How to Download iPad Apps From iTunes on Your PC or Mac

A workaround returns this feature to your computer

What to Know

  • To download apps, launch iTunes, select iTunes Store, change the category to App Store, select an app, then select Get.
  • Downloading apps only works on an older version of iTunes you can download for Mac and 32-bit or 64-bit PCs.
  • Transfer apps from a computer to an iPad by plugging the device into your PC or Mac and syncing the devices.

This article explains how to download iPad apps from iTunes on your PC or Mac. This method only works on an older version of iTunes you can download and use on your Mac or 32-bit or 64-bit PC.

How to Download Apps to Your Computer

To download apps to your computer:

  1. Download, then launch the older version of iTunes (12.6.5) on your PC or Mac.

  2. Sign in using the same Apple ID as you use on your iPad.

  3. Click on iTunes Store at the top of the screen. By default, the iTunes Store usually starts in the Music category.

  4. Change the category to the App Store by clicking on the Music category located on the right side of the screen to produce a drop-down menu.

  5. Choose App Store in the drop-down menu.

  6. Browse apps as you would on your iPad or iPhone. The initial page lists the featured apps, including new apps and currently popular apps. You can use the search feature at the top right of the screen to search for a particular app or change the category of apps by clicking All Categories on the menu. This allows you to choose from specific categories of apps, such as productivity apps or games.

  7. Click on an app to get more information on it.

  8. Click on the price to buy the app or on Get to download a free app. After you purchase the app, it automatically downloads to your PC or Mac.

Person using App Store on a laptop
Emily Mendoza / Lifewire 

How to Transfer the App to an iPad?

There are two ways to transfer the app from your computer to your mobile device.

  • Plug your iPad into your PC or Mac and sync the device. You can choose to sync only apps if you want to speed up the process. 
  • Download the app from the App Store on your iPad. To do this, launch the App Store app on your iPad and choose the previously purchased tab. On this tab, you will see your most recent purchases, including those done on a PC or Mac. Tap the cloud button next to the app icon to start the download. You are not charged again for apps you've already bought.
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