Deleting Books in iBooks

You can easily delete books you have added to iBooks unless you have added them from the iBooks Store. In that case the best you can do is to hide these books using a hard-to-find function in the iBooks app.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Deleting Books in iBooks.

When you go into iBooks and you look under All Books you'll see all of the books that you've purchased or added to iBooks. Now sometimes you want to get rid of one of these. There are various ways to do that and it's important to understand what is actually on your Mac, what is actually something you've purchased, and what some of these symbols mean.

For instance here I've got five books in this sample account here. Three of them are actually here on my Mac ready for me to read. Two of them are not. You can see these little cloud icons here in the upper right. That means that I own these books but they are not currently on my Mac. Now to get them on my Mac all I need to do is double click them for them to open and, as an intermediate step, will download these. They are pretty quick downloads. Of course books that are just text are pretty quick to add. So that's what these little cloud icons mean.

Now you may wish to actually delete some of these books permanently. If they are things that you've added on your own say by dragging and dropping e Pub or PDF documents into iBooks it's pretty easy to permanently delete things. For instance I can select this book here which is a PDF I just dragged and dropped into iBooks at some point. I hit the delete key on my Mac and it asks if I want to delete it on my Mac. I hit Delete and it will be gone. Sometimes it will ask if you want it to delete it from all devices. This is a sample account so it's not really hooked up to any other devices right now. But if you had iBooks on your iPhone, or your iPad, you'll be asked do you want this to be deleted from all your devices.

Now, how do you delete one of these guys? Because if you select it, and I hit Delete, I get nothing. It doesn't give me that option. So I have several different options. One is to go to the Sort By function here. If I click it I can hide iCloud books. What this will do is it will hide all the books that I don't actually have on this computer. Now I still have them. I can go back here and click Show iCloud Books. If I were to download one, I'll click here and you can see it will download this, then once it's fully downloaded if I Hide iCloud Books it will still be there because I have a local copy of it. If I want to delete it, now you can see it will just remove the download but it is still shown there when I do the full view of all the books I have downloaded plus the iCloud books.

So what if this is a book I'm finished with, I've already read. Maybe it was the wrong book I downloaded for free or something. I just don't want to see it anymore. Well there is a way to get rid it. You can't permanently get rid of it because the record that you've actually downloaded it from iBooks is still going to be there. But you can hide that individual title.

The way to do that is to go to the iBook Store, click on that button, make sure you're in Featured, and then scroll to the bottom here. Here you can see Purchased. Click on that and you can see the books that you've purchased. You can see when I move my cursor over them I have a X next to them. I can click the X and it will ask if I want to hide this individual purchase. I hit Hide. Now I go back to the library and you can see it's gone. Even though I've got iCloud books turned on, I can see another iCloud book there, it's not listed here.

This is as close as you can get to deleting and for all intents and purposes it's totally gone. If you want to get it back you can go to the iBook store again, go to Featured, go to the bottom, but this time hit Account. You also had the access there on the right side you may have noticed. Once you login you can scroll down and you can see iTunes in the Cloud and Hidden Purchases. Click Manage and this will show you the purchases you've hidden and you can unhide them. So that's how to undo that. If you've done that for a lot of titles you can even search through there to quickly find the one you want to unhide. I go back to library and there I've added that title back in. It hasn't downloaded it but at least it's there for me to download when I click it.