Frequently asked questions about iBooks

Learn what you need to use iBooks, how to get books from the iBooks Store, how to organize your library, how to change your settings, and more.

Get Started with iBooks

iBooks is a built in app on iOS 8. If you're using 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. Then you can buy and download books, manage your purchases, organize your library, and more.

What do you need to use iBooks?

You can use iBooks on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4 or later. You might need to meet these requirements for some features:

  • To use iBooks for iOS 4.0 or later, you need iOS 8 or later.
  • To use iBooks for iOS 3.2, you need iOS 7.
  • To use books with iCloud, you need iOS 6 or later and a compatible device.
  • 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).

How do you read books created with iBooks Author?

You can use iBooks for iPad or iBooks for Mac to read books created with iBooks Author. You might need a specific version of iTunes or iBooks to use iBooks Author:

  • To sync books made with iBooks Author, you need iTunes 10.5.3 or later.
  • For books created with iBooks Author 2.0 or later, you need iBooks 3.0 or later.

Is iBooks available in every country with an App Store?

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

Buy and download books

If you have an active Internet connection, you can access the iBooks Store:

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

From the iBooks Store, you can browse by title, author, or genre. You can also see featured books and books available on the New York Times bestseller lists (United States only). Tap a book to see more details and download a free sample.

iBooks Store showing recommended books

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

All Books

Do Parental Controls apply to books?

Yes, Parental Controls are available for books that you're reading on iOS 6 or later and OS X Mavericks or later.

How can I see which books are on the New York Times bestseller lists? (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.

What's the typical file size for books from the iBooks Store?

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 or require a Wi-Fi connection to purchase.

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.

What digital book file types does iBooks recognize?

  • iBooks supports the EPUB file format and PDFs.
  • iBooks 2.0 or later also supports the iBooks format used in iBooks Author.
  • Other digital book file types aren't supported at this time.

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.

Can I download books from other websites?

Yes, you can download EPUB and PDF files on your Mac or PC. To add them to your iTunes library, choose File > Add to Library, or drag the EPUB or PDF file to the Books library on your computer. If you're using OS X Mavericks or later, you can add them to your library in iBooks. To read your books, sync them to your device. The books must be in one of the above supported formats.

Can I purchase a book from my computer?

In certain countries you can browse and purchase books from the iTunes Store on your computer. You can also purchase books from iBooks in OS X Mavericks or later.

Can I copy my books to other computers or devices?

You can automatically download new purchases to your other computers or devices by turning on Automatic Downloads.

Are book samples from the iBooks Store downloaded to iBooks?

Yes, when you tap Get Sample for a book in the iBooks Store, 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 get the complete book, it replaces the sample in your library.

Is there a limit to the number of books I can have?

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.

Can I gift a book?

Yes, you can gift books.

Manage your previously purchased books

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

  • In iBooks 3.0–3.2, turn on Show all Purchases in the Collections menu.
  • In iBooks 4.0 or later, turn off Hide iCloud Books in the Collections menu.
  • In OS X Mavericks or later, turn on Show Purchases in iCloud in the View menu.

Can I download my previously purchased book again at no additional cost?

You can download past purchases from the iBooks Store at no additional cost. Here's how to download a book again:

  1. Log in to the iBooks Store using the Apple ID that you originally used to purchase the book.
  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.

    Book with cloud icon

  4. Tap the cover of the book to download it to your device.

Learn more about downloading past book purchases to your computer. Previous purchases might be unavailable if they are no longer on the iBooks Store. Downloading previous purchases isn't compatible with iPhone 4 (CDMA Model).

Can I back up the books I purchased?

Yes, any books you download from the iBooks Store 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.

What happens if a publisher updates their book on the iBooks Store?

If the publisher updates a book, iBooks for iOS (v3.0 or later) and iBooks for Mac offer free updates to your iBooks purchases.

Organize your library

To rearrange books in your iBooks library, touch and hold a book, then move it where you want it. You can also sort books in iBooks by switching to List view and tapping Most Recent, Titles, Authors, or Categories.

You can also organize your books 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.

    Collections and Hide iCloud Books option

To use Collections, tap the Collections button, or the name of the collection on your iPhone or iPod touch to change or add new collections.

Do more with your books

You can set up how you want your books to appear, add bookmarks, share your thoughts, and more.

Do books from the iBooks Store have any accessibility features?

You can enjoy books downloaded from the iBooks Store using the accessibility features built into iPad and iPhone or iPod touch.

Can iBooks open books in different languages?

Yes, iBooks can display books written in many languages.

Can I view textbooks in iBooks?

Yes, you can see interactive books on iBooks for iOS (v2.0 or later) on the iPad and iBooks for Mac (v1.0 or later). Interactive books include study cards, glossary cards, and more.

Can iBooks play audio or video included with books?

Yes, enhanced books can automatically play audio or video in the book.

Can iBooks read books aloud?

Yes, you can use the read-aloud feature included in select children's books from the iBooks Store. With the read-aloud feature, a real narrator reads the book to you and, in some books, highlights the words as you read along.

Can iBooks open illustrated books?

Yes, you can see illustrated books (such as children's books, cookbooks, and art books) on your compatible iOS device or Mac using OS X Mavericks or later.

Can I bookmark and save my page?

Yes, 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.

You can wirelessly sync your Bookmarks, Highlights, and Notes with your other devices using your iTunes Store account. 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. To sync from your Mac, choose iBooks > Preferences and select "Sync bookmarks, highlights, and collections across devices."

Can I highlight text and make notes?

Yes, iBooks includes Highlight and Note features. You can highlight any text within a book. Then you can create a Note from your highlighted selection.

See your Highlights and Notes:

  1. Tap the Table of Contents button.
  2. Tap Bookmarks. Highlights and Notes appear in their own section under Bookmarks.

Can I share my thoughts about my books with my 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.

Can I change the appearance of my books?

You can change EPUB books, but not PDFs or books created with iBooks Author. Here's what you can adjust:

  • Set the font size and choose from five included fonts.
  • Adjust the brightness of the device's display to comfortably read your books in any lighting. In iBooks 4.0 or later, you can use the following themes: White, Sepia, and Night. Select the Night option within iBooks to read books in the dark. You can turn on the Auto-Night theme to automatically switch to the Night theme in low light.
  • Change the appearance of books by adjusting the contrast setting on your iOS device. To adjust the contrast, tap General > Accessibility and select White on Black. When you open iBooks, you books will have white text on a black background.
  • In iBooks 3.2 or later, you can use the Scrolling View to read your books in a continuous scroll. You can use this feature in any theme.

Can I read my books while my device is in airplane mode?

Yes, you can read your books while the device is in airplane mode. You don't need an Internet connection to read books downloaded to your library.

Does iBooks include a dictionary?

Yes, iBooks allows you to look up the definition of words using an English, German, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, or Japanese language dictionary.

Can I install and use custom fonts?

No, not at this time.

Can I print my books and PDFs from iBooks?

You can print PDFs and notes you've entered from iBooks; however, you can't print EPUB books.2 You can also email PDFs and notes you've written from iBooks.

Printing from iBooks requires an iPad, Phone, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later and iBooks 1.2 or later with a supported AirPrint printer. iOS 4.2 and iBooks 1.2 aren't compatible with original iPhone or iPod touch (1st generation).

Can I pinch a book closed?

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

Will the Kindle app or other eBook readers for iPhone work on iPad?

Kindle and most eBook reader apps designed for iPhone or iPod touch should work with iPad. Books downloaded from the Kindle Store and other books that aren't in a DRM-free standard EPUB format aren't compatible with iBooks.


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