I made a mistake on an epub I'm working on. I discovered that I left my backup on an external hard drive at work.

No problem, I have a "good" version in iBooks.

But how do I access this copy? I was working in Sigil, and there's a particular xhtml file I want to retrieve from the working copy on iBooks. If I can't locate this book, is there a way to view the HTML or use a SAVE AS command to put a copy on my desktop, or something like that?

I'm using a Mac running El Capitan, by the way.

1 Answer 1


Wouldn't you just be able to use iTunes to copy the file from your tablet/phone onto your desktop?

It's been a while since I've done it, but after you connect your device and it appears in itunes, you just have to sync it. (I don't think it's going to the cloud, but maybe I'm wrong).

See: https://www.wondershare.com/ios/how-to-export-ibooks-from-iphone-ipad-to-computer.html

Check out this too: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/163131/what-is-the-best-way-to-backup-epub-and-pdf-books-in-ibooks

  • Hmmmm...I'm confused. I recently purchased an iBook via iTunes, but I couldn't download it, nor did I get any advice or help from Apple. I then discovered that I can purchase books via iBooks, and I was able to buy and download it easily. While trying to solve this particular problem, I discovered a setting that allows you to move books from iTunes to iBooks. I wasn't even aware I had books in iTunes to begin with. Assuming that might be a logical choice, I went through with it. I'll check out your links...
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 22:37
  • Ah, your second link lists the correct path to my books. I discovered that path (or something similar) earlier, but I couldn't find it on my laptop for some reason. All the books are identified by ID's, and only one or two have cover pictures, so I'm going to have to open them one at a time. But that's really good to know.
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 22:45
  • I just found out that those files can't be opened. I get a message saying it's a "directory." Maybe the actual files are located somewhere else?
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 0:46
  • I meant to say, I can't open them with Sigil or BBEdit. Maybe epubs are "locked" after they've been imported into iBooks?
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 1:09
  • Update: I've learned that iBook compresses files before importing them, rendering it impossible to edit them.
    – WordBear
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 3:34

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