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How to transfer audiobooks to iPhone with & without iTunes

Learn 3 easy ways to get audiobooks on an iPhone using iTunes, Finder, or iPhone Data Transfer, and discover free audiobook platforms for a vast selection of titles.

Kylee Jones Updated on Jun 20, 2023 7:35 PM

If you're an avid audiobook enthusiast, you may be wondering how to transfer your favorite stories to your iPhone for convenient access anytime, anywhere. However, the process of moving audiobooks to an iPhone can be confusing, especially for those unfamiliar with iTunes and seeking a free solution.

The audiobooks imported to your iPhone can be found in the "Audiobooks" section within the "Books" app.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through various techniques to transfer audiobooks to your iPhone effectively. Whether you're a Windows user relying on iTunes or a Mac user taking advantage of Finder, we've got you covered.

Additionally, we will explore iPhone Data Transfer, an alternative tool that enables you to transfer audiobooks between a computer and an iPhone, without using iTunes and the complex syncing processes.

Table of Contents

How to transfer audiobooks to iPhone with iTunes (for Windows)

Transferring audiobooks to your iPhone is easy if you've already purchased them from the iTunes Store. However, if you have audiobooks from sources other than the iTunes Store, such as downloaded files or audiobooks obtained from the Internet, the process requires additional steps.

These files may not be recognized as audiobooks by default in iTunes, so you need to convert them to the appropriate format and categorize them correctly to ensure they appear in the Audiobooks section on your iPhone.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be able to transfer non-purchased audiobooks to your iPhone using iTunes on your Windows computer.

1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes:

Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Windows computer. After connecting, you may need to unlock your iPhone and tap "Trust" on the prompt that appears on your iPhone screen.

2. Add audiobooks to iTunes Music Library:

  • Change the library type to "Music" by hitting the button next to the phone icon.
  • Click on the "File" tab at the top-left corner of the iTunes window.
  • Select "Add File to Library" or "Add Folder to Library" from the dropdown menu.
  • Locate the audiobook files on your computer and click "Open" to add them to your iTunes library.

3. Convert files to audiobook format on iTunes:

  • Right-click on the selected files and choose "Song Info" from the pop-up menu.
  • In the "Options" tab of the file's properties, locate the "media kind" dropdown menu.
  • Change it from "Music" to "Audiobook," then click on "OK."

Read next: How to transfer music from iPhone to iPad

4. Sync audiobooks from iTunes to iPhone:

  • Click on the device icon in the upper left corner of iTunes.
  • Then, hit the "Audiobooks" tab under "Settings."
  • Check the box "Sync Audiobooks," and select "All audiobooks," or "Selected audiobooks."
  • To start importing audiobooks to your iPhone, hit "Apply," or "Sync" at the bottom right.

To listen to free audiobooks on iPhone, you can also use AppGeeker Screen Recorder to capture them from the Internet, then upload them to your preferred cloud storage for later enjoying.

How to copy audiobooks to iPhone using Finder (for Mac)

Finder serves as a versatile file management tool on macOS, and it offers an easy way to transfer various types of content, including audiobooks, to your iPhone. Once copied, you can enjoy your audiobooks on the go using the built-in Books app on your iPhone.

[ Further reading: How to download music on iPhone without iTunes]


  • This method requires macOS Catalina (10.15) or later, as earlier versions of macOS use iTunes instead of Finder for device management.

1. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac. Make sure your iPhone is unlocked and trust your Mac when prompted to establish a connection.

2. Launch Finder on your Mac. You can do this by clicking on the Finder icon located in the Dock.

3. Locate your iPhone. In the Finder window, you will see a section called "Locations" in the sidebar on the left side of the window. Under "Locations," you should see your iPhone listed. Click on your iPhone to access its contents.

4. Access the Audiobooks section. Within your iPhone's contents, you will find different sections such as "Music," "Movies," and "Audiobooks." Click on the "Audiobooks" section.

5. Add Audiobooks to iPhone. Select "Sync audiobooks onto [Your name] iPhone," and choose from "All audiobooks," or "Selected audiobooks."

6. Safely disconnect your iPhone. Once the copying process is finished, you can safely disconnect your iPhone from your Mac by clicking the eject button (an upward arrow) next to your iPhone's name in the sidebar.

How to add audiobooks to iPhone without iTunes/syncing (Windows & Mac)

Sharing audiobooks from your computer to your iPhone can be a hassle, especially when relying on iTunes, due to potential compatibility issues, file conversion errors, and the risk of data loss during the syncing process.

Fortunately, there is an alternative available called iPhone Data Transfer that offers a more user-friendly and efficient way to transfer audiobooks to your iPhone. With just a few simple clicks, you can import your audiobook files from your computer (Windows or Mac) directly to your iPhone, without the need for synchronization or iTunes' limitations.

Download Now!

for macOS | for Windows

Unlike iTunes' limited transfer function, this powerful third-party software allows you to extract audiobooks in any format from your iPhone and transfer them back to your computer if needed.

Key features:

  • Wide file format support: Supports various audio formats, including MP3, M4A, AAC, FLAC, and more, ensuring compatibility with different audiobook files.
  • No data loss: Safely transfer audiobooks without the risk of overwriting or losing existing data on your iPhone.
  • Offline transfer: Transfer audiobooks without the need for an Internet connection, ensuring privacy and convenience.
  • Easy-to-use interface: User-friendly interface with intuitive navigation, making the audio moving process simple and hassle-free.
  • Fast transfer speed: Efficient files transfer algorithm ensures swift and speedy transfer of audiobooks.

Below are the steps on how to put audiobooks on iPhone. Here we'll use a Windows computer as an example.

1. Install and launch iPhone Data Transfer on your computer.

2. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer. Ensure that your iPhone is unlocked and trusted on the computer.

3. In the software, locate and click on the Music > Audiobooks section in the left menu. This will display the current audiobooks on your iPhone.

4. Click on the "Add items" button (+) on the left top. Select the audiobook files or folders you want to transfer to your iPhone, then click "Open" to start the import process.

5. Once the transfer is complete, you can disconnect your iPhone from the computer. Open the Books app on your iPhone and navigate to the "Library" section to access and listen to the transferred audiobooks.

Learn more: How to add MP3 to Apple Music on iPhone

Extra: How to get free audiobooks on iPhone

If you don't have access to a computer and only have an iPhone, you can still download free audiobooks on your iPhone through various apps and platforms. Whether you're seeking classic literature, contemporary fiction, or non-fiction titles, there are several ways to explore how to listen to audiobooks on your iPhone for free.

Free audio books apps for iPhone

  • Librivox Audio Books
  • Audible
  • Overcast
  • Libby, by OverDrive
  • Storynory

Free platforms for downloading audiobooks on iPhone

  • Open Culture
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Internet Archive
  • Podiobooks
  • Open Audiobooks
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