Dear Erica: Your book killed iBooks. Just kidding.

Ever since Apple introduced iBooks to the Mac, it has been an ongoing source of both frustration and utility. It offers an essential way for keeping on top of the Swift language both during beta periods and outside of them.

The Problem

Every now and then, however, this happens:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 9.45.39 AM

You get stuck into a situation of endless “cannot downloads” in the Mac-based iBooks. (Everything seems to work right on iOS.) And it’s just a pain in the neck.

Searching for Solutions

At first I thought it was the iTunes Connect system, with content status updates. So I contacted iTC and they responded with this helpful email:

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.40.47 AM

I then contacted iTunes Store Customer Support and they responded with this helpful email:

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 8.42.24 AM

And that was about, oh say, a week or so ago. Nothing since then.

So I set out to search. I found any number of complaints about the problem, a few “solutions” but none of them worked for me. In the end, I had to merge together a few approaches to get iBooks to reset for me.

Steps to Take

Now, here’s the bad part. I’m going by memory. I didn’t take good notes because I just wanted the damned thing to work. So going from my imperfect memory, here’s more or less the steps I took. You may have to try re-ordering these because I’m not sure which sequence finally finally took after hours and hours of this stuff.

  • In iBooks, sign out. Store > Sign Out.
  • Quit out from iBooks.
  • In Terminal, ps -ax | grep -i BKAgentService, and kill -9 the process it finds.
  • Navigate to ~/Library/Containers and completely delete com.apple.BKAgentService. You might note that the so call “books that cannot download” actually appear in Data/Documents/iBooks/Books in some form. Deleting them here is pointless. (iBooks has a strange form of memory that will keep accessing the current state even after you delete this container, which is the biggest pain.)
  • Finally, (and I do know this is the final step), reboot. Do not log out/in or anything like that. Do the full reboot cycle.

When you log back in hopefully, you’ll be able to re-enter your credentials and not get the error that says “Library not found”. If you get that error, you’re usually farked. You can try to recreate the library, quit iBooks, and relaunch, but you’re usually back at the original state of “oh crap, it’s not working”.

Let me know

Please if you’re fixing things, keep notes because this was clearly not a one-time thing, and let me know the sequence that worked for you.

One Comment

  • Another hint was to delete iBooksX. That did not work. Your hint to delete com.apple.BKAgentService did not work either. Deleting both finally solved that +*§$%& bug. Thanks!

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