I have a book on my iMac at work which has highlighting all over the book. But when I put the book in my Dropbox and open it on my MacBook at home there are no highlights. Is there a way to preserve the highlighting?

iBooks is the app that I use and I made all highlights with it.

iBooks version 1.5 on iMac 1.6 on MacBook

The book is .epub file


I assume you added an ePub file to iBooks.app on your iMac and added highlightings there.

Yes, you can in fact sync your highlightings/notes/bookmarks between multiple devices running macOS and/or iOS.

Please follow these steps to sync your highlights:

Prepare iMac

  1. On your iMac go to System Preferences > iCloud.
  2. Make sure that you are logged into your iCloud account. If not, log in.
  3. Depending on your version of macOS you need to check the check mark for Documents & Settings.
  4. In iBooks.app sign in to the same iCloud account it you aren't already.

  5. Make sure that the ePub file is the very same on both Macs.

Prepare your MacBook

  1. Repeat the steps above that you did for your iMac.

Sync your highlightings

  1. Reboot both Macs
  2. Open the ePub in iBooks.app on your iMac and add a note or a bookmark.
  3. Close the ebook in iBooks.app but leave iBooks.app running.
  4. Open the ePub on your MacBook with iBooks.app. Wait for the highlightings/bookmarks/notes to appear. It may take a few minutes for the first time.
  5. If they don't appear on your MacBook, add a new highlighting/bookmark.

Please note

If possible, you should run the same versions of macOS on both Macs. Also check for available software updates.

Using the same Apple iCloud account is necessary for the synchronization to work with Apple's iBooks.app. You can't use another cloud storage provider for this.

Unfortunately there is no other way to sync them other than to re-add your edits by hand.

  • 1
    Even though I can't make it like you described it. I voted you up because it's a good answer if you have the same apple account on both devices.
    – lewis4u
    Aug 14 '17 at 9:40

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