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Question: Can I stop iBooks from removing my PDFs from my device?

iBooks continually deletes my PDFs (and EPUBs not purchased through Apple) from my device. They’re still available to redownload from icloud (even files that I specifically did not upload to the cloud, to prevent this problem), but I’d love not to have to download my own files every third time I need them.

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Oct 2, 2017 7:37 AM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

From what I can see this may be related to the number of books in the library downloaded locally for "offline" copies. I removed iBooks entirely, then started downloading my entire library. At first everything stayed and I thought the issue was fixed. But as I got to the end of downloading my library, things had reverted to the cloud again.


I don't know if they've set some limitation on number of offline books or amount of storage used, but it seems like it may be related to quantity.


I have many hundreds of technical books I've picked up over the years from O'Reilly and the like.

Oct 2, 2017 7:37 AM

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Oct 2, 2017 8:11 AM in response to Matt Fahrner In response to Matt Fahrner

This seems like a recent change in behaviour. In my case I don’t have a large library and most books are unloaded to iCloud anyway. So I only have about 5-6 books offline. And iBooks keeps offloading them to the cloud without any logic. Isn’t the book I currently read supposed to stay offline? They don’t consume a lot of storage. So it’s clearly a bug.

Oct 2, 2017 8:11 AM

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Oct 2, 2017 4:49 PM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

That's interesting - so it isn't a large bookshelf?


I agree, seems like it must be a straight up bug. A bug that has rendered a tool I use day to day, partially useless. 😟


It's a little frustrating - I don't know how many times I've lost things like sorting order (gave up), books, etc. I wish they'd leave the thing alone or at least work on the PDF support so it auto-deletes margins!

Oct 2, 2017 4:49 PM

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Oct 4, 2017 8:18 PM in response to Matt Fahrner In response to Matt Fahrner

I think I found a solution by deleting the iBooks app and then re-installing it from the App Store. Then re-downloaded some books from iCloud and they remain in my library! Seems to be back to normal. Try and see if it helps

Oct 4, 2017 8:18 PM

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Oct 5, 2017 3:48 AM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

I did the same and removed iBooks completely. It seemed to work for awhile, until at some point when I had downloaded a certain number of offline books (I didn't track unfortunately) and/or a certain amount of time had passed, then the problem came back in earnest.


It certainly remains a problem, at least with my large library.

Oct 5, 2017 3:48 AM

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Oct 18, 2017 12:02 PM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

AFAIK, the fact that iBooks tends to delete books from local on-device storage is a bug. Normally, it should do this only if you’re running out of storage, but there are other users reporting this functionality as overly aggressive and deleting way too much. Please report to Apple.


To confirm your settings are correct:

How to make all iBooks PDF files accessible on all devices


The more people report the bug, the better chances of Apple addressing it.

http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Oct 18, 2017 12:02 PM

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Oct 30, 2017 4:22 AM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

It seems to be a bug. I know how frustrating it is, and sadly this hasn't been addressed on the iOS 11.1 betas (at least for now).


It appears to happen only with books not bought through iTunes and PDF's and, when your device is running out of space (For me when my iPhone had less than 10Gb's of local space, which btw is a lot of storage left for iBooks to start deleting local-stored books).


You can try for now increasing your available local storage, uninstalling or deleting the app and files hasn't worked for me, but give it a try.


Everyone having this issue please report it to Apple so they can fix it, http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Oct 30, 2017 4:22 AM

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Nov 2, 2017 7:53 AM in response to whythisWhyME In response to whythisWhyME

Weird. I just checked again and all of my books (which is many 100's and I think about 4 gb space) are stable and not playing the "now it's here, now it's not" game. That's been for a least a week and it was completely reliable in removing them within hours prior.


That said, the space under "iPad Storage" says I have about 40gb free (when it used to say I had about 5!) and looking at per application space, it says iBooks is taking about 39.2mb (when it used to read 4 gb in iOS 10.x)!


They've done something weird with the storage. Not sure why I'm lucky enough to be stable, but it's definitely not doing what it was doing before for me. That said at one point I totally deleted and reinstalled iBooks )(though after that it was still broken_. Maybe that reset interacted with later versions to make it stable. It's been fixed for me since about 11.1 beta 2 (I meant to post it here earlier, but couldn't find the old email links).


Anyway, I'm about to go to 11.2 beta - we'll see if it changes anything. BTW anyone can join the beta program:


Apple Beta Software Program


I've generally found it has been safe, but caveat emptor, your mileage may vary.

Nov 2, 2017 7:53 AM

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Question: Can I stop iBooks from removing my PDFs from my device?