How to Get PDF Files Onto an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch

By Tyson Cliffton

Viewing PDFs on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is intuitive; you either tap to open the file or navigate to the website where it's located. Saving PDFs to your Apple mobile device or loading them to your device from iTunes is a bit more confusing. When you opt to open PDFs viewed in the Mail app or Safari on your mobile device, the file is automatically saved in iBooks. Alternatively, you can load a PDF file to your iTunes library on your computer and from there sync it with iBooks on your device.

From Internet

Step 1

Tap "Safari" on your Apple mobile device.

Step 2

Navigate to the website where the PDF is located. The PDF is displayed in the Safari Web browser.

Step 3

Tap the screen so the Open in iBooks option appears and tap it. Safari is minimized, and the PDF opens in iBooks and is automatically saved to the iBooks library.

From Email

Step 1

Tap "Mail."

Step 2

Tap to open the email containing the PDF you want to save to your Apple device.

Step 3

Tap the icon associated with the PDF file to open it inside the Mail app. The icon is a box with "PDF" in the middle of it and the file name along the bottom.

Step 4

Tap the PDF to display the Send To icon if it doesn't appear automatically. The Send To icon looks like a box with an upward-pointing arrow coming out the top of it.

Step 5

Tap "Open in iBooks." The Mail app is minimized and the PDF opens in iBooks and is saved to the iBooks library.

From iTunes

Step 1

Launch "iTunes" on your computer.

Step 2

Click the drop-down arrow in the upper left corner of the program window and then click "Add File to Library" to open the Add To Library dialog box.

Step 3

Navigate to where the PDF is located, select the PDF and then click "Open." The dialog box closes and the file is added to the PDF section of the iBooks library

Step 4

Connect your Apple mobile device to the computer and then click the device name when it appears in the iTunes program window.

Step 5

Click the "Books" tab.

Step 6

Click to place a check mark to the left of "Sync Books" and then select "Selected Books."

Step 7

Click the drop-down box that appears immediately beneath Books and then select either "Books and PDF Files" or "Only PDF Files."

Step 8

Click to place a check mark in the box adjacent to the file you want to transfer to your mobile device.

Step 9

Click "Apply" to sync the file with your Apple device. After the sync is complete, the PDF file you selected is available in iBooks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Information in this article applies to Apple devices running iOS 7.1 and iTunes 11.2.2. Procedures may vary with other versions or products.