How to Sync Books Between Mac and iPhone or iPad

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

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

One of the coolest features of Books 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 Books – which is usually enabled by default – works flawlessly. But then, there are cases and instances where Books doesn’t sync. It just doesn’t work. So how do you fix that?

How to Sync Books Between Mac and iPhone/iPad

Make sure you are using the same Apple ID on all of your devices.

  • The books you have purchased from Books Store are automatically available in Books app across all of your devices
  • Likewise, the audiobooks you have purchased from the Books Store or iTunes Store are automatically available in iTunes on a Mac running iTunes 12.4 or later as well as the Books app on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 9 and later
  • You also get the option to manually sync audiobooks from the iTunes Store using iTunes and USB

On Your iPhone and iPad:

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iOS device → Scroll down and tap on Books.

Tap on Settings then Books on iPhone or iPad

Step #2. Now, make sure iCloud Drive toggled on.

Sync iBooks Between iPhone, iPad and Mac

On Your Mac:

Step #1. Launch Books on your Mac and then select Books menu → Now, click on Preferences.

Click on Preferences in iBooks on Mac

Step #2. Make sure the General tab is selected, if it’s not already. Then you need to check the box for Sync bookmarks, highlights, and collections across devices.

Sync iBooks Between Mac and iPhone or iPad

Cannot Sync Books Between Mac and iPhone/iPad? Tips to Fix the Issue

If you aren’t able to sync books (purchased from Books or iTunes Store) from your iOS device to Mac or vice-versa, sign out of your account (Books and iTunes) both on your devices, reboot them and sign in to your account again.

In most cases, the content should sync across your devices. But if they, unfortunately, don’t, sync them manually.

How to Manually Sync Books/Audiobooks from Mac to iPhone/iPad

The contents you purchase from Books or iTunes are available across the devices. But the ones you didn’t buy from iTunes need to be synced manually.

The Type of Content You Can Sync with iTunes:

  • With iTunes, you can sync several types content like albums, songs, playlists, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, and audiobooks. Besides, you are also allowed to sync contacts, calendars as well as your device backups which you made using iTunes
  • If you want to sync photos and videos using iTunes, either use a supported photos app or sync from a specific folder on your computer

Step #1. Connect your iOS device to the computer and launch iTunes.

Step #2. Now, select your device at the top left of the screen.

Click on Your Device in iTunes

Step #3. Next, on the left of the iTunes windows, look for the content you want to sync with your iOS device.

Note: iTunes doesn’t let you sync specific contents like mail accounts, notes, or bookmarks. To sync them, you need to use iCloud.

Step #4. Select the content type you wish to sync.

Step #5. In the main iTunes window, you have to check the box next to Sync to enable syncing for that content type.

Step #6. When you turn on syncing for a content type, you will get additional options to customize your sync settings. You can use these options to sync the preferred contents.

Sync iBooks Manually on Mac

Step #7. Finally, click the Apply button in the lower-right corner of the screen to save your sync settings.

Sync iBooks Manually Between Mac and iPhone, and iPad

Note: Just in case syncing doesn’t start automatically, you will have to click the Sync button.

Now, content will sync each time you connect your iOS device to your computer and have iTunes open.

If a message appears that some of your content couldn’t sync, that means your computer might not be authorized for that type of content.

Hence, authorize your computer for the content you want to sync. Open iTunes → Account → Authorizations → Authorize This Computer.

That’s it!

Wrapping up:

Have the solutions as mentioned earlier helped you? Let us know your feedback in the comments.

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