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

You can buy apps from iTunes by changing the store category on the right side of the Store's home screen.

There are a number of different reasons for downloading apps on iTunes from a PC or Mac rather than directly to the iPad. Convenience, for example.

If you read about an app on your laptop, you don't need to hunt down your iPad to download it on the spot. You can buy it on iTunes and download it later. This is a great way to keep from forgetting the app's name. And if the iPad is childproofed with app purchases turned off, gathering around the PC to purchase new apps is a great way to shop for apps with your child.

The ability to download apps onto your PC is also great for those who still have a 1st generation iPad. While many apps no longer support the original iPad, if you download an app on your PC or Mac, the app will show up in the previously purchased category of the App Store on your iPad. This is an: excellent workaround to get some apps like Netflix downloaded to the 1st Gen iPad.

Let's get started:

  1. First, launch iTunes on your PC or Mac. If you don't already have iTunes, you can download it from Apple's website. The iTunes software is free.
  2. Verify that you are signed into the same Apple ID as your iPad. You can do this by clicking on "Store" from the menu at the top of the screen. This is the menu that starts with File and Edit. Store is just to the left of Help. Toward the bottom of this menu is a "View Account" option. You should be able to see the email address associated with the account currently signed into iTunes just to the right of this option. If it is not the same as your iPad account, or if you aren't signed into iTunes, you will need to sign in with your iPad's Apple ID.
  1. Click on "iTunes Store" at the top of the screen. This is different from the Store menu we just used and is located on a bar just below the File-Edit menu.
  2. By default, the iTunes Store usually starts in the Music category. You can change the category to the App Store by clicking on the "Music" category located on the right side of the screen. Music will have a symbol pointing down to the right of the word. When you click on Music, a drop down box appears allowing you to choose App Store.
  1. Once in the App Store, you can 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 that right-side menu. This will allow you to choose from specific categories of apps, such as productivity apps or games.
  2. As with the App Store on your iPad, you can get more information on an app by clicking on it. This will also allow you to purchase an app. On the right side of the screen is the app's icon. Just below that is the button for buying the app. Free apps will have a "Get" button while apps that have a price tag will show the price in the button.
  3. When you purchase an app, you may need to verify your account by typing in the account password. This is similar to the iPad. You should only need to verify your account once per session unless you leave your computer for a long period of time.
  4. After you purchase the app, it will automatically download to your PC or Mac.

How do I get the app from my PC or Mac to my iPad?

There are two ways to transfer the app to your device.

  • You can plug your iPad into your PC or Mac and sync the device. You can also choose to just sync apps if you want to speed up the process. Find out more about syncing your iPad to your computer.
  • Or you can download the app from the App Store. You can do this by launching the App Store and choosing the previously purchased tab. On this tab, you will see all of your most recent purchases, including those done from a PC or Mac. Simply tap the cloud button next to the app icon to start the download. For apps that cost money, you will not be billed again. Find out more about downloading previously purchased apps.

    Quick Tip: You don't need to be in the App Store category of the iTunes Store to search for apps. However, results from the currently chosen category will be listed first, so if you are still in the Music category, results for Music will come up before results from the App Store. But if you are in a hurry, you can easily scroll down until you see the App Store results.

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