I have an iPhone 6 that I want to use for one purpose: listen to audiobooks. When I connect the iPhone to iTunes on my PC, I can see the iPhone. But when I try to drag-and-drop an audiobook onto the phone, nothing happens (not even a "prohibited") warning.

  • The iTunes version is current (12.8).

  • iTunes is set for manual synching.

  • The iPhone has enough space for an audiobook or books.

  • The iPhone does not have a SIM card.

What can I do to transfer an audiobook file to the iPhone?

  • Yes, screenshots would help greatly. Aug 23, 2018 at 20:17
  • @JBis -- Was able to do it with Nimesh's steps and screenshots, below. For me, it was key to (a) do it SLOWLY, and (b) stay alert because iTunes insisted on recognizing all phones in the vicinity, not just the one connected by cable.
    – RJo
    Aug 24, 2018 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Audiobooks doesn't automatically sync to iPhone upon connecting to iTunes. Neither can they be added to iPhone by simple drag and drop. Follow the steps mentioned below to get your audiobook on your iPhone. The key here is getting your audiobooks playing in iTunes before you attempt to sync them. If they don’t play in iTunes, this won’t work well.

The steps demonstrate the procedure using iTunes for macOS and should be similar when using iTunes running on Windows. If someone can upload windows screen shots, that might make a nice addition to the end of this procedure.

  1. Make sure you have added the audiobooks into iTunes library or have downloaded the purchased audiobooks from the iTunes Store. You can check the same by selecting the Audiobooks dropdown in iTunes window. Play the tracks to be sure they work on the computer.

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  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac/PC via USB or WiFi. Once connected, iPhone button shows itself alongside the Audiobooks dropdown. Your iPhone is also shown in the sidebar. If not, Apple support has articles on how to diagnose and fix when an iPhone won’t show up in iTunes.

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  1. Click on the iPhone button besides Audiobooks dropdown, select Audiobooks under Settings in sidebar.

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  1. In the main area, check Sync Audiobooks, select Selected audiobooks radio button and select the desired audiobook(s) and parts to sync.

  2. Once the desired selection is made, click on Apply button shown towards bottom right. The sync progress will then begin - based on the size, it can take minutes or an hour or more. You can interrupt the sync - when iTunes is running and the phone connected, the sync will resume until it’s done.

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  1. Voila! Your audiobooks are now synced to your iPhone. Don't forget to eject your iPhone by pressing the eject button shown besides your phone's icon in the sidebar towards the top.

  2. You'll need to make sure sufficient space in available in your iPhone. Settings on the phone and iTunes will warn about space running out should that happen.

Answer to your queries:

The iTunes version is current (12.8).

Looks fine.

iTunes is set for manual synching.

Looks fine.

The iPhone has enough space for an audiobook or books.

Looks fine.

The iPhone does not have a SIM card.

This shouldn't affect your ability to add audiobooks.

  • Hmm. It's not working. Will shut everything down and give it another go tomorrow and report back.
    – RJo
    Aug 24, 2018 at 3:04
  • 1
    Finally got it to work. Printed the instructions, followed the steps SLOWLY, marking off the written steps and the specific icons/buttons on the screenshots. The PC interface has slight differences that present speedbumps when compared to the Mac (and vice-versa). Also adding to (my own difficulty), iTunes kept picking up my "real" phone on wifi, even though I was syncing the old phone with a USB cable. I do appreciate the carefully worded instructions and screenshots; together, a good set of instructions!
    – RJo
    Aug 24, 2018 at 19:35
  • @RJo Glad to be of help :) I don't have access to Windows PC. I'll update the post soon to add instructions for Windows too.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Aug 24, 2018 at 19:36
  • This is a great answer and the comment about how the steps must be followed each way. If you don’t save settings early or get the files playing in iTunes, they won’t sync in later steps.
    – bmike
    May 10, 2020 at 15:46

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