How to Save PDF Files on an iPad

  Matt Cone       May 14, 2012      Tutorials iPad


You probably know that you can read PDF documents on your iPad, but did you know that you can also save PDF files to the iBooks app on your iPad? This is useful for saving free ebooks in PDF file format from websites like Open Library. You also can save anything from bank statements and college course syllabi to scanned documents and tenant agreements. It’s not a stretch to say that your iPad could become a portable document management system!

Here’s how to save PDF files on your iPad:

  1. Open a PDF document on your iPad. You can do this by accessing a PDF file on a website in Safari, opening a PDF attachment in Mail, or opening a file in Dropbox, to name but a few examples. If you don’t have a PDF file available right now and you’d like to try following along with this tutorial, you can download a free ebook from Open Library.

  2. If you’ve opened a PDF file in Safari, tap once to display a bar at the top of the screen, as shown below. Tap Open in “iBooks”.

    Sending a PDF file to iBooks on an iPad

  3. If you’ve opened a PDF file in Mail, tap the arrow button and then tap Open in “iBooks”, as shown below.

    Opening a PDF file on an iPad

  4. The PDF file will appear on a shelf in iBooks, as shown below. Tap the file to open it. (It may still be downloading to your iPad.)

    A PDF file in iBooks on an iPad

Congratulations! You have successfully downloaded the PDF file to your iPad and stored it in the iBooks app. It’ll stay there until you delete it.

Subscribe to our email newsletter

Sign up and get Macinstruct's tutorials delivered to your inbox. No spam, promise!


© 2021. A Matt Cone project. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Made with 🌶️ in New Mexico.