How to Transfer Apps From a MacBook to an iPad

By Avery Martin

Apps designed for iOS only work on Apple mobile devices.
i Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Any iOS apps that you downloaded or transferred to your iTunes library on your computer can be synced to your iPad using iTunes. These apps can't run on the computer, although some of them have companion versions designed to run on the Mac. For your business, you could purchase the iOS versions of Pages and Numbers in iTunes for your iPad, for example, and then purchase the OS X versions of Pages and Numbers from the Mac App Store for use on your computer. Using your iCloud account, your content in these programs would remain synced between the MacBook and iPad wherever you worked on the files.

Connect your iPad to your MacBook using the USB connector cable.

Click the "iPad" button in iTunes.

Click the "Apps" tab.

Select the "Install" button for each app you want to install on the iPad.

Click "Apply" or "Sync."


Under the list of apps, check the "Automatically Sync New Apps" box to sync any new apps as they become available in your MacBook's iTunes library.


Information in this article applies to iOS 6, OS X Mountain Lion and iTunes 11. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.