Forget Sync. It’s pathetic if all you’re really looking to do is copy some video files to your iPad so you can watch them later. You know, on the plane or during a commute or just sometimes when you want to watch a movie on the iPad.

Copying videos to your iPad should be easy. Yes, we’re going to need iTunes and yes, it might take almost the same time that it takes to sync your iPad with iTunes but no, it’s not going to be tough. In fact, if you can drag-and-drop, you can do this seamlessly.

The iPad understands a few formats for video. There is a default Video player on the iPad which can play videos and which can handle video files that you drop into it.

So the big question is, how to copy video files to the iPad easily.

Transfer Videos to iPad

Here’s how to transfer videos from PC or Mac to iPad:

Step 1: Connect your iPad to your PC or Mac

Step 2: Open iTunes if it doesn’t fire up automatically

Step 3: Select your connected iPad from the list of devices. (You’ll find this on top-right or on the sidebar if it’s enabled. You can enable the sidebar from the View menu option.

Step 4: Under the device, you have an option called Movies. Select this. (If you’ve got videos on the iPad already, they’ll be shown as a list)

Select Movies in iTunes

Step 5: Now all you have to do is drag and drop the video files that you want to copy. To make this easy, have the folder containing the video file ready, have iTunes open in the background and just drag-and-drop the file from the folder into the iTunes window.

Step 6: You should now see a progress bar that will indicate how long it will take to copy the file. Got short videos? Fast. Full-length movies? That’ll take a little time.

Transfer Videos to iPad from PC

Step 7: If you encounter problems stating that the file couldn’t be copied, it means there’s a problem with the file format. You’ll need to change the format of the videos through any of these free video converters or with QuickTime to an iPad compatible format before copying it.


  • John

    Tried to drag and drop my .mp4 video to open iTunes window – but it refuses to drop. I have my iPad connected to PC and iTunes is there – but drag and drop is no go! Any clues?

    • WinterIsComing

      Never with iTunes
      Try WALTR for Mac/PC, there you can drag and drop without any problems.And it`s really fast and supports all the formats.

  • Mavsynchroid

    Does not work. Nothing happens after dragging and dropping. Incorrect information.

    • MatthewChambers

      Obviously you can’t just drag and drop music/videos to iPad. You need to add music or videos to iTunes library, then you can sync them with your iPad. If you need to another easy way to transfer music from computer to iPhone/iPad/iPod, you can use iPhone transfer programs, such as FonePaw iOS Transfer, sharepod, etc.

  • Glen Olah

    It is not incorrect information as this can be done with music or movies, the problem is there’s a setting somewhere that disables this feature. I used to always drag and drop my music then one day was unable to.I searched for months trying to turn the drag and drop feature back on to no avail. Since then I have done a reinstall and it is back to dragging and dropping just fine. I also use it to copy movies as explained in this article.

    So the 64 million dollar question is how to turn this drag & drop ability on or off in iTunes…?

    Also the movies that I copied to my iPad have gone missing from my hard drive? I am not sure if this is because of iTunes thinking it is a different library or something like that but evidence seems to point towards it since other movies on the drive that weren’t copied are still there? Or it may be something entirely different since I don’t recall any music copied this way disappearing from my hard drive.

    So does anyone know how I can copy the movies back to my hard drive?

    • joanna lie

      Yes, instead of transfer movies to iPad, there are now also many transfer tool which can copy moveis back to hard drives, like Apowersoft Phone Manager, iCloud or iTools.

  • Sarah Lee

    You can transfer videos from Mac to iPad via iTunes.

  • Rarding

    There’s an easier way for ios users to backup iphone data to pc. Basically you sync your ios devices data to iCloud or itunes. All the time I used Coolmuster app to backup ios data to computer.It supports for windows and mac two different versions.

  • Edoardo Molinari

    You can transfer movies from Mac to iPad via iTunes.

    • Julia Softorino

      Come on
      iTunes is too overloaded
      The app that really works is WALTR)
      We`re working on it and it`s the fastest one:)

  • timberluck

    ITunes is good tool. But I don’t like the interface and the
    complex operation. I prefer FoneTrans, I could not only transfer movie from iPad to
    computer, but also from computer to iPad, or between iOS devices. Just several
    clicks and everything are done.

  • Jon Lamb

    With the latest IOS 8,9 and the iCloud Photo Library option turned on in settings you will no longer get your photos and movies appearing in explorer when connected to the PC. I made a video to explain the options available for moving videos and pictures to and from the PC for the latest iOS. Search for “comeinhandynow icloud” and you will find it.