iPhone Tips

How to Recover PDF Files on iPhone, iPad, Mac?

by Sophie Green   Updated on 2023-07-24 / Update for  iPhone Tips

As we can easily relate, due to challenging iOS security, even a single mistake can lead to our essential data being lost or disappearing. Several reasons can be partition loss, virus attacks/malware, emptying garbage, careless formatting, and reformatting. Most iOS users will encounter the problem of PDF file loss on iOS devices. We have put together a complete guide to help you how to recover PDF files on iPad 2023 or all iOS devices.

Part 1: The Reasons Why PDF Files Are Lost on Your iOS Device

Have you lost a PDF file from your iOS device? This section contains solutions for Apple's iPad, iPhone, or iPod PDF recovery needs.

Many people experience data loss when using iPhones or other mobile devices, and PDF files(including non-iBooks store books) are often lost for the following reasons:

  • Accidentally deletion of PDF or iBook data.
  • A recent iOS update deleted your PDF files.
  • Factory reset might wipe off all contents, including PDF files.
  • While syncing the device with iTunes, the files accidentally got deleted and disappeared from the device.
  • Computers do not recognize PDF files while transferring.
  • Additionally, damage (such as water damage) or file corruption could also result in losing PDF documents in the iBooks app.

Part 2: How to Recover Deleted PDF File on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch?

Here, we have got you covered for a few working ways to help you retrieve deleted PDF files on iPad, iPod, or iPhone.

Way 1: Find Back PDF File on iOS iDevice

If you're having trouble finding your PDF files, there's a shortcut you can try, and some users have reported it works.

  • You may need to restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  • Click "Collections" placed near the center of the iBooks app.
  • The PDFs will then appear in the list! Select "PDFs".
  • recover pdf file from ipad

Way 2: Recover Deleted PDF File from iOS Device

You can search for lost PDFs on another iOS device by turning on Sync Collections. For example, you can recover lost PDF files on your iPad if you lost the files in iBooks on your iPhone. As a result of the Sync Collections function, all your iOS devices (including Mac) and non-iBooks Store books are stored in the same collections.

Suppose you have the same PDF stored across all your iOS devices while transferring it to your Sci-Fi collection in iBooks on your iPhone. The same PDF will appear in your Sci-Fi collection when you open iBooks on your second iOS device, i.e., iPad. Even if you remove a PDF from your iPhone, it will remain on your device.

recover deleted pdf file from ibooks

Way 3: 2 Methods to Recover PDF Files on iPad

However, while the iPad can serve as an excellent alternative to computers/laptops, it is still less convenient than using a computer to work, especially for transferring files between devices.

Here you'll learn how to recover PDF files on an iPad. Keep reading to know more.

Method #1. Sync PDF eBooks on Your iPad.

Sometimes, if your PDF eBooks have a problem on iPad, you may not have a problem with them on your other iOS devices. The option "Sync Collections" allows you to sync lost PDF files from another device.

  • Click on the Settings.
  • Tap on the iBooks.
  • Choose the Sync Collections.

After completing the above steps, you have updated your sync collection with other iOS devices. If you haven't made any changes to the PDF file on the other iOS device, you can restore the PDF file here.

Method #2. Download Purchased PDF File from Purchased

As you know, all of the files on iBooks that you have purchased are marked for you. If you have mistakenly removed PDF files purchased from iBooks, you can re-download them to regain access to the PDF files.

  • Tap on the iBooks app on the iPad.
  • Click on Store > Purchased > Not on This iPad.
  • Choose the PDF files that you would like to redownload.

Way 4: Recover PDF Files from Your iOS Device with UltData

The most professional way to get your PDF file back on your iOS device is Tenorshare UltData. If you accidentally deleted your data after an iOS system upgrade or maybe clicked in the wrong place and deleted important files, this tool can help you achieve great results. This solution will work best if you are concerned about the data types. In other words, it can help recover a lot of data types at once with ease.

Main features of Ultdata:

  • It helps you retrieve data from the iOS Devices.
  • Helpful in retrieving Data from iTunes Backup.
  • Not just this, it helps retrieve Data from iCloud.
  • Helps troubleshoot iOS System.

Part 3: How Do I View and Recover PDF Files From Any iTunes or iPhone Backup?

Did you ever need to access or download a PDF document from your iPhone or iPad but couldn't find it? Do you know what PDF files are on your iPhone or backed up from your Mac or Windows computer?

A helpful desktop program called Decipher Backup Browser can view and restore PDF files from iPhone and iPad backups. For instance, you can use it for all your essential iBooks, Audible PDF files, or even sensitive documents like bank statements and work-related PDFs. Since most of our digital lives are recorded on our smartphones, Decipher Backup Browser is an excellent tool for recovering PDFs from your backups.

recover pdf file from iphone backup


Hopefully, you must have got your answer to “how do I recover PDF files on your iOS device?” Be sure to follow all steps carefully when retrieving your missing PDF from your iOS device.