Downloaded Audiobooks Not Showing up on iPhone? Here’s How to Fix This

You can download and listen to audiobooks on your iPhone/iPad or iPod Touch. In fact, the iTunes Store has a dedicated audiobooks section on the portal and it’s a widely-popular part of the store.

UPDATE: If your iDevice is running iOS 8 or later, check out this.

Many new users, however, run into some trouble with Audiobooks feature. Simple things like finding the location of the audiobooks can be frustrating because Apple kind of went counter-intuitive with the design. Here’s a primer for audiobooks on iOS.

I think many people agree that iOS 7 screws up Audiobooks feature. If you’ve been relying heavily on Audiobooks, there’s a lot of stuff that’s missing now in iOS 7. Developers point out that Apple has fixed a few things in iOS 7.1 (upcoming major release) but there’s really no big fix at the moment.

Where Are the Downloaded Audiobooks?

First things first: you purchase an audiobook from within iTunes. Where is this? For those of you who are new to Audiobooks, you’ll probably fumble at first. That’s okay.

The Audiobooks feature is hidden inside Music app → More. The tricky thing is that you won’t see the Audiobook section in the Music app till you purchase/download at least one audiobook.

I Purchased an Audiobook. It doesn’t Show Up.

This is probably the second-most-common complaint I have heard. You download/purchase an audiobook from iTunes and it still doesn’t show up in the Music app’s Audiobooks section. Why?

  • One of the first things you do is sign out of your iTunes account on the iPhone or iPad. Quit all the apps, especially Music. Wait for a while before signing in again. After you sign in, make sure you are connected to the internet and then open the Music app.
  • If you purchased an audiobook from iTunes on Mac/PC, it might be a sync issue. Make sure the ‘Sync Audiobooks’ option is checked under the Books tab of iTunes on Mac/PC. Then Apply to sync the books to the iPhone.
  • Sometimes, audiobooks don’t sync even when the corresponding option is checked. The only way to fix this is to uncheck Sync Audiobooks, sync the iPhone, disconnect it and then reconnect it again. This time, check Sync Audiobooks and then sync again.
  • The last option is to reset settings on the iPhone/iPad. Go to Settings → General → Reset and reset all settings. This will clear out Wi-fi settings, App store and iTunes accounts, iCloud accounts etc. Arguably, it’s a pain in the back kind of a process but that’s your way out to fix audiobooks issue.

There’s one other ultimate step that you are prone to hear everywhere. Restore. Restoring your iPhone has a new iPhone through iTunes and then using a backup to restore the data is a lengthy process but it has a high chance of fixing all audiobooks issues.