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Hiding Purchased iBooks
By Jesse Hollington | 02.25.13

Q: I want to delete a few books from the Purchased section in iBooks. I do not want them at all even to bring back up for later. How can I do this?

- Anonymous

A: While there is no way to permanently remove a purchase iBook from your iTunes Store account, it is possible to hide a previously purchased item so that it does not appear in your purchase history—in either iBooks or iTunes.

Unfortunately, the iBooks app doesn’t provide any way to do this directly from your iOS device; deleting a book from the Purchased Books collection will simply remove the local copy from your device, leaving the original in-place with an iCloud icon next to it.

To hide a purchased book entirely, you need to resort to accessing the iTunes Store via the iTunes app on your Mac or PC. From the iTunes Store “Quick Links” menu, click on the “Purchased” option to bring up a list of your previously purchased content, and then select the “Books” heading. From here, simply hover over the individual book(s) that you would like to hide and click on the small “X” that appears to the top left of the cover image.


While these purchases will remain tied to your account, once hidden they will not appear in your purchase history in iTunes or your iBookstore purchase history within the iBooks app. To find any items you’ve hidden, you will need to go to your iTunes Store Account Information screen and choose the View Hidden Purchases option.


Note that hidden books will not disappear from the Purchased Books collection in iBooks if an entry for a particular book still exists in another collection. If you’ve hidden a book from your iTunes Purchase history and it’s still appearing in the Purchased Books section in iBooks, go through and ensure that it is not displayed in the main Books collection or any custom collections you may have created.


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This sorrowful dearth of options regarding the editing of one’s own personal purchasing history constitutes an invasion of privacy; it’s enough of a problem that I have decided to delete my icloud account. After all, who in the world would want some random, embarrassing erotica (ahem, let he who is without sin…) tied to his or her account forever? Apparently the only solution is to delete one’s account and fling the associated iPad into a fiery abyss.

By Charles Bently on 06.28.13 at 05:59 AM

This is ridiculous. Of all the things I can do with my ipad, I can’t believe that I cannot totally delete a book off my bookshelf in ibooks.
What is Apple trying to prove here?

By Marc70 on 10.07.13 at 10:42 AM

When I read some reviews about iBooks and how Apple basically has ownership and control of any and all content published through it I said Hell No to that, and decided to get rid of it. In keeping with Apple total control of its (not your) system, it won’t let me do that, so I just have to live with books I don’t want hanging around indefinitely. This is wrong, and leads me to distrust everything else Apple since that philosophy is probably ubiquitously integrated into everything they have. So I got rid of my iCloud account and considering what else I might have to get rid of.

By Don on 12.06.13 at 02:04 AM

This is an outrageous privacy violation. I recommend everyone dump this Big Brother application. Why is Apple entitled to permanently record every book one ever read? Just imagine if your public library did the same thing? It is especially offensive because the iBooks Store has many free books with innocuous sounding titles like “101 Best Jokes” that turn out to have racy images advertising erotica books. You want to share some jokes with your kid when she visits your office and now you can’t even delete the book permanently, but Apple will maintain a record of your purchase forever. Wow. And to think that Apple got all hot under the collar over what NSA is doing…

By May Snow on 12.28.13 at 12:46 AM

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