A few years ago, Apple, for some mysterious reason, decided to remove file transfer functionality from iTunes in its entirety. You’re now forced to use a convoluted approach that uses the Photos app, instead. It also makes it even more difficult to copy arbitrary files to and from your iPad or iPhone.
As an iOS power user, this was a major inconvenience for me. Because of its screen size, my iPad 10.5 is my device of choice for watching movies and shows. I need a way to copy videos over to the iPad to watch many of these. With iTunes no longer a viable solution, third party tools became the only option. This is where iFunBox and Fileza come into the picture. Together, these two tools enable me to copy arbitrary files to and from my iPad and PC, as well as play videos in players like VLC without having to go through a headache-inducing sync process. It’s important to note first that this approach requires you to be jailbroken. I stayed on iOS 12.4 to continue enjoying the convenience of this approach. If you are jailbroken, follow the steps below to find out how to transfer and use files on your iPad or iPhone without iTunes.
Part One: Installing Filza
Filza is a robust file management solution. It gives you nearly as much control over the iOS file structure as you get on a standard iOS device. It’s a jailbreak app, meaning that you’ll need to install it from Cydia.
Step 1: Launch Cydia
Step 2: You’ll need to tap on the Search icon at the bottom right corner of the Cydia interface
Step 3: Enter “Filza” in the search bar, then select Filza.
Step 4: Tap on “Install” at the top right corner
Step 5: Tap “Confirm”
This will download Filza from its Cydia repository and install it. It’ll now be available for you, just like a normal app.
Part Two: Installing iFunBox
Step 1: Install iTunes if you haven’t already done so. The reason for this is that the Apple mobile device driver is bundled with the iTunes Windows application. Without this, iFunbox won’t work properly. Visit the iTunes install page here. Then scroll down and click on “Windows” where it says Looking for other versions? Doing this will get you the regular iTunes app instead of the buggy Microsoft Store version.
Step 2: Download and install iFunBox. You can get it at the following link. Just click where it says “V3.0.” To install, just double click on the installation file and proceed with the regular installation process.
Part Three: Copying Files to and From your PC and iOS Device
Step 1: Connect your iOS device to your PC using Thunderbolt/USB C or the 18 pin.
Step 2: Make sure your iOS device is unlocked. Enter your password or use TouchID if you have either configured.
Step 3: Open up iFunbox on your desktop. It will show a loading screen first where it says “connecting to your device.” After this, you’ll be presented with the interface below. If you want to Click on Toolbox first.
Step 4: Now click on “User File System.”
Step 5: You can select any folder to copy your files to. However, I suggest using the Downloads folder. It’s easy to later access on Filza. Select this folder now
Step 6: Click on Copy From PC. This will bring you to a folder menu
Step 7: Click on a file you wish to transfer to your iOS device and click open.
Step 8: If you’ve followed these steps correctly, the file transfer will begin in iFunBox.
Part Four: Copying Files To your PC from your iOS Device
Follow all the steps above. However, at Step 5, do the following:
Step 5a. Click on a file you wish to transfer to your PC
Step 6a. Click on Copy To PC
Step 7a. Select a folder on your PC that you wish to transfer the file to
Step 8a. The transfer will begin
Part Five: Using Filza to access your Files
Filza is a very robust file manager. It has a ton of features. But today’s tutorial is just going to be about accessing the video file that you’ve copied over.
Step 1. The first thing to do is navigating the Downloads folder. iFunbox and Filza present the iOS folder structure a bit differently. In Filza, you wil need to navigate to var/mobile/Media/Downloads. Have a look at the following screens to find out how to get there.
Step 2. Once you are there, you will need to change the default app for your video files. Many file formats aren’t supported by either the stock player or Filza’s built-in player. If you’ve downloaded a third-party video player app like VLC, you can select it by doing the following:
2a. Tap on the “I” icon on the right
2b. Select “open with”
2c. Scroll down to reach your preferred video player, then tap on it.
Now, by default, videos of this format will open in that particular player.
That’s all there is to it. Apple can make it very convoluted to get your PC and iOS device to play nice together. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Following these steps, you’ll be able to copy files to and from your iOS device, as well as playing them locally. That’s as robust as the file copying system on an Android device. We hope you found this useful.