How to Delete Books from iBooks—Now Apple Books

Plus how to hide books in Apple Books

Apple's Book app (formerly iBooks) is a longtime fan favorite among Apple users. The interface is easy to navigate, and it offers a good alternative for people who don't have a Kindle or another e-book reader. This article walks you through how to delete books from the Books app on a Mac or iOS device and how to hide and unhide books you want to keep.

Deleting a book, audiobook or PDF that you imported from a source other than the Books Store removes it from all your synced devices and iCloud.

However, you can't delete items you purchased from the Book Store from iCloud, even if you remove them from your Mac. The solution is to hide them.

Instructions in this article apply to macOS Catalina (10.15) and iOS 14.

How to Delete Books From the Books App on a Mac

Sometimes books need to go to clear up space or maybe you didn't like them. Whatever the reason, here's how you delete books from your Books library on a Mac.

If you see a book cover with a cloud icon on it, the book is at iCloud but not on your device.

  1. Open the Books app on your Mac from the Applications folder or the Dock.

    Books app icon in Mac Dock
  2. Select the Library tab at the top of the Books app and All Books in the left panel.

    Books app with Library tab selected on a Mac
  3. Select the book you want to delete to highlight it and then press the Delete key on your keyboard. (If it's part of a collection, open the collection first, then select the book.)

    A book selected in the Books app on a Mac
  4. In the confirmation screen, select Delete to remove the book from the Mac. If you purchased the book from the Books Store, you can download it from iCloud again when you want it.

    Confirmation screen for deleting a purchased book from the Books app

    If the book you delete wasn't purchased from the Books Store, you have an additional option to click Remove Everywhere in the confirmation screen, and the book (or audiobook or PDF) is deleted from your Mac, iCloud, and iCloud connected devices.

How to Hide Books in the Books App on a Mac

If you'd rather hide books than delete them, you can.

When you hide a book in the Books library, you won't see it on any of your connected devices. If you have Family Sharing set up, your family members can't see or download any hidden items.

  1. In the Books app on the Mac, select the Book Store tab at the top of the screen.

    Mac Books app with Book Store tab selected
  2. Select Featured in the sidebar on the left side of the screen.

    The Mac Music app with Featured selected in the Book Store tab
  3. Select Purchased in the Quick Links section. Enter your Apple ID and password to continue.

    Purchased selected in the Books Quick Link section
  4. Locate the book you want to hide and press the X in the corner. Confirm that you want to hide the book by pressing Hide in the confirmation screen.

    Purchased screen in Mac Books app

How to Unhide Books in the Books App on a Mac

To restore a book to your library:

  1. Select Store on the Books app menu bar and select View My Apple ID from the drop-down menu. Enter your Apple ID information to continue.

    The Store menu in Books app for Mac with View My Apple ID selected
  2. Scroll down to the Downloads and Purchases section and select Manage next to Hidden Purchases.

    Apple account with Manage highlighted next to Hidden Purchases
  3. Select Unhide under each book you want to return to your library. When you are finished, click Back to Account > Done.

    The Books Hidden Purchases screen with Unhide selected

How to Delete or Hide Books in the iOS Books App

Deleting books on iPhone or iPad is a little different than on Mac. 

  1. Open the Books app on your iPhone or another iOS device.

  2. Tap Library at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Locate the book you want to delete and tap the three dots underneath it. (If it's in a collection, open the collection first.)

  4. Select Remove on the screen that opens.

  5. Tap Remove Download. If you prefer to hide the book on the iOS device rather than remove it, tap Hide Book instead.

    iOS Books app on iPhone showing how to remove a downloaded book

How to Unhide Books on iOS

The process for seeing your hidden purchases on iOS is even easier than hiding them in the first place.

  1. Open the Books app on your iPhone or other iOS device.

  2. Tap Reading Now in the bottom left corner. Scroll to the top and tap the account icon.

  3. Tap Manage Hidden Purchases. Enter your Apple ID to continue.

  4. Tap Unhide next to any book to send it back to your library. Tap Done to exit the screen.

    iOS Books app showing path to hidden books
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