How to Download Music to Your iPad

Saving music on iPad is simple

What to Know

  • Connect the iPad and computer. Open iTunes. Select the iPad icon > Music. Check Sync Music. Choose categories.
  • Alternate method: In iTunes, select Summary > Options > Sync only checked songs and videos check box.
  • Then, choose the Back arrow and select Library on the main iTunes screen. Check each song to download.

This article explains two ways to download music to an iPad from a computer using iTunes 12.6 and earlier: by choosing a category or selecting individual songs.

Beginning with iOS Catalina (10.15), iTunes was replaced by Apple Music. Syncing on Mac computers is now managed by Finder.

Syncing Music on Your iPad Using iTunes

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. For more control over downloading music to your iPad, familiarize yourself with the options for syncing music 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 the iPad if that setting is selected.

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

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

    Download music to iPad
  4. Select the Sync Music check box.

    Download music to iPad
  5. Checking this box displays more options.

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 to your iPad if you have enough space.
  • Selected playlists, artists, and genres: Use this option to be more specific about which tunes you take with you. Check the boxes under the Playlists heading to include certain groups of songs that you made. Check the 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 told iTunes to sync.

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

How to Save Individual Songs to Your iPad

In iTunes, you can 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 above Music.

    Download music to iPad
  2. Scroll down to the Options section and select the Sync only checked songs and videos check box.

    This option is only available if you selected the Sync Music check box 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. Select the check 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 moves only the songs you checked to your iPad.

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