I have been trying to copy annotated books from iBooks to my computer. This has been unsuccessful. However, in the process I somehow lost my all my books! I think (hope!) they are not actually lost, because they still take up space, but I can't see ANYTHING in my library (iBooks is now completely empty).

In one of my attempts to copy books, I have turned on and then off the iCloud backup of the library. I think that they disappeared after this.

If I go to iCloud and then Manage Data, then I can see TWO entries for "Apple Books": one that is huge (700+Mb) and one that is tiny (260 Kb). Could it be that iBooks somehow created a new (empty) library and somehow loaded this instead of the existing library? I did not do any of these things... all I did was turn on the iCloud backup, and then turn it off again after it started loading old documents apparently stored in the cloud.

Can I safely remove the tiny backup and will it then see the remaining one? Or are there other ways to do this? I am also happy just getting the 700Mb of documents out of iCloud onto my computer and then resetting my iPad, but that too is a mystery to me (I can open iCloud online, and it shows the 700Mb under iBooks, but no download button in sight).

1 Answer 1


Finally figured it out. There are TWO locations where syncronization with iCloud is configured... the first one is under SETTINGS > iCLOUD > BOOKS. The other setting is under SETTINGS > BOOKS > iCLOUD DRIVE. Both of these syncronization options need to be activated for books to be downloaded from the iCloud. When I activated the second options, my books came back.

Still no idea why they disappeared in the first place, but they're back so all good.

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