Help - Apple Products

A PDF document of these instructions with images is also available.

Installing the Overdrive App

The first thing you will need to do is install the Overdrive App from the Apple “App Store”.  On your device’s home screen, you should see a blue icon with a circle and an “A” formed by a pencil, pen and a line.  It is for the “App Store.”

Once in the app store, you should see a search box in the upper right.  In the search box, type in “Overdrive Media Console.”  You should see Overdrive listed in the results box that drops down below the search area.  Select this.

After selecting “Overdrive” in the results area, you should see the icon for the Overdrive app.  It is blue with a white circle on it.  Select “Free”, then “Install.”
Next, please find the app on the iPad.  It looks the same as the blue square with the white “O” on it as seen in the app store.

New Overdrive Tutorial

The New OMC 3.0 comes preinstalled with a quick tutorial that walks you through all the changes to the app.

Go to the library’s Digital Media Catalog

To start downloading EPUB eBooks or MP3 eAudio, press the home menu in the upper left (it looks like three vertical lines) or use your finger to swipe the screen to the right.

Select “Add a library” from the menu on the left.

You can either type in your zip code and select the blue “search” button or you can browse for libraries with the grey button. 

One of the top options should be for “Harris County Public Library” or the name of your local HCPL branch.  Select either if it is displayed.

Next you will be asked to choose the library system.  Select “Harris County Public Library.”  This option will now be set in the app for future eBook or eAudio searches.

In the future you can just select “Add a Book” from the app’s bookshelf.

Now that you have selected HCPL as the library system you will be taken to our digital catalog. 


While browsing the catalog on your mobile device, please be aware that you will only be shown the compatible titles for your device.  You will not see the titles or formats that cannot be downloaded to your device. 

Next you will need to search the catalog to find and check out a title. 

Please note that in order to read EPUB eBooks in the app you will need to first create a free Adobe ID. You can do so here.  You will be asked to enter the Adobe ID and password the first time you download an EPUB eBook.

Once you have found a title to checkout, select the green “Borrow” button.  If it says “Place on hold” all copies are checked out and a hold will need to be placed on the title.

In the next screen, select the green button that says “Download (Select one format).”  To read in the Overdrive app, you will want to choose the EPUB format.  Next select “Confirm and Download.”

The title will now start to download to the device.

Reading a Title you just downloaded

Now that the title is downloaded, select the menu icon in the upper left.  It is the three vertical lines.

In the menu options, select “Bookshelf.”

You should now see the book jacket for the title in the app’s bookshelf.  Select it to open it and begin reading.

Returning a Title Early

To return the title early, or to delete it from the device, make sure you are in the “Bookshelf” screen.  Press and hold on the book jacket of the title to return.  Three options should pop up on the bottom of the book jacket.  Select “return” to return and delete it.

Video Help


For additional help, please go to the following website: Overdrive Help

A PDF document of these instructions with images is also available.

The Overdrive Read format allows you to read an eBook in the browser of your portable device without needing any extra software or Adobe IDs.  For the Kindle Fire, you will also not be directed to finish the checkout through Amazon.  Please note that the Overdrive Read format works on most Apple products (iPod, iPad, iPhone) and Android devices (Android phones, tablets, Kindle Fire etc), as well as portable devices based on Windows (Windows phones and tablets).  It is not compatible with standard dedicated eReaders such as the basic Nook and basic Kindle models.

In order to use this format, please follow these instructions.

1.  Go to the HCPL Digital Media Catalog located at

2.  Either find a title that is checked in or check out an eBook you have on hold.

When searching for titles, you can limit your results to the Overdrive Read format by selecting “Overdrive Read” under the “Format” heading on the left hand side of the screen.

The available format information can also be found on the right hand side of the title display screen.  You can access this by clicking on the book jacket.

3.  Once you find a title to check out, go to the title detail screen to check it out. To do so, either click on the book jacket or the icon of the book in the upper right corner of the book jacket.

4.  Click on the green button that says “Borrow” to continue to check the title out. 

5.  If you are not currently signed in, you will be asked to sign in with your library card at this time.

6.  The next screen will briefly show that the title was added to your Bookshelf and how many checkouts you have remaining for your account.  To access your Bookshelf, click on the green “Go to Bookshelf” button.

7.  To start reading the title in your browser, select the green option that says “Read (In your browser).”

8.  A new tab will open on your device and show the title downloading.  Once the eBook has finished downloading you will be able to read it offline as well as when you are connected to the internet. The left hand side of the screen contains basic information on how to read the eBook in the browser.

9.  To advance the eBook to the next page, swipe your finger toward the left.  To go back a page, swipe your finger to the right. 

10.  If you swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen, a slider bar will appear that allows you to quickly advance through the eBook.

11.  If you swipe your finger down from the top of the screen, a menu will appear.

This menu contains the table of contents.  It also lists any parts of the eBook you bookmarked.  The Book mark icon is located in the upper left of the eBook.

12.  The menu also contains 4 other icons located toward the upper right.

The first icon brings up the Table of contents.  The second icon brings up the bookmarks.  The third icon is the magnifying glass and it lets you search the eBook.  The fourth icon will allow you to resize the font as well as change the font to something else.  You can also change the background color from the fourth icon.

13.  If you want to return the Overdrive Read format early, go to your bookshelf on the HCPL Digital Media Catalog and select “Return Title” below the green Overdrive Read button.  If you choose a format such as EPUB or Kindle, you will not be able to return the title from the Bookshelf and the Overdrive Read format will no longer be available.

Apple Return EarlyTo return the title early, or to delete it from the device, make sure you are in the “Bookshelf” screen.  Press and hold on the book jacket of the title to return.  Three options should pop up on the bottom of the book jacket.  Select “return” to return and delete it

On the HCPL Digital Media Catalog, the only eBook formats that will work on the Apple devices are the “EPUB” and “Kindle” formats.  The “PDF” format will not work on the Apple Device.

If you wish to listen to eAudio on the Apple device using the Overdrive App, the only compatible format is the “MP3” eAudio.  The “WMA” format will not work on the Apple device when using the Overdrive App.

If you are able to transfer the eAudio title to the Apple device using a Windows computer, you can transfer both the “WMA” and “MP3”formats. 

From a Mac computer, only the MP3 format can be transferred.  The “WMA” format cannot be transferred from a Mac computer.

If you would like to learn how to read our eBooks or listen to the eAudio titles on your Apple device, please see the support topic called “Downloading library books to your Apple Device using the OverDrive App.”