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How to Get Movies on Your iPad



If you buy or rent movies through iTunes, it’s really easy to get them on your iPad. However, if you have movies on your computer that you didn’t get through iTunes, all of a sudden syncing them to your iPad is now a complicated process. Here’s how to put these movies on your iPad.

Even though you may have an iPad, that doesn’t mean that you get all of your movies from iTunes. There are a ton of avenues for buying and downloading movies online, some of which are less than legal, but nonetheless, if you’re like many users, you simply just don’t use iTunes for purchasing all of your media.

It might not seem like a huge problem, but Apple makes it fairly difficult to sync movies to your iPad that weren’t bought from iTunes. With that said, I thought it might be a good idea to take you through the steps of getting your non-iTunes movies synced to your iPad. Again, there’s no easy shortcut for this, but if you follow these steps, you’ll get the process down to a science and will hopefully be on your way to making your own movie collection completely iOS-compatible.

Convert Movie to an Apple-Friendly Format

Apple is pretty finicky as far as what video formats it supports. The most popular formats are .MP4 and .MOV, so if you’re movies are in .AVI, .WMV, .MKV, etc. they won’t work.

You’ll need to convert your movies into either .MP4, .M4V or .MOV before you can sync them to your iPad. I recommend using either .MP4 or .M4V, since both are compatible with the iPad and they keep files sizes down fairly well.

To convert your movies, a good piece of Mac software for doing so is Adapter. It’s really easy to use and most novices can quickly learn how to use it, but I’ll go over the basics in this how-to. HandBrake is also a popular video converter, but it’s way more complicated than it needs to be and most casual users won’t take advantage of all its advanced features.


  • Open up Adapter and import the movie that you want to convert by clicking on Browse or dragging and dropping the movie file into the circle.

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  • There are quite a bit of options to mess around with, but you’re only going to change the file type and nothing else. To do this, click on the drop-down menu to the left of the green Convert button at the bottom.
  • From there, navigate to Video > Apple > iPad 3rd Gen. This will automatically change any settings to optimize the movie for your iPad.

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  • Next, click on the green Convert button and it’ll begin converting the movie. Depending on the size of file, it could take up to an hour, so be patient while it does its thing. Once it’s done, the converted movie file will be located in the same file directory as the original file.

Import Movie Into iTunes

After you have converted the movie, you’ll now want to import it into iTunes, which will set up the syncing to your iPad.

  • Open iTunes and navigate to File > Add to Library. Select the movie that you just converted and click Open to import it into your iTunes Library.

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  • iTunes will copy the movie to the iTunes Media folder on your computer, so you can then delete the original file so that you don’t have two copies.
  • The movie will now show up in your iTunes Library in the Movie section under Home Videos. From here, it’s ready to be synced to your iPad.

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Sync Movie to Your iPad

Plug your iPad into your computer and open iTunes if it isn’t already. It’s now time for the final process.

  • With your iPad plugged in, click on the device toward the upper-right corner. This will take you to the Summary tab of your iPad.
  • Next, click on the Movies tab and put a checkmark next to Sync Movies if there isn’t one already.
  • Now place a checkmark next the movie that you converted. Then hit Apply to begin syncing it to your iPad.

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Once it’s done syncing, your movie will now be on your iPad and you can watch it using the Videos app.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Simens Dario

    07/29/2014 at 1:07 pm

    Love this jσb, since I’ve been bringing in $120/h… I sit at home, music playing while I wσrk in front of my new iMac that I got now that I’m making it σnline. All I do are easy tasks from this one cool site. Check this out!

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