Syncing with iTunes - Connections - iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

Part 4. Connections

Chapter 14, Syncing with iTunes

Chapter 15, iCloud & Continuity

Chapter 16, The Corporate iPad

Chapter 17, Settings

Chapter 14. Syncing with iTunes

Just in case you’re one of the six people who’ve never heard of it, iTunes is Apple’s multifunction, multimedia jukebox software. It’s been loading music onto iPods since the turn of the 21st century.

Most people use iTunes to manipulate their digital movies, photos, and music, from converting songs off a CD into music files to buying songs, audiobooks, and movies online.

But as an iPad owner, you need iTunes even more urgently, because it’s the most efficient way to get masses of music, videos, apps, email, addresses, appointments, ringtones, and other stuff onto the iPad. It also backs up your iPad automatically.

If you’ve never had a copy of iTunes on your computer, then fire up your Web browser and go to Once the file lands on your computer, double-click the installer icon and follow the onscreen instructions to add iTunes to your life.

This chapter gives you a crash course in iTunes and tells you how to sync it with your iPad.


Technically, iTunes is not required. It’s perfectly possible to use all of an iPad’s features without even owning a computer. You can download all that stuff—music, movies, apps—right from the Internet, and you can back up your iPad using iCloud (described in the next chapter).

Using iTunes, however, is more efficient, and it’s nice to know your stuff is backed up on a machine that’s within your control.

The Three Faces of iTunes

The first thing to understand is that iTunes is three apps in one. It’s designed to be the viewer for all the music, videos, apps, and ebooks in three places: (1) on your computer, (2) on your iPad, and (3) in Apple’s online store.

Apple loves to play with the design of this program; every couple of years, it gets another overhaul. The following pages describe version 12, for OS X and Windows.

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In this version, it’s not as clear when you’re looking at the stuff that’s already on your computer—or the stuff that’s on the iTunes Store. The icons at top left (, , , and so on) affect what kind of file you’re viewing; the buttons at top center affect whether you’re looking on your computer or online.


You can install or remove file-type icons from this top-left “shelf.” For starters, you might want to add the Apps icon (), so that you can manage your iPad’s apps in iTunes.

To edit this shelf, click the button; from the shortcut menu, choose Edit. Click to place checkmarks next to the file types you want to appear on the shelf, as shown on the facing page at right.

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The playback and volume controls are at the top-left corner of iTunes. At the upper-right corner is a search box that lets you pluck one track out of a haystack.

The following pages take you through the three worlds—computer, store, iPad—one by one.

Your Stuff

The key to understanding iTunes’ new layout is the “shelf” of file-type icons at top left. These represent the kinds of files that iTunes can manage: (Music), (Movies), (TV Shows), (Apps), (Podcasts), (iTunes U), (Audiobooks), and (Tones). (Some are probably hiding in the button.)

To view the music, videos, apps, and ebooks that you’ve downloaded to your Mac or PC, click the corresponding “shelf” icon, and then click one of the “My” buttons at top center (My TV Shows, My Music, and so on).

The button at top right can sort your files or show them as a list. For example, if you clicked , you can see them displayed as Songs, Albums, Artists, Composers, or Genres. And that’s just how they’re displayed; an additional control in this menu governs how they’re sorted.

You may see wildly different things here, depending on which display you’ve chosen. For example, if you click Songs, you see a huge alphabetical list; if you click Albums, you see a square grid of album covers.

Three Ways to Fill Your Library

iTunes gives you at least three ways to get music and video onto your computer—ready for transferring to your iPad:

§ Let iTunes find your files. The first time you open iTunes, it offers to search your PC or Mac for music files and add them to its library.

§ Visit the iTunes Store. Another way to feed your iPad is to shop at the iTunes Store, as described in the next section.

§ Import music from a CD. iTunes can also convert tracks from audio CDs into iPad-ready digital music files. Just start up iTunes and then stick a CD into your computer’s CD drive. The program asks if you want to convert the songs to audio files for iTunes. (If it doesn’t ask, click the CD icon at the top of the window.) Click Yes to import all the songs or No to view a list of songs and turn off the duds. (Then click Import CD near the top of the window.)

The program downloads song titles and artist information from the CD and begins to add the songs to the iTunes library. (For more control over this process, choose iTunesPreferencesGeneral (Mac) or EditPreferencesGeneral (Windows). Use the When you insert a CD pop-up menu.)

In that same Preferences box, you can also click Import Settings to choose the format (file type) and bit rate (amount of audio data compressed into that format) for your imported tracks. The factory setting is the AAC format at 128 kilobits per second.

Most people think these settings make for fine-sounding music files, but you can change your settings to, for example, MP3, another format that lets you cram big music into a small space. Upping the bit rate from 128 to 256 kbps makes for richer-sounding music files—which also take up more room.

Once the importing is finished, each imported song bears a green checkmark, and you have some brand-new files in your iTunes library.


A playlist is a list of songs you’ve decided should go together. For example, if you’re having a party, you can make a playlist from the current Top 40 and dance music in your music library. Some people may question your taste if you, say, alternate tracks from La Bohème with Queen’s A Night at the Opera, but hey—it’s your playlist.

To create a playlist in iTunes, press ⌘-N (Mac) or Ctrl+N (Windows). Or choose FileNewPlaylist. Type a name for it: “Cardio Workout,” “Shoe-Shopping Tunes,” “Hits of the Highland Lute,” or whatever.


You can also create playlists on the iPad; see Playlists.

Now click Add To. The screen is now divided into three sections: All your music at left; the selected music in the middle; and your playlist in the making at right. Use any of the buttons in the pop-up menu at top right—Songs, Albums, Artists, whatever—to help you find the songs (or videos); then drag their names into your playlist at far right.


Instead of making an empty playlist and then dragging songs into it, you can work the other way. You can scroll through a big list of songs, selecting tracks as you go by ⌘-clicking (on the Mac) or Ctrl-clicking (in Windows)—and then, when you’re finished, choose FileNewPlaylist From Selection. All the songs you selected immediately appear on a brand-new playlist.

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When you drag a song title onto a playlist, you’re not actually moving or copying the song. In essence, you’re creating an alias or shortcut of the original, which means you can have the same song on several different playlists.

iTunes even starts you out with some playlists of its own devising, like “Top 25 Most Played” and “Purchased” (a convenient place to find all your iTunes Store goodies listed in one place).

Editing and Deleting Playlists

A playlist is easy to change. Click the Music icon (on the top-left “shelf”), and then click Playlists:

§ Change the order of songs. Drag song titles up or down.

§ Add new songs to the playlist. Click Add To (upper right), and then tiptoe through your iTunes library and drag more songs into a playlist.

§ Delete songs from the playlist. Click the song in the playlist window and then hit Delete or Backspace to get rid of it. When iTunes asks you to confirm your decision, click Remove.

Deleting a song from a playlist doesn’t delete it from your music library—it just removes the title from your playlist.

§ Delete the whole playlist. To delete an entire playlist, click its name in the list of playlists (far left) and then press Delete (Backspace). Again, this zaps only the playlist itself; the songs in it are still in iTunes.

iTunes Store

The iTunes software’s second purpose is to be the face of Apple’s online iTunes Store. (Click a file type on the “shelf,” like or , and then click iTunes Store at top center).

Once you land on the store’s main page and set up your iTunes account, you can buy and download songs, audiobooks, ebooks, apps, and videos. This material goes straight into your iTunes library, just a sync away from the iPad.

Your iPad, of course, can also get to the iTunes Store, wirelessly; just tap that purple iTunes Store icon on the Home screen. Any songs you buy on the iPad get copied back to iTunes the next time you sync.


iTunes doesn’t have a monopoly on music sales for your iPad. Amazon, Google, Rhapsody, and other services sell songs in MP3 format, meaning no copy protection. has great MP3 prices, but the music comes from lesser-known bands. Amazon’s MP3 Downloader software for Mac and PC can whip your purchases right into iTunes; Rhapsody has similar helper software for Windows.

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To navigate the iTunes Store, click the buttons on the file-type “shelf”: (Music), (Movies), (TV Shows), or whatever.

Music ()

Here it is, the store that made Apple a powerhouse in the music industry: the Music store. Here are millions of songs, individually downloadable, all without copy protection, for 79 cents, $1, or $1.29, depending on popularity.

There are all kinds of ways to slice, dice, and search this catalog. On the right side of the screen, there’s a Genres pop-up menu that sorts the offerings by music type. Use the search box (top right) to find a song by name, album name, band, composer, and so on.

The various buttons on the front page of the Music store represent music Apple thinks you might like: new releases, big hits, Genius recommendations (songs Apple thinks you’ll like based on an analysis of what’s already in your library), and so on.

If you scroll down the right side of the window, you can find lists of the top-selling songs and albums. It’s a handy way to see what the rest of your fellow music lovers are buying, if you don’t mind being a sheep.

Learning these tools for finding songs is handy, because the same tools are available for finding TV shows, movies, podcasts, audiobooks, and so on.

TV (), Movies (), and Movie Rentals

The iTunes store also offers an increasingly vast selection of downloadable TV episodes ($2 apiece, no ads) and movies (some you can buy for $10 to $20; others you buy or rent for $3 to $56).

Once you rent a movie, you have 30 days to start watching—and once you start, you have 24 hours to finish before it turns back into a pumpkin (it deletes itself from your computer and iPad).

You can do your renting and buying in two ways. First, you can use iTunes on your Mac or PC and then sync it to the iPad by following the steps later in this chapter.

Second, you can download videos straight to the iPad when you’re in a WiFi hotspot. (The difference: If you download a rental movie to your iPad, you can’t move it to any other gadget. If you download it to iTunes, you can move it from computer to phone to iPad, or whatever, although it can exist on only one machine at a time.)

Podcasts ()

Not everything in the iTunes Store costs money. In addition to free apps, there are plenty of free audio and video podcasts, suitable for your iPad, in the Podcasts area of the store. See Podcasts for more on podcasts—and how to download them directly to, and listen directly on, your iPad.

iTunes U ()

Here, for your personal-growth pleasure, are hundreds of thousands of downloadable college courses, all of them free and many of them amazing. Watch the videos of the professors, follow along with the reading materials. You won’t actually earn a college degree this way, but you will attain a degree of enlightenment.

Audiobooks ()

Some people like to curl up with—or listen to—a good book, and iTunes has plenty to offer, both as ebooks (which you buy and read in the iBooks app) and as audiobooks (which you listen to as you work in the garden or drive).

If iTunes doesn’t offer the audiobook you’re interested in, you can find a larger collection (over 50,000 of them) at This Web store sells all kinds of audiobooks, plus recorded periodicals like The New York Times and radio shows. To purchase Audible’s wares, though, you have to go to the Web site and create an Audible account.

If you use Windows, then you can download from a little program called Audible Download Manager, which catapults your Audible downloads into iTunes for you. On the Mac, Audible files land in iTunes automatically when you buy them.

Apps ()

See Chapter 9 for details on grabbing iPad apps, using your computer as a loading dock.

Internet Radio ()

iTunes offers two ways to use the Internet as the world’s biggest AM/ FM radio. First, there’s iTunes Radio—the custom radio stations, based on songs or singers you like, and delivered to you with full pause/skip capabilities and the occasional ad. It’s exactly the same service that’s described on iTunes Radio—but in iTunes, you get to it by clicking the iTunes Radio link in the list at the right side.

Before iTunes Radio, the iTunes program offered the option to listen to live Internet radio broadcasts—from radio stations and colleges all over the world. That feature is still around; click on the “shelf,” click the style of music or talk you want, and then double-click a station to start listening.

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Authorizing Computers

All movies and TV shows, and some old music files, are still copy protected.

When you create an account in iTunes, you automatically authorize that computer to play copy-protected songs from the iTunes Store. Authorization is Apple’s way of making sure you don’t go playing those music tracks on more than five computers, which would greatly displease the music studios.

But you can copy those songs and videos onto a maximum of four other computers. To authorize each one to play music from your account, choose StoreAuthorize Computer. (Don’t worry; you have to do this just once per machine.)

When you’ve maxed out your limit and can’t authorize any more computers, you may need to deauthorize one. On the computer you wish to demote, choose StoreDeauthorize Computer.

Syncing the iPad

The third and final function of iTunes is to load up, and back up, your iPad. You can connect it to your computer either wirelessly, over WiFi, or wirefully, with the white USB cable that came with it.

Once the iPad is connected, click the (iPad) button at the top-left corner of the iTunes screen. Now you can look over the iPad’s contents or sync it (read on).

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If you have more than one iPad or iPhone, and they’re all connected, this button is a pop-up menu. Choose the name of the one you want to manipulate.

Connecting the iPad with a Cable

Pretty simple: Plug one end of the white cable (supplied with your iPad) to your computer’s USB jack. Connect the other end to the tablet. If the iPad is turned on and awake, it’s officially connected.

Connecting over WiFi

The familiar white USB cable is all well and good—but the iPad is a wireless device, for Pete’s sake. Why not sync it to your computer wirelessly?

The iPad can be charging, happily and automatically syncing with your laptop somewhere else in the house. It transfers all the same stuff to and from your computer—apps, music, books, contacts, calendars, movies, photos, ringtones—but through the air instead of via your USB cable.

Your computer has to be turned on and running iTunes. The iPad and the computer have to be on the same WiFi network.

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To set up wireless sync, connect the iPad using the white USB cable, one last time. Ironic, but true.

Now open iTunes and click at top left. On the Summary tab, scroll down; turn on Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi. Click Apply. You can now detach the iPad.

From now on, whenever the iPad is on the WiFi network, it’s automatically connected to your computer, wirelessly. You don’t even have to think about it. (Well, OK—you have to think about leaving the computer turned on with iTunes open, which is something of a buzzkill.)

Just connecting it doesn’t necessarily mean syncing it, though; that’s a more data-intensive, battery-drainy process. Syncing happens in either of two ways:

§ Automatically. If the iPad is plugged into power (like a speaker dock, an alarm-clock dock, or a wall outlet), and it’s on the same WiFi network, it syncs with the computer all by itself.

§ Manually. You can also trigger a sync manually—and this time, the iPad doesn’t have to be plugged into power. To do that, open SettingsGeneraliTunes Wi-Fi Sync and tap Sync Now. (You can also trigger a WiFi sync from within iTunes—just click the Sync button. It says “Sync” only if, in fact, anything has changed since your last sync.)

All About Syncing

Transferring data between the iPad and the computer is called synchronization. In general, syncing begins automatically when you connect the iPad. The icon whirls in the top of the screen, but you’re welcome to keep using your iPad while it syncs.


Your photo-editing program (like iPhoto or Photoshop Elements) probably springs open every time you connect the iPad, too. See Shutting Down the Importing Process if that bugs you.

Now, ordinarily, the iPad-iTunes relationship is automatic and complete, according to this scheme:

§ Bidirectional copying (iPadcomputer). Contacts, calendars, and Web bookmarks get copied in both directions. That is, after a sync, your computer and iPad contain exactly the same information.

If you entered an appointment on the iPad, it gets copied to your computer—and vice versa. If you’ve edited the same contact or appointment on both machines, then your computer displays the two conflicting records and asks you which one “wins.”

§ One-way sync (computeriPad). Music, apps, TV, movies, ringtones, and ebooks you bought on your computer; photos from your computer; and email account information. All of this gets copied in one direction: computer→tablet.

§ One-way sync (iPadcomputer). Photos and videos taken with the iPad’s camera; music, videos, apps, ringtones, and ebooks you bought right from the iPad—it all gets copied the other way, from the iPad to the computer.

§ A complete backup. iTunes also takes it upon itself to back up everything else on your iPad: settings, text messages, call history, and so on. Details on this backup business are covered at the end of this chapter.


If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the time-consuming backup portion of the sync. Just click at the top of the iTunes window whenever it says “Backing up.” iTunes gets the message and skips right ahead to the next phase of the sync—transferring contacts, calendars, music, and so on.

Manual Syncing

OK, but what if you don’t want iTunes to fire up and start syncing every time you connect your iPad? What if, for example, you want to change the assortment of music and video that’s about to get copied to it? Or what if you just want to connect the USB cable to charge the iPad, not to sync it?

In that case, you can stop the autosyncing in any of these ways:

§ Interrupt a sync in progress. Click in the iTunes status window until the syncing stops.

§ Stop iTunes from syncing with the iPad just this time. As you plug in the iPad’s cable, hold down the Shift+Ctrl keys (Windows) or the ⌘-Option keys (Mac) until the iPad pops up in the iTunes window. Now you can see what’s on the iPad and change what will be synced to it—but no syncing takes place until you command it.

§ Stop iTunes from auto-syncing with this iPad. Connect the iPad. Click in the upper-left corner of iTunes. On the Summary tab, turn off Automatically sync when this iPad is connected (shown in the previous illustration).

§ Stop iTunes from autosyncing any iPad, ever. In iTunes, choose EditPreferences (Windows) or iTunesPreferences (Mac). Click the Devices tab and turn on Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. You can still trigger a sync on command when the iPad is wired up—by clicking the Sync button.

Once you’ve made iTunes stop syncing automatically, you’ve disabled what many people consider the greatest feature of the iPad: its magical self-updating with the stuff on your computer.

Still, you must have turned off autosyncing for a reason. And that reason might be that you want to control what gets copied onto it. Maybe you’re in a hurry to leave for the airport, and you don’t have time to sit there for an hour while six downloaded movies get copied to the iPad. Maybe you have 50 gigabytes of music but only 16 gigs of iPad storage.

In any case, here are the two ways you can sync manually:

§ Use the tabs in iTunes. With the iPad connected, you can specify exactly what you want copied to it—which songs, which TV shows, which apps, and so on—using the various tabs in iTunes, as described on the following pages. Once you’ve made your selections, click the Summarytab and then click Apply. (The Apply button says Sync instead if you haven’t actually changed any settings.)

§ Drag files onto the iPad icon. Once your iPad is connected to your computer, you can click its icon and then turn on Manually manage music and videos (on the Summary screen). Click Apply.

Now you can drag songs and videos directly onto the iPad’s icon to copy them there. Wilder yet, you can bypass iTunes entirely by dragging music and video files from your computer’s desktop onto the iPad’s icon. That’s handy when you’ve just inherited or downloaded a bunch of song files, converted a DVD to the iPad’s video format, or whatever.

Just two notes of warning here. First, unlike a true iPod, the iPad accommodates dragged material from a single computer only. Second, if you ever turn off this option, all those manually dragged songs and videos will disappear from your iPad at the next sync opportunity.


Also on the Summary tab, you’ll find the baffling little option called Sync only checked songs and videos. This is a global override—a last-ditch “Keep the embarrassing songs off my iPad” option.

When this option is turned on, iTunes consults the tiny checkboxes next to every single song and video in your iTunes library. If you turn off a song’s checkbox, it will not get synced to your iPad, no matter what—even if you use the Music tab to sync All songs or playlists, or explicitly turn on a playlist that contains this song. If the song’s or video’s checkbox isn’t checked in your Library list, then it will be left behind on your computer.

iTunes Tabs

Once your iPad is connected to the computer, and you’ve clicked its icon in the upper-left corner of iTunes, the left side of the iTunes window reveals a column of word buttons: Summary, Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Books, Photos, and Info. Below that is a second, duplicate listing, labeled On My Device. For the most part, these represent the categories of stuff you can sync to your iPad.

The following pages cover each of these tabs, in sequence, and detail how to sync each kind of iPad-friendly material.


At the bottom of the screen, a colorful graph shows you the number and types of files: Audio, Video, Photos, Apps, Books, Documents & Data, and Other (for your personal data). More importantly, it also shows you how much room you have left, so you won’t get overzealous in trying to load the thing up.

Point to each color block without clicking to see how many of each item there are (“2031 photos”) and how much space they take.

Summary Tab

This screen gives basic stats on your iPad, like its serial number and capacity.

Buttons in the middle control how and where the iPad gets backed up. Checkboxes at the bottom of the screen let you set up manual syncing, as described previously.


If you click your iPad’s serial number, it changes to reveal the unique device identifier (UDID). That’s Apple’s behind-the-scenes ID for your exact product, used primarily by software companies (developers). You may, during times of beta testing a new app or troubleshooting an existing one, be asked to supply your iPad’s UDID.

You can click the same label again to see your iPad’s Product Type and your various cellular identifiers like the MEID, IMEI, and ICCID. If it’s a cellular model, you can cycle through enough clicks until you see the iPad’s phone number. (Yes, it has its own phone number—for data, not for phone calls.) Or click the iOS version to see your iOS version’s build number.

You can right-click (or, on the Mac, Control-click) any of these numbers to get the Copy command. It copies those long strings of letters and numbers onto your computer’s Clipboard, ready to paste into an email or a text.

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Apps Tab

On this tab, you get a convenient duplicate of your iPad’s Home screens. You can drag app icons around, create folders, and otherwise organize your Home screens much faster than you’d be able to on the iPad itself. See Setting Up Folders in iTunes for details.

Music Tab

Turn on Sync Music. Now decide what music to put on your iPad:

§ If you have a big iPad and a small music library, you can opt to sync the Entire music library.

§ If you have a big music collection and a small iPad, you’ll have to take only some of it along for the iPad ride. In that case, click Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres. In the lists below, turn on the checkboxes for the playlists, artists, albums, and music genres you want to transfer. (These are cumulative. If there’s no Electric Light Orchestra in any of your selected playlists, but you turn on ELO in the Artists list, you’ll get all your ELO anyway.)


Playlists make it fast and easy to sync whole batches of tunes over to your iPad. But don’t forget that you can add individual songs, too, even if they’re not in any playlist. Just turn on Manually manage music and videos. Now you can drag individual songs and videos from your iTunes library onto the iPad icon to install them there.

If you’ve got music videos or voice memos (recorded by the iPad and now residing on your computer), you’ll see that they get their own checkboxes.

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Making It All Fit

Sooner or later, everybody has to confront the fact that an iPad holds only 16, 32, 64, or 128 gigabytes of music and video. (Actually less, because the operating system itself eats up over a gigabyte.) That’s enough for around 4,000, 8,000, 16,000, or 32,000 average-length songs—if you don’t put any videos or photos on there.

Your multimedia stash may be bigger than that. If you just turn on Sync All checkboxes, an error message tells you that it won’t all fit on the iPad.

One solution: Tiptoe through the tabs, turning off checkboxes and trying to sync until the “too much” error message goes away.

If you don’t have quite so much time, turn on Automatically fill free space with songs. It makes iTunes use artificial Genius intelligence to load up your iPad automatically, using your most played and most recent music as a guide. (It does not, in fact, fill the iPad completely; it leaves a few hundred megabytes for safety—so you can download more stuff on the road, for example.)

Another helpful approach is to use the smart playlist, a music playlist that assembles itself based on criteria you supply. For example:

1. In iTunes, click . Choose FileNew Smart Playlist. The Smart Playlist dialog box appears.

2. Specify the category. Use the pop-up menus to choose, for example, a musical genre, or songs you’ve played recently, or haven’t played recently, or have rated highly.

3. Turn on the “Limit to” checkbox, and set up the constraints. For example, you could limit the amount of music in this playlist to 2 gigabytes, chosen at random. That way, every time you sync, you’ll get a fresh, random supply of songs on your iPad, with enough room left for some videos.

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4. Click OK. The new Smart Playlist appears in the list of playlists at left; you can rename it.

Click it to look it over, if you like. Then, on the Music tab, choose this playlist for syncing to the iPad.

Movies and TV Shows Tabs

One of the things the iPad does best is play video on its gorgeous, glossy screen. TV shows and movies you’ve bought or rented from the iTunes Store look especially nice. (And if you start watching a rented movie on your computer, the iPad begins playing it right from where you left off.)

Syncing TV shows and movies works just like syncing music or podcasts. You can have iTunes copy all your stuff to the iPad, but video fills up your storage fast. That’s why you can turn on the checkboxes of just the individual movies or shows (either seasons or episodes) you want—or, using the Automatically include pop-up menu, request only the most recent, or the most recent ones you haven’t seen yet.

Remember that if you’ve rented a movie from the iTunes Store and started watching it, you have only 24 hours left to finish before it vanishes from your iPad.

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Podcasts Tab

iTunes gives you access, in the iTunes Store, to thousands of free amateur and professional podcasts (basically, downloadable radio or TV shows).

Here you can choose to sync all podcast episodes, selected shows, all unplayed episodes—or just a certain number of episodes per sync. Individual checkboxes let you choose which podcast series get to come along for the ride, so you can sync to suit your mood at the time.

Books Tab

Here are the thumbnails of your audiobooks and your ebooks—those you’ve bought from Apple, those you’ve downloaded from the Web, and those you’ve dragged right into iTunes from your desktop (PDF files, for example). You can ask iTunes to send them all to your iPad—or only the ones whose checkboxes you turn on.

Tones Tab

Any ringtones that you’ve bought from the iTunes Store or made yourself appear here; you can specify which ones you want synced to the iPad. (This tab was once called “Ringtones,” but the iPad can handle tones for all kinds of different events, like incoming text messages or mail, tweets, reminders, and so on.) You can choose either All tones or, if space on your iPad is an issue, Selected tones (and then turn on the ones you want).

Be sure to sync over any ringtones you’ve assigned to your frequent callers so the iPad can alert you with a personalized audio cue, like Pink’s rendition of “Tell Me Something Good” when they call you up.

Photos Tab (Computer→iPad)

Why corner people with your wallet to show them your kid’s baby pictures, when you can whip out your iPad and dazzle them with a slideshow?

iTunes can sync the photos from your hard drive onto the iPad. You can even select individual albums of images that you’ve already assembled on your computer.

Here are your iPad-filling options for photos:

§ Windows: You can sync with Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Album, or any folder of photos, like My Pictures (in Windows), Pictures (on the Mac), or any folder you like.

§ Mac: You can sync with iPhoto, Aperture, or OS X Yosemite’s new Photos app.


You can sync photos from only one computer. If you later attempt to snag some snaps from a second machine, iTunes warns you that you must first erase all the images that came from the original computer.

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When you’re ready to sync your photos, click the Photos tab in iTunes. Turn on Sync photos from, and then indicate where you’d like to sync them from (Photoshop Elements, iPhoto, or whatever).

If you’ve chosen a photo-shoebox program’s name (and not a folder’s name), you can then click Selected albums, events, and faces. Turn on the checkboxes of the albums, events, and faces you want synced. (The “faces” option is available only if you’re syncing from iPhoto, Aperture, or Photos on the Mac, and only if you’ve used the Faces feature, which groups your photos according to who’s in them.) This option also offers to tack on recent Events (batches of photos taken the same day). Indicate whether or not you want videos included in the syncing (Include videos).

Once you make your selections and click Apply, the program computes for a time, “optimizing” copies of your photos to make them look great on the iPad (for example, downsizing them from 10-megapixel overkill to something more appropriate for the iPad’s screen), and then ports them over.

After the sync is complete, you’ll be able to wave your iPad around, and people will beg to see your photos.

Syncing Photos and Videos (iPad→Computer)

The previous section described copying photos in only one direction: from the computer to the iPad. But you can go the opposite direction, too: You can send photos and videos you took with the iPad’s own camera to the computer. You can rest easy, knowing that they’re backed up to your computer for safekeeping.

Now, it’s important to understand that iTunes is not involved in this process. It doesn’t know anything about photos or videos coming from the iPad; its job is just to copy pictures to the iPad.

So what’s handling the iPad-to-computer transfer? Your operating system. It sees the iPad as though it’s a digital camera and suggests importing them just as it would from a camera’s memory card.

Here’s how it goes: Plug the iPad into the computer with the USB cable. What you’ll see is probably something like this:

§ On the Mac. iPhoto opens. This free photo-organizing/editing software comes on every Mac. Shortly after it notices that the iPad is on the premises, it goes into Import mode. Click Import All, or select some thumbnails from the iPad and then click Import Selected.

After the transfer, click Delete Photos if you’d like the iPad’s photographic memory cleared out after the transfer. (Both photos and videos get imported together.)


In 2015, Apple expects to replace the iPhoto program with new software called Photos. You can expect it to work similarly.

§ In Windows. When you attach a camera (or an iPad), a dialog box asks how you want its contents handled. It lists any photo-management program you might have installed (Picasa, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Album, and so on), as well as Windows’ own camera-management software. (That would be the Scanner and Camera Wizard in Windows XP; Using Windows in Vista or Windows 7 or 8).

Click the program you want to handle importing the iPad pictures and videos.

You’ll probably also want to turn on Always do this for this device, so it’ll happen automatically the next time.

Shutting Down the Importing Process

Then again, some iPad owners would rather not see some lumbering photo-management program firing itself up every time they connect the iPad. You, too, might wish there were a way to stop iPhoto or Windows from bugging you every time you connect the iPad. That is easy enough to change—if you know where to look.

§ Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8. When the AutoPlay dialog box appears, click Set AutoPlay defaults in Control Panel. (Or, if the AutoPlay dialog box is no longer on the screen, choose StartControl PanelAutoPlay.)

Scroll all the way to the bottom until you see the iPad icon. From the pop-up menu, choose Take no action. Click Save.

§ Macintosh. Open iPhoto. Choose iPhotoPreferences. Where it says Connecting camera opens, choose No application. Close the window.

From now on, no photo-importing message will appear when you plug in the iPad. (You can always import its photos manually, of course.)

Info Tab

On this tab, you’re offered the chance to copy some distinctly non-entertainment data over to your iPad: your computer’s calendar, address book, email settings, and Web bookmarks.

Now, none of this setup is necessary if you use iCloud (Chapter 15), and you’ve told your iPad to sync its calendar (in SettingsiCloud). That’s because iCloud, not iTunes, handles synchronization with the iPad. Instead, this tab shows only a message that, for example, “Your calendars are being synced with your iPad over the air from iCloud.”

Syncing Contacts and Calendars

If you’re not using iCloud syncing, then you can choose to sync your iPad’s address book with a Windows program like Outlook, Outlook Express, or Windows Live Mail; a Mac program like Contacts or Entourage/Outlook for Mac; or an online address book like Google Contacts or Yahoo Address Book.

Similarly, you can sync the iPad’s calendar with a program like Outlook (for Windows) or Calendar or Outlook (on the Mac).

On My Device

Below those Settings tabs at the left side of the iTunes window, there’s a second, similar set labeled On My Device. It’s a tidy list of everything that is, in fact, on your iPad, organized by type (Music, Movies, and so on). There’s not really much you can do here—you can get more information about some items by pointing to them—but just seeing your multimedia empire arrayed before you can be very satisfying.

The Purchased category, in particular, can be handy; it shows everything on your iPad that you’ve bought with the iPad.

One iPad, Multiple Computers

In general, Apple likes to keep things simple. Everything it ever says about the iPad suggests that you can only sync one iPad with one computer.

That’s not really true, however. You can actually sync the same iPad with multiple Macs or PCs.

And why would you want to do that? So you can fill it up with material from different places: music and video from a Mac at home; contacts, calendar, ebooks, and iPad applications from your Windows PC at work; and maybe even the photos from your laptop.

iTunes derives these goodies from different sources to begin with—pictures from your photo program, addresses and appointments from your contacts and calendar programs, music and video from iTunes. So all you have to do is set up the tabs of each computer’s copy of iTunes to sync onlycertain kinds of material.

On the Mac, for example, you’d turn on the Sync checkboxes for only the Music, Podcasts, and Video tabs. Sync away.

Next, take the iPad to the office; on your PC, turn on the Sync checkboxes on only the Info, Books, and Apps tabs. Sync away once more. Then, on the laptop, turn off Sync on all tabs except Photos.

And off you go. Each time you connect the iPad to one of your computers, it syncs that data according to the preferences set in that copy of iTunes.

One Computer, Multiple iPads

It’s fine to sync multiple iPads with a single computer, too. iTunes cheerfully fills each one up, and can back each one up, as they come. In fact, if you open the Preferences box (in the iTunes menu on the Mac, the Edit menu on Windows), the Devices tab lists all the iPads that iTunes is tracking (and iPhones and iPod Touches).

Backing Up the iPad

You’ve spent all this time tweaking preferences, massaging settings, and getting everything just so on your expensive iPad. Wouldn’t it be great if you could back up all that work so that if something bad happens to the iPad, you wouldn’t have to start from scratch?

Fortunately, you can. Your iPad can back up everything your computer doesn’t already have a copy of: stuff you’ve downloaded to the iPad (music, ebooks, apps, and so on), plus less-visible things, like your iPad’s mail and network settings, your call history, contact favorites, notes, text messages, and other personal preferences that are hard or impossible to recreate.


If you turn on the Encrypted iPad Backup option, then your backup will include all your passwords: for WiFi hotspots, Web sites, email accounts, and so on. That can save you tons of time when you have to restore the iPad from the backup. (The one downside: You’ll be asked to make up a password for the backup. Don’t forget it!)

You can create your backups in either of two places:

§ On your computer. You get a backup every time the iPad syncs with iTunes. The backup also happens before you install a new iPad firmware version from Apple. iTunes also offers to do a backup before you use the Restore option described below.

§ On iCloud. You can also back up your iPad wirelessly and automatically—to iCloud, if you’ve signed up. That method has the advantage of being available even if your computer gets lost or burned to a crisp in a house fire. On the other hand, since your free iCloud storage holds only 5 gigabytes, and your iPad holds 16 or more, the free iCloud account usually isn’t enough. See the next chapter for details.

You make this choice on the Summary tab described above. (You also have the option of encrypting the backup, so that no NSA snoop can steal your laptop and root around in your backup files.)

Using That Backup

So the day has come when you really need to use that backup of your iPad. Maybe it’s become unstable, and it’s crashing all over. Or maybe you just lost the dang thing, and you wish your replacement iPad could have all your old info and settings on it. Here’s how to save the day (and your data):

1. Connect the iPad to the computer you normally use to sync with.

2. Click the (iPad) button; click the Summary tab.

3. Take a deep breath and click Restore iPad. A message may announce that you can’t erase the iPad without first turning off Find My iPad. This is a security measure to stop a thief from erasing a stolen iPad. He can’t restore the iPad without turning off Find My iPad, and he can’t turn off Find My iPad without your iCloud password. Go to the iPad and do that (in SettingsiCloud).

4. Take iTunes up on its offer to restore all your settings and stuff from the backup. If you see multiple backup files listed from other iPads, be sure to pick the backup file for your iPad. Let the backup restore your iPad settings and info. Then resync all your music, videos, and podcasts. Exhale.

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For the truly paranoid, there’s nothing like a backup of your backup. Yes, you can actually back up the iTunes backup file, maybe on a flash drive, for safekeeping. On a Mac, look in HomeLibraryApplication SupportMobileSyncBackup. For Windows Vista, 7, or 8, visit C: driveUserApp Data (hidden folder)RoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup.

If you get in a situation where you need to restore your iPad through iTunes on a different computer (say if your old machine croaked), install iTunes on it and then slip this backup file into the same folder on the new computer. Then follow the steps on these pages to restore your data to the iPad.

Deleting a Backup File

To save disk space, you can delete old backups (especially for i-gadgets you no longer own). Go to the iTunes preferences (EditPreferences in Windows or iTunesPreferences on the Mac) and click the Devices tab.

Click the dated backup file you don’t want and hit Delete Backup, as shown here.

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