Where are Books stored on your Mac? Here’s your Books library location

The Books app (earlier called iBooks) on your Mac stores the downloads of your books in EPUB format. EPUB format isn’t proprietary and can be used even on non-Apple platforms. To get the original book files, you might want to find the location where they are downloaded and saved. This tutorial shows you how to get the book files and find the folder where all your downloaded books are stored on your Mac.

iBooks library location Finder Icons view large thumbnails

How to get the file of a book in the Books app

Here’s how to save the original file of a book from Mac’s Books app:

1) Open the Books app and click All from the left sidebar.

2) Click the three dots below a book and choose Download. If the book isn’t added to your Library, search for it and click GET to download it.

3) Once the book is downloaded, decrease the size of the Books app window. Now, drag the book from the Books app onto the desktop or a folder to get its EPUB file.

Get book file from the Books app on Mac

Follow the same steps to get the PDF file out from the Books app into a folder.

How to find Books library location

Unlike iTunes or the Music app, the Books app doesn’t provide outward-facing options to change the books library location. But don’t worry, you can still browse your Books library location manually in Finder by following our step-by-step instructions:

1) Open the Finder, and from the top, click Go.

2) Choose Go to Folder.

3) Type or paste in the following path and press the enter key or click Go.

~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/Data/Documents/iBooks

iBooks library location Finder Go menu

4) You should see a new Finder window with folders. Specifically:

  • Books: Your downloaded Apple books are here. If you don’t see anything here except a Books.plist file, that means you haven’t downloaded any book. Open Mac’s Books app to download a title.
  • Downloads: In-progress downloads are kept here until completed.
  • Temporary: Temporary files. Moving on, nothing to see here, folks.
  • Updates: New versions of your books are temporarily stored here until installed.

5) To access your books, double-click the folder Books to open it. You can now browse your books in EPUB format. From here, you can copy them to a different folder for backup or right-click to share the file.

iBooks library location Finder window Mac

It might be a good idea to make backups of your books by copying the files to a custom folder on your Mac and ensuring they are included in your backup scheme. However, you are strongly discouraged from deleting, renaming, or otherwise manipulating Books in your library using the Finder because doing so may break the Books library structure.

The book’s file names in its location are not the book title but a string of numbers. Don’t change them. Follow the first method if you want to get the book file with its actual title.

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