Mac to iOS file transfer?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ng7apoc, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. ng7apoc macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hi everyone :)

    I've been thinking lately that instead of buying a MacBook Retina as a secondary machine to my Mac Mini an iPad might be a good solution.

    Most of what I would be using it for could be done on an iPad, and with me spending less and having a more portable device I like this idea but there is one major down side I can see - file transfer.

    Now I'm not going to be transferring files daily and they are not likely to be huge files but with my 2011 Mac Mini not supporting Mac to iOS file transfer via Airdrop is there another way of easy direct file transfer? I could use Dropbox or another cloud service but living in a rural area my upload speed is slow enough to make this problematic.

  2. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    You could use a third party app like Instashare. It's like airdrop, and I use it to transfer files from my 2011 iMac (which doesn't support airdrop) to my iOS devices. It's a little inconvenient in that you need to have it open on both devices, but doable for small quantities of files.

    Also download a file manager app such as Documents. I believe you should be able to directly drag files into it using iTunes on your Mac.
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    If you don't want to use cloud solutions due to poor internet speeds, the best (possibly only) option is to use iTunes and drag files to specific apps as @Abazigal mentions
  4. ng7apoc thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Thanks to you both, very helpful info there :)

    Will give those apps a try with my iPhone see how well they work, still undecided on iPad (kinda leaning towards no at the moment though) but if Instashare/Documents work well then that could help sway my decision! :)
  5. Ledgem macrumors 65832


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Documents can do better than transferring through iTunes (which is a bit clunky): if you're on the same wifi network, it allows you to mount your iPad as a removable storage drive. You can drag and drop files, folders, and so on, and they all appear nicely within Documents. Documents is a nice program in itself that can access many file types, but if you need to get the file into another app then you can use the "share" button to open the file in the other app. Shift it back to Documents when you're done and then you can copy it back to the Mac, nice and easy.
  6. Brammy macrumors 65816

    Sep 17, 2008
    Unless the file is large, I just throw it on a folder in Dropbox or iCloud.
  7. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    With Documents, you can also setup a directory on your Mac to sync with Documents. Then you can just copy to this directory on you Mac and the files will appear on you iOS device (and vice versa).

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