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Can't open PDF files in iBooks on my iPad

141493 Views 152 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2014 6:24 AM by Digital Gremlin RSS
  • RCluver Calculating status...
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    Jul 13, 2012 9:29 AM (in response to Rich4205)

    Rich...have you tried using DropBox to get your PDFs onto your iPad rather than Safari?

    I have lots of PDFs on my iPad both in iBooks PDF collection shelves and in the PDF app GoodReader.


    The process for downloading and then moving or importing into iBooks or GoodReader is the same from DropBox as it is from Safari, but I think it's more reliable.


    If you continue to have iBooks/PDF issues try GoodReader. It is cheap and dynamic.

  • Mereditha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 13, 2012 12:23 PM (in response to Dovsky)

    Try OrganiDocs.  It works the exact same way for Open In and allows you to set up folders for your files, etc.  all of your PDFs can filed into folders and be kept well organized in that app.  I was so glad I found it after iBooks stopped working with PDFs.  OrganiDocs is quick and simple to use, too.  It's very functional!

  • Dovsky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 13, 2012 2:25 PM (in response to Mereditha)

    Thank you mereditha, it is indeed a wonderful app, I stated using it and I am moving all my PDF books to it, it even has  a file rename option, opens all kind of documents and images so I can have all related files all together on one file, awesome indeed

  • Mereditha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 13, 2012 8:18 PM (in response to Dovsky)

    Excellent!  I'm so glad it helped.  It's a very stable product and actually makes iPad function the way it should.  Too bad Apple keeps this device crippled in so many ways...

  • Mereditha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2012 1:29 PM (in response to Dovsky)

    Just an update to this iBooks issue:  I have tried the backup/restore, etc. and everything except for CopperTiger's process to try and fix this.  I ended up getting Organidoc and using that instead (more on this later).  Today I thought I would delete some 'excess' PDF handling apps and see what happens.  That made iBooks reappear in the Open In list *BUT* when I thought to try consolidating  some PDF's into iBooks that have recently been saved elsewhere iBooks started glitching: it wouldn't let me move the new files on the shelf to where I wanted them.  That was the last straw for me.  This says that there is more to the restriction of 10 apps in Open In list.  This tells me that there is a PDF handling issue with iBooks overall.  Consequently I'm now in the process of consolidating things into OrganiDoc.

      On that note, a little about OrganiDoc: it will take PDF's, DOCX, Pages, Numbers, images and other format files, not just PDF's.  You can:

    Create folders/categories

    Rename files

    Preview a file before opening! Sweet!

    Email/share/print files from OrganiDoc

    Save files into a protected/locked folder for security

    Send the file to it's native program for editing

    And more that I haven't discovered yet. 


      I hope this helps!

  • tilemakerman Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2012 12:57 PM (in response to rodneyranger)

    I know the fact that they make you pay for support is frustrating. this is an issue i hear about a lot and i know people don't like the idea of spending all the money on a phone to turn around and spend more for support. consider it this way, when you purchase a car, they provide a warentee for any parts or issues that may have a problem in a short amount of time, then you can buy an extended warentee. Apple provides 90 days of phone support to all people who purchase a device and 1 year of hardware warentee. all of the support that AppleCare provides can be found on this website. those that want to be shown how to do things, can pay for the support that they offer. when you need an oil change, you have the option to do it yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. this concept applies to AppleCare. from everything i can see, this iBooks issue is one that has not been resolved by Apple but AppleCare protection does not cover that one issue and you'll have the protection to be walked through any other issues, and this one when a resolve is found. while iBooks is an Apple application, it is removable and optional for use. i can say that it is frustrating that it isn't working the way it use to but i'm sure it won't be an issue forever. iBooks is something that Apple made and is always working to make some sort of a patch for issues like this. i would imagine that the fix will be in the next update that comes out.


    sorry, to rant about this but so many people do not seem to understand the concept of AppleCare. contacting a knowledge base requires payment beyond just buying the car (device). side note, i really hope they do fix the issue with iBooks though, it's driving a lot of people crazy.

  • gail@instantiated Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 9, 2012 6:46 PM (in response to Rich4205)

    Friends, I came across a solution, perhaps *the* solution, but it has side effects you may not like.


    Last weekend after doing a backup I also synced everything, music, apps, books, everything, to iTunes on my primary computer. I had not done this for some time. Afterwards I discovered that many PDFs had suddenly disappeared from iBooks. I also discovered the problem was completely gone!


    I strongly suspect that an internal database for indexing the books got corrupted somehow for those of us experiencing this problem. The process of syncing books corrected the corruption, with the side effect that many PDFs got deleted.

  • Dovsky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 10, 2012 12:39 AM (in response to gail@instantiated)

    I'm not looking for a fix for iBook anymore, i came across several apps for my iPad  that are more usefull and better designed, PDF reader, and organidoc


    Organidoc, can read all file types, send several PDF up to 25mb per email , several pictures at the same time ... Not limited to 5 per email.

    Read doc, excel, save videos, convert to mp4, compress and decompress zip files ...., read save mp3 files...

    Best of all u can organize fles in folders and subfolders similar to other windows interfaces...

    Several Cloud storage options

    Easily Drag and drop in the iTunes file sharing section...

    Open in other apps...


    Cost only 5$ and it's even better than the iPad itself, a girl from the forum recommended it to me, mereditha, I thank her for tis life saver app, at least it is for me :) I don't know why apple is so frustrating when it comes to well designed apps, I think they made a good device and are letting people do the rest instead of having to pay fortunes on the software development as well.

  • Mereditha Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2012 10:49 PM (in response to Dovsky)

    Thanks for calling me a girl, Dovsky.  I'm on the other side of 55! Made my day.  I fixed iBooks after trying everything suggested in this thread.  I fixed it by deleting some other PDF handler programs.  What the hey, I can get them back thru the Purchased tab in the App store...  So now iBooks is an option again but Organidoc does so much more that I'm not using iBooks that way anymore. OrganiDoc will handle Word, PDF, JPG, and and other files.  It even hooks up to Drop Box and other cloud accounts.  There's a protected folder that keeps sensitive documents secure and a public folder option for sharing files with your workgroup, friends, family or whatever.  It's an amazing app - worth the price of admission.  Apple should take notice.

  • junquist Calculating status...
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:17 AM (in response to Mereditha)

    This worked for me as well. Looks like the list of "open in" only allows 10 like someone said earlier in thread. Also ticked of Goodreader as default app in the in app settings.

  • cavison Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 4:40 AM (in response to junquist)

    The final fix  that allows me to resume using iBooks is as follows:

    1.  In iBooks the PDF shelf can have only one shelf filled, move other documents to other shelves. 

    2.  Prior to downloading,,,iBooks must be closed in the background. So double click on the center button and  close iBooks, then proceed to download.    What I do is go to the doc I want to download, double click, shut down iBooks, then proceed with download.

    This has worked for me and several business partners.

  • absolutezero Calculating status...
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    Aug 16, 2012 12:52 AM (in response to Rich4205)

    Hey guys I think i just found the solution , after trying to open the file with different readers and browsers , the problem most probably lies in the file type extension , the PDFs that are unable to open ends with a .ashx extension which mac softwares are unable to process,  try deleting the .ashx at the end of the PDF link , and you should be able to open it ! :D

  • absolutezero Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 16, 2012 12:53 AM (in response to absolutezero)

    It has worked for me!

  • Pegio Calculating status...
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    Aug 18, 2012 7:22 PM (in response to Rich4205)

    I have been using iPad 1 (64 GB) iOS 4.3.3 non-jailbroken, primarily as pdf reader for about six months now and had the same pdf problem with iBooks on iBooks version 1 and 2.  


    There is just one main reason (as far as i am concerned) to use iBooks as Pdf reader instead of some other free applications there, and that is Brightness control that seems to be able to really lower the Brightness and not faking it by just darkening the colors, what makes big difference if you read a lot at night or in the dark room like me.


    I can transfer my pdf's to iBooks via USB cable though, although i don't use iTunes but 4Media iPad to pc transfer application (free version that lets you transfer one file at a time) and there was never problem as with Wi-Fi + dropbox, mail or any other application that would just not show that "open in iBooks" while dozen of other applications would have be there named.


    As for eyestrain i never had problem reading on notebooks because i can lower Brightness and Contrast there as much as possible and read whole night and days, whereas iPad1 did hurt my eyes after a few hours of reading on the lowest Brightness level. 

    They say iPad 3 is much better in that regard also because it allows far lower lever of Brightness than iPad1 or 2, so i would probably get one sooner than later.


    Now back to the topic !!!  Thanks to the suggestion there about deleting superfluous pdf applications, i can now again see "open in iBooks" and open my pdf's in iBooks from Dropbox, Mail or other applications with sharing capabilities !!! as well as some other pdf readers like SideBooks that were also hidden so i had to transfer pdf's to them via cable also.

    I've also, at first, turned iBooks off in the background but now i can open pdf's in ibooks even with iBooks icon there in the background so probably the main reason for success was deleting dozen of pdf readers and file transfering/organizing apps from iPad.  


    I still have about ten free pdf readers there because some feature nice curling page transitions like SideBooks, PerfectReader, Kobo etc. or some good highlighting and annonation or other capabilities. 

    I read pdf's in iBooks but do the highlighting/annotation in free apps like Adobe Reader because it is just click, double click or swipe away to get there. The same with some dictionary there in background while reading.


    There is CHM+ Lite application (free version) that i usually use for WiFi transfers via my router ( http (with opera, firefox, chrome...) or ftp(with FileZilla client etc.)


    Outside the room during the day i use eink reader though, Sony PRS T1, but usually cut off the borders of my pdf's before (if they are scans) and print them out in Adobe Acrobat or Viewer as 120x85 mm (landscape dimension of 6" readers) in Tile-all-pages-Mode, for the biggest possible letters and quickest page turning and handwriting/drawing on Sony's touchscreen.

  • jordanreese Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 19, 2012 1:03 PM (in response to waxwing)

    He's absolutely right. Can't use more than 10 open in PDF apps otherwise iBooks disappears. What a joke.

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