Is there any way to move the existing iBooks library on my MacBook (Mavericks) to an external drive and also ensure iBooks treats that as the new location for all future purposes? I am running out of space on my default drive and need to unclutter it.

  • Please flag if someone needs to add a new answer for iBooks running on Mavericks - this works just fine for an old and no longer shipping version of the current app known as Books.app which uses a cloud based storage idiom so you won’t run out of space as unused books offload to save space. Please ask a new question if you need help with a current version of the Books app. – bmike Jun 13 at 13:23

You can copy, then symlink, the iBooks folder to an external drive.

The iBooks library is stored in the following location:


Quit iBooks, then move this1 folder to an external drive. Then, symlink this folder:

ln -s /path/to/iBooks-library ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService

1 In the example above, I moved the entire BKAgentService container, but you can just move the books themselves and leave the rest on the local disk — may improve performance.

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    Are there any downsides to this in the long term? (i.e. what happens when the machine boots and the external drive is not connected). – bmike May 9 '14 at 17:15
  • Good question...I am also curious for an answer before I finally decide to mess with the dangerous-looking com.apple folders. – TheLearner May 9 '14 at 17:25
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    @bmike Whilst I haven't tested this with iBooks specifically, with other apps that store their data in a container the app either crashes immediately on launch since it can't write to a required folder, or just bounces on the Dock forever and requires a force quit. – grg May 9 '14 at 17:52
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    Any container that iCloud syncs has ubiquity daemons that monitor them for changes and push/pull changes to the cloud, so I'd recommend freeing up space elsewhere instead of messing with Library files that sync to the cloud... – bmike May 9 '14 at 21:14
  • I've read elsewhere that this can have dramatically bad consequences, but haven't tested myself. – terrace Oct 10 '15 at 4:15

It can work. You can create a symlink on your eternal drive to the com.apple.BKAgentService I tested it. Only works using the "com.apple.BKAgentService" rather than "Books"

  1. First, moving the entire folder com.apple.BKAgentService" to your eternal drive, there I named the eternal drive "Transcend".

  2. Open Terminal

  3. You can change the "Transcend" according to your preferences.

ln -s /Volumes/Transcend/com.apple.BKAgentService /iBooks-library~/Library/Containers

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There is even more simple way just drag and drop file from ibooks to your harddisk folder .

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