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Transfer Movies and Videos to Your iPad

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WALTR 2

4.8 Stars rating for all Softorino products (2,013 Reviews)

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Kirk McElhearn Icon
Kirk McElhearn Oct 27, 2020

The iPad is a versatile device. You can use it to read books, listen to music, and visit your favorite websites. You can use it for work, with great productivity apps, and you can get creative, editing photos and drawing with the Apple Pencil.

You can also use the iPad to watch movies and TV shows; it's got a beautiful retina display, and you can see all the action in a brilliant, crisp color. And you may especially want to copy movies to your iPad to use when on the road.

Table of Contents

If you've downloaded movies to your computer, getting those videos to your iPad can be tricky since iPadOS doesn't allow you to access your iPad’s file system by connecting it to the computer, as you can with Android.

In this guide, we will explain how you can add videos to your iPad (or to any other iOS device), how to sync your iPad with iTunes on Windows or the Finder on macOS, and introduce you to a new solution: WALTR 2.

Which video formats does iPad support?

Before you transfer videos to your iPad, you need to know if your video files are compatible. The iPad supports the following video formats: MP4, MPEG-4, M4V, MOV, and M-JPEG. AVI, MKV, and WMV are popular video formats, but Apple devices do not support them.

WALTR 2 solves this problem because it supports MKV, AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, WMV, FLV, M2TS, and TS. If you use WALTR 2 to add videos to your iPad, you’ll be able to watch all of these formats, in addition to those officially supported by Apple.

How to add videos to iPad with iTunes on Windows

You can download iTunes from Apple’s website for free.

You can add videos to your iPad using iTunes only if your video files are in formats that Apple supports. Therefore, if your video files use containers like MKV and AVI you will need to convert them to MP4 or MOV first.

File:ITunes 12.2 logo.png - Wikimedia Commons

Here is how to put movies on an iPad with iTunes on Windows:

Step 1. Connect your iPad via USB

Connect your iPad to your computer with a USB cable. Once you are connected, you’ll see your iPad’s name in the iTunes sidebar (for example “James’s iPad”).

Step 2. Go to the Movies library

To view videos on your iPad, click Movies or TV Shows in the On My Device section of the sidebar. Here you can see all the movies or TV shows on your iPad.

Add videos to iPad using iTunes

Step 3. Navigate to the directory where the movie is located

Find the video file on your computer by navigating to the corresponding directory.

Step 4. Drag & drop

While iTunes is open showing your iPad's movies, drag the file you want to transfer to iTunes. iTunes will recognize that it’s a movie file and the transfer will begin. Along with the video itself, metadata and artwork will also be transferred, and you’ll be able to watch it on your iPad.

Step 5. Watch your video

Open the TV app on the iPad, tap Library, then tap Downloaded. You'll find here videos that you have transferred to your iPad with this method.

How to Transfer Movies to iPad from a Mac

Since macOS 10.15 Catalina, there is no longer an iTunes app on the Mac. When you connect your iPad to your Mac, with a USB cable, you can sync in the Finder, or you can manually add files from your Mac to your Device.

Transferring files to an iPad from a Mac is a bit different from how you do this with iTunes on Windows. When Apple split iTunes on the Mac, they created four new apps: Music, TV, Podcasts, and Books, that mirror equivalent apps on iOS. You manage your music library in the Music app, your videos in the TV app, your ebooks, and audiobooks in the Books app, and you subscribe to and listen to podcasts in the Podcasts app.

To sync your device, you use the Finder: connect your device using a USB cable, and it displays in the Finder sidebar. Click the device to access sync settings.

But you can also add movies without syncing your iPad. Here's how:

Step 1. Connect your iPad via USB

how to transfer movies from Mac to iPad

Connect your iPad to your Mac with a USB cable. Once you are connected, you’ll see your iPad’s name in the Finder sidebar (for example “James’s iPad”).

Step 2. Open the TV app

If you don't want to sync all of the device's content, open the TV app, click the Library tab, then click your iPad in the Devices section of the sidebar. Here you can see all the movies or TV shows on your iPad, along with metadata and artwork. (If you do want to sync everything, see later in this article, How to Sync an iPad with a Windows PC or Mac.)

Step 3. Navigate to the folder where the movie is located

Drag & drop a video into WALTR

Find the video file you want to copy to your iPad on your Mac by navigating to the corresponding folder.

Step 4. Drag & drop

Wait now WALTR to add videos to iPad

While the TV app is open showing your iPad's movies, drag the file you want to transfer to the TV app's window. The app will recognize that it’s a movie file and the transfer will begin. Along with the video itself, metadata and artwork will also be transferred, and you’ll be able to watch it on your iPad.

Step 5. Watch your video

Open the TV app on the iPad, tap Library, then tap Downloaded. You'll find here videos that you have transferred to your iPad with this method.

How to transfer movies and TV shows in any format to your iPad, without iTunes on Windows, or the TV app on Mac

While you saw above that you can transfer videos and TV shows to your iPad with iTunes on Windows, or with the TV app on Mac, not all files are compatible. In Which video formats does iPad support? above, you saw that Apple devices only support a few video formats: MP4, MPEG-4, M4V, MOV, and M-JPEG. But there are plenty of other video formats around, and you don't always want to spend time converting them before putting them on your iPad.

The best way to do this is to use WALTR 2, an incredibly simple app that transfers any kind of video file to your iPad, and much more.

Step 1. Download and install WALTR 2

To get WALTR 2, just click the button we have below (it’s safe & free):

<--- button href=“/waltr/download/" title="Free Download" --->

Follow the instructions and install the app on your PC or Mac.

Step 2. Launch the app and connect your iPad to your computer

WALTR 2 on a MacOS, step 1, how to copy movies to iPad without iTunes

Once your device is connected, WALTR 2 recognizes it instantly. The first time you connect your device, you'll have to tap "Trust" on your iPad, then WALTR 2 shows the available storage on your device.

Step 3. Drop the movie onto WALTR’s window

WALTR is copying movies to iPad

Drag your movie file onto the WALTR 2 window; you can add multiple files if you want (if there's enough space on your device). Once you’ve done this, a blue progress bar displays and keeps you updated on the transfer progress.

If you want to copy movies to an iPad with subtitles, read how to watch movies with subtitles on iPhone. Make sure the subtitle file has the same name as the video you’re transferring.

The screenshot above shows WALTR 2 copying an AVI movie to an iPad; this format isn’t compatible with Apple devices by default. The magic of WALTR 2 is that it converts any file type (including music) so you can play it on your iPad or iPhone.

Step 4. Watch your movie

Movie collections on iPad

When the transfer is completed, you'll be able to watch your movie on your iPad. Open the TV app on the iPad, tap Library, then tap Downloaded. You'll find here videos that you have transferred to your iPad in this manner.

You can see how smart WALTR 2 is. It uses - ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) to download the artwork and other metadata, such as the title, genre, episode description, and more.

How to sync an iPad with a Windows PC or Mac

We've looked at how to transfer individual videos to an iPad so far in this article, but you may want to sync your entire media library to your Windows PC or Mac. Remember, this sync only copies files that are supported by Apple devices: this leaves out a number of video formats, such as MKV and AVI, as well as audio formats like FLAC, APE, and others.

The process on Windows and Mac is slightly different, but only in the second step below. Since the Mac, from macOS Catalina and after, no longer has an iTunes app, syncing is now done in the Finder.

Step 1. Connect your iPad via USB

Connect your iPad to your Windows PC or Mac via a USB cable.

Step 2. For Windows, select your iPad in iTunes

Open iTunes, and click on your iPad in the sidebar.

Step 2. For Mac, select your iPad in the Finder

Click on your iPad in the sidebar in the Finder.

Step 3. Choose content to sync

Sync settings for iPads, iPhones, and iPods are the same, with the exception of older iPods that don't support certain types of content, such as photos and videos. And whether you are on Windows or Mac, the way these settings display is exactly the same.

You have options to sync the following types of content:

  • Music

  • Movies

  • TV Shows

  • Podcasts

  • Audiobooks

  • Books (ebooks)

  • Photos

  • Files

  • Info (contacts and calendars)

In the sync settings, click each of the above tabs to choose what to sync. For media, there are options to sync content: to sync your entire library of music, movies, etc., or to sync selected items. Depending on how much space you have on your device, and how much media you have in your library, you'll need to choose which solution works best.

If you store your music in the cloud, using Apple Music or iTunes Match, then you won't have an option to sync music. For movies and TV shows, you can choose which videos you want to sync, with options to only include a certain number of the most recent movies or TV shows (such as 1, 5, 10, etc.). There is a similar option for podcasts, and for books and audiobooks, you can choose specific items.

You can choose whether you want to sync photos from your device, and also whether you want to sync calendars. These days, most people store photos in the cloud, so if you use Apple's Photos app to do this, you won't have an option to sync photos here. The same is true for contacts and calendars; if you use Apple's iCloud, then this content syncs automatically, and you won't be able to change anything in the sync settings.

Once you've made your choices, click Apply so iTunes or the Finder registers them on your iPad, then click Sync. The next time you sync, you can either change your selections or just click Sync again, so iTunes or the Finder updates your content. It will add new music, and replace the most recent movies and TV shows.

How To Add Videos to iPad Camera Roll

You may want to save videos to your camera roll if you want to post them to Instagram or TikTok. If you're on a Mac, you can transfer videos to the camera roll via AirDrop, but there's no equivalent on Windows. 

WALTR 2 does not support adding videos to the Camera Roll yet, but there is a simple way to do this, using the Documents by Readdle app. This solution works for both Mac and Windows users.

Step 1. Download the app

You can download and install Documents by Readdle from the App Store.

Step 2. Launch the app

Then, tap the Connections icon at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3. Tap Computer

Use Documents to sync movies to iPad's camera roll

Make sure that your computer is nearby, and that your iPad and computer are using the same Wi-Fi network. On your computer, go to https://docstransfer.com.

Step 4. Enter the 4-digit code from Documents on the Connect to Documents tab in your browser

Before you connect, enter a 4-digit number

The Documents app will ask if it can access your photos; tap Allow Access to All Photos.

Step 5. On the Documents page in your web browser, click Upload Files

Choose the file you want to add. It syncs with the Files app on your iPhone.

Upload the needed file to your camera roll

Step 6. Move your video from the Documents app to the Camera roll

Find your file in the Documents app, tap on it, then tap Move. Tap Photos, then tap Move. You can now share it from your camera roll to lots of other apps.

How to Add Movies to VLC on iPad

In addition to the other possibilities of adding videos to your iPad that we've covered above, there's another one worth considering. But if you are an avid VLC user and consume your content there, this app is easy to use.

VLC is a popular app that we used to play unsupported media formats before WALTR stepped in. It works with media files like AVI or MKV, which Apple's apps don't support.

Download VLC on your computer and iPad if you haven’t yet.

On your iPad, open VLC and tap Network at the bottom of the screen. Enable Sharing via Wi-Fi.

Click on 'Sharing via Wi-Fi' to add movies to VLC app

You will see a URL display below the Sharing via the Wi-Fi setting. Type it in your browser’s address bar.

Drop files on your browser window, or click the + icon to open a standard file dialogue; you can navigate to the file you want to transfer.

Drop any movie inside

Wait until the upload is finished, then go to the VLC app on your iPad and play it.

Play your movie inside the VLC app

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are many ways to get videos onto your iPad. Some use standard syncing, via iTunes on Windows or the Finder on Mac, and some of them use WALTR 2 which is as easy as dragging and dropping files.

With WALTR, you can copy any movie to your iOS device without converting it beforehand. It's quick and easy, so try it out now.

 

 

Kirk McElhearn
Kirk McElhearn

Contributing Writer at Softorino

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WALTR 2

Drag and Drop Any Media to iPhone

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With WALTR 2, you can wirelessly drag-and-drop any Music, Ringtones, Videos, PDF & ePUB files into iPhone, iPad or iPod without iTunes (Even files that aren’t supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV).

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Fully supports: MAC OS macOS & Windows Windows

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