How to Sync My iPad With My PC

by Anne HirshUpdated September 28, 2017
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • High-speed Internet connection

  • iPad charger/USB cable

The iPad requires periodic syncing with a Windows or Mac computer to back up your files and synchronize any videos, music, images and documents you share through your iTunes account. You also need to perform an initial sync to start up your iPad the first time you use it. The sync process is fairly automatic, so all you need to do is start it up and wait. Syncing requires keeping current with the latest version of iTunes on your PC.

Connect your PC to the Internet, browse to the iTunes store and download the current version of iTunes by clicking the "Download" button. If you already have iTunes installed, check for updates by clicking "Help," and then "Check for updates." Follow any on-screen prompts to complete the installation. Close iTunes after the installation or update completes.

Plug your iPad's charger cable into the dock port at the bottom of the iPad, and plug the other end into a USB port on your computer. If your cable has the wall charger attached, pull this off to reveal the USB connector.

Close the "Autoplay" window by clicking the red "X" if this window opens.

Wait for iTunes to launch, which it should do automatically when your computer detects the iPad. If it doesn't, launch iTunes manually. Wait for your iPad to appear under "Devices" on the left iTunes pane.

Click your iPad's name under "Devices." This will show you information about your iPad. The Sync will likely start automatically when iTunes detects your iPad. If it doesn't, click the "Sync" button in the lower right corner.

Watch the display at the top of the iTunes window. Do not disconnect or attempt to use your iPad until this display says that the sync is complete.


Choose specific items to sync by clicking "Sync only checked songs and videos" on the Summary screen. Click the "Music," then "Movies," then "TV Shows," then "Books," or "Photos" links across the top of the screen and follow the on-screen instructions to choose which items to sync to the iPad.

Click the "Open iTunes when this iPad is connected" box if iTunes did not launch automatically when you plugged in your iPad.


If you do not sync your iPad, your apps, data and other purchases are not backed up, and you risk losing them if something happens to your iPad.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

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