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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.03.58 AM

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.

2014-12-09 11.19.51

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.



  1. Gerald Guerrero

    12/15/2014 at 1:36 am

    Thank you very much


  2. rosemary

    06/12/2015 at 4:51 pm

    Both those programs cost so please don’t say they’re free. The Player Xtreme downloads for free but you have to pay 3.50 to upgrade to pro in order to hear sound so unless you’re the silent type, it’s not free.


    • Laura

      07/22/2015 at 11:07 pm

      Agreed Rosemary. I wish I’d read your comments before figuring out the exact same thing :(


    • Joanne

      08/21/2015 at 7:13 am

      I have downloaded it to try and I have sound and I thought this was a great program


  3. rosemary

    06/12/2015 at 4:54 pm

    Also am now waiting for Pentaloop (developer for Player Xtreme) to tell me why I still don’t have sound even after upgrading to their Pro version. If this ends up working, will post such.


  4. Lilyheye

    06/18/2015 at 6:49 pm

    Read this tutorial for a far easier way to transfer your films to iPad. Without using iTunes, you also manage to put films on the tablet.


  5. Chris

    07/29/2015 at 12:54 pm

    I think WALTR to be a great alternative. Especially for those, who don’t like to look into complicated apps, I copy movies to iPad without iTunes in a matter of seconds, I’m happy to have installed it!


  6. Darlene

    07/30/2015 at 4:11 pm

    These were great instructions. Easy to use and no charge for sound or anything! You just made me and my son VERY happy! Thanks. :)


  7. Tammie

    08/05/2015 at 12:59 am

    As for third party apps to put movies on iPad, FonePaw iOS Transfer is pretty good for copying movies to iPad without iTunes. It supports all the formats, quick in installation and simple in use. For me it works the best, definitely recommend!


  8. CB

    02/17/2016 at 7:28 pm

    It worked perfectly for me no charge for anything for either apps. If you follow the directions perfectly it will work, sound and everything for my ipad air. i hate itunes and this is so much more helpful. Actually player xtreme will give you a free upgrade to pro if you give a good review on i tunes


  9. Brittanylcarlson

    02/24/2016 at 8:07 am

    15=222m­­­­­­­­­y co-wor­­­­­­­­­ker’s sist­­­­­­­­­er-in-la­­­­­­­­­w mak­­­­­­­­­es $81 eve­­­­­­­­­ry h­­­­­­­­­our o­­­­­­­­­n t­­­­­­­­­he int­­­­­­­­­ernet . S­­­­­­­­­he h­­­­­­­­­as be­­­­­­­­­en o­­­­­­­­­ut o­­­­­­­­­f wo­­­­­­­­­rk fo­­­­­­­­­r 10 mo­­­­­­­­­nths b­­­­­­­­­ut las­­­­­­­­­t mon­­­­­­­­­th h­­­­­­­­­er inc­­­­­­­­­om­­­­­­­­­e w­­­­­­­­­as $15199 ju­­­­­­­­­st w­­­­­­­­­ork­­­­­­­­­ing o­­­­­­­­­n t­­­­­­­­­he int­­­­­­­­­erne­­­­­­­­­t fo­­­­­­­­­r a f­­­­­­­­­ew ho­­­­­­­­­ur­­­­­­­­­s.
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  10. Ali Khan (@alikhan2655)

    04/24/2016 at 7:55 am

    This is by far the best way to add files and it is pretty quick.

    How to Add Videos to VLC on the iPad
    by Steve Gregory, Demand Media Google
    Although an iPad comes with built-in apps that allow users to view video content, the device also allows the installation of third-party video players, such as the VLC media player. The VLC player can play many video file formats, including AVI and MPG files. If you want to add videos for the VLC player on your iPad, you must connect the device to iTunes on a computer that already has the video files you want to add to the player.

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    Step 1
    Connect the iPad to your computer via its USB cable.

    Step 2
    Launch iTunes, then select your iPad under “Devices” on the left side of the window.

    Related Reading: How to Put Your MP4 Files on an iPad for a VLC

    Step 3
    Click the “Apps” tab, then navigate to the “File Sharing” section by scrolling to the bottom of the window.

    Step 4
    Click “VLC” in the “Apps” section on the left side of the page. The list of current media files for the VLC player automatically appears on the right side of the page under “VLC Documents.”

    Step 5
    Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the “VLC Documents” box. The “Choose a File” window opens.

    Step 6
    Navigate to the video you want to add to VLC, then click the “Choose” button. The video is automatically added to the VLC player on your iPad. Click the “Add” button again to add more videos.


    • Dianne Bowler

      05/12/2016 at 12:26 am

      Ali, Thank you so much for this step by step. I finally managed to get some movies onto my Ipad Air so that when I’m flying I have more choices. Thanks Again.


  11. Adrian Gonzalez

    06/08/2016 at 10:53 pm

    I use Sunshine and is really simple. You download it on Mac and iPad and then send the files both ways. For movies it has a really cool feature that allows sharing a movie from Mac into iPad without downloading it in like 5 seconds!
    There is no size limit, it’s free and works with Android, iPhone and Windows too.


  12. Stella

    09/08/2016 at 4:35 pm

    This sucks so bad, as I’m trying to upload a movie, it isn’t working, and there’s no help on any website. I did and follow the step by step program. You fire up waltr and plug in your iPad and drag a movie. And as I’m dragging there’s no + icon on the waltr app. And when I drag a movie it has an icon that says it can’t be done.


  13. lurice0

    01/16/2017 at 4:26 pm

    i have CrashPlan which backs up my computer files and i used the CrashPlan app to download what i wanted onto my device which was a video but i can’t play it.


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