Anyone else having trouble with Books/iBooks syncing to Mac?

I use Books/iBooks to store PDFs like owners manuals for tools, appliances, and such. My workflow is to download them on the iPad and choose “add to iBooks” through the share sheet. I have a couple of different “collections” or categories. The collections and categories seem to sync, but the PDFs only sync on iOS. When I open the same collections on my Mac, it’s a ghost town.

Does the syncing work for anyone here? Any ideas how to get it to kickstart? Or is that not a feature?

It works for me. I just added a PDF to Books on the iPad and it showed up almost immediately in iBooks on the Mac.

One thing you might check is whether or not you have iBooks (or Books) authorized in the iCloud settings on your iOS device.

Any time I save content that I don’t purchase from Apple, it’s just a matter of time until I lose it.

First time was a bunch of Music/CDs I ripped and saved on an iPad. Got a new iPad and the “GENIUS” deleted it during the transfer to my new device (even after I explicitly explained it wasn’t purchased from iTunes).

Another time, I lost dozens of EPUBS I had purchased elsewhere and added to iBooks.

Bottom line: use iCloud all you want, but make a backup of your media or you’re asking for trouble.

I was having issues and then noticed in Settings > Books on my iPhone a section labeled “Update Other Devices” . Clicking it reveals a message that Books needs me to update my laptop to Mojave in order to sync changes. That may be part of the issue. It’s an annoyance for me in any case.

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I’m having trouble with the same situation. I loaded a bunch of books (mostly ePub) to iBooks on my Mac running High Sierra (MacOS 10.13; it’s old enough that it’s dead-ended at this release). When I try to sync with my iPhone running iOS 13, it doesn’t work. I check the Books setting in the iOS settings and it says I need to run at least 10.14. I’m assuming I will have to forget about using Books/iBooks as a reading solution. Any ideas?


It hasn’t been an issue for me as I’ve subsequently installed Mojave (but not yet Catalina…) on that laptop. I have an old High Sierra iMac which I still see the warning message for but without a retina screen that’s not a device I use for any serious reading. So…I have nothing to offer in the way of advice, just sympathy :slight_smile:.

Three thoughts

(1) File Share via iTunes:

(2) Years ago I was able to email myself epubs as attachments then Copy to iBooks on my iPad.

(3) I think there was a similar option to share to Books inside the Dropbox app.

I finally ended up pulling out my MacBook that I use for travel that is running Catalina (my desktop Mac Mini is the one that is stuck at High Sierra). I set up the Books on it and synced with the iPad and iPhone running iOS 13. I think working that way will suffice since having synced reading on the Mac Mini is more of a convenience than a necessity. At least I can keep up with synced reading on the iOS devices. Now that I have the main library set up, additions will be easier from iOS since they will generally be just 1 or 2 books at a time.

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