I have enabled iCloud storage in iBooks on my Mac(s), iPad, and iPhone. I have been slowly importing PDF and ePub books into iBooks on my MacBook again so that I have a central location to store them(and can access them from an iPad, etc).

Whenever I import though, iBooks gets about halfway through processing the books I am importing and tells me that my iCloud storage is full. From that point on, it will tell me it is storing the books on the local device only.

The problem is, I have 200GB of iCloud space with only about 40GB used. 30GB or thereabouts would be books and the rest would be photos, backups, etc. i have checked from multiple devices and ensured my billing is ok(and it is, I definitely have 200GB space).

So my question is, does iBooks have a percentage limit on how much iCloud storage it can take up? Or maybe even a hard limit?

For context, I have tried system restarts, application restarts, different internet connections, etc. iBooks does not upload any additional books after the app is opened again unless I do another import, in which case it will get about 20-50% of the way through the files before it dies again.

  • On which device is the error message arriving? What is the storage space allocated for each device? (For example - if you are signed into iCloud on a 8 GB iPhone - that will likely throw an error when 30 GB of books data is trying to sync down from the cloud to that device)
    – bmike
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:04
  • The error is showing on the device I am adding the books from which is the Mac. I have plenty of space free on the mac(~300GB), the iPhone has 67.6GB free and the iPad has about 30GB free. iOS does not automatically download the books in iCloud, it shows them as available however I would need to download the books I want when I want them just like with existing purchases from iTunes. oi66.tinypic.com/2h2e3wl.jpg and oi67.tinypic.com/1jww87.jpg show the errors.
    – Mark
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:07
  • Same message for me just now trying to upload two small pdf's to iBooks on my MacBook Pro. 168G of 200G of iCloud storage available. MBP has 178 G available
    – user178026
    Apr 2, 2016 at 1:30
  • 1
    I spent two hours on the phone with an AppleCare Senior Adviser trying to determine issues similar to this. The first step would be checking to see if you have separate Apple IDs for iTunes & iCloud (learned this the hard way). The best way to check this would be to go to System Preferences -> iCloud -> Manage and locate iBooks. This will tell you exactly how much space iBooks is using.
    – ghostof101
    Apr 6, 2016 at 17:24

4 Answers 4


I had this same problem - books added on my Macbook Pro stopped showing up on my iPad. I solved it by deselecting iBooks in iCloud on my Mac (System Preferences/iCloud/ ... click on Options tab beside iCloud Drive ... scroll down the list and deselect iBooks.app. If iBooks is open, a message should pop up that you can share books over the cloud, and it gives you the option to do that. Select that option. By deselecting and re-selecting in this way the books I was trying to share over the cloud immediately appeared on my iPad.


Apple menu/System Preferences/iCloud/iCloud Drive/... "options"... place a check mark in front of "iBooks"


I deselect and select again the iBook option in iCloud Drive menu and the sync run normally

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    – Allan
    Nov 1, 2016 at 11:01
  • @Allan. excuse me for the short reply. I promise you next time to be more precise (Y) :) Nov 2, 2016 at 13:45

The solution for me was to uncheck/recheck System Preferences/iCloud/iCloud Drive/Options/iBooks. Unchecking cleared out my entire iBooks library minus the newly added ePUB. Rechecking iBooks sync brought back all books and uploaded the newest one.

This had the unfortunate side effect of having all my redownloaded books being displayed out of order. For reference, my entire iCloud storage was around 180 GB out of 2 TB. My iBooks library is 6.6 GB with about 200 books being a mix of ePUB and PDF.

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