Top 6 Fixes to iBooks not Syncing Between iPad and iPhone

Is iBooks iCloud sync not working? You can try the six effective solutions in this guide to fix iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone issue.

Demi

By Demi / Updated on June 4, 2024

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iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone

I have PDFs in iBooks on my iPad that don’t show up on iPhone; I have audiobooks on iPhone that don’t show up on iPad, either. Both sets are downloaded by me, not purchased. iCloud is on and working and iBooks settings seem fine. What am I missing?

- Question from Apple Community

The sync function of iCloud enables you to transfer PDF files from iPhone to iPad and vice versa so that you can access the books and PDF files across your iOS device. However, sometimes, you may get in trouble, such as iBooks are not syncing between iPad and iPhone.

If you are troubled by such a problem, you can help yourself out with the assistance of this guide that contains useful tips to fix iBooks iCloud sync not working.

Why is iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone?

You may have no idea why iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone. The following common causes may explain why. You may also get some clues to fix the issue on your own.

✘Full iCloud storage. iBooks will take up your iCloud storage. If your iCloud storage is full, you cannot sync iBooks let alone access them on the other iOS devices.
✘ Unstable internet connection. The sync process requires a stable Internet connection on both iPhone and iPad.
✘ Different iCloud accounts. One of the prerequisites to sync iBooks between iPhone and iPad is that both of them are signed in with the same iCloud account.

Failing to sync iBooks can also result from any other unknown error in the iCloud server or your iPhone and iPad.

6 fixes to iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone

You can try the six workable tips one after another to fix iBooks not syncing books and PDFs between iPad and iPhones. Alternatively, a simple way to transfer iBooks files between iPad and iPhone is provided in the next part.

1# Check relative settings of iBooks sync

To succeed in syncing iBooks between iPhone and iPad, you may need to set up it properly. Follow the steps to check and set up iBooks sync again on both your iPhone and iPad. Please make sure you’re using the same Apple ID on iPhone and iPad.

Turn on iCloud Drive and iBooks
On both iPhone and iPad, go to the Settings app > Tap [your name] > Choose iCloud > Toggle on iCloud Drive > Switch on the toggle of iBooks.

Toggle On iBooks

Turn on iBooks sync settings
To sync iBooks between iPhone and iPad, you also need to enable the sync settings by going to Settings > iBooks > Toggle on Sync Collections. If you want to sync bookmarks at the same time, toggle on Sync Bookmarks and Notes as well.

iBooks Sync Collections

2# Force restart iPhone/iPad

Force restarting your iPhone and iPad can fix common issues, and the one that causes iBooks not to sync between iPhone and iPad is included. Follow the steps to force restart your iPhone and iPad.

Force restart iPhone
iPhone 8 and later: Press and quickly release the Volume + button > Perform the same operation on the Volume - button > Press the Side button and release when you see the Apple logo.
iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press and hold both the Volume - button and the Power button > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the Power button and the Home button for seconds > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Hard Reset iPhone

Force restart iPad
For iPad with a Home button: Press and hold the Top button and Home button > Release both buttons when you see the Apple logo.
For iPad without a Home button: Press and hold the Volume button closest to the top button, then quickly release it > Perform the same operation on the other Volume button > Press the Top button and release it when Apple logo appears.

3# Check network condition

A stable network connection is a must when syncing across devices. Any network error can lead to iBooks not syncing across devices. If necessary, you may need to reset the network settings to avoid any network error. Here is how to do it.

Go to the Settings app > Tap General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Choose Reset Network Settings. Enter your onscreen password to confirm.

Reset Network Settings

After resetting network settings, connect your iPhone/iPad to Wi-Fi or cellular data and try again.

4# Turn off & on iCloud sync

To make iBooks iCloud sync work again, you can refresh the iCloud service by turning it off and turn on again. It is the most simple and tricky way to avoid iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone. The steps to turn off and on iCloud sync have been introduced in the first fix.

5# Unhide books

The books or PDF files that are hidden in the iBooks app cannot be synced across devices. That may explain why iBooks on iPhone is not syncing with iPad.

To check whether you once hid books on iPad or iPhone, you can go to the Books app > Tap Reading Now > Tap your profile > Choose Manage Hidden Purchases > Tap Unhide to unhide books you’d like to sync between iPhone and iPad.

Unhide Books

6# Sign out & in iCloud account

It takes time for iBooks to be synced across devices. Besides, you may encounter sync errors that stop you from syncing iBooks between iPhone to iPad. You can sign out the iCloud account and sign in again to have a try.

Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Scroll down to locate and tap Sign Out > Enter your password to confirm. Restart both devices, sign in the iCloud account, and let iBooks sync between iPhone and iPad.

Alternative: Transfer wanted iBooks between iPad and iPhone

Besides syncing iBooks between iPhone and iPad, you can try an alternative way to transfer the wanted iBooks between iPad and iPhone.

Here recommend an app named - FoneTool to you, helping you transfer iBooks offline and wireless. Let’s take transferring iBooks from iPhone to iPad as an example. The steps below are also workable the other way round.

Step 1. Download and install the app by searching FoneTool  in the App Store or scanning the QR code below.

MBackupper QR Code

Step 2. On your iPhone, locate the book or PDF file in the Books app > Tap the three-dot icon > Scroll down to find and tap Save to Files > Choose a folder to save it. Repeat the step to save all wanted files.

Save PDF To Files

Step 3. Put both iPhone and iPad close to each other, open FoneTool > Turn on Wi-Fi on both devices > On your iPhone, Click Connect Device > Tap the name of the iPad to establish a connection between them.

Step 4. On your iPhone, tap File Transfer > Files > Tap the plus icon > Choose Import local files to add books and PDF files to the app.

Import Local Files

Step 5. Check the wanted files > Tap Send to begin the transfer.

Send PDF

On your iPad, receive the transferred files, when it is finished, you can go to the Books app to have a check. You can also try its desktop software - FoneTool to transfer files among iOS devices and computer. It is also a powerful tool for backup iPhone/iPad to PC.

Custom Backup

Conclusion

That’s all for the six solutions to iBooks not syncing between iPad and iPhone. Hope you can get out of the issue with the help of one of them. If you don’t have enough iCloud storage left to sync iBooks, why don’t you backup iPhone/iPad without iCloud or transfer wanted iBooks via FoneTool? For more queries or feedback, please feel free to contact us.

Demi
Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.