Transfer Music, PDFs, and other files from Mac to iPhone

Transfer Music, PDFs, and other files from Mac to iPhone

Procedure to Transfer Music, PDFs, and other files from Mac to iPhone, you can’t expect how many times I’ve said ” I just want to put this insert file type here on my phone!” Apple doesn’t always make it easy to get things such as videos, iWork files, or PDFs from your Mac to your iPhone. I have figured a lot of it out through a lot of error and trial.

It takes to stumble your way through the process by sharing what I’ve learned.

Transfer Music to iPhone

Probably this the easiest way to make. It is also the one you will want to make most often. So, its good to know exactly what to do. The process is detailed below.

To Transfer a Single Album or Specific Songs


  1. By using USB cable, connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  2. If it didn’t open automatically, Open iTunes.
  3. Find the music you want to transfer over.
  4. Tap and drag it to the left side of the iTunes window.
  5. Drop it on the icon for your phone.

By dragging the cover art, you can select an entire album. Command-click to grab a single song at a time or select just a few songs. Any song that hasn’t been imported into iTunes won’t show up an option is the only thing. You need to import your music via File > Add to Library if your music isn’t showing up.

You can use non-iTunes options for transferring music. On concord they require more setup.

To Sync a Playlist


The best way for transferring a music playlist to your mobile is to click and drag it. So that all songs will be transferred over. Though if you want to sync a playlist, make sure all of the changes in the playlist made since your last sync get automatically updated. You will need to go about it differently.

  1. Plug your iPhone.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Tap on the iPhone icon near the top of the window.
  4. Click Music, under Settings in the left pane.
  5. Choose Sync Music, then select Selected playlists, albums,  genres and artists.
  6. Choose the playlist you want to sync.

Note that this requires that you trash all the music currently on your phone from other iTunes libraries. Once you’ve done that, you can sync artists, playlists, genres, and albums making it much easier to keep your phone’s music up-to-date.

Transfer Podcasts to iPhone


It’s easy to add episodes to your phone because podcasts are also managed from iTunes.

  1. Plug your iPhone.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Go to the Podcasts view.
  4. Tap and drag a podcast to your phone in the left pane.

Fortunately, podcast apps tend to sync up pretty well without needing to do this very often. So it’s not something you should have to worry about. It’s easier to manage them from your phone anyway.

Transfer Photos to iPhone


You will usually want to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac. There might be cases where the reverse is true. Using iTunes to do this is a little weird.

  1. Put all of the photos you want on your iPhone in a single folder.
  2. Plug your iPhone.
  3. Launch iTunes.
  4. Tap the iPhone icon near the top of the window.
  5. Under Settings, click Photos.
  6. Check Sync Photos.
  7. Select Selected folders.
  8. Select the folder you just created.
  9. Hit Sync.

Anything you put in that folder will be synced to your phone when you connect it. For example, this can be useful if you always want to have family photos available.

You may want to invest on another drag-and-drop or in Waltr that is $40 file transfer app for your Mac if you do this on a regular basis. It makes the process much simpler.

Transfer PDFs to iPhone


This is the pain. I have to look up instructions for this more times than I can say. The tricky thing is that you will be using both iBooks and iTunes to accomplish this.

  1. Launch iBooks.
  2. Use File > Add to Library to add your PDF to iBooks.
  3. Plug your iPhone.
  4. Launch iTunes.
  5. Tap the iPhone icon near the top of the window.
  6. Under Settings, Tap Books.
  7. Select Sync Books.
  8. Select Selected books.
  9. Put a check next to any ebook or PDF you’d like to sync to your phone.

This is a rather roundabout procedure to do. But once you have done it a few times, it’s pretty easy. Using the Books app for PDFs is a good way to keep them all in one place.

Of course, you can simply sync your Dropbox app or always use a file-transfer app to get the file to your phone. However, this way, it’ll be in your Books app and ready to view. Whether you’re online or off, as soon as you’ve synced your phone.

Transfer Videos or Movies to iPhone


Such as Podcasts and music, you can transfer movies and videos right from iTunes in just a few clicks.

  1. Plug your iPhone.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Import your video or movie using File > Add to Library.
  4. Go to the Movies view.
  5. Drag the video or movie to your phone in the left pane.

Note that there are two sections of the Movies view. They are namely Movies and Home Videos. You’ll have to find your movie or video in these categories and then move it to your phone.

Transfer Other Files to iPhone



Sending other files from your Mac to your iPhone can be a little tricky. It mostly depends on the type of file you’re trying to transfer. If you want to send over a file that can be used by an app on your phone. It’s pretty straightforward.

  1. Plug your iPhone.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Tap the iPhone icon near the top of the window.
  4. Under Settings, select Apps.
  5. Scroll down to the File Sharing section.
  6. Choose the app you want to send your file to such as Pages for Documents or iMovie for video files.
  7. Tap and drag your file into the list on the right.

This is a simple way to add things such as presentations, usable documents and spreadsheets to your phone. You can also use this method for adding unopenable files to your phone. For instance, I added an EXE file to iMovie. It won’t be able to open it. But I could presumably download it to another computer from my phone.

If you are looking for file storage, though it is probably best to use Dropbox, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, or a similar service. In this way you can upload the file to the cloud on your computer and then access it from your phone without assigning to an app that won’t be able to open it.

Other Transfers

The majority of transfers should be covered by these instructions. You need to make from your computer to your iPhone. You should be able to use these methods to figure out the right way to do it, if you need to move anything else over. And if not, there are always cloud storage apps. AirDrop is another method that can be effective but also temperamental.

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