How to Sync iPhone and iPad via iTunes, iCloud, AirDrop, etc.

"Recently I bought a new iPad. It is exciting that I can download new games and store more files on it. Is there any simple way to sync contacts, music, videos and other data between my iPhone and iPad? Please help."

For people who own iPhone and iPad, syncing iPhone to iPad or syncing iPhone/iPad is an important skill, especially the contacts, music, other documents that owners usually use across devices. Actually, Apple has developed several services and features to help users sync between iPhone and iPad, such as iTunes, iCloud, and AirDrop.

In this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to sync iPhone and iPad with Apple's services, and show you some necessary knowledge about them. Plus, you can learn more options on syncing files between iPhone and iPad in this post.

Sync iPhone and iPad

Part 1: How to sync iPhone to iPad directly

iTunes and iCloud does not allow users to sync certain between iPhone and iPad. If you are looking for a simple way to do selective syncing, we will recommend Apeaksoft MobieTrans. It is able to display all data on iOS device. You can preview them and select specific files to transfer from iOS device to another. Plus, iPhone Transfer is compatible with all iOS devices, including iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/XS/XR/X/8/7/6, iPad Pro/Air/mini and earlier generations, and iPod touch.


  • • Sync iPhone data to iPad and sync iPhone/iPad without overwriting any existing data on your iOS devices.
  • • Backup voice memos, contacts, messages, notes, audios and other iOS files by one click safely and quickly.
  • • Enable you to edit iOS files like delete, rename, de-duplicate and more.
  • • Carry other features like make iPhone ringtones, convert HEIC photos, 1-click backup & restore and more.
Download for Win

How to sync iPhone to iPad without iTunes/iCloud

Step 1. Link iPhone to iPad for syncing

Click the download button below, then install and launch this iPhone/iPad syncing software on your computer.

Connect both your iPhone and iPad to your computer using the Lightning cables. Then your devices will be discovered automatically.


Step 2. Preview iOS data on computer

Click the name of the source device at upper left corner, and then choose a data type from left ribbon to display iOS data, such as "Contacts". Now, you can preview and manage iPhone contacts before sync.


Step 3. Sync iPhone to iPad in one click

Select all contacts you want to sync from iPhone to iPad, head to "Export to" > "Export Selected Contacts" and select "target iPad" to trigger the process. When it is done, you can remove both iOS devices from your computer.

Part 2: How to sync iPhone and iPad with iTunes

iTunes is a well-known service on syncing data between iPhone and other devices. There are two ways to sync iPhone and iPad using iTunes. To sync entire iPhone to iPad, iTunes backup is a good option. The data types supported by iTunes backup include: contacts, messages, notes, calendar, Safari history and bookmarks, photos, videos, purchased contents, etc. On the other hand, you can sync certain purchases contents, like TV shows, music, movies and more, between iPhone and iPad.

Way 1: How to sync entire iPhone to iPad with iTunes

Step 1. Use the original USB cable to link the source iOS device, such as iPhone, to your computer. Start the latest version of iTunes, and click the "Device" button at upper left corner after your device is detected.


Step 2. Go to the Summary tab from left sidebar and locate to the Backups area on right side. Select "This computer" and then click the "Back Up Now" button to create a backup for iPhone.

Back Up Now

Step 3. Wait for the backup is complete, remove the source iOS device from your computer and connect the target iPad to the computer.

Step 4. Also go to the "Summary" tab from left side and click "Restore Backup" button under Backups area. When iTunes backups window pops up, select the latest backup file and click "Restore" button to trigger the process.

Restore Backup

The whole process may take dozens of minutes to an hour depending on how large is the iTunes backup. This way will delete all existing data on the target iOS device.

Way 2: How to sync purchases from iPhone to iPad via iTunes

Step 1. To transfer purchased music or videos between iPhone and iPad, open the new version of iTunes, go to the "Account" menu and click "Sign In". Enter your Apple ID that you use to purchase contents on your iPhone or iPad.

Sign In

Step 2.Head to "Account" > "Authorization" and click "Authorize This Computer". Next, connect your iPhone with your computer using the Apple USB cable. Unfold the "File" menu, select "Devices" and click "Transfer Purchases from [device]" to download purchases from iPhone to iTunes Library.

Transfer Purchases

Step 3. Now, disconnect the previous iOS device and connect the target device with your computer. On the iTunes window, go to the Summary tab, and then you can check the box of "Manually manage music and videos". If you want to sync movies from iPhone to iPad, go to the "Movies" tab under "Summary", and drag and drop the desired movies to "On My Device" area on left hand column.

Manually Manage Music

Part 3: How to sync iPhone to iPad using iCloud

Using iTunes to transfer data between iPhone and iPad needs a computer. But some people prefer to do the task without computer. Actually, iCloud is a good choice to sync iPhone and iPad without computer. It only needs a good Wi-Fi network.

Way 1: How to sync contacts, calendars, mail, photos, reminders, or notes between iPhone and iPad

Step 1. If you want to sync iPhone to iPad, turn on your iPhone, navigate to "Settings" > "iCloud" and turn on the data types you want to sync to iPad, like Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Notes, Safari and more. Once your iPhone connects to a Wi-Fi network, the contacts will be synced to your iCloud account automatically.

Step 2. Next, switch to the target iPad, head to the iCloud settings screen, scroll down and hit "Sign out" if you have signed in another iCloud account on it. Then tap "Sign in" and enter the Apple ID and password associated with your iPhone.

Merge Contacts

Step 3. Then the data will be sync from iCloud to corresponding apps on your iPad automatically. If prompted, tap on "Merge" to combine the new data to current ones.

Way 2: How to sync iPhone to new iPad without computer

Step 1. On the source iPhone, locate to "Settings" > "iCloud", scroll down and tap "Backup". Then turn on "iCloud Backup" and hit "Back Up Now" to create an iCloud backup for entire device.

Step 2. Next, turn on the new iPad and follow the onscreen assistant until you reach the "Apps & Data" screen. Then select "Restore from iCloud backup" and enter the Apple ID and password you have signed in on your iPhone.

Tip: If you want to use this way on a used iPad, you have to reset it to factory status before syncing.


Step 3. On the backup list, choose the latest one and sync iPhone to iPad. Wait for the process to finish and complete other setup steps.

Part 4: How to sync iPhone and iPad without computer

AirDrop is a simple way to sync between iPhone and iPad. And if you just have several files to sync, it is a good option. AirDrop is only available to iPhone 5 or later and iPad 4th generation or later. We use photos as the example in this part.

Step 1. First of all, you need to turn on the AirDrop feature on both iPhone and iPad. Swipe upward from the bottom of any screen; turn on the "Bluetooth" and "Wi-Fi" features on the "Control Center". And then enable the "AirDrop" feature as well. When prompted, select "Everyone".

The way to enable AirDrop is a little different on iPhone X. Swipe downward from the right hand side of the screen to open the Control Center, and the AirDrop is in the Network box.

Turn on AirDrop

Step 2. Now, turn on the source iOS device, open the app contains the data that you want to sync iPhone to iPad, such as "Photos". Select all desired photos in albums, tap the "Share" button and select the target iPad on the AirDrop list.


Step 3. Next, switch to the target iPad and tap "Accept" on the popup dialog to receive the photos and save them to iOS Photos app.

AirDrop on iPad

Though you do not need to connect your iOS devices to a Wi-Fi network, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features must be turned on when using AirDrop. And we suggest you to disable AirDrop after sync to prevent from others to spy your privacy and data on iPhone and iPad.


In this tutorial, we have shared how to sync iPhone and iPad. It is apparently that there are many ways to sync data between iPhone and iPad under different situations. iTunes, for example, could extract data from the source device to computer and then transfer it to the target iOS device. It does not ask for internet connection, but you have to prepare the USB cables. On the other hand, AirDrop and iCloud could help you to sync iPhone and iPad without computers. If you are looking for the easiest way to do the task, Apeaksoft Phone Transfer is a good option. And with iPhone Transfer, you can select certain files for syncing between iPhone and iPad.

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