Movies Won't Sync With the iPad


That big, glossy, HD screen on your iPad isn't much good if you can't get your videos to sync. But don't worry: you aren't the first person to have sync issues with the iPad. A strongly voiced army of brand-loyal Applephiles have documented sync problems since the tablet's release. Apple is aware of the basic errors, too, and has provided troubleshooting steps in the iPad user manual and on the company's support site.

Video Formats

  • The iPad, like the iPhone and iPod touch before it, isn't universally compatible with video files. Videos need to be in MP4 or MOV format before you can add files to iTunes and subsequently sync videos to the device. You can't just add files to the library through "File," "Add to Library" and expect the files to appear on the iPad. Check your "Movies" and "TV Shows" tabs in iTunes before syncing to make sure your videos are loading.

Common Sync Issues

  • According to the iPad User Manual, Apple is aware of a few basic problems with syncing content to the iPad. The manual recommends recharging the battery fully before trying to sync. Apple also suggests that you only ever plug your iPad directly into a USB 2.0 port on your system and not into "bridged" ports, as on an external keyboard or a special USB hub, as the device may not get the required power. Make sure your iPad isn't locked before you plug it in. Some sync issues are very short-lived, and can be fixed by rebooting the system, first with the iPad connected and then with it removed.

iTunes Problems

  • Your iTunes version plays a big part in syncing files, as updated versions often included patches and fixes for previously known errors. As of April, 2011, iTunes was in version 10.2.1. If you are using multiple Apple devices with your system, iTunes may have trouble managing multiple synchronizations and hang when syncing items to the iPad. Uninstall the program and its association programs, like Safari and QuickTime, from Control Panel, reboot your PC and then download the newest versions and perform a clean installation.

USB Cable

  • Always use the supplied iPad USB cable when syncing or charging the device. The iPad cable is different than the iPhone or iPod cable and has a square top. According to "Tablet Computer Geeks," this simple-sounding fix overcame sync errors as reported by several of the site's users.

Windows 7/Intel Error

  • Popular Mechanics reports one very specific issue with a curious combination of the iPad, Windows 7 and computers running the Intel P55 chipset. The error is known to affect systems with motherboards from Gigabyte, Asus and MSI. Check Device Manager in Windows (press the Windows key and "Pause") to see which company makes your motherboard and if you are using the P55 chipset, then download a BIOS update from the company's website.

Restore iPad

  • If sync problems persist, you can always restore your iPad to its factory settings. This process erases all data from the device but overcomes most software-based problems. Make sure you have your media and applications backed up to your computer's hard drive before restoring the iPad.

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