When you attempt to transfer files like photos, videos, music, and more between your iPad and your computer, you need to connect the iPad to the computer first. You can connect them using a USB or wirelessly. Check the detailed methods and choose the one best suits your case.

Part 1. How to Connect iPad to Computer Using USB

The first thought that comes to your mind must be using a USB to connect an iPad to a computer which is the commonest way. Even using a USB, there are 4 different approaches to transfer files between iPad and computer including using USB directly, EaseUS MobiMover, iTunes, or Finder (Mac only).

Option 1. Connect iPad to PC/Mac Using USB Directly

If you want don’t want to use any other third-party software, and only use USB to transfer files between iPad and computer, there are two methods to choose from.

Connect iPad to Computer via USB

Step 1. Choose a proper cable according to the USB port, be it a USB-C charge cable or lightning to USB cable.

Step 2. Attach the USB connector to a USB port on your PC, laptop, or Mac.

Step 3. Attach the other end of the cable to the port on your iPad.

Step 4. Unlock your iPad and click "Trust" or "Allow." If required, enter your iPad passcode.

Step 5. On your PC, a popup will appear, choose "Import photos and videos" or "Open device to view files."


Connect iPad to Computer via Dock

Step 1. Use a 30-pin USB cable to connect the dock with the computer.

Step 2. Depending on your iPad generation, do one of the following:

For iPad mini and 4th-generation iPad and later: Insert a Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter into the dock cradle and connect your tablet to the adapter.

For 3rd generation iPad or earlier: Insert the iPad into the dock cradle.

Option 2. Connect iPad to PC/Mac via EaseUS MobiMover

The method introduced above only supports importing photos and videos from your iDevice to a computer. If you want to use a USB to transfer more files like music, books, contacts between the computer and your iPad, you will need free iPhone transfer software - EaseUS MobiMover. It is safe and easy to operate.

Besides, it also works to connect iPhone to Windows 11 and connect iPhone to laptop, which makes it easy for you to transfer files between an iPhone and a computer.

To connect your iPad to PC, laptop, or Mac and transfer files:

Step 1. Connect iPad to your PC with a USB cable. Once connected, tap "Trust This Computer" on your device's screen. Open EaseUS MobiMover and select "Phone to PC" on the main screen. Click "Next" to start transferring data from iPad to your computer.

how to transfer files from iPad to PC - step 1

Step 2. MobiMover will read and load all the compatible files on your iPad automatically. Choose Contacts/Messages/Pictures/Audio/Video or other specific types of apps to transfer. The transferred content is kept on Desktop by default, so you need to change the default location before clicking "Transfer".

how to transfer files from iPad to PC - step 2

Step 3. MobiMover will immediately begin to transfer data from iPad to PC without iTunes. Don't interrupt the USB connection during the course. When it completes, you can open and check the transferred content. Some files, like contacts and messages, are kept as .html files, so you need to use a web browser to open such a type of file.

how to transfer files from iPad to PC - step 3

Besides, EaseUS MobiMover can also help you backup iPad data to the computer, backup WhatsApp messages, and download videos from YouTube to iPad for free.

Option 3. Connect iPad to PC/Mac via iTunes

iTunes is also reliable software for you to sync files from computer to iPad. On a PC or a Mac running macOS Mojave and earlier, iTunes is available. After you follow the steps mentioned before to connect your iPad to the computer using USB, you need to:

Step 1. Install iTunes on your computer and launch it.

Step 2. Tap the device icon on the navigation bar.

Step 3. You will see the device information. Choose different items on the left menu for further operations.

Option 4. Connect iPad to Mac via Finder (macOS Catalina and later)

Starting from macOS Catalina, Finder comes with a new feature that allows you to sync iDevice files to Mac. This, to some extent, remedies the weakness of iTunes's poor operating system.

Step 1. Open a Finder and connect your iPad to your Mac using a USB cable.

Step 2. Your iPad appears in the left sidebar of the Finder window. Click it. 

Step 3. If required, trust your iPad.

Step 4. Select the type of data you'd like to sync and check the box next to Sync.

Step 5. Tick the checkbox next to each item that you want to sync.

Step 6. Click "Apply."

Part 2. How to Connect iPad to Computer Wirelessly

In addition to using a USB to connect your iPad to a computer, there are also some wireless ways you can choose from.

Option 1. Connect iPad to iTunes via Wi-Fi

You can use a USB to connect the iPad to iTunes as we detailed before. You can also connect your iPad to iTunes via Wi-Fi. All you have to do is, when you connect the iPad to the computer using USB, turn on "Sync with this [device] via Wi-Fi" on iTunes. Then, USB is no longer needed next time.

Step 1. Connect your iPad to your laptop or desktop.

Step 2. Click the device icon in the iTunes window and click "Summary".

Step 3. Enable the option "Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi," and click "Apply" > "Done".

Step 4. When your computer and the iPad are under the same Wi-Fi network next time, data syncing will start automatically and wirelessly.


Option 2. Connect iPad to Mac Using Bluetooth

By connecting your iPad with Mac via Bluetooth, you can view the Public folder on your iPad, retrieve files from your iPad, and send files to your Mac. Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Go to your Mac's Bluetooth System Preference > Turn Bluetooth on and be sure your Mac is Discoverable.

Step 2. Go to the Settings > Bluetooth > Choose your Mac with which you'd like to pair your iPad.

Step 3. Then, you can go to click on "Yes" on your Mac and tap "Pair" on your iPad to finish the pairing process.


Option 3. Connect iPad to Mac via AirDrop

For Mac users, AirDrop is another workable way to share photos, videos, contacts, websites, and more between the iPad and the Mac.

To connect iPad to Mac via AirDrop:

Step 1. Go to "Settings" > "General" on your iPad.

Step 2. Choose "AirDrop" and click "Contacts Only" or "Everyone."

Step 3. On your Mac, go to "Finder" > "Go" > "AirDrop" and switch on "Bluetooth" and "Wi-Fi" to turn on AirDrop on your Mac. Then set the option "Allow to be discovered by" as "Everyone" or "Contacts Only."

Step 4. Now you can transfer files between your iPad and Mac freely


Option 4. Connect iPad to Mac Using Handoff

Handoff, a feature of Continuity is mainly responsible for data transfer. It is available on the iPad running iOS 8 and later and MacOS running 10.10 Yosemite and later. Before connecting, you need to enable Bluetooth and sign into the same iCloud account on both devices.

Step 1. Turn on Handoff on your iPad by going to your Settings > General > Handoff > Move the Handoff slider to on/green.

Step 2. Turn on Handoff on your Mac by heading to the Apple menu > System Preferences > General > Check the box next to Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.


The Bottom Line

Now you know so many ways to connect your iPad to a Windows PC, laptop, or Mac. The best way for you varies according to the type of content you'd like to share between your mobile device and computer. Choose the way that suits your situation best to connect your iPad to the computer with ease.

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Updated by Myra

Myra joined EaseUS in 2017. As a big fan of Apple products, she mainly focuses on iOS data transfer and iOS troubleshooting tips. Meanwhile, she is expanding her knowledge and skills in other fields like data recovery and disk management. Myra is open-minded and likes both extensive and intensive reading. Other than reading and writing, she is also fond of mobile games and K-pop stars.

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