I would like to upload PDF files on an iPad. After adding them to the iTunes Library (iTunes -> Files -> Add to Library), and syncing, they are uploaded on the iPad, but are also copied locally in ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Books.

Is there a way to prevent the files from being copied in my home directory ? I just want them at two places: an external hard drive, and the iPad.


On a Mac: Drag the files into iTunes with the option key down and the files won't be copied to your iTunes Media folder.

That's the exact result you like.

There is also the option to change it so you don't have to press option key: See this image

You can press option key after changing that setting to copy it on purpose. (Exact opposite of default setting)

Good luck :)

  • OK, thanks, BTW, where in iTunes do you drop the files? I find iTunes very confusing.. – alecail Mar 19 '13 at 13:08
  • You drag them and you see a blue border around the screen. You can drop them there. – Rob Mar 19 '13 at 13:09
  • I don't know in which mode iTunes should be when I drop the pdf file in it, I have no feedback after the drop. What should the top left combo box read ? – alecail Mar 19 '13 at 13:27
  • It shouldn't matter. Do you see a blue border around everything when you drag and drop something into iTunes? – Rob Mar 19 '13 at 15:46
  • 1
    Yes. There is in fact no problem, I can drop it as long as it's blue. I hope some day a member of the iTunes team at Apple will open a book on user interfaces, and read it. – alecail Mar 19 '13 at 16:11

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