Transfer Documents Wirelessly From iOS Device to Mac

As the tech world continues to complete the transition from being completely wired to completely wireless, it’s very close to being completely wireless, whether it’s phones, computers, game systems, etc. While Apple’s iTunes is now able to transfer non-music documents completely wirelessly, other apps still have a long way to go. A year ago no one would have thought it tedious to be wired to exchange files, but now it seems to be a chore to connect with wire.

However, because Apple is currently working behind the scenes to make it all wireless, and to follow Steve Jobs’ desire to “live in a PC-free world”, the process of transferring documents from an iPad or iPhone to a Mac is as easy as it can be while still being wired. It can be a little hard to find out how to do it, surprisingly for Apple, but the reasoning is mostly because everything else is so wireless, we automatically expect this process to be as well.

Certain applications that exist both on iOS devices as well as Macs, such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, work with file sharing. While the files can be shared wirelessly through programs such as Dropbox, they can also be shared with File Sharing via iTunes.


If you have just finished a document in an app such as Pages on the iPhone or iPad, click on the Tools menu (looks like a wrench), then click on “Share and Print.” In the resulting menu, click on “Send to iTunes.” This is where you would expect it to end in our burgeoning wireless world. However, there are a few more steps in this process.

Make sure you have your iOS device hooked up to your Mac via the docking/USB cable that came with it. Open iTunes on the Mac and find the device listed in the sidebar on the left of the application. After the device is selected, select the Apps menu at the top.


Scroll down to the bottom to see all the applications on the device that include File Sharing. If you click on the app you just got done using, such as Pages, it will show all the documents you have saved to iTunes within that application. You can save it to your Mac one of two ways. You can either click on the document, then onto “Save to”, and maneuver through your file system to store it in the folder of your choice, or you can simply drag the document into the folder of your choice.



Of course the reverse works just as well. To send files from your Mac to your iOS device, instead of adding it within the application, you can add it through the Apps menu in iTunes. Either click on the “Add” button and maneuver through your file system to find the file to save it to iTunes, or simply drag it from your hard drive into the File Sharing area of iTunes.

Transferring the files back and forth is really quite simple. The only thing that will make it more simple is for it to be wireless. With Apple’s iCloud being released next fall, surely this is one area that will be affected. Assumably the File Sharing will then be done wireless through the cloud, just as with music and apps.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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