I purchased a book and have it in ePub and PDF formats. I can easily add the PDF to iBooks from Safari. However, I can't find a method to get an ePub book into iBooks without iTunes. I'm away from my laptop with iTunes where my iPhone syncs, so that's not an option at the moment.

Is there anyway to add an ePub book to iBooks without iTunes?

13 Answers 13


If you email the epub file to yourself, opening the attachment in iBooks will be an option in iOS Mail.

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Now you can use dropbox.

Put the epub in dropbox and open them using the dropbox app in ipad.

Dropbox will not be able to open epub but you can choose to open it in ibooks or other supported apps.

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  • I use this option to send ebooks to the Nook app, in addition to iBooks. – KatieK Oct 25 '12 at 15:57

GoodReader is capable of this. You can add a bookmark in Safari which will save the linked ePub into GoodReader's "filesystem", from where you can tap the ePub file and open it in iBooks.

As an aside, GoodReader makes a fairly good Swiss army knife tool for file management on non-jail broken iPads.

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  • 2
    Comments are not the proper way to do this, but GoodReader rocks big time! – CousinCocaine Jul 16 '14 at 15:10

Calibre might work. It's pretty flexible.

Here's the calibre conversion list.

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  • I think he wants to add ePub without using a computer. – Studer Aug 26 '10 at 18:17
  • Oops...guess I was skimming... – wdypdx22 Aug 26 '10 at 22:00
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    Works if one uses calibre's web server, see here, and opens it with Safari on the iDevice. – Percival Ulysses Mar 17 '13 at 23:00

Just download an app like "iFlashDrive", this way you can copy ePubs from any computer with iTunes even if it is not the one syncing with iTunes. Then you copy the files on the iPad/iPhone. In iFlashDrive you select "Send via EMail", then press "cancel", then go in the Mail-App and select the Mail from Drafts and delete it. Now go to the Trash and from there you can open the Attachment in iBooks :)

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What you need is some way to get it on your device: for this there are a lot of options available (and some are mentioned above).

Personally I have used two methods to achieve this. The first one is easy: place the file in Dropbox.

The second one is a bit more complicated, but preferred as it does not involve an external application or service on your Mac or your iDevice.

  1. Open Terminal
  2. cd to the directory where the ePub is placed (or drag the directory in the Terminal window)
  3. Type (or copy/paste) python -m SimpleHTTPServer
  4. Open on your iDevice Safari
  5. Enter the IP address of your Mac (you can find this in the "Network" pane of "System Preferences"), along with the port number opened by the SimpleHTTPServer (default 8000). E.g. if your IP address is, enter into the Mobile Safari address bar.
  6. The directory can be viewed as a simple listing: all files are shown as links. Click on the title of your ePub and it is downloaded to your device. Mobile Safari offers you the applications that can open ePub files (I only use iBooks for this).
  7. Close the server in Terminal on your Mac with keystroke "CTRL-C".
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  • Great answer, the SimpleHTTPServer method works like a charm. Note that the default port opened by the server is 8000 so that is needed too in Step 5. I've taken the liberty of editing the answer above to include this. – Dave Hartnoll Dec 29 '14 at 14:11

At the moment, you can't add ePub to iBooks without using iTunes (at least for non-jailbroken iDevices).

You could use Stanza that supports this feature.

Maybe, one day, Apple will add this functionality.

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  • If you email the file to yourself, it can be done. See my answer below. – Cajunluke May 2 '11 at 16:13
  • However Stanza is the best ereader around - and most other non bookstore supplied ones are better – mmmmmm Sep 22 '13 at 16:44

You can use iTools for this. It's free and allows you to import/export PDFs and ePUB files for iBooks. But it also allows import/export of pictures and videos. Works for Windows and Mac OS X.

iTools does not need to be installed and can even be used as a portable app.

Keep in mind: iTunes needs to be installed and have a trusting relationship with your iPhone/iPad.

See also: Copy PDF or ePUB without iTunes

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  1. Get any of a number of free or paid book-reading apps on your iPhone. Marvin is a good example of such a free app.

  2. On your computer, download CopyTrans Apps which is a free beta program that can add files and documents to iPhone apps

  3. Connect the iPad and let the iOS apps load in the program window

  4. Click on the Marvin app or on the reader-app you have installed on your iPad

  5. From the right-hand side of the program window click on Add Documents and browse to the ePub book file on your computer

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Source: How to transfer ePUB books and PDF documents to iPad

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AirDrop is Apple’s new (2011) technology for quickly and easily sharing files between computers and devices over a shared Wifi or Bluetooth. Works on many of the later models of Macs and iOS devices. As of OS X Yosemite and later, Macs can communicate with iOS devices over AirDrop (two separate worlds before that).

  1. On the Mac, in the Finder app, choose Go > AirDrop.
  2. Wait a long moment as your Mac probes the network. Any running iPad or iPhone currently running on the same wifi should appear within the Finder window.
  3. On your Mac, in the Finder, drag your .epub files on to the desired device that appeared in the Finder window. A message appears on the iOS device telling you that copying is in process.
  4. On the iOS device, in the panel that appears, tap which app should accept the files. You probably want to tap the iBooks item.


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yes there is a way to send ePub files to iBooks without iTunes.

copy trans manager ;) will allow u to sync music and books without the itunes hassle

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I purchased an item called 'SanDisk Wireless Flash' that now allows me to load or copy from any of my iDevices (pads, phones, etc). It is a small USB device that creates a small area WiFi zone (a few meters at best). First you connect it to your PC and drop whatever data you want on it. Next, you connect to the device through the wireless app on the device and it allows you to see what is on the wireless device and to download what you want: books, pictures, movies, documents, etc. I bought a 32 GB device but there is at least a 64 GB one.

It has been wonderful when I want to share data with family and friends. It also helps expand the memory capacity of the iDevice you are using for only a small financial cost. I am completely satisfied with mine.

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  • How can this device be used to solve the problem described in the question? – nohillside Jun 15 '14 at 6:58

Use a file manager and copy the epub to the correct folder. It should be there the next time you open the app.

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    And which file manager would you recommend for an iPad? – nohillside Sep 8 '12 at 19:09
  • This would be usable if you specified which folder - is it on the device or on the computer or one set up by iTunes? Specifically, iTunes will not simply scan the folder where it stores files, you need to add it to the iTunes library for it to know and sync a publication to an iOS device. – bmike Sep 8 '12 at 19:37

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