Sync iPad with your computer

Sync iPad with your computer

You can use iCloud to automatically keep your photos, files, calendar, and more updated across all your devices where you’re signed in with your Apple ID. (You can even use a Windows PC to access your iCloud data on iCloud.com.) Other services like Apple Music allow you to access additional content across your devices. With iCloud and services like Apple Music, no syncing is required.

If you don’t want to use iCloud or other services, you can connect iPad to your Mac or Windows PC to sync the following items:

  • Albums, songs, playlists, movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, and audiobooks

  • Photos and videos

  • Contacts and calendars

With syncing, you can keep these items up to date between your computer and your iPad.

Note: If you use iCloud or other services like Apple Music, options for syncing with your computer might not be available.

Set up syncing between your Mac and iPad

  1. Connect iPad and your computer with a cable.

  2. In the Finder sidebar on your Mac, select your iPad.

    Note: To use the Finder to sync content, macOS 10.15 or later is required. With earlier versions of macOS, use iTunes to sync with your Mac.

  3. At the top of the window, click the type of content you want to sync (for example, Movies or Books).

    Note: For information about using the Files option, see Transfer files between iPad and your computer.

  4. Select “Sync [content type] onto [device name].”

    By default, all items of a content type are synced, but you can choose to sync individual items, such as selected music, movies, books, or calendars.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each type of content you want to sync, then click Apply.

Your Mac syncs to your iPad whenever you connect them.

To view or change syncing options, select your iPad in the Finder sidebar, then choose from the options at the top of the window.

Before disconnecting your iPad from your Mac, click the Eject button in the Finder sidebar.

See Sync content between your Mac and iPhone or iPad in the macOS User Guide.

Set up syncing between your Windows PC and iPad

  1. Install or update to the latest version of iTunes on your PC.

    See the Apple Support article Update to the latest version of iTunes.

  2. Connect iPad and your computer with a cable.

  3. In the iTunes app on your PC, click the iPad button near the top left of the iTunes window.

  4. Select the type of content you want to sync (for example, Movies or Books) in the sidebar on the left.

    Note: For information about using the File Sharing option, see Transfer files between iPad and your computer.

  5. Select Sync to turn on syncing for that type of item.

    By default, all items of a content type are synced, but you can choose to sync individual items, such as selected music, movies, books, or calendars.

  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each type of content you want to include on your iPad, then click Apply.

By default, your Windows PC syncs to your iPad whenever you connect them. You can have iTunes ask you before syncing, and if there are some items you never want sync, you can keep them from being synced. See Sync iTunes content on PC with your devices in the iTunes User Guide for Windows.

Turn on Wi-Fi syncing

After you set up syncing between your computer and iPad, do the following:

  1. Connect iPad and your computer with a cable.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Finder sidebar on your Mac: Select your iPad, click General at the top of the window, then select “Show this [device] when on Wi-Fi.”

      To use the Finder to turn on Wi-Fi syncing, macOS 10.15 or later is required. With earlier versions of macOS, use iTunes to turn on Wi-Fi syncing.

    • In the iTunes app on a Windows PC: Click the iPad button near the top left of the iTunes window, click Summary, then select “Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi” (in Options).

  3. Click Apply.

By default, whenever iPad is plugged into power and is connected over Wi-Fi to your Mac or to iTunes on your Windows PC, the computer syncs your selected content to iPad.

See Sync content between your Mac and iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi in the macOS User Guide or Sync iTunes content on PC with devices on Wi-Fi in the iTunes User Guide for Windows.

WARNING: If you delete a synced item from your computer, the item is also deleted from your iPad the next time you sync.

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