Sync Microsoft Office Documents Among iPad, PC and Mac

OnLive Desktop is a free app and service that lets you transfer up to 2 GB of Microsoft Office documents between PC, iPad and Mac. Here’s how to have your documents on all three platforms.

First, sign up for a free OnLive Desktop account.

OnLive Desktop Signup

After that, download and install the OnLive Desktop app on your iPad.
install onlive

Then login with the OnLive Desktop account you just created.


Since you already have a lot of MS Office documents, the easiest method is to upload them to OnLive servers. You can upload five documents at a time. Each file can be a maximum of 100 MB in size.

List uploaded files

Launch OnLive Desktop on your iPad and tap the Documents shortcut folder on the desktop.

Onlive iPad

Here is where you access all of the documents synced with OnLive servers. OnLive includes a full versions of Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Excel and Word 2010. If you have OneNote files, you’ll need to use the OneNote app for iOS.

Onlive docs

Now work on your MS Office documents on the iPad while you’re on the go and away from your PC or Mac. As you make edits to your documents, you’ll see a message come up periodically that they’re being synced to the OnLive Servers.

Word Work iPad

If you want to verify documents are saved and synced, double click the check mark icon on the taskbar. Then you’ll see a message that all documents have been synced.

docs synced

Of course you start new documents via OnLive Desktop on your iPad. After they’ve been synced, return to your Mac or PC, log into OnLive Desktop via your browser and access your documents from the file manager.

Onlive Desktop File List

Now you can work on the MS Office files you were editing on your iPad on your PC.

working file PC

If you have the Office for Mac, you can work on documents and sync them to your iPad through Safari just the same as with a PC.

onlive mac

One of the caveats is to remember and save the document again, after making changes. Then reupload it to OnLive if you need to work on it again from your iPad.


The OnLive Desktop service is still young, and according company reps, more improvements are on the way. Having to reupload a file is a small inconvenience for getting a version of Windows 7 and Office 2010 on your iPad for free!

Android users, fear not. According to the company website, a version is coming for the Android OS too.



  1. Steve Krause

    January 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    There guys have huge investment backing so my guess is we are starting to see the start of something great here…

  2. Brian Burgess

    January 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Indeed! It’s truly an amazing app.There are things i would like to see, but hey, it’s a young company…enhancements will be made.

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