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Home > Tips > How to Use iTunes File Sharing to Transfer Files to Apps

How to Use iTunes File Sharing to Transfer Files to Apps

iTunes File Sharing feature allows you to transfer files between your iPhone apps and PC/Mac. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about iTunes File Sharing.

Updated Nov 11,2016 | by Shannon

Have you ever wanted to transfer files from your iPhone apps to your computer or back? iTunes File Sharing can help you do exactly that. Since it’s no longer possible to use a desktop file manager to access files in iOS app, this File Sharing feature is really helpful.

What is iTunes File Sharing?

 iTunes File Sharing is basically a feature that allows you to share files with iPhone apps and your computer. Instead of relying on different third-party apps you can use this feature to transfer the file back and forth to your computer as every app has made their own file system.

This file sharing feature lets you import individual and multiple files but you cannot import folders. You can export files and sub-folders and can also delete items with the Delete key on your keyboard. Apple advises to use iCloud Drive for iPhone file sharing without computer, but this file sharing feature is still a powerful one. 


Here are the steps which will enable File Sharing on iTunes.

•       Connect your iPhone/iPad to your PC using a USB cable and run iTunes on your PC.

•       In iTunes, ensure that you are in the Library and press the device button on the top left corner of the screen (top right in previous version of iTunes)


•       Then Click File Sharing under Settings (Apps tab in previous version of iTunes)

Then iTunes will display all the apps that support file sharing. As you can see no all apps on iOS device supports iTunes File Sharing. You can click one to check the available files that you can transfer to your computer.

Import and Export App Files Using File Sharing

 This feature enables you to use free file sharing and here are instructions for you to follow in order to use file sharing iTunes. For example, you can add e-books saved on your PC to the Kindle app on your iPhone. 

Importing maps and other items:

To copy files onto the iPhone or iPad:

•       Press the 'Add File...' button

•       A window will pop-up with the 'iTunes'


•       Browse and select the file/files from your PC that you want to add to the device.

•       Press Open. For an iMac press ‘Add’.

•       Progress will be shown on the device as well as at the top of the iTunes window under the Apple logo.

Otherwise, drag files and drop them into the Documents window in iTunes. However, you cannot drag on a folder. 

Once the iPhone file transfer is complete, load them into View Ranger following these steps:

•       If you imported a zip file, then you must manually un-zip the file;

•       Open ViewRanger application on the device and select Menu tab, Import / export > Documents and click the zip, then Import ZIP/VRZ.

•       If you imported other files, then in the ViewRanger application on the device, select Menu tab, Import / export and Load new data.

Exporting maps and other items:

iTunes file sharing allows you to export folders and individual files as well.

•       Select a folder or file in the "Documents" window and press the '”Save…” button below the window.

•       You will be asked to select a folder on the PC into which you want to save the sub-folder or file.

•       Press 'Select Folder'. And the progress will be shown on the device as well as under the Apple logo at the top of the iTunes window.

Delete maps and files

•       In the "Documents" window tap the file or folder and press the Delete key on the PC keyboard.


What to Do When iTunes File Sharing Missing

 Follow these simple steps if you cannot see the file sharing section:

•       Make sure you have scrolled down the iTunes panel, there is a thin scroll bar on the right-hand side.

•       Check you are using iTunes version 11 using Help > About iTunes.

•       Your iPhone/iPad must have iOS 4 or above. Check this on the device using Settings > General > About > Version.

This method allows overcoming the problem of lack of a user-accessible file system on iOS, which helps you in file sharing.

You May Also Like:

Where Are iPhone Backups Stored and How to Change It

How to Transfer Files from Your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to PC

How to Add Third-Party Applications to Files App in iOS 11 on iPhone

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