13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 26, 2015 2:13 PM by bestsides
shawnhelp Level 1 (0 points)

When I delete a book (a PDF file for example) from my collection in iBooks, it appears to no longer exist within the iBooks app.  BUT, when I connect my iPad to my computer (using iTunes) and navigate to the books section under my iPad device, it STILL shows the PDF file that I had thought I deleted.


This also happens when trying to delete a song from my library within the Music app on the iPad.  I look at a song in the Music app, swipe left, tap the delete button, and it looks like the song is gone.  But then I connect to iTunes on my computer, navigate to music under the iPad device in iTunes, and the song that I thought I deleted is still there!


I have my iPad set to "manually manage" music and everything.  So, I can delete the song/book off the iPad from within iTunes.  But I don't want to have to connect to my computer and run iTunes every time I want to delete something!  I should be able to delete files using the iPad itself!  (right?)


It appears that whenever you "delete" something on your device, it does NOT actually delete it.  The file still shows up on your device and is still taking up storage space.


Am I missing something?  Is there a way to REALLY delete a file on the iPad, without having to do it through iTunes?  What is the point of having the "delete" option on the device, if it does not actually delete?


(FYI, I am running iOS 5.1 on the 3rd generation iPad, 32GB Wifi model.   This exact same thing also happens on my iPhone 4 that is also running iOS 5.1.)

iPad, iOS 5.1, Same issue also happens on iPhone 4
  • Demo Level 10 (88,789 points)

    When you delete a song from your iPad it is still going to be in iTunes on your computer unless you delete it from there as well. Any content that has been transferred into iTunes remains there even if you remove it from the iPad.


    Just because it is in your iTunes library on your computer, that does not mean that it is on the iPad. Unless you deselect the books or PDF files in iTunes, when you sync again, they will reappear on the iPad.

  • shawnhelp Level 1 (0 points)

    I think you misunderstood me.  I was not talking about my iTunes library.  I understand that the files in my iTunes library on my computer are seperate from the files that are on my iPad.


    I will try to explain again....


    I was talking about when I view the contents of my iPad in iTunes.  You know when you open up iTunes and in the left-hand menu it has a section for devices?  It is where you would be able to see any kind of iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc. that is currently connected to your computer, and would give you options for syncing, upgrading the firmware, etc.  Even though I am using iTunes, I am using it to view the files that are on the iPad device itself, because iTunes has detected that my iPad is connected, so I am able to view the contents of my iPad (I am not talking about the contents of my computer's iTunes library).

  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 (15,877 points)

    Because you have it set to sync to the iPad.

    Every time you plug the iPad in, it puts the file back on the device.

    Change the sync setting of the book.

  • shawnhelp Level 1 (0 points)

    No, that is not what is happening.  The PDF file(s) in question do not even exist in my iTunes library, so that is impossible.


    They are PDF files that I emailed to myself, and then selected "open in iBooks" from the mail app in order to get them into the iBooks app.  They were NOT synced from my iTunes library.  The only reason I was talking about iTunes is because I was using the iTunes application on my computer to view the contents of the iPad.  I am only talking about files on my iPad, NOT files in my iTunes library.


    Regardless, I have everything set up to be managed *manually*, meaning that it does not sync anything to the iPad unless I explicitly copy the file over manually.  Also, I have no PDF files or books in my iTunes library whatsoever, so it would be impossible for these files to originate from my iTunes library.  There is no "sync setting" to change on any book, because I don't even have books in my iTunes library.

  • pdisil Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the exact same issue.  I also can't open ibooks on my ipad.  I have cleared everything out of iTunes -> Library -> Books but every time it syncs it asks if I want to transfer purchases from my ipad to iTunes.  I select NO but it still transfers.  If I delete them from the Library -> Books they still show under Devices -> Books.  I can't open ibooks on my ipad and can't seem to delete them from the devise.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled the iBooks app serveral times as well as iTunes with no luck.  Can anyone help with this issue?

  • J_Dubbs Level 1 (0 points)

    Same issue here, this is a horrible experience.



    Edit: my issue was with music in Itunes not being removed to match the device, I had to hit a checkbox for manual file management, being at the bottom of the list it slipped past me.

  • dgg32 Level 1 (0 points)

    Exact same problem. Delete a book in iPad. It was gone from my iBooks app. But connected to iTunes -> Books, the ghost is still there.



    Solution, do not delete media on iPad. Delete those iPad content via itunes when you connect them.


    Annoying bug.

  • Stephen Cokim Level 1 (5 points)

    I have a similar issue.


    I have finished reading a book in my iPad so I deselect it from sync and deleted the book in iTunes.

    I then resync my iPad with iTunes but it won't remove the book from my iPad even though the book no longer exists in iTunes.

  • Steve Nicholls Level 4 (1,550 points)



    Do the items appear 'greyed' out and have a little dotted circle icon to the left?  If so same issue here.  See screenshots below:

    iTunes iPad connected image 2.png

    iTunes iPad connected image 1.png


    Although I've deleted from my iPad and they don't actually appear to be in my iPad when not connected to iTunes they show up again when I connect my iPad to iTunes each and every time.






  • iBobito Level 1 (0 points)

    Has anyone answered you about this one?

    I'm having the same issue and don't know how to remove them to make space on my iPad & Phone to add more stuffs ?

  • ronnyromero Level 1 (0 points)

    same problem here, and its been 2.5 years from the first post now...my ipad is on iOS 8.0.2, and itunes says my ipad is OVER CAPACITY BY 6.42GB...now can anyone tell me how is it possible to over use a Hard Drive by 6GB?


    Another thing is that this is something inside the ipad because i am using a new MACBOOK, never sync'ed to this ipad before, or any ipad ever.  The iPad is showing items I deleted a year ago.

  • farrukh0178 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just resync your device, and all those ghost songs/videos/books will go away.

  • bestsides Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem. PDFs that have been deleted from my iTunes Library, do not exist on my iPAD under iBooks are showing up in iTunes when I connect my iPad. I have tried resyncing....they still show up. If I tick one of them to sync to my iPad, iTunes returns an error telling me it cannot find the PDF so won't sync it to the iPad. So the app is smart enough to know the PDF is gone but yet it still shows up under Books. Has anyone figured out a solution. No, I cannot click on them and try Command Delete...that did nothing.