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Why Won’t Songs Transfer from My iPad to Laptop?

Reader Andraw recently posted us this question:

I just got a new laptop, yet still have my new iPad. Now, even if I try to sync my iPad to my computer, it doesn’t transfer everything that I have on my iPad on to my laptop, it just charges it. So, I have an iTunes account that shows all of my songs, but they have an exclamation point next to them and if I click on them, it says that iTunes cannot locate the song. How do I get everything that is on my iPad back onto my computer?

The short answer is this: you can’t transfer songs from your iPad to your computer using iTunes alone. It’s a built-in iTunes feature that prevents oversharing music files. Chances are, the songs recognized by the computer were songs you purchased through the iTunes store, and those missing came from importing music files from a CD or were sent to you by a friend. The good news is that there are plenty of programs that allow you to transfer music from your iPad to an authorized computer. If you’re on a PC, try iPad to PC Transfer, for Mac, try iPad to Mac Transfer. These programs will pull files off of your iPad onto your new computer; just make sure none of them violate the iTunes Terms of Service.