How to Download Music to Your iPad

Saving music on iPad is simple

Man downloading music to his iPad

Georgijevic / Getty Images

Syncing music, movies, apps, and other content to the iPad can be as simple as plugging a cable into the dock connector at the bottom of the iPad and the other end into a USB port on your computer and letting the data download. But to have more control over downloading music to your iPad, familiarize yourself with the options for syncing music.

These instructions apply to iTunes 12.6.5.3 and later.

Options For Syncing Music on Your iPad

First, follow these steps to connect your iPad to your computer and get to the options in iTunes:

  1. Connect your devices with the cable that came with the iPad and open iTunes.

    iTunes may open as soon as you connect your iPad if you have that setting selected.

  2. Tap the iPad icon near the top of the screen.

    Download music to iPad
  3. Tap Music (under Settings).

    Download music to iPad
  4. Check the box next to Sync Music.

    Download music to iPad
  5. Checking this box opens up some more options below.

You can now decide which songs, albums, artists, and playlists to move from iTunes to your iPad.

  • Entire Music Library - This option moves everything in your iTunes Library over to your iPad if you have enough space to hold it.
  • Sync Selected playlists, artists, and genres - This option lets you be more specific about which tunes you take with you. Check boxes under the Playlists heading to include certain groups of songs that you've made yourself. Check boxes under Artists to select specific bands and performers. You can also make choices under Genres and Albums.
  • Include videos - Check this to sync videos in your iTunes Library to your iPad.
  • Include voice memos - This box moves any non-music audio fills in your Library to your iPad.
  • Automatically fill free space with songs - This box fills available storage on your iPad with music that you haven't already told iTunes to sync.

Click the Apply button in the bottom right corner of the iTunes window to save your changes and start downloading based on your choices.

How to Save Individual Songs to Your iPad

In iTunes, you can also take full control and only select specific songs to download to your iPad. Here's how:

  1. Click Summary on the left side of the iTunes screen. It's right above Music.

    Download music to iPad
  2. Scroll down to the Options heading and click the box next to Sync only checked songs and videos to check it.

    This option is only available if you've checked the box next to Sync Music on the Music screen.

    Download songs to iPad
  3. Click the Back arrow in the upper-left corner.

    Download music to iPad
  4. Click Library on the main screen of iTunes.

    Download music to iPad
  5. Click the boxes next to the songs you want to sync to your iPad.

    Download music to iPad
  6. Click the iPad icon, and then click Sync on the Summary page.

    Download music to iPad
  7. iTunes will move only the songs you checked to your iPad.