I have several times encountered a situation that some particular book had preview in Google Books, but later the same book (on the same link) was without preview.

On several occasions I have, for example, included link to some particular page on Google Books in a post on some Stack Exchange site. I distinctly remember that at the time when I posted the link, the preview was available. Of course, I am aware that preview is not available for all users and it is limited. But when I follow the same link now, which means that I get the same book and the same edition, the preview is not available anymore. I have noticed this in a books about mathematics, since this is the area for which I most frequently search something on Google Books. The examples I was able to find were books published between 1990 and 2000, so they are not very recent books.

I suppose that preview on Google Books depends on some kind of agreement between Google and the publisher of the particular book. But I am somewhat surprised, that the possibility of preview the book (and search in it) is changed.

What are the reasons why preview is removed from some books?

  • "Why" questions like this are generally not answerable by anyone but the source, in this case Google. All you're going to get here is speculation.
    – ale
    Jan 24, 2015 at 16:38
  • @AlE. I understand your point. But I think that why questions might be answerable by official source. For example, it is possible that somebody might direct me to something in documentation or faq which explains this. (Sorry for the rather belated response.)
    – Martin
    Nov 14, 2015 at 8:29

2 Answers 2


Which books are to have a preview and which books not, is not decided by Google itself, but by the publishers who have created a publishers account on Google Books and submitted those books.

It is likely that the particular publisher has changed the view settings of the book.

Also, many books are under semi-preview where you can see some pages and not many others.


Even public domain books disappear from GB. If you want to ensure that a book doesn't disappear, keep copies elsewhere, especially on archive.org.

There is even a service which helps you do this: https://tools.wmflabs.org/bub/

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