How to Sync Books to the iPad

Send books to your iPad to read on the go

Sync ebooks to ipad
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The iPad is a great tool for reading ebooks. After all, being able to bring hundreds, or even thousands, of magazines, books, and comics with you in a package that fits in your backpack or purse is pretty amazing. Combine that with the tablet's beautiful Retina Display screen and you've got a killer reading device.

Whether you've downloaded free ebooks or purchased them from an online store, you have to first put the books onto your iPad before you can enjoy them. There are three ways to sync books to the iPad, and the method you use depends entirely on your situation—how you sync your iPad and how you like to read books.

Only certain ebook formats are supported by the iPad. If your book happens to be in an obscure format not supported by the iPad, you can try converting it to a different file format.

Using iTunes

Probably the most common way to sync books to the iPad is by using iTunes. Anyone who syncs content from their computer to their iPad can do this easily.

  1. If you're using a Mac, open the iBooks program and drag the ebook into iBooks. On Windows, open iTunes and drag the ebook into iTunes—aiming for the Books icon in the left-hand tray will do you well, though the whole section will work, too. This will automatically add the ebook to your iTunes library. To confirm, click the Book menu to check that it's there.


  2. Sync your iPad
     with iTunes.

The above steps for Windows are relevant for the most recent version of iTunes. If you're using iTunes 11, continue with these steps:

  1. If you've synced books before, the new ebook will be automatically added to your iPad and you can skip to step 5. If you haven't ever synced books with iTunes, go to the iPad management screen and click Books in the left-hand tray.

  2. Click the checkbox next to Sync Books.

  3. Choose whether you want to sync All books or Selected books. If you chose the latter, choose the books you want to sync by checking the boxes next to them.

  4. Click Sync in the bottom right corner to add the books to your iPad.

Once the ebook is synced to your iPad, open the iBooks app to read it. Books you copy to your iPad show up in the My Books tab of the app.

Using iCloud

If you get your books from the iBooks Store, there's another option. Every iBooks purchase is stored in your iCloud account and can be downloaded to any other device that uses the Apple ID used to purchase the book originally. 

  1. Tap the iBooks app to open it. iBooks comes pre-installed on recent versions of the iOS, but if you don't have it, you can download it from the App Store.

  2. Tap the My Books icon in the bottom left. This screen lists all the books you've purchased from iBooks. Books that aren't on the device, but that can be downloaded to it, have the iCloud icon on them (a cloud with a down arrow in it).

  3. To download an ebook to your iPad, tap any book with the iCloud arrow on it.

Using Apps

While iBooks is one way to read ebooks and PDFs on the iPad, it's not the only way. There are tons of great ebook reader apps available in the App Store that you can use to read most ebooks. Know, however, that items purchased from stores like iBooks or Kindle require those apps to read the books.

  1. Make sure the app is already installed on your iPad.

  2. Connect your iPad to your computer and open iTunes.

  3. Select File Sharing from the left-hand section of iTunes.

  4. Click the app you want to sync the ebook to.

  5. Use the Add File... button to send a book to your iPad through that app. In the panel on the right are documents already synced to your iPad through that app. If it's empty, it just means that no documents are currently being stored in that app.

  6. In the Add window that pops up, find and select the book from your hard drive that you want to sync to your iPad.

  7. Use the Open button to import it into iTunes and queue it up to sync with the tablet. You should see it listed on the right side of the app next to any other documents already in the ebook reader.

  8. Click Sync when you've added all the books you want to have on your iPad.

When the sync is complete, open the app on your iPad to find the synced books.