No internet access here except iPhone. Therefore, I can't download an iPad file explorer, nor email a PDF to myself. Is there another way to "reverse sync" a PDF?

(Backup will NOT do it).

I did actually send by email, thinking sync would let me pull it from the Drafts (unsent) in Mail. Alas, Apple has decided there's no longer any value in syncing Mail.

I do already have two such explorer apps, but one announces it is not compatible with IOS 8, and the other does nothing when I select "mount device."

  • Could you create a personal hotspot with the iPhone and use that connection to email it to yourself?
    – onik
    Feb 20, 2015 at 6:37
  • No, my carrier doesn't support that. Of course, I could carry the Mac into town and download it again at the library … :-)
    – WGroleau
    Feb 20, 2015 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


Depending on the type of Mac and iPad you are using, AirDrop could be a solution. The iOS device would need iOS 7 installed and be at least one of the models below.

  • iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation or later)
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

The Mac would need to be a 2012 or later model with OS X Yosemite installed.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth need to be enabled on both devices, but no network infrastructure is necessary as AirDrop uses a direct Wi-Fi connection.

As long as you have the option to share the PDF using the standard iOS share button, you should be able to AirDrop the file. Your Mac will show up in the top section of the share sheet, but may take several seconds to be discovered so be patient.

  • I did not think of that. AirDrop isn't offered, but it may show up if I make sure those services are turned on on both sides. I already did my computations on paper, but I will certainly try this path. Thanks!
    – WGroleau
    Feb 20, 2015 at 22:03
  • 1
    Did not work. Have to enable a few other things, but even then, the share icon only offers Email & Print. Turning on a WiFi router and connecting to it didn't help either (didn't expect it to). Pairing Mac to iPad didn't help either, though I am now suspicious of the hardware—within five seconds of successful pairing, they disconnected and no longer show a Pair button.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 20, 2015 at 22:50

Long shot—maybe I can set up a mail server on the Mac and then email through the WiFi router. Not sure that is worth the effort.

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