Quick Tip: Use iTunes to Transfer Files to Compatible Apps On Your iPad

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File Sharing tab iTunes

Here’s a tip we published almost four years ago, but seeing as I used it quite recently at work, I thought I’d give it a refresh. Now that iPads are infiltrating the office space and boardrooms, I see more and more co-workers wanting to take videos and other files into meetings with them. This isn’t a problem on a PC or Mac because they can just use USB drives, but iOS 7 devices like the iPad aren’t as easy to transfer files to (iOS 8 will change this a bit with iCloud Drive, but it’s not here yet).

Fortunately, as long as you have a computer running a recent version of iTunes, it’s fairly easy to transfer files to an iPad using the USB cable (30-pin or Lightning, depending on your device):

  1. Load up iTunes on the computer
  2. Plug the iPad into the computer
  3. Select the iPad from the left-hand side of the iTunes sidebar
    • if the sidebar is hidden, use the View menu at the top to access it again.
  4. If iTunes ever offers to sync with the computer, cancel it.
  5. Head to the Apps tab of the iPad within iTunes, then scroll all the way down to the File Sharing list.
  6. Click on the app you’d like to send your files to, and then drag your files into the right hand side of the window (labelled Documents)

If you’re looking for good candidate apps to transfer files to, VLC can play most any kind of video you throw at it, and Good Reader 4 can display most any other kind of file you’d want to manage on an iPad.

Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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