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Rich4205 Level 1 Level 1

When I open a PDF file in Safari the file displays fine. When I touch the "Open in iBooks" button the PDF flashes briefly on the iBooks bookshelf, then disappears. I have tried this over and over the with the same results.


Previously, I was able to get the PDF's to stay on the book shelf after 3 tries. Rebooting the iPad corrects the problem for getting only one PDF on the bookshelf, then no other PDF's will come into iBooks until I reboot. Since I have dozens of file to get into iBooks rebooting is not a viable solution.


Anyone else having this problem?  My iBooks is version 2.1.1 (908)



iPad 2, iOS 5.1
Reply by EricOtown on May 27, 2012 7:11 PM Helpful

I appreciate your suggestions but I confused. I am having this same issue. I have dozens of books and probably a hundreds personal PDF's iBooks that I downloaded from Mail or from the Internet. Probably for the last few months, I have not been able to "Open in" iBooks for PDF's from Mail or the internet. When I am in a PDF in Mail or internet and I click on 'Open In", iBooks opens temporarily and I see the new PDF appear in the bookshelf for a second or two and then it disappears. I have no problem however using Open In to save PDF's to any other 3rd party App such as Annotate +, Good Reader, Notability and many others. After this issue started I used to be able to get the Open In iBooks function to work if I tried it multiple times.Sometimes it would work on the 4th or 5th try, sometimes the 2nd, and sometimes I would try 10 times and finally just give up and save it to Annotate+. I tried some tricks that seemed to work sometimes. Like making sure I would close the iBooks app in the multi-task bar before using the Open In iBooks function. Sometimes that seemed to work. Now nothing works. I've tried dozens of different PDF's from Mail or Safari dozens of times each and nothing will "Open In" iBooks anymore. This really ***** as iBooks is my preferred storage and reader for PDF's. I only us Annotate + when I need to edit or annotate a PDF which is pretty rare. Typically I am just saving to read them for work or personal use. iBooks is the best PDF reader in my opinion, when it works. I dont ever sync my iPad with my Mac anymore since iCloud. I have everything backed up to iCloud. No reason to sync with my Mac and take up valuable space and effort.


I haven't synced with my Mac in at least a few months. Anyway, I am afraid to delete the iBooks apps because Im not sure what will happen to all of my PDF's in iBooks. Not worried about the books which I can just download again from iBooks store. I could sync with my Mac to backup my PDF's but I believe that you also mentioned in your post that we should delete iBooks backups on our PC to fix this issue. I just want to ensure a way to save and backup my PDF's from iBooks before I go deleted the app and anything on my Mac. I assume that they should be backed up in iCloud. Just want to make sure.


I want to make sure that your suggested fix is the right one for my issue. Not sure if you were responding to someone else with a different issue. Also am curious what is going on here and why Apple has not addressed this issue with an update or at least a fix posted somewhere on their help website. This is a big pain in the but. Another issue that drives me nuts in the limitation of app choice when using Open In. I have hundreds of apps on my ipad and dozens that work with PDF's, Word, Excel, Powerpoints, etc. More often than not when I click on Open In, the app that I want to use is not listed as a choice. It is absurb to have to delete all of the apps in the list until I get the one I want to use to appear.  How can Apple have not fixed this issue in the many years that the Open In feature has been available on the iPhone and iPas is astonishing to me? Don't Apple employees have this same problem and submit a feature request? Don't they read the hudreds of posts on here regarding these issues for the last few years? If they really want the iPad and iPhone to be serious business tools, these issues need to be fixed. People can't have randomness decide what app they use to open a file from an email attachment or Safari. Just venting. Sorry.

All replies

  • Ralph9430 Level 6 Level 6

    First think would suggest is a reboot of your iPad. Press and hold the Home and Sleep buttons simultaneously ignoring the red slider until the Apple logo appears. Let go of the buttons and let the iPad restart.


    But you indicate that you have already done that. There an  additional thing I would try.


    First sync your iPad so that all the books and PDFs that you have are backed up to your computer. Then delete the iBooks app and reinstall it.


    Before reinstalling your books and PDFs try to load a new PDF from Safari. Perhaps try one that is different from the one that gave you problems before. If that works, try the problem PDF again. If that works I suspect that either your iBooks was somehow corrupted when installing the first time or one of your PDFs or books was corrupt. Add books one or two at a time and check to see if the problem reoccurs.

  • waldhaus1 Level 1 Level 1
    Apple Watch

    Are you in PDF collections?

    On th upper left there is a collections button. PDFs are stored in the PDF collection by default.

    Hope it isn't some other obscure bug.

  • Mattmlong Level 1 Level 1

    I was having the same issues and tried everything suggested.  I then opened the PDF on Kindle.  Next I tried again on IBooks and it worked perfectly on one try.

  • Mattmlong Level 1 Level 1

    Happening again.

  • osuvet87 Level 1 Level 1

    Same problem. It started after I loaded the update to version 2.1.1 (908).

  • Rich4205 Level 1 Level 1



    I have rebooted several times and the problem continues to happen. Once in a while after rebooting I can get one PDF to load in IBooks on the PDF shelf after three tries from Safari.


    On the first two tries iBooks clocks for a moment and the PDF briefly appears. On the third try it clocks for a much longer time and the PDF appears. After it does load in iBooks I am able to view it normally and/or move it to another shelf.


    Also, I have tried deleting a PDF that I sucessfully loaded into iBooks weeks before, then trying to bring it into iBooks from Safari with the same problem.


    This appears to be a bug in the handoff from Safari to iBooks.



  • osuvet87 Level 1 Level 1

    I don't think it has to do with Safari.


    I create a document using Pages in iWork, then I email it as a PDF to myself. Then I choose "open in iBooks" from Mail.


    At first it would go to iBooks the first time, no problem. After a while, and I'm not sure what changed, I had to do it 3 times, just as you did, with the title briefly appearing in the PDF collection "shelf" on the 2nd try, as you said and on the 3rd time it was there.


    Ever since the most recent iBooks update, even with rebooting, I haven't been able to put a PDF in iBooks at all. I tried deleting one and re-doing it, also. It didn't work either.


    I was trying to go back to a previous version of iBooks, to see if it still worked, but I haven't figured out how to do that. In the Internet descriptions of how to revert to a previous version of an app, it says to find the earlier version in the trash, but that's only on the computer, not the iPad, right? I can't find any .ipa that looks like iBooks in my computer's trash.


    Very likely I'm just not getting it, but that is what I think I (or someone smarter than me) should try next.

  • hlm23 Level 1 Level 1

    Having the same exact issues loading pdf from mail, and regardless of rebooting it is not uploading.  I used ot at leats be able to load pdf from mail after 3 tries, but as of today, not at all.

    waiting for some light on this matter

  • cavison Level 1 Level 1

    we have a large group of independant sales reps that are using ibooks as a way of storing our pdf information when working with clients, this method became a standard with us, until this same issue began, we have tried taking off part, then all of our data, deleting ibooks then re-installing it and putting data back on in small amounts, but the problem came back.  we are looking into other pdf visual storage apps and have found a few, but would rather stay with ibooks as it seems to allow faster access to information. 

  • Mereditha Level 1 Level 1

    I haven't found anything that works to fix this issue either.  I keep a lot of work files in iBooks and it has been a valuable asset until now.  Not being able to open and keep PDFs in iBooks started with the iOS 5 update for me.  I just figured out that my iPhone doesn't have this problem and I can't figure out why it works there but not on my iPad. I might have to bother the genius bar on this one.  It's too vital to let go of this ability.  I'll post back if I get a worthy fix.

  • cavison Level 1 Level 1

    i have been using an app called "ammo rack" it is actually better than ibooks, but is a bit doggy when i am scrolling through multi page pdf files.   but for now it is my "go to" for storage until this gets figured out.

  • Kilgore-Trout Level 7 Level 7

    I'm running iOS 5.1 on a new iPad with the current version of iBooks. I've tried several files from both Safari, iCab, and email and I can't replicate the issue. based on the quantity of reports of this issue, it isn't widespread and not a "bug" per se. Still frustrating for you. One thing to look into is what version of PDF the files you were using was created against and see if there is any consistency.


    You might look into GoodReader or Adobe Reader as an alternative to iBooks in the short term for handling the PDFs.

  • cavison Level 1 Level 1

    i am wondering if there is a capacity issue, the problem with goodreader is that it is not visual and you end up with a bunch of files inside of files, i want a visual interface, it is what apple is all about!

  • mortiz707 Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same problem, I'm also running iOS 5.1 with iBook Version 2.1.1 (908).  I Synch all my files and re-installed the OS and all the apps with iTunes, worked for a couple of files and i'm having the same problem again.  I hope someone is going to fine a solution

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