iPad 2017 (currently running iPadOS 13)

I primarily use my iPad for reading and have about 200 documents in Books (PDFs and ePubs; none downloaded through Apple.)

When I go to the iCloud settings in my iPad, I see 2.1 of 5 GB being taken up by documents (and those alone). Only Safari, Books and Acrobat Reader are enabled under 'Apps using iCloud', along with iCloud Drive.

On icloud.com, it's similar: 2.06 GB used up by documents, but when I go to iCloud Drive it's empty except for couple of documents.

Every time I download a new document or rename it, I see a little cloud symbol momentarily pop-up next to the title. I assumed that the documents were being uploaded to iCloud drive, but I'm not able to find them.

Could someone please help me figure out why cloud storage is being used while the documents are missing?

  • Documents in the settings panel refers to all apps. Can you expand the storage usage and see what entries account for the usage?
    – Ezekiel
    Oct 14, 2021 at 18:58
  • Apple Books: 2 GB, iCloud Drive 9.9 MB; Apple Books: 0.4 KB (yes, again!); Backups 0 KB; Siri - (nothing). Weird seeing Siri there, as I have it turned off.
    – navneethc
    Oct 14, 2021 at 19:13
  • I've added an Answer since I believe I understand your situation now
    – Ezekiel
    Oct 14, 2021 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


Your PDFs and books stored in the Books app are taking up your 2GB of storage. You can disable these documents uploading to iCloud in Settings > Books. Disable the switch labeled "iCloud Drive."

When you download a document in Safari, it goes to the location specified in Safari settings. You can open Settings > Safari > Downloads and see what it says. On my phone, it says "On My iPhone / Downloads." To view these documents, open "Files" and click Browse tab to navigate to the location mentioned above. For me, that means clicking "On My iPhone" under "Locations" in the Browse tab, then clicking the Downloads folder.

  • When I download a PDF, I open it in Safari and then do a 'Copy to Books' from the "upload" button. And when it's ePub, I download it to Safari, open it via Books and then save a copy there. However, I mostly have PDFs, and can only see the handful of ePubs in the download folder in Files. Also, I don't want to disable the upload to Drive -- I actually need it, in fact. It's just that I'm not able to locate them in iCloud.
    – navneethc
    Oct 14, 2021 at 21:18
  • They're in the Books app. There is no other interface to locate these, just through the app.
    – Ezekiel
    Oct 14, 2021 at 21:44
  • Hm... sorry if this makes me sound dense, but then why is iCloud taking up all that space if I can't access the documents from Drive?
    – navneethc
    Oct 14, 2021 at 22:01
  • @navneethc It's still syncing the books between devices within the books app
    – Ezekiel
    Oct 14, 2021 at 23:03
  • 1
    Thanks. Yes, I'm looking into either an iCloud back-up or a manual one to my laptop with iTunes (and thence to another cloud service).
    – navneethc
    Oct 15, 2021 at 15:50

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