Using the Apple Books app in macOS (formerly known as iBooks), you can download your Books to your Mac for offline access. But where are Apple Books downloads stored? There’s no Books folder in your user directory, and there’s no Show in Finder option when viewing downloaded books in the app.
The answer is that the downloaded Apple Books location depends on the type of file you’re looking for. That’s because the Books app allows users to browse and read both purchased books from the Apple Books Store as well as compatible ePUB files that a user manually adds to the app.
Apple Books Location for Purchased Books
For books that you’ve purchased from the Apple Books Store and then downloaded to your Mac, you can find them at the following location. You can either navigate there directly or use the Finder shortcut Shift-Command-G to paste the location in the Go to Folder window.
There you’ll find a list of ePUB files for your purchased books. Apple unfortunately uses unique identifiers for the file name, so you’ll need to use Quick Look to find the book you’re looking for. Another issue is that purchased books from the Apple Books Store are protected with DRM, so while you can make backup copies of these files for use in the Books app, you won’t be able to open them in other eBook applications like Calibre.
Apple Books Location for iCloud Imported Books
If you’ve imported compatible ePUB and PDF files into iBooks, the app will sync those for you via iCloud so that you can read them on your iOS devices and other Macs. This means, however, that these books are stored separately from purchased books.
First, you need to ensure that your iCloud account is configured to sync your imported books. You can check this by heading to System Preferences > iCloud > iCloud Drive Options and making sure that Books is checked.
Once it is, you’ll need to use a Terminal command to open the corresponding directory on your Mac, since if you try to navigate there manually in Finder, it will switch to showing you the iCloud documents folder instead. So, open Terminal and use the following command:
open ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/iCloud\~com\~apple\~iBooks/Documents
This will open a Finder window displaying all of your imported Apple Books files.
Since you added these files to the Apple Books app, they shouldn’t have DRM and you can therefore copy and backup these files for use in other apps that are compatible with the ePUB format.
Backing Up Individual Apple Books
The steps above are useful if you want to grab backup copies of your entire Apple Books library, or at least many of its titles. If you only want to back up one or two books, you can instead launch the Apple Books app, find and download the desired book, and then simply click and drag the book out of the app and onto your desktop (or any other directory in Finder). This will create a correctly named ePUB that you can them manually move or back up. The same restrictions with DRM for purchased books apply, however.
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