my desktop, that I want to access on my ipad

  • Jared

    Thanks Dude. Fixed my synching issues!