How to Add PDF’s to the Apple Books App Using Dropbox

This brief tutorial will guide you through the steps required to add PDF files to the Books app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, using Dropbox.

Dropbox is a fantastic service that allows you to store files (2GB for free) online. You can also sync those files across 3 computers/devices (on the free plan) and access them anywhere via a web browser.

One of the many uses for Dropbox is to make it very easy to transfer files from one computer or device to another. So sending a PDF from your Dropbox to an iOS device is a breeze.

After you’ve signed up for a Dropbox account you’ll want to install the Dropbox app on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. It’s not mandatory that you install the Dropbox software on your Mac or PC since you can upload files to Dropbox via In fact, you can technically use Dropbox to transfer the PDF to the Books app without the Dropbox app on your phone or computer, it’s just a bit more involved.

  1. Let’s get started. Add a PDF file (or several) to your Dropbox account. Again, you can upload via the web or by using the desktop app. Once the PDF has been uploaded, open up the Dropbox app on your iPad/iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the .PDF you want to add to the Books app. Tap the “3 dots” button next to the file name (see screenshot below).
  3. a PDF in the Dropbox App on an iPad

  4. Choose Share and then Export file
  5. Exporting a PDF to add to the Books app

  6. Select Books from the list of apps.
  7. the Share menu in iOS

  8. The file will now be exported over to Books. This won’t take vey long.
  9. an Exporting status wheel

  10. Ta-da! The PDF will open up in the Books app. Tap the “back” button …
  11. a PDF in Books with an arrow pointing at the Back button

  12. … and you’ll see the PDF has also been added to your Library.
  13. a PDF added to the Books Library

  14. That’s it!

Now that you’re a Dropbox user, check out some of the other cool stuff you can do with Dropbox.

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4 thoughts on “How to Add PDF’s to the Apple Books App Using Dropbox”

  1. iPad is brand spanking new to me, I wanted a way to save text docs like recipes, it seems so strange that there’s no direct method of moving text files to the iPad. This method is a little convoluted (converting text to pdf) but it works like a charm. Thanks.

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