I have a handful of epubs I downloaded outside of the iBooks Store and read them across two different macs and an iPhone.

For reasons I cannot explain some books’ data (highlights, notes, place in book) will sync across the devices while others do not.

The following options are turned on in my iPhone settings:

  • Sync Bookmarks and Notes
  • Sync Collections

On both macs I have the following turned on:

  • Sync bookmarks, highlights, collections across devices

I have not used syncing via iTunes. So some books sync via iCloud while others do not.

Despite syncing turned on, I cannot get a Macbook Pro to sync with the highlights on the iPhone for certain book. I drag the epub into iBooks on the Macbook and it thinks its a “new” book. FWIW, I have a Mac Mini that seems to sync fine.

How can I correct this?


Macbook Pro Intel Core i7 3.1 Ghz OS X 10.11.4

Mac Mini 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 OS X 10.11.4

iPhone SE 64GB iOS 9.3.1

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    Good news is that you aren't alone. I spent 2 hours with a Senior Applecare Adviser about this exact issue. It's also obnoxiously inconsistent. I've seen data go up from one unit but not to anything else. iOS devices and OS X devices seem totally separated. There's currently a ticket in for Apple Engineering for the situation. If I learn more, I'll make sure to post it here.
    – ghostof101
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 17:27
  • I also have this very same problem.
    – angry kiwi
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 8:00
  • I have tried the various recommendations like activating / deactivating iBooks iCloud syncing as well as 'Sync bookmarks, highlights, collections across devices', restarting devices, but syncing highlights & collections never works reliably across Mac, iPad and iPhone. iOS version 10.2 & Mac OS Sierra 10.12.4. Has anyone gotten this to work?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Go to system preferences-> icloud -> icloud drive options...

Then look for ibook entry, check it. Done

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