iPad 2 16GB WiFi iOS 5.1.1

Windows XP SP3 All updates installed

I have one video on my iPad 2 that is 24:13 in length that I filmed myself and stored in the camera roll. My goal is to upload it to YouTube directly or via my computer.

Here is what I have tried so far:

  1. Click "Send to YouTube" when viewing the video in the Photos App. I get the error that the "Video is Too Long" even though my iOS is up to date, I am on WiFi and YouTube has a 10 hour limit.
  2. Plug the iPad in to the USB drive and drag and drop the video from the iPad to my desktop. The file appears to transfer after a few minutes of copying, however the file is always 0 bytes so it doesn't actually work. Mind you I am doing the drag and drop method, not using the Windows Camera Wizard which has issues with large files.

So what can I do to put this video on YouTube? I have replicated this problem with another iPad 2 and another Windows XP computer and it appears that others have had this problem go unsolved from other discussion boards.

Is it really impossible to get a ~20 minute video from my iPad 2 to YouTube or my own computer without the use of 3rd party software? I thought this thing was supposed to "just work."

  • Is syncing via iTunes an option for you? Or Dropbox maybe?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 15:40
  • @patrix I was under the impression that iTunes only syncs videos and other media from the PC to the iPad. Is there a way to transfer pictures and video from the camera roll to the computer using iTunes? I'd rather not use Dropbox because the file is right around 2GB and that would put me over the free limit. Also it seems that it would be best to transfer a file that large via USB instead of Wifi. Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:15
  • On the Mac, iTunes syncs pictures/videos both ways. This may be different on Windows.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:41
  • @patrix Yeah, unless I am mistaken there is no way to transfer photos and videos from the camera roll to a Windows computer using iTunes. Really kind of blows my mind how annoying this is! Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 21:24
  • How large does the video file appear to Windows? Can you open and play it in QuickTime Player? This might help isolate the cause of your issues. This should clearly work - so we're going to need to hunt about a bit to solve this.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 19:26

6 Answers 6


There's an iOS app called Photo Transfer App that should do exactly as you want. Transferring from iPad to Windows.

Not sure I know the answer to why YouTube isn't taking it.

  • This is a paid app. Have you transferred large videos with it? I don't want to buy it unless you know it works from experience. I've tried a few free apps that fail to transfer anything larger than a few megs. Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 19:40
  • I don't run Windows so I can't be sure. Here's what I did try. I copied a feature length movie, ripped from HandBrake and copied it to iPhoto. Transferred it to my camera roll with iTunes, then I copied it out of my camera roll back to my Mac using Photo Transfer App. It worked. 110 min movie, 1.44GB
    – afragen
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 0:47
  • 1
    Thanks this did end up working for me. All the other file transfer methods failed but this software did end up working. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 3:42
  • Glad you got this sorted out.
    – afragen
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 13:48
  • @Lucifer Sam, can you mark this as answered? Thanks.
    – afragen
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 22:44

You will get lots of answers since basically two things are conspiring to prevent you from grabbing the file.

The first is the iOS file size limit uploading to youtube. I don't have a hard limit, but it's been known for a while that past 5 minutes on most iOS devices, either the youtube API or the software declines to transfer a movie as a direct upload.

The second is likely a Windows filesize (or perhaps transfer software limitation) since iOS exposes the camera roll to computers as a camera DCIM folder. This means you can use your choice of transfer software to grab the movie when you connect it without needing iTunes or any other Apple help. Do you have any digital camera software that you could try? If not, simply head to the Apple support article that explains how to transfer these files by navigating directly to them when you connect your iPad.

iOS: Importing personal photos and videos from iOS devices to your computer

Also - check that your quicktime is updated and that you try transfering the file to an external drive with enough free space. This seems like something XP should be able to do as long as the destination drive is has a healthy filesystem and you're not exceeing any file size limits.

  • Thanks for the answer. Unfortunately I already tried the drag and drop method and it still fails. The file shows up as 0 bytes. I have plenty of free space and the file is less than 2 GB so there is no issue with copying it to an NTFS formatted disk. Unfortunately I don't have any other camera software to try transferring it with. It's a shame there's no iPhoto for Windows. Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 19:36
  • I hear you - sadly windows virtualizes easier than OSX so it's easier to bring the windows apps you need to Mac instead of the other way.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 19:46

This is my latest method for MOV files. Maybe late in the day for some but anyone else landing here might find my solution handy. iPad2 via USB to Windows XP. Get yourself QuickTime installed on the Windows PC. My version 7 allows for Save As... Maybe you need Pro for that Save As feature.

Plug the iPad's usb into the PC. If itunes opens up on the PC - kill it. You might have to wait for the iPad to show up in your drive explorer. The one I connect comes up with a drive icon that looks like a snapshot camera without a drive letter. Right click it and choose explore. OK. You can at least read the thing.

Now launch QuickTime. Use the Open File and open a MOV from the iPad. It will take a while if it's big. When it displays on screen, give it a short play to check it. Now use the Save As and save it to a folder on your PC. The progress bar will show up. That will take a while too. Check the PC folder and play it from there to check it.

This is working smoothly where drag and drop copying stalled or refused to copy the larger MOV files, over 550 MB in my case though the iPad showed 3.8 GB free space.


Ok, there is a way to get those videos off. It is possible, but you are going to have to accept a few things in order to get things done.

The first is that you are on Windows XP, an operating system that Microsoft will be discontinuing support for soon, especially since Windows 7 is a big success and Windows 8 is on the way. There seems to be some kind of file size limit that has to do with your version of Windows and your file system. I have not run into any issues with transferring large videos from my iPad or iPhone on my Mac or my Windows 7 Machine, everything just comes over as smooth as butter.

Second, there isn't anything wrong with your iPad. bmike is right in what he is saying about the youtube file size limit when uploading from your iPad.

Now, the easiest way to get those videos off in my opinion, which you might not like, is to take your iPad over to a friends/family/coworkers house that has a computer running Windows 7 64bit or a Mac with Snow Leopard or later (Don't forget to bring your transfer cable too). You will be able to plug in the iPad into these more up-to-date OS having machines and use Windows Photo Transfer or iPhoto on the Mac. Also, you should bring a flash drive/external hard drive with you in order to leave with the video. And hey, no 3rd party software and its technically free.

Also, if you plug your iPad into your friends machine and iTunes opens, just close it, you won't be needing to use iTunes in order to do any of this.

I know it isn't the answer you are looking for and it technically should just work, but it seems that the biggest issue you are facing is that you are running an older OS. It sucks, I know, it should just plug and play and work but the OS is the thing giving you the problem. I have had similar issues with things that work perfect in Windows 7 just face planting for no apparent reason in Windows XP. This is the reason I upgraded all my machines to Windows 7 because it is the most up to date and receiving a lot of support. It fixed all the little drive issues and bugs that were happening with new peripherals/software/hardware on such an old OS. Windows XP is 11ish years old after all.

Also, I know this doesn't solve your problems in the future, if you take a huge video again, you will still have the same issue until you upgrade your OS or buy another machine.

I really hope that my answer helps you out even if it's not in the spirit of no additional tools in case no one else has a better solution for you.


You have informed me that you are working on a machine that is locked down by your job, a work computer from a company. This complicates things further and continues to make my answer one of the easiest and simplest answers for you.

You need to use a different machine that is running an up to date OS.

Your job might be locking something down and not allowing you to do something. I have done a lot of work with AT&T laptops that are super locked down for too many security reasons, yours may not be as locked down or secure but it might be one of the things stopping you besides the smaller file size limit from your OS and the fact that it is 11 years old.

I know, it sucks, you want it to work the way you want it too, but you aren't going to get it to do that. I can't put diesel fuel in a regular car. The engine will not work with that fuel. You need a different engine. You need a different computer. I am not saying to go out and spend money on a new machine but if you plan on doing things that are up to date and in the current mode of technology and things that are currently supported, I would highly recommend getting a home computer that is more updated and current. You iPad is a year old, the OS your trying to use with it is 11 years old. I am not trying to sound mean, I am just really trying to get my point across. I understand it sucks that your machine won't do what you want it to do but technology does that sometimes, it gets old and obsolete and new things don't work with the old stuff anymore. There isn't really a way around it.

I had a similar issue with a friend of mine who had a older macbook pro 2006. Its a great machine and ran games like WOW and others fine. But Diablo 3 will not work on it. He had to buy a brand new computer in order to have it work. He complained because the computer is only six years old. A lot can happen though in six years. Its just how technology is. There are always going to be certain things that have legacy support but not everything will and just because it says it does doesn't mean everything will always work or work 100% of the time.

So, in short. If you use a new computer to pull the video off, it should work fine. Your older work-locked-down computer with the outdated OS will not work with it. You will need to get a new machine eventually, so keep that in mind. Your older computer isn't going to work with a lot of new things going forward, especially when Windows 8 comes out.

  • Thanks for the suggestions but this needs to be done on my work computer. Many companies (including ours) are still using Windows XP and probably will be for a while. I wish I could just mount the iPad as a normal drive but it doesn't look like that's possible without 3rd party software. Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 19:37
  • @LuciferSam, why do you need to do it on your work computer? Is it a work iPad that you can't take home or go somewhere else with? You aren't going to be able to do this on your work computer. A lot of work machines lock down their computers where you can't do normal things on it, and since you didn't mention it in your question. But your computer, because of its old OS and who knows what lock downs are on it from work, won't be able to do what you want. I am sorry. You can't expect any other answer. You need another machine to do this on, one thats up to date and running a new OS.
    – de_an777
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 20:22
  • @LuciferSam I am going to update my answer for you.
    – de_an777
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 20:22

Okay, another option is a linux live cd, or live usb pendrive . If the machine can boot from usb or cd/dvd, you can boot it with a live cd/pendrive, like ubuntu live . Then connecting the Ipad to your pc once it is up and running . Also plug a (or other) pen drive into your pc and though the easy to locate file browser locate the ipad (which will be seen as a camera) and open it like a folder (double click) then right click on the video and copy, the use the file browser to open the pendrive and paste . I have not had this issue with machines having an old processor . I have even copied files of great size over usb 1.1 with success . Once in awhile you'll get a stall, but wait like 10 sec. and things resume . It didn't stop working, it was just doing something your progress bar couldn't express . When you are done copying the file just tell Ubuntu live to restart, and at the provided time take out the live cd or pendrive . Then reboot to your XP system which in no way has been altered by this experience .

  • Tip: you will want to make sure the pendrive you copy the file to is formated with the ntfs file system, if the file is over 4gb . Also if it is over 4gb, then you still wont be able to copy it to your Xp hard drive unless it to is also formated with the ntfs file system . If you work pc is using the fat32 file system, and will not update to windows 7 then maybe the computer tech in the building can convert the file system to ntfs . Anyway, at least you can get the video off the ipad .
    – Jonn Fox
    Commented Nov 3, 2012 at 3:24
  • This might contradict the OP's intention to do it without 3rd party software.
    – guwac
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 17:44

There are very few ways to do this, the easiest way to do this is download a free app like Dropbox.

If you do this you will need to set upa Dropbox account (free) and in the uploads sections hit the + and in your camera roll select the video. Once imported to Dropbox, visit http://www.dropbox.com in your browser and download the video.

If you own iMovie for iOS you can create a new project, and add the video. Go back to the main iMovie screen hit export and hit send to itunes. Connect your device to your computer and open up iTunes. In the sidebar click the name of your device and go to the apps section, scroll to the bottom of this page and there should be a list of apps that can share files with your computer. In this list click iMovie, and in the box on the right find (yourprojectname).iMovieMobile. Click this and hit Save To. Once you have saved you can open it up with iMovie for Mac, you can then export it to a normal video file. You should then be able to upload it to YouTube.

P.S. The most probable reason that you can not directly upload from your device is because the file is too large for the devices small processor.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I have Dropbox on my iPad already , but I don't want to add the larger videos because I will then exceed the 2GB free limit of Dropbox. Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 19:39
  • Are you sure that the video file will exceed the 2GB free limit on Dropbox. Also there are things that you can do to get yourself more space on Dropbox for free. Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 21:43

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