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There is something strange going on with Books on iPad and iPhone. It keeps deleting some books locally, keeping them in the cloud.

It's frustrating because it happens when I'm offline and I simply lose the access to them.

Why is this happening at all? And how can I stop it?

I enabled syncing things over iCloud Drive and everything, but I can't see an option to disable such optimizations.


PS: the same thing happens with Photos, Numbers and Pages. The Photos app has an optimize storage option. But there doesn’t seem to be such an option for Books, Numbers and Pages.

A clear example: just a few hours I was reading a book on Books, I took a nap, and when I opened the Books app, the book was not available offline anymore. Since I don’t have internet right now, it’s simply impossible to access the document.

  • Guess you can disable iCloud for iBooks? – Holyprogrammer Dec 7 '18 at 17:56
  • Please add supplementary info to your question: iPad version and iOS version - no application iBook since version 10.x, only Books - may be a typo or you are in unfortunate case of unsupported software/hardware. Are you up to date? Syncing may be disabled in Settings -> Books -> Reading Now AND iCloud Drive buttons must be disabled. – Yoan Dec 8 '18 at 14:36
  • @KhushrajRathod No, that will disable syncing the books between devices. – Ionică Bizău Dec 11 '18 at 15:17
  • @Yoan I'm up-to-date, using iOS 12.1.1. I corrected the name of the app. Indeed, it's "Books". – Ionică Bizău Dec 11 '18 at 15:17
  • @Yoan Sorry, syncing does work. What is weird is that the local copies of the books get deleted randomly, and I have to redownload them. Nothing is lost, except the local copy, which later will require internet to be downloaded. – Ionică Bizău Dec 11 '18 at 15:19
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I second trying to disable iCloud for Books and see what the result is.

As for the photos on your iPad, sounds like you have 'Optimize iPad Storage' turned on for Photos under iCloud settings. If you go into settings>Apple ID>iCloud>Photos then select download and keep originals it should fix the issue with your photos. If you have the 'Optimize iPad Storage' option selected your device will keep a smaller resolution copy of the picture and attempt to download the full resolution picture when you access it through the Photos App or elsewhere. Here is Apple's article with the steps I described: Manage your photo and video storage

  • For the photos, indeed, the optimize setting is the issue. But there is no Optimize iPad Books option... – Ionică Bizău Dec 8 '18 at 3:56
  • I tried disabling iCloud for Books and that's gonna hide all the books that I need... – Ionică Bizău Dec 9 '18 at 2:39
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I feel you. I've never been able to figure this out, and it is so frustrating. This might not be the answer you're looking for, however, I've migrated away from using iBooks and using iCloud for syncing anything besides things like the keychain and settings.

Since you mentioned you were reading a pdf ebook, I recommend an app called Bluefire Reader. It does ePub, PDF, and Adobe DRM. Of course, if you have a bunch of ebooks you've bought from Apple, well, that's another thing; DeDRM does exist, but that's really all I can say on that.

  • Does Bluefire Reader sync the docs across the devices? And does it support highlighting and writing over the documents? – Ionică Bizău Dec 10 '18 at 13:26
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+25

Try disabling iCloud for Books.

Note: Make sure you have your books saved so they do not get deleted.

Here's how:

Go to settings.

Tap on your Apple ID at the top:

Then click on iCloud:

Then turn off the switch for books:

For your photos you can turn optimise iPhone storage off in photo settings:

  • I mentioned I still want to sync the books over iCloud... – Ionică Bizău Dec 8 '18 at 3:55
  • @IonicăBizău I don’t get your issue then. You want to sync books but you don’t want them to be synced online??? – user310476 Dec 8 '18 at 9:17
  • The issue is they get deleted from the device (locally) without my interaction... I want them to be synced online, but not being deleted automatically... – Ionică Bizău Dec 9 '18 at 2:40
  • I honestly don't think (if you're having this issue) there's a fix (if you must sync with iCloud). I have it too; no matter how I change the settings, some content is always being placed only in the cloud. It never really respects any "keep everything locally" settings. I sync with Google and/or Amazon now for books and photos now. – Geoff Nixon Dec 9 '18 at 6:54
  • @GeoffNixon So—is that the expected behavior? – Ionică Bizău Dec 11 '18 at 15:19
0

To answer your question: seems to be intended as is expressed in iPad/iPhone Users Guide, iOS version 11.4. An excerpt in the picture below (yellow highlighting is mine):

enter image description here

This good description is now almost vanished in the recent version (not as explicit as this one).

As for storing locally, on the iPad, you may watch/compute/verify as follows:

1) Verify a book download: Go to Settings -> General -> iPad Storage -> Books and click to the right and see two items, there, Documents & Data and dully note the size of these.

2) Add a new book: (download a new one) and check/verify/note the new size as in previous point.

Note the size should be >0; if equal zero could be something else wrong.

3) Turn off the wifi from Settings -> Wifi

4) Verify again the size as in 2) Should be the same.

5) Open the Books and manage your download. See the picture below:

enter image description here

Now, please observe three dots to the right and under the book icon. Click on them and choose what to do with the book: add to Collections.

6) Also in Books: Click on Library icon on the lowest row of the display. This will open the Collections page. Click/tap on Collections word and choose from the pop-down listing. You should have a menu item Downloaded where all downloaded books should take place.

7) Verify the iCloud storage occupied by your books: in Settings -> [your name] -> iCloud -> Manage Storage -> Apple Books -> Documents & Data. You may have more than a single item Apple Books.

If the size here is smaller or equal than the size found in 4) for sure you have booked stored locally.

Note the size may vary, after some time some books will be reloaded to iCloud if no activity on them.

  • Yoan, the used iCloud storage will be always bigger than the local one because all my books are in the iCloud storage, but not all of them are on my iPad. after some time some books will be reloaded to iCloud if no activity on them — Why is that? – Ionică Bizău Mar 10 at 6:26
  • Seems to me, based on some observations and some Apple developer speeches that Apple uses some kind of AI and other techniques and based also on the frequency of use, the books are moved back to iCloud. So, from time to time, if needed, you must download them again. If purchased from Apple, those books don't count in iCloud space (only a link on Apple store is saved, so you understand the benefits, for both you and Apple). – Yoan Mar 10 at 14:21
  • I fail to understand what kind of AI is that which deletes my book after 5 minutes of interacting with it when not even connected to internet... And Apple Support is not helping me either because I don't have a phone number from a country where they have phone support... It's so frustrating. – Ionică Bizău Mar 11 at 8:35
  • What kind of books do you have - i.e. purchased from Apple Store or .pdf downloaded from the internet? And also is your iPad a new one or older one? Also you may try Apple Support to post questions. Did you checked also some other methods - i.e. move a book to Files folder? did they disappear from there also? – Yoan Mar 11 at 9:49
  • It is a relatively new iPad (2017). I have the same issue with two iPhones (SE and XS). The general issue is that iOS is deleting local copies of cloud content from time to time. The issue affects Files, Numbers, Pages, Books, Keynote etc... The scenario is: I work on something, I travel, and the documents may be gone in the iCloud. I don't have the guarantee they will stay on the device. – Ionică Bizău Mar 11 at 9:52

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