Open & Save PDF’s to iBooks on iPhone and iPad
Want to open a PDF file and save it to your iPhone or iPad so that you can read it later? The best way to do that is by downloading the PDF file into the Books app, which runs on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
You’ll need Books (once called iBooks) installed to do this, which most people should have already, and at that point you can easily save any PDF and then access it later.
If you’re unfamiliar with the process, here is what you’ll need to do:
How to Open and Save PDF to Books on iPhone & iPad
On modern iOS and iPadOS versions, opening and saving PDF files to iPhone or iPad is quite simple:
- First you need to open the PDF on your iPhone/iPad, this can be done through eMail, Safari, or where ever you encounter the PDF
- Tap the Share button, it looks like a box with an arrow flying out of it
- Tap on “Books”
Now you can access that PDF from the Books app, anytime.
Books used to be called iBooks, and it’s the same app with the same functionality despite being renamed.
Opening PDF into iBooks on Older iPhone & iPad
On earlier versions of iOS, this process of opening PDF onto an iPhone or iPad was slightly different:
- Open the PDF
- Once the PDF is open, tap on the “Open in iBooks” button in the upper right corner
- Anytime you open a PDF with iBooks like this, it stores a copy in your iBooks library for accessing later
If the “Open in iBooks” button is not immediately visible, be sure to wait for the full PDF to download, then tap on the document again and it should become visible.
This is really nice because it lets you access those PDF files on your iOS / ipadOS device later even when you are not online, and you can skim through it like any other iBook within the app, because it literally downloads the PDF to your device whether it’s from the web or an email.
You can also sync these PDF’s as books within iTunes too for easy backing up, or if you are looking to transfer one that way.
This works on any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch running the Books / iBooks application. This really is the easiest way to get a PDF file onto your iPad or iPhone for use in iBooks, and it works with literally any PDF file, whether it’s a document, manual, book, a proof sheet, or something of your own creation.
The iBooks app was later renamed to “Books”, but the function still exists the same – you can store downloaded PDF files into the app with ease.
A variation of this trick is to save webpages to the Books app on iPhone or iPad for later review too, which can be nice if you’re looking to read a long webpage or article, or an online book.
Thanks to reader Dustin L for sending in this tip and screenshot!