[MANUAL BDI] How to transfer PDF files to iPad, iPod touch or iPhone

The iPhone, and especially the iPad, are great for reading electronic books and digital documents, because in addition to saving sheets of paper, it is much more “portable” by allowing us to carry hundreds of books wherever we go. But not everyone knows how to transfer PDF files to the device.

There are several ways to do this, but in this article we’ll show you a specific tutorial to help you get started.

♦ Application for reading PDFs

The first thing you should do is install an application on your device that organizes and reads your PDF files, as the iPhone or iPad system does not bring a specific application “from the factory” (despite the system opening them natively in Mail) or Safari).

The best known is, without a doubt, the application iBooks, from Apple itself (link). With it, you can read both books in ePub and PDF format, in addition to being able to organize the documents in “shelves” the way you want.

But iBooks is not very good for reading PDF files with the device on horizontal, because the letters are very small. If you try to zoom in with your fingers, when you move to the next page, it will adjust the sheet at the height of the screen. In this sense, the application Documents by Readdle (link) for iPad is much better, offering an optimal reading of PDFs horizontally. Another very important difference is that it allows you to open documents directly from cloud services, such as Dropbox.

There are several other applications for this function, but we suggest these two, which are free. Once the tool is chosen and installed, you will then need to transfer the PDFs to the device. There are different ways to do this, which we explain below.

♦ Method 1: send by email

IOS Mail allows you to open PDF files received by email, so the most basic way to transfer these files from your PC to your iPad or iPhone is to send them by email for yourself.

It’s simple: on the PC, just attach the document to the body of the email and send it to an address you can open on your iPad or iPhone. Once received, tap the icon to download it and then open it.

Touch the PDF file to open it

Once the file is open on your iPad or iPhone, just tap the share button, located at the top, on the right. It will present you with several application options where you can open the document. Choose the one you want.

Touch the top right button to share the document

Choose the application to open the PDF

Okay, you now have the document in your device and can now read it. ?

♦ Method 2: transfer from iTunes on your computer

If you have a lot of files to transfer, emailing them may not be the best solution. In this case, connect the device to the computer via the USB cable and transfer them using the program iTunes it may be a much more practical solution for you.

If you don’t already have iTunes installed on your computer, install it through this link.

It is generally possible to transfer files to applications using the File Sharing in iTunes. But with iBooks, it’s different because it syncs directly with your computer’s library. Check out how to do it in both cases.

➣ Synchronizing with iBooks

To make it easier to explain, you will need to view the sidebar that has always existed on iTunes, but that in the new version 11 it was hidden. Open iTunes and if it is not already visible, press the keys CTRL + S (this on Windows; if you use Mac, go to the menu To view and select Show Sidebar).

Connect your iOS device (iPad, iPod or iPhone) to your computer via the USB cable and wait for it to appear in the iTunes sidebar. Now simply drag the PDF file (or several of them at the same time) to the device in iTunes, as shown in the image below:

Transferring PDF to iPad

The document will appear in the application iBooks your device. That simple.

➣ Using File Sharing

If you want the PDF to appear in another application (in our example, the Documents), you must use the File Sharing, in iTunes.

Click the device icon in the iTunes sidebar and then, in the top menu that appears, select Applications.


A screen will appear, showing a mirror of what you have installed on the device. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the option for individual sharing by app. This is where you will transfer the files directly to them.

File Sharing

Select the application you want and click the button Add to transfer the PDF files you want to read on the device. They will then be transferred directly to the selected application.

File Sharing

Ready. Good reading!

♦ Method 3: download from the internet

Many PDF documents you need are downloaded directly from the internet, such as on university websites or company intranets. For that, it is very simple, because Safari always opened files in this format normally.

Open Safari on iOS (or any other browser) and go to the link to download the document. Touch it and wait for the PDF to load completely. When this happens, a transparent menu will appear, giving you the option to open the document in another application. If the menu disappears, just tap the center of the screen.

Touch the “Open with…”And select the application in which you want to open the PDF and it will be transferred there. This way, you can read it anytime you want, without having to be connected to the internet.

Download PDF from the internet

♦ Method 4: Dropbox

Finally, we leave the one we consider the easiest and most practical of methods: download via Dropbox. It is the most well-known a cloud that exists, that allows you to open files on your computer on your iPhone or iPad, in an easy and intuitive way.

Cloud (or cloud) is the way we call services that offer remote servers, to store our documents. They are stored on the company’s computers and can be accessed from anywhere.

When you install Dropbox on your computer, it creates a folder shared with the cloud and everything you store on it can be accessed on your phone or tablet. If you don’t have an account there yet, create one right now (link). He’s great and will help you with a lot, you can trust.

After creating the account and installing it on your computer, pass all the documents present on the PC that you want to open on the iPad (or iPhone / iPod) to Dropbox folder and expect to sync automatically with their server. From there, you can directly open all documents on your device, either using the application Documents (which we talked about at the beginning of this article) or the Dropbox application itself, which can be downloaded from this link, with a Universal version that runs on both the iPhone and iPod as well as the iPad.

Through the Dropbox app, you can also open your files in other apps.


There, these are the main ways to transfer your PDFs to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. There are several others, but with these we indicate you should be able to do the basics with your documents.

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