Recovery & Repair
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How to Backup iPad to Mac without iTunes

author Emily Watson
date Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It is easy to lose photos, videos, movies, or other files on iPad when the iPad is dropped, cracked, water damaged, stolen, so it is important to backup your iPad on a regular basis. Comparing to backing up iPad with iCloud, it is an easier and more economical way to back up iPad to Mac or PC.

This post will show you two ways to back up photos, videos, and files on iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro to Mac without iTunes.

People Also Read:

How to Backup iPhone, iPad to iCloud (opens new window)

Why Do You Want to Backup iPad without iTunes?

If you have backed up iPad to iTunes, you probably find iTunes a less satisfactory backup tool. Most users would like to backup the iPad without iTunes because of the following reasons.

  • iTunes doesn't allow you to selectively back up data that you need.
  • To restore backup from iTunes, you need to factory reset iPad first, which will delete your iPad data that are not included in the backup. (Tip: How to Restore iPad without iTunes (opens new window))
  • iTunes backup doesn't include photos synced to My Photo Stream/iCloud Photo Library, purchased music, apps or others from the iTunes/App Stores, and content synced from iTunes
  • In macOS 10.15 Catalina, iTunes has been removed. That's why you have to back up iPad to macOS Catalina in a new way without iTunes.

If you don't want to use iTunes to backup iPad to Mac, you can use the following methods.

Selectively Backup iPad to Mac Without iTunes

You can use FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore (opens new window) to replace iTunes. This program is designed to back up iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch data to MacBook Pro/Air/Mini, iMac, iMac Pro.

Free Download Buy with 20% off Free Download Buy with 20% off

Main Features

  • Select data type to backup: e.g. to backup photos from iPad to Mac, you can choose only photos to backup.
  • Backup everything on iPad Pro/Mini/Air, including all photos, purchased or downloaded music, documents, movies and more.
  • Encrypt iPad backup with a password.
  • Provide a preview of backup data before restoring and enable you to select only needed data to restore. And when restoring backup the program, it won't erase the existing files on your iPad.
  • Support iPad on iPadOS, iOS 12 to iOS 6 and Mac computer on Mac OS 10.14 to 10.7.

Follow the steps below to backup iPad to Mac with iOS Data Backup & Restore.

Step 1:Connect iPad Pro/Mini/Air to Mac

After downloading iOS Data Backup Restore on Mac, run the program and connect your iPad to Mac with a USB cable.

Step 2:Select Standard or Encrypted Backup

Click iOS Data Backup and then select to make an unencrypted or encrypted backup of your iPad. If you choose Encrypted backup, you need to enter a password and remember the password for restoring the backup.

Choose Encrypted or Unencrypted Backup

Step 3:Select Data to Backup

When you see the following window, select the data you want to backup. If you want to backup everything on the iPad, tick Select All and click Next.

Select Data to Backup

Step 4:Backup iPad Successfully

The program will begin to back up your iPad to Mac. Please wait patiently. When it is done, you will see the following page. You can click Restore iOS Data to view data in the backup.

Backup iPad to Mac Successfully

Note: to restore backup to iPad from Mac, choose iOS Data Restore, select a backup, view the backed up data and select your needed data to restore to Mac or iPad.

Restore iPad Backup from Mac

One-Click to Backup iPad Data to Mac without iTunes

FonePaw iOS Transfer (opens new window) can also let you backup iPad to Mac without iTunes quickly and even in just 1 click. It can import music, videos, movies, audiobooks, photos, contacts, SMS, playlist and more from iPad to MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro or iMac that running from OS X Lion to macOS High Sierra.

Free download the trial version of FonePaw iOS Transfer (Mac) and follow the instruction below to backup iPad to Mac with one click.

Free Download Buy with 20% off Free Download Buy with 20% off

Step 1: Connect iPad to Mac

After you have launch FonePaw iOS Transfer (Mac), connect your iPad Pro, iPad mini 4/3, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 4 or iPad 2 to Mac computer. Within seconds, the program will recognize your iPad and show it in the starting window.

Connect iPad to Mac Computer

Step 2: One-Click to backup iPad

In the left column of the program, click "ToolKit" and then the"To Folder" icon. After that, the program will scan the data in your iPad automatically.

Export iPad Photos onto Mac for Backup

When the scanning is finished, choose an output folder and click "Start" to backup media files, photos, playlists, contacts, books and SMS from iPad to Mac.


If you don't want to backup iPad data as a whole, iOS Transfer also allows you to selectively transfer iPad photos, music, contacts, etc. to Mac:

  • Choose the file types (Media, Photos, Playlist, Contacts, SMS, and Books);
  • Markdown the files you need;
  • Click "Export to" > "Export to Mac" to backup iPad photos, music, playlist, contacts, SMS, etc. to your Mac computer.

Back up iPad without iTunes on macOS Catalina

If your Mac runs on macOS 10.15 Catalina or above, you won't be able to find iTunes on the Mac. Without iTunes, you can back up iPad with Finder on macOS Catalina.

  • Plug an iPad to your Mac.
  • Run Finder and select the connected iPad.
  • In the General tab, click Back up Now to make a backup of your iPad.

Back up iPad to Finder