I am building presentations in the current version of Keynote on macOS Sierra. How do I move them to my iPad or iPhone for review and playback?

I do not want to co-author simultaneously. The iOS 11 devices are for read-only use. Authoring happens only on the Mac.

  • What versions of iOS do you have running on your iOS devices? – Monomeeth Apr 12 '18 at 2:58
  • @Monomeeth Using the latest versions of iOS 11. – Basil Bourque Apr 12 '18 at 15:04


Another option for sharing Keynote files between macOS and iOS is to use AirDrop.

Be sure both devices are in proximity and AirDrop is enabled. See this Apple support article for using AirDrop on iOS.

From Keynote on macOS:

  • Go to the Menu and select Share > Send a Copy... > AirDrop
  • Choose what format to send (in the case of the OP, Keynote)
  • Select your iOS device from the list. (If not shown see the support article referenced above.)
  • On the iOS device, AirDrop may ask you what app to open the file with. Select Keynote.
  • Review the presentation using Keynote on iOS

This will be a separate, independent file from the original on the Mac so there is no co-authoring. As for making the file so that it cannot be edited and yet still show as a Keynote presentation, see below.

To prevent it from being editable, see this answer.

  1. Select Share > Send a Copy > AirDrop.

Share from Keynote

  1. Choose the type of document to send.

Choose type of document to send - dialog box

  1. Choose the AirDrop recipient from a list.

enter image description here

  1. Accept delivery on the iPad.

screenshot of iPad asking permission to receive file via AirDrop

| improve this answer | |
  • Haha, totally forgot about Airdrop! Good answer! :) – Monomeeth Apr 13 '18 at 3:31

iCloud Drive

If your iOS devices are using iOS 11 or above, then the easiest option is to just save the Keynote presentations to your iCloud Drive. Your iOS device will be able to access them from the Files app and launch Keynote to view them. Likewise, you can launch Keynote first and then browse to your iCloud Drive to access them.


Another option if your device is running iOS 10 or earlier, is to just use iTunes on your Mac to transfer your presentations. This option may also be quicker if you have large presentations or lots of them, as the transfer happens via USB cable rather than the internet.

To transfer via iTunes, follow these steps:

  1. Launch iTunes on your Mac
  2. Connect your iPhone/iPad to your Mac via USB cable
  3. After a short while you'll see an icon appear that represents your iOS device - this should appear to the right of the drop-down menu (near top left of the iTunes window)
  4. Click on the icon to view your device's summary screen
  5. In the left-hand pane of your iTunes window you'll see various options for your device (e.g. Summary, Music, Movies, and so on)
  6. Click on the File Sharing option (it should be the last one)
  7. Now you'll see the File Sharing screen appear on the right-hand side of your iTunes window. This screen will list all the iOS apps that support file sharing.
  8. Click on the Keynote app
  9. On the right you'll now see a list of Keynote documents saved within this app on your device (assuming you already have some)
  10. If you scroll down to the bottom you'll see an Add... button at bottom-right
  11. Click on this button and use the window that appears to navigate to and select your Keynote presentations
  12. Click on the Add... button
  13. Now your Keynote presentations are transferred to the device
  14. When finished, click on Done button

Now when you open Keynote on your iOS device and select the Browse option, you'll see the presentations listed there.

Note: This method is also available in iOS 11.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    There is also airdrop. – bjbk Apr 12 '18 at 12:10
  • 1
    Excellent answer and what I personally use. Just wanted to add that AirDrop is an alternative. + from me. – bjbk Apr 13 '18 at 3:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .