How to Transfer a Folder from a PC to an iPad 2

By Jeff Grundy

Unlike the iPod, the iPad does not allow direct access to the file system in iOS.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

By default, Apple iOS on iPads, iPods and iPhones does not allow access directly to the file system on the hard drive or memory card used in the device. Consequently, you cannot create data folders in the same way you would on a computer – with the exception of photo folders in Camera Roll. Because of the lack of file system access, you cannot use iTunes to transfer complete folders to the device. To copy data to a second-generation iPad and maintain folder and sub-folder structure, you must download and install a third-party app.

Open a new browser tab or window. Download and install a file browser application that enables you to access the iOS file system on a second-generation iPad and transfer files and folders to the device. Applications such as DiskAid for iOS, iPhoneBrowser and iExplorer are all very similar programs that let you transfer folders from your computer to app folders on an iPad, iPhone or iPod (see links in Resources).

Launch iTunes on the computer. Connect the iPad 2 to the computer using the USB data sync cable, and then wait a few seconds for the tablet to appear in the Devices list. Minimize iTunes but do not close it.

Launch the file browser application on the PC, and then wait a few seconds for the program to detect the connected iPad. Click "Apps" or "App folders" in the navigation pane, and then select the app folder into which you want to copy the folder from the PC.

Press "Window-E" to open File Explorer. Navigate to the folder you want to copy to the iPad. Highlight the folder, and then drag it into the right pane of the file browser window and drop it. Wait a few seconds for the file browser utility to copy the selected folder to the app folder on the iPad.

Disconnect the iPad from the computer. Close iTunes and the file browser program.


To use the above programs to move files and folders from a computer to your iPhone, you must have iTunes installed. You can download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website (see link in Resources).

If you want to be able to write to the root directory of the iPad, you must jailbreak the device. As of the date of this article, there is no working jailbreak method available for iOS 7, which is the latest version of the iOS operating system. However, if you have not update the software on your iPad to the latest version, you may be able to jailbreak the device so you can access the root directory and copy folders from your PC to it (see link in Resources).


On an unmodified iPad, the above applications can only write to app folders on the tablet. Consequently, if an app on the iPad does not support data folders, it will not appear in the folder list of the file browser application. Nevertheless, many applications do support data folders. If you transfer files that you can view normally on an iPad such as certain documents, images or media files, chance are the associated app for the files will have a data folder on the tablet.