I would like to read all of my books on my iPhone in iBooks, but there seems to be no way to copy the books into iBooks. I can't use iCloud/iCloud Drive because there is not enough space available in iCloud to store all of my books.

It seems that iTunes is only able to sync audio books to my iPhone and not (ePub) books (like it used to).

iTunes is only able to sync audio books an iPhone.

The new iBooks for Mac can display my collection quite nicely but only allows me to sync via iCloud.

iBooks for Mac only allows to sync via iCloud.

How can I copy Books from my Mac to iBooks for iPhone without using iCloud or iCloud Drive?

  • Which formats are the books in? Don't they automatically sync if you add them to iBooks on the Mac (assuming you are logged in with the same AppleID on both the Mac and the iDevice)?
    – nohillside
    Oct 7, 2017 at 19:45
  • @patrix That syncing only occurs over iCloud, I believe.
    – Tuesday
    Oct 7, 2017 at 19:51
  • That's why I'm asking: Did you try?
    – nohillside
    Oct 7, 2017 at 20:37
  • It did not automatically sync until I enabled iBooks sync in the iCloud settings on my iPhone and on my Mac. Unfortunately it informed me that there was not enough iCloud space available.
    – John
    Oct 7, 2017 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


Any file transfer option that simply copies the file directly will suffice, or you can use a third-party ebook manager such as Calibre.

To transfer the files directly, you can use AirDrop or file syncing options such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Of these, I would personally recommend using AirDrop, as since it is transferred with a local ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection, it never needs to leave your local network and allows for fast transfer speeds of even very large files. Note that this will only work if your iOS and Mac devices meet these requirements.

The Apple support website offers these instructions for using AirDrop to send files to an iOS device:

  1. Choose Go > AirDrop from the menu bar in the Finder. Or select AirDrop in the sidebar of a Finder window.
  2. The AirDrop window shows nearby AirDrop users. Drag one or more items to the recipient's image in the window, then click Send.

Or use the Share feature:

  1. Click the Share button, if available in your app. Or Control-click an item in the Finder, then choose Share from the shortcut menu.
  2. The Share menu lists several sharing options. Choose AirDrop.
  3. Select a recipient from the AirDrop sheet, then click Done.

If you'd rather have a library of all your books on your computer, and then sync them semi-automatically, this answer gives some information as to how to use Calibre with an iOS device.

  • I found out that when I restart my iPhone, all the AirDrop shared books in iBooks disappear.
    – John
    Oct 12, 2017 at 20:30
  • @Windrose That is very strange if true; I have no idea why that would happen. In iBooks on your phone, can you see if it's in a different section of the app than you're looking at? Tap the word in the middle of the top of the screen and go to All Books.
    – Tuesday
    Oct 18, 2017 at 5:49

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