Transfer video files from Windows computer to iPad without iTunes

In 2019, iTunes will no longer exist. If you using iTunes today to transfer movies from your Windows computer to your iPad, this means that you will have to come up with an alternative method to move those files over to your iOS device.

Option 1: Sharing via Wi-Fi

Since the launch of VLC for Mobile on the App Store, VLC has always had a very cool trick hidden away to move files towards the VLC program. What this function does is make your iOS device available on your local network via Wi-Fi for other devices (such as, in this case, your Windows computer). Via your Windows laptop, you can then ‘visit’ VLC on your iPad and copy-paste video files.

Make sure your iOS device and your Windows computer are on the same Wi-Fi network, otherwise this method won’t work.

Here are the steps:

  • Open VLC on your iPad (works on iPhone, iPod Touch or Apple TV as well)
  • In the top left corner, tap on the VLC icon
  • From the sidebar menu, enable Wifi Upload
  • You will be presented with an IP address. For example:
  • On your Windows computer (MacOS works fine as well), go to your favourite browser (Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox, …) and in the address bar you enter the IP address that is shown in VLC

That’s it. From this webpage, you can easily drag new files to be uploaded to your iPad, iPod or iPhone.

Start screen on Apple iPhone (iOS) with instructions for using the Sharing via Wifi option
Start screen on Apple iPhone (iOS) with instructions for using the Sharing via Wifi option

Tip: sometimes a transfer will fail, because the iPad/iPhone/iPod went into sleep mode. So if you also experience issues when moving files to your iOS device, you could try to make sure the display of your device stays on for the duration of the transfer. Also, don’t try to move over a huge number of files at once, try splitting it up.

Option 2: Use a cloud service to stream videos

You could make your own little Netflix with VLC. Yes, that’s right. VLC allows you to connect the application to a cloud service provider and stream (or save a local copy of) the video files right from there. The Cloud Services that are supported at the moment are:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Box
  • Microsoft OneDrive

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Upload your videos to a cloud provider (see list above)
  • Open VLC on your iOS device
  • From the menu, select Cloud Services
  • Select your preferred cloud company and login
Start screen on Apple iPhone (iOS) with instructions for using the Cloud Services option
Start screen on Apple iPhone (iOS) with instructions for using the Sharing via the Cloud Services option

NEW – Option 3: Plug in an external drive

Since the launch of iOS / iPadOS 13, your Apple device supports the use of external storage devices, such as USB thumb drive or SD cards. On Windows, copy your preferred videos to that drive/card (using a lightening or USB type-C dongle) and connect it to your iPad or iPhone. Via the Files app, copy the files over to your iDevice, or leave the external drive plugged in and view it directly from there. Afterwards, don’t just unplug the external drive but make sure you safely remove the drive from the iPad (or iPhone).


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Thank you for your interest in my blog! On this miniblog, I write mostly short (technical) blog posts that might interest other people. Read more about me or feel free to contact me.


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