How To Sync Documents To iOS Without iTunes

If you use a word processor, comic book or PDF reader, video player or other app that requires syncing files through iTunes, you know how slow and awful it can be. Here's a simple, fast alternative.

iTunes is a pretty slow program to begin with (especially on Windows), but as soon as you try to drag files to specific apps on an iOS device, it slows down to a crawl, and even hangs for long periods of time. Instead of going through the pain of syncing these files with iTunes, you can actually do it with previously mentioned iExplorer, and it works amazingly well. All you need to do, after installing iExplorer, is:

  1. Open up iExplorer and find the app in question in the left sidebar (under "Apps"). Click on it. If you get a message about hitting your limit of five app folders, restart the program and try again.
  2. You should see a folder called Documents in the right pane. Drag the files you want to sync — word processing documents, PDFs, comic books, videos, or whatever — into this folder.
  3. Close iExplorer, eject your device and open up the app you just synced those files to. You should see the files in its database, assuming they're compatible with the app in question.

You'll probably notice that iExplorer doesn't hang when you do this, and that it transfers files painlessly instead of bringing your entire machine to a screeching halt. I've tried this with a few apps and it worked on all of them — your mileage may vary, but it looks like this is a pretty solid way to transfer files without opening the bloated behemoth known as iTunes.


    Wow. Something like this for WP7 would be awesome!

    Is it just me or does this seem to require a lot more effort than iTunes and taking a while to look for your app's ID (especially if you've got a couple of hundred) and make sure to not pass a five folder limit?

      Especially given you can transfer though wifi now with iOS 5 + iTunes

    Or you can sync with Dropbox, Tonido or any number of syncing apps. I use Tonido to browse my computer from my iPad and iPhone then copy the files I want. I use Dropbox if I want to sync files and folders that I will edit on the device.

    Wow, second comment, and again is to point out the all round multi function iOS tool for iPad called GoodReader.

    Wonder if they owe me a commission now?;)

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