How To: Copy Files to the iPad Using File Sharing

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Being able to copy files from your computer to the iPad (and vice-versa) can be a big boost to productivity. File Sharing via iTunes is one of the easiest methods to do this with. Not all apps or document types are supported for File Sharing as yet, but there are a good range to work with, including the iWork suite from Apple (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and a good number of 3rd party apps like GoodReader, Office2 HD, iA Writer, and quite a few others.

If you have one or more apps installed that support File Sharing, it’s quite easy to do via iTunes.

Here’s how to copy files from your computer to the iPad:

– Connect your iPad to your computer via its USB / sync cable.

– Click on your iPad under the ‘Devices’ section in iTunes (over in the left-hand pane).

– Click on the Apps tab in the main window.

– Scroll down in the Apps section until you see the File Sharing heading. (if you don’t see it, that means you have no apps that support File Sharing installed on your iPad)

– The File Sharing sub-section will show you a listing of the apps you have on the iPad that can handle File Sharing. Click on the one that is appropriate for the type of file you want to copy over – e.g. Keynote for a Keynote or Powerpoint slideshow document, or FileMaker Go for a FileMaker database file.

– Once you’ve selected the ‘destination’ app in the iPad app list, you can then just drag and drop files onto the Documents List area (to the right of the app names) or use the ‘Add’ button, browser your computer for files to copy, and select them.

That’s it. That should immediately copy the selected (or dragged) files across to your iPad.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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3 thoughts on “How To: Copy Files to the iPad Using File Sharing

    • No. 3rd party file syncing services like Dropbox and Box.net would about the closest thing.

  1. I am a professional software engineer, and i have prepared a flash presentation for my bosses business trip…instead of my hours going on the final touches of my flash presentation i have spent about 3 hours de-mystifying this iOS…it sux, and is hard to use…give me a galaxy pad any day…