Here's the scenario:

A client is having a conference and wants to give away a brand new iPad (not yet purchased).

They also want to pre-load the iPad with a bunch of their content (audio and video) and give the iPad away to one lucky attendee.

The Content:

As far as I'm aware, the content (audio / video) does not exist in any app on the iTunes store, but rather I'd take the audio and video files the client wants to pre-load and load them via my computer.

The problem:

I haven't owned an iPad in a long time, but I remember that in order to put content on the iPad you need an Apple ID, or you have to tie the iPad to approved computers and sync via iTunes.

Since we won't know who the winner will be, and won't be able to tie the device to their Apple ID / Computer, is it even possible?

Before asking this question here, I went down to an Apple Store and talked to a Genius, and the suggestion was to just use iTunes because you can set an iPad up without an Apple ID...but that still poses the problem with the approved computer thing...if I use iTunes, then it's tied to my machine...which I don't want.

I also don't want to de-authorize the iPad and lose content if I do get it loaded.

I know that iOS 11 has Files now, so I was curious about that route -- but it seems again that it has to be tied to a specific pre-existing account to use -- even if it's not an Apple ID.

The Question:

Assuming it is possible, how can I pre-load an iPad with content to be given away at a conference in such a way that neither the content, nor the iPad itself is tied to my accounts/computer?

I'd like to, if possible determine if it's possible the iPad gets purchased.

If I had an iPad, I'd just try these options out, but since I don't (and the iPad hasn't been purchased), I'm hoping that someone else has come across this specific use-case and has figured out a solution.

Make it a great day!

1 Answer 1


There is no way to load apps/content onto an iDevice without using an AppleID. You should give the prize iPad away untouched and give the winner an Apple gift card to allow let them purchase the apps and content they want. After all, the iPad belongs to the prize-winner.

This is what we've done at my place of employment in similar situations.

  • This is good to know, and it's a great idea! In this case, an Apple Gift Card wouldn't work because the content is not on iTunes or the App Store...You are right, the iPad would belong to the winner, and I'd definitely like to touch is as little as possible. Along this same train of thought...I supposed we could load the content onto a server someplace, or onto iTunes and provide them with the download link / QR Code to access the content that way...
    – Ian
    Dec 12, 2017 at 17:38

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