iPad: Transferring Files with iTunes

Apple’s iPad may be great for watching movies, listening to music, playing games and reading books, but the company’s methods for moving documents between your computer and your iPad leave something to be desired. Emailing files to yourself is one way to transfer files to your iPad, but iTunes can handle the job for you, too, if you know where to look.

Supported apps for file transfers appear under the iTunes Apps tab.

To add files to your iPad through iTunes, do this:

  • Launch iTunes.
  • Connect your iPad to your computer with the USB dock cable.
  • Select your iPad from the Devices list in the iTunes Library column, then click the Apps tab.
  • Now scroll to the bottom of the iTunes window to see the File Sharing area.
  • Apps on your iPad that support file transfers appear in the Apps list. Selecting an application’s icon tells iTunes which app you want to transfer files for.
  • Click Add at the bottom of the Documents pane to find the documents you want to copy to your iPad.
  • Now click Sync to copy the documents to your iPad.

Click Add to select documents to copy to your iPad.

You can also select files in the Documents list to copy them to your computer. This is a fairly easy way to make sure the files you create on your iPad find their way to your desktop or laptop machine.

Files destined for your iPad, or files you created on your iPad, appear in the Documents pane.

Apple’s options for moving documents between your computer and iPad may not offer the company’s usual easy and intuitive flair, but at least we have the ability to shuttle documents from one device to another. Hopefully Apple will make the process easier with future iPad software updates, and I’m not alone on this one: Ted Landau thinks Apple has some work to do on iPad file transferring, too.