How to Download Books from iCloud to iPhone & iPad for Offline Access

Jul 16, 2021 - 9 Comments

How to Download Books from iCloud on iPhone & iPad

Do you want to access all your ebooks and audiobooks in the Apple Books app on iPad or iPhone, even when you’re not connected to the internet? If you want to have offline access to ebooks in the Books app (once called iBooks), you’ll need to download the books from iCloud so that they are stored locally on your iPhone or iPad. This is pretty easy to do, and it’s something you may want to do before your next trip.

A lot of people like to read or listen to books while they’re traveling, or passing the time, but you cannot expect to stay connected to the internet at all times when you’re on the move. Maybe you plan on being offline and out of cell range, on a plane, or maybe your cellular connection may get cut off due to poor cellular signal, and of course there isn’t Wi-Fi everywhere you go. In such cases, the offline reading functionality can be a lifesaver. So, with a little planning ahead, you can access your books offline at anytime, right from iPhone or iPad.

How to Download Apple iBooks / Audiobooks to iPhone & iPad Local Storage

The following steps can be used on all recent versions of iOS and iPadOS since the Apple Books app’s interface has remained mostly the same for years. So, let’s get started:

  1. Upon launching the Books app on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll typically be taken to the Reading Now section of the app. Tap on “Library” from the bottom menu to view all your books.
    How to Download Books from iCloud on iPhone & iPad
  2. Here, the books that are stored in iCloud are indicated with a cloud icon right below it, as shown below. Tap on the triple-dot icon next to it to access more options.

    How to Download Books from iCloud on iPhone & iPad
  3. Now, simply choose “Download” from the options menu that pops up from the bottom of your screen.

    How to Download Books from iCloud on iPhone & iPad

That’s it. Your download should be done in a second or two depending on your internet speed.

Once downloaded, you can put your device in Airplane mode and try opening the book to confirm that it’s accessible offline.

When you’ve finished reading the book, make sure to remove it from your device since a lot of people tend to forget about it, and over time, these downloaded books could pile up and consume a lot of physical storage space.

Removing Downloaded Books from Local Storage

To delete a book that you’ve downloaded, you can simply tap on the triple-dot icon and choose Remove from the options menu.

You can also remove multiple books at a time by entering the selection menu.

You can learn more about deleting downloaded books and audiobooks from your iPhone or iPad too if need be, usually to save storage space, or perhaps you’re done reading them.

By the way, you can also download music from Apple Music for offline listening too.

We hope you were able to download a couple of books to read during your next trip. What do you think of the offline Books library capability for iPhone and iPad? Do you use this feature? Do you have any tips or tricks, or thoughts on the matter? Share with us in the comments.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rodney says:

    There is no “download” button. Please fix this response. My audiobook will not download over cellular data. Yes cellular data is turned on. No I do not have access to internet.

  2. Scott says:

    Try going to settings>cellular. Then under “cellular data”, there’s a list. Look for Books in that list, and make sure it’s been turned on.

  3. Adam says:

    I don’t always have reliable internet access and whenever I need something from my library, it’s no longer on my device but in icloud.

    As far as I know, there is no way to “download all” and no setting to keep everything on my device. So, I have to manually redownload everything I might want access to before hand. I have 100gb of free space so I wish that apple gnome that deletes everything would screw off.

  4. Harold Rotth says:

    Thee is no ‘download’ on eittheer your menu or mine, don’t you mean ‘copy’?

    I do read they daily newsletter

  5. Peter and Rayner Yudkin says:

    What you don’t tell me – and I did know how to download books – is that iCloud steals them all, so I have to make certain that what I want is not deleted from my iPad, and I can’t read it.

    • Warner says:

      What do you mean “iCloud steals them all”? That is a rather bold and outlandish claim. If you put something into iCloud, it uploads into iCloud.

    • Albert says:

      Why do you think iCloud steals them all?
      You do not know what you are saying.

      • Dane says:

        I have the same problem and I do know what I´m saying. A very odd bug indeed, I have 1000+ books so it is maybe that but I download again, again and again and somehow they disappear again:)

        • John says:

          I really think this is broken in Apple Books and has been for a long time. I have a few reference manuals I need access to in places where I have no WiFi. Books aggressively purges content – including the cover artwork. Even if there is plenty of storage memory available on the device, books and pdfs are purged with enthusiastic zeal. There should be a setting to enforce a ‘do not offload this item’. I also find it annoying that Apple purges the artwork – scrolling through a page of books to find the one you want I’d made much slower because the cover you are looking for has been replaced by a generic red/green or blue cover. Seriously how much extra space does this free?

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