How to Put Movies onto Your iPad Without iTunes

The iPad is a great movie-watching device while traveling, but if you’re not a big fan of iTunes, here’s how to get movies onto your iPad without using iTunes.

iTunes isn’t terrible by any means, but it does slow down the process of putting movies onto your iPad. First you have to convert them into a format that Apple can recognize, if they aren’t already. Then you have to import them into your iTunes library, and finally you can sync them to your iPad.

There are methods that you can use that completely avoid iTunes, and while the iPad can only play certain video file types, you can download and install video players on your iPad that will play any file type you throw at it, getting rid of the need to convert movies to the correct file type in the first place. However, one method I discuss does all the converting for you before it transfer movies to your iPad, which is really convenient.

Read: How to Get By with a 16GB iPad

There are a couple of methods you can use in order to get movies onto your iPad without using iTunes, some of which take a bit longer, while others involve using third-party software to quickly copy and paste movies to your iPad using the device’s file system.

Here’s how to transfer movies to your iPad without using iTunes.

Using a Cloud Storage Service

Perhaps the easiest way to put movies onto your iPad without using iTunes is by using Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud storage service. However, it’s also a method that takes the most time and the movie must be in a file format that your iPad can recognize (.MP4 and .M4V).

This method requires you to have the app of the cloud storage service on your iPad, so if you use Dropbox, be sure to download and install the Dropbox app from the iTunes App Store. Furthermore, you can download and install the desktop app on your computer. Otherwise, you’ll be using the web interface.

To use cloud storage to transfer a movie to your iPad, simply just copy and paste the movie file into your Dropbox folder on your computer. Depending on the file size and the speed of your internet connection, the movie could take a few minutes to a few hours to sync to Dropbox.

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Once it’s synced, you’ll then be able to access it in the Dropbox app on your iPad. From there, you either watch it directly in the Dropbox app or watch it in the Videos app on your iPad.

To watch the movie directly in the Dropbox app, you can begin playing it in the app if you have an internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll need to tap on the star icon in the upper-right corner and save the movie to the Dropbox app in order to watch it offline.

If you want to export the movie to your iPad and watch it in the Videos app on your iPad, you’ll need to tap on the Share icon in the upper-right corner and then tap on Save Video.

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Using Third-Party Software

Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to get movies onto your iPad without using iTunes is taking advantage of some third-party software. Personally, I like WALTR, which makes it really easy to transfer files to your iPad, and we’ve covered it in the past.

After downloading and installing WALTR, plug in your iPad to your computer and fire up WALTR. It should automatically detect your iPad.


From there, click on the + icon in the middle of the window. Find the movie that you want to transfer to your iPad and click Open.


From there, the movie will be converted into a file format that your iPad can natively recognize if it isn’t already, and then it will be transferred to your iPad. Depending on the size of the movie, this could take a few minutes.


When it’s done, WALTR will say that the movie uploaded to your iPad successfully.

Now, open up the stock Videos app on your iPad and you should see your movie there ready to be watched.


The metadata for the movie may or may not show up, as it depends if that info is embedded into the file, but the only important thing is that the movie plays, and it should without any problem.