This brief tutorial will show you how to add PDF files to the Books app to read on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
Once upon a time (2010), this guide explained how to add PDF files to the iBooks app. Apple has since replaced iBooks with Apple Books – or Books for short. One of the many things Apple changed is the way you transfer PDF files to your iOS device and into the Books app – it’s significantly easier now. We’ll cover a couple of different ways for both Windows users and macOS users.
Add PDFs to the Books app from Windows
- The easiest way is to just email the PDF file to your iPhone or iPad. Send the file as an attachment to an email account that you can access on the iPad or iPhone. If you don’t have a mail account setup on your iOS device, Gmail is a pretty good option since you can access it via Safari on your iPad/iPhone (no need for an app) and the file size limit for attachments is 25MB. Note: if emailing the PDF isn’t a viable option for you, see the section below titled “even more ways to add PDF files to Books”
- Once you’ve emailed the PDF to an email account you can access on your iOS device, tap the .PDF attachment.
- The document will open in a ‘preview’ screen. Tap the Send to button in the upper-right corner of the preview window (see screenshot below).
- Tap Books from the list of available apps.
- The PDF will now load into the Books app. If you tap the back button …
- … you’ll see that the PDF is also in your Library.
- That’s it! Repeat as needed with additional documents.
Add PDFs to the Books app from macOS
- The easiest way to transfer a PDF from your Mac to an iPad or iPhone is AirDrop. If for some reason AirDrop isn’t a viable option for you, see the “even more ways to add PDF files to Books” section below.
- Once you AirDrop the PDF to your iOS device, tap the Accept button.
- When you’re asked which app you would like to open the document with, select Books
- The PDF will now load into your Books app. If you tap the back button …
- … you’ll see that the PDF is also in your Library now.
- That’s it! Repeat as needed.
Even More Ways to Add PDF Files to Books
If you’re a Dropbox user, there’s also a nifty way to use Dropbox to add PDF files to Books.
If you follow the steps in this guide but replace the words “Android device” with “iOS device” you can transfer files back and forth between devices using just a browser on your computer and a browser on your iPad or iPhone.