About iBooks

Learn about iBooks for iOS and Mac, including how to get books from the iBooks Store, how to organize your library, and more.


Use iBooks to buy and download books, manage your purchases, organize your library, and more.

iBooks is a built-in app on iOS 8. If you have an earlier version of iOS, you can download the iBooks app for free from the App Store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. On Mac, iBooks is included with OS X Mavericks or later.

iBooks and the iBooks Store are available in all App Store countries. iBooks Store content varies by country.

Get started

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You can use iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. For some features, you might need to meet these requirements:

  • To use iBooks 4.0 or later, you need iOS 8 or later.
  • To use iBooks 3.2, you need iOS 7.
  • To use iBooks with iCloud, you need iOS 6 or later.
  • To download from the iBooks Store or use iCloud features, you need an Apple ID and Internet access.

Some features of iBooks aren't available in some iTunes Store (App Store) countries. iBooks isn't compatible with original iPhone or iPod touch (1st generation).

iBooks features

Read books in multiple languages. iBooks can display books written in many languages. 

Read illustrated books. View illustrated books, such as children's books, cookbooks, and art books, on your compatible iOS device or Mac using OS X Mavericks or later.

Hear a book read aloud. Select children's books from the iBooks Store include a read-aloud feature. With the read-aloud feature, a real narrator reads the book to you and, in some books, highlights the words as you read along.

Interact with textbooks. View interactive textbooks on iBooks for iOS (v2.0 or later) on the iPad and iBooks for Mac (v1.0 or later). Interactive textbooks include study cards, glossary cards, and more.

Use accessibility features. Enjoy books downloaded from the iBooks Store using the accessibility features built into your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Buy books from the New York Times bestseller list (United States only). From the iBooks Store, select NYTimes to view the weekly top fiction and nonfiction hardcover books. If a New York Times bestseller book isn't available for download from the iBooks Store, it won't be on the list.

Control what your kids read. Parental Controls are available for books that you read on iOS 6 or later and in OS X Mavericks or later.

Buy and download

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From the iBooks Store

If you have an active Internet connection, access the iBooks Store by using one of the methods below: 

  • On iOS devices with iBooks 4.0 or later, access the iBooks Store with the icons on the bottom of the iBooks screen.
  • On iOS devices with iBooks 3.2 or earlier, open iBooks and tap the Store button.
  • On computers with OS X Mavericks or later, open iBooks and click the iBooks Store button.

In certain countries, you can also browse and buy books from the iTunes Store on your computer. You can also gift books.

The number of books you can have in iBooks depends on the space available on your device. iBooks doesn't limit the number of books in your library.

Syncing and Automatic Downloads

All iBooks Store purchases are automatically added to your iTunes library the next time you sync your device with your computer. To sync, use a computer authorized with the same Apple ID that you used to download the books from the iBooks Store. Turn on Automatic Downloads to have your new purchases automatically download to your other computers or devices without the need to sync.

File sizes

The typical book is about 2 MB. Books that contain enhanced features, such as audio or video, vary in size depending on the content. Enhanced books might take longer to download than a standard book.

The iBooks Store also offers textbooks that might be as large as 1 to 2 GB in file size. You might need a Wi-Fi connection to download them from an iOS device. Download times for textbooks vary depending on your Internet connection.

From the iBooks Store, you can browse by title, author, or genre.

 

When you buy a book, it automatically appears in your iBooks library.

 

Download a sample

  • In the iBooks Store, tap the book you want a sample of.
  • Under the book's price, tap Sample.
  • iBooks downloads an excerpt from the book to your library. 

After reading the sample, you can buy or download the complete book from the last page of the sample. If you buy the complete book, it replaces the sample in your library.

Download books from other websites

iBooks supports the ePub file format and PDFs. iBooks Author books are supported in iBooks 2.0 or later on iPad only and on all versions of iBooks for Mac. They are not supported on iPhone and iPod touch.

Some PDFs might not be compatible with iBooks. If you want to add books and PDFs from outside the iBooks Store to iBooks, they need to be DRM-free. You can sync them using iTunes 10.5.3 or later.

Add ePub or PDF files that you download from other websites to your iTunes library on your computer

  1. Open iTunes or the iBooks app.
  2. Choose File > Add to Library.
  3. Navigate to the file you want to add.
  4. Click Add.

Add ePub or PDF files that you download from other websites to your iTunes library on your computer from your iOS device

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Connect your iOS device.
  3. From the menu bar, click File > Devices > Transfer Purchases. 

Please note, these ePub and PDF files will only transfer once. After that, you must download them directly from the website to your computer.

Add ePub or PDF files that you download from other websites to iBooks on your iOS device

  1. Scroll to the top of a PDF on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Tap "Open in iBooks." The PDF is added to your iBooks library.

Books you download from the Kindle Store and other books that aren't in a DRM-free standard ePub format aren't compatible with iBooks.

See and download previous purchases

Depending on your settings, you can see all of your purchased books in your iBooks library.

  • In iBooks 3.0–3.2, turn on Show all Purchases in the Collections menu.
  • In iBooks 4.0 or later, tap the name of the collection you're at the top of the screen. Then turn off Hide iCloud Books at the bottom of the pop-up window.
  • In OS X Mavericks, turn on Show Purchases in iCloud in the View menu.
  • In OS X Yosemite, click Sort By in the upper right-hand corner of iBooks. Then click Show iCloud Books.

     

You can also download past purchases from the iBooks Store at no additional cost.

  1. Log in to the iBooks Store using the Apple ID that you originally used to purchase the book you want to download again.
  2. Go to the Purchased page.
    On an iOS device, tap Store (if you're using iBooks 3.2 or earlier), then tap Purchased.
    On OS X Mavericks or later, click iBooks Store, then Purchased under Quick Links.
  3. Find the book you want to download again. It should have an iCloud badge in the upper-right corner.
  4. Tap or click the cover of the book to download it to your device or to your computer.

Learn how to download past book purchases to your computer. Past purchases might be unavailable if they are no longer in the iBooks Store.
Downloading past purchases isn't compatible with iPhone 4 (CDMA Model).

If a publisher updates a book you previously downloaded, iBooks for iOS (v3.0 or later) and iBooks for Mac offer free updates to your iBooks purchases. Learn more about iBooks book updates.

Read and organize

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What you can do while reading

Bookmark your page. iBooks automatically remembers where you left off each time you close a book or return to your Home screen. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap the bookmark icon in the upper-right corner to bookmark a specific page. On your Mac, select Edit > Add Bookmark.

Highlight passages and make notes. You can highlight any text within a book, and then create a Note from your highlighted selection. To see your Highlights and Notes:

  • On an iOS device: Tap the Table of Contents icon. Then tap Notes.
  • On an iOS device in a book created with iBooks Author: Tap the Notes icon.
  • On a Mac: Click the "Show notes." icon at the top of your book.

Sync your progress. You can wirelessly sync your Bookmarks, Highlights, and Notes with your other devices using your Apple ID.

  • In iBooks 4.0 or later on your iOS device, tap Settings > iBooks > Sync Bookmarks and Notes > On.
    If you're using an earlier version of iBooks, tap Settings > iBooks > Sync Bookmarks > On. 
  • On your Mac, open iBooks. From the menu bar, choose iBooks > Preferences. Then check the box next to "Sync bookmarks, highlights, and collections across devices."

Look up words in multiple languages. iBooks helps you look up the definition of words using an English, German, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, or Japanese language dictionary.

See and hear built-in audio and video. Enhanced books can automatically play audio or video in the book.

Pinch-to-close. In iBooks 4.0 or later, you can pinch a book closed on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Read your books in airplane mode. If you download your books to your device's library, you don't need an Internet connection to read them.

         

Organize your library

You can sort books in iBooks by switching to List view and tapping Most Recent, Titles, Authors, or Categories.

You can also organize your books in these ways:

  • A grid or list view.
  • Specific collections based on a topic. For example, you can put all your books and PDFs related to your work in a single collection.

To change or add new Collections, tap the Collections button, or the name of the collection on your iPhone or iPod touch. To rearrange books in your iBooks collections, touch and hold a book, then move it where you want it. (You can't rearrange books in the All Books collection.)

Personalize and share

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Change the appearance of your books

You can change ePub books, but not PDFs or books created with iBooks Author. You can adjust certain features of ePub books, including:

Font size. Choose from five included fonts. At this time, you can't install and use custom fonts.

Text and background color. In iBooks 4.0 or later, you can use three themes: White, Sepia, and Night. (Select the Night option to read books in the dark.) Turn on Auto-Night Theme to automatically switch to the Night theme in low light.

Scrolling. In iBooks 3.2 or later, you can use the Scrolling View to read your books in a continuous vertical scroll rather than turning pages. This feature is available in any theme.

Share thoughts with friends. In iBooks for iOS 3.0 or later and in iBooks for Mac, you can share highlights and selections on Facebook, Twitter, Messages, or Mail (United States only).

Print books and PDFs

You can print PDFs and notes you've entered from iBooks, but you can't print ePub books.

To print from iBooks, you need:

  • An iPad, Phone, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later.
  • iBooks 1.2 or later with a supported AirPrint printer.

iOS 4.2 and iBooks 1.2 aren't compatible with the original iPhone or iPod touch (1st generation).

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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