When I plug my iPhone in to sync I have a "Books" section in the menu of items on my device. In there are some old books that are no longer on my phone, at least that I can see. If I remember correctly, these are just PDFs I originally added, before the days of using iBooks to manage your books. When I click it I see the "Sync Books" section. Ticking the checkbox allows me to select these books but I have no idea why they're still on here -- as I mentioned, I thought these had been deleted long ago.

Books sync in iTunes

Even when I choose to sync all books or select particular ones, I don't see any appear on my phone. I am presuming I'd see these in iBooks.

What I do see in iBooks is all the books I have synced using the iBooks macOS app. I see these on all my devices with no issue.

Another, probably related, weirdness is that when I add new items to my library, it inherits some meta data from one of these books in question. For instance I added a PDF in iTunes, and it came up like this in recently added:

Weird adding issue

This doesn't happen when syncing through iBooks. It looks to be wholly an iTunes issue.

I don't particularly care why it's doing this, although it would be interesting to understand it. Mainly, I'd like to know how do I remove all references to these old books in iTunes so they're no longer in my library?

For completeness, this is what I see when selecting the File > Move Books from iTunes... in iBooks:

Move books from iTunes

I am using a recent version of iTunes ( on macOS High Sierra, though this issue has been present for a while after upgrading the OS and transferring my iTunes profile to a new MacBook.

I can provide any more information at request.


When plugging in an iPad I see the following:

iPad in iTunes

Update 2

This is what I see when searching my iTunes profile for PDFs or EPUBs:

No files found

  • Can you confirm the books do not appear when you plug a different iPhone in? If so, can you try restoring the iPhone from backup using iTunes? Then try deleting the iBooks app on the phone, re-syncing, and then re-installing. – Heath Raftery Jan 30 '18 at 13:31
  • I've plugged in my (albeit ageing) iPad and I get the same. I've updated my question to reflect this. – Leonard Challis Jan 30 '18 at 13:47
  • Hmm, maybe the rogue files are in the computer's iTunes library, not on the phone. What about File->Library->Organize Library->Reorganise Files to see if you can get the Books to appear on your computer's hard drive? – Heath Raftery Jan 30 '18 at 14:02
  • That option is actually grayed out for me, telling me they're already organised. Bearing in mind this profile has gone through a few different machines/installs. I'm wondering if it's some weird cache thing, though obviously not the one in my local library but in the profile itself. – Leonard Challis Jan 30 '18 at 14:18
  • So can you see the files in ~/Music/iTunes (or anywhere for that matter?). – Heath Raftery Jan 30 '18 at 19:28

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