How to setup your new iPad with iCloud or iTunes

How to set up, back up, restore, and update using iCloud

With iCloud, you no longer need to plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC to set it up for the first time, to keep it backed up, or to upgrade the software. Now you can do all of that and more, faster and more easily, over-the-air (OTA) on your local Wi-Fi network.

How to set up your new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iCloud

When you turn on your new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you'll be greeted with a Lock screen that simply says "iPhone", "iPod" or "iPad". That's where we start.

  1. Swipe to unlock to start setting up your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. iPad swipe to setup
  2. Choose your language. Your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will show you the most common languages for the area in which you bought it, but you can tap the downward arrow icon to see all the choices. Tap the blue Arrow button to continue.iPad setup language
  3. Choose you country or region. Again, your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will show you the region where you bought it, but you can tap Show more... for additional options. Tap the blue Next button to continue.iPad setup country or region
  4. Choose whether you want to globally enable or disable location services. Location Services use GPS (on an iPhone or iPad 3G/4G), cell-tower triangulation, and Wi-Fi router mapping to determine the approximate location of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad . This feature is used for turn-by-turn navigation (like Navigon, check-in games (like FourSquare), social networks (like Facebook), geo-tagging (like in the Camera app), and utilities (like Find my iPad), etc. Unless you have a particular need to globally disable it, you'll want to turn on the Location Services feature at this point. You can change your mind or selectively disable or enable these services later on in the Settings app (e.g., turn off your Camera app’s geo-tagging, but leave on TomTom’s turn-by-turn navigation). Tap the blue Next button to continue. iPad setup location
  5. Choose your Wi-Fi network. Even if you're on 3G or LTE, your iPhone or iPad wants Wi-Fi because there may be a lot of data to move around and blasting through your data cap on setup is no fun. Enter your network password and tap the blue Next button to continue.iPad setup wi-fi network
  6. Wait for Apple to activate your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad . This could take a few minutes.
  7. Choose if you want to setup your iPad as new, restore from iCloud backup, or restore from an iTunes backup on a PC. Tap the blue Next button to continue.Setup iPad iCloud or backup or iTunes

How to create an Apple ID

In order to use iCloud, you need to have an Apple ID. An Apple ID can be an iTunes Store/App Store account, me.com email account, Apple developer account, FaceTime or iMessage account, etc.iPad setup Apple ID

If you already have one of those, skip ahead to the next section. If not, you'll have to create one.

  1. Choose **Create a Free Apple ID**
  2. Enter your Location and Date of birth
  3. A new window will open asking you to use an existing email address or create a free @me.com address
  4. You can use any email address you like, including an existing gmail, Yahoo!, hotmail, etc. address. If you want a new email address, however, to take advantage of Apple's free push email service, select get a free @me.com email address
  5. Fill in all your details and tap Next
  6. Accept the iCloud Terms and Conditions

That’s it done, you now have a new iCloud account all set up and ready to go!

How to set up a new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iCloud (clean install)

While you can always restore your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad based on a previous backup of the same or different iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you can also set it up as new. If it's your first device, or if you simply want to start fresh to ensure optimal stability and battery life, setting up as new should be your go-to.

  1. Choose sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Enter your Apple ID to login. (Enter your full email address as the username.) Tap the blue Next button to continue. (If you change your mind, you can logout of iCloud, or login under a different account later.)Setup iPad login Apple ID
  3. Agree to the terms and conditions of service by tapping the blue Agree button on the bottom left.Setup iPad agree to terms and conditions
  4. Confirm your agreement by tapping the Agree button.Setup iPad agree to terms and conditions (again)
  5. Choose Use iCloud. You need to do this or none of the other cool stuff will work. Setup iPad use iCloud
  6. Choose Use iCloud Backup. This way you won't have to worry about backing up your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad manually to a computer. Setup iPad use iCloud backup
  7. Choose use Find my iPhone/iPod/iPad. This way, if you lose your device, you can track it down more easily. Setup iPad use Find my iPad
  8. Choose if you want to automatically send Diagnostics to Apple. It's anonymous and helps make Apple make better products, but if you're uncomfortable with the idea, choose Don't send.Setup iPad send diagnostics

Your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad will now be set up. Because it's communicating with Apple's iCloud servers, it could take a few moments to complete.

How to restore your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad from an iCloud backup

If you have an old iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and need access to your old data quickly, or dread the idea of starting from scratch again, you have the option of simply restoring your new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad from a backup of your old device.

  1. Choose restore from iCloud backup.Restore from iCloud backup iPad
  2. Enter your Apple ID to login. (Enter your full email address as the username.) Tap the blue Next button to continue. (If you change your mind, you can logout of iCloud, or login under a different account later.)Setup iPad login Apple ID
  3. Agree to the terms and conditions of service by tapping the blue Agree button on the bottom left.Setup iPad agree to terms and conditions
  4. Confirm your agreement by tapping the Agree button.Setup iPad agree to terms and conditions (again)
  5. Choose your backup. You'll see your Latest iPhone/iPod/iPad Backup listed. This is usually the one you want to choose. You'll can also see older backups, and backups of your other iOS devices on the same iCloud account.Choose your iCloud backup

A progress bar will show you an approximation of how long it will take to download your backup. Once it's done, your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will reboot.

Once your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad reboots, all your previous settings will be back in place, and you'll be asked to re-enter all your passwords (as a security measure, iCloud will not restore passwords).

Once that's done, your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will start re-downloading all your apps. You will need to stay on Wi-Fi for any file larger than 50MB to re-download.

How to backup your iPhone with iCloud

iCloud will automatically back up your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad whenever you plug it into a power source and it is connected to a Wi-Fi network. iCloud backup requires power so it doesn't run the battery down while backing up, and it requires Wi-Fi because of the potentially large amount of data it will transfer.

How to manually trigger an iCloud backup

If you need to replace or restore your phone, or you know you’ll be traveling for a while and want to make sure the backup is done before you go, You can initiate a manual backup.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on iCloud
  3. Tap on Storage & Backup near the bottom
  4. Tap on Back Up Now at the bottom.

Depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi connection and how much you have to backup, it could take a while to complete. When it's done iCloud backup will be up to date.

How to delete an iCloud backup

Since you only get 5GB of free storage with iCloud, if you don't want to upgrade and pay more, you might want to delete some older backups, or backups from iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads you no longer use, to save space.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap on iCloud
  3. Tap on Storage and Backup
  4. Tap on Manage Storage
  5. Check out your current backups stored on iCloud. (Here you can see two iPhones, including one replaced at the Apple Store last week and so no longer needed).
  6. Tap on the backup you want to remove from iCloud
  7. Tap on Delete Backup
  8. Tap on Turn Off and Delete

That’s it, that backup has now been removed and the space reclaimed in iCloud.

How to manually manage what gets backed up to iCloud

If you don't want to, or simply can't delete an entire iCloud backup in order to save space, you can still control what gets backed up. For example, backing up the Camera Roll can use up a large amount of your iCloud storage. Since Photo Stream captures a lot of that data anyway, and isn't counted against your total storage usage, turning off Camera Roll backup can save you considerable space.

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap iCloud near the bottom
  3. Tap Storage and Backup near the bottom
  4. Tap Manage Storage
  5. If you have multiple devices on the same iCloud account, tap on the name of your device
  6. You'll see a list of apps currently being backed up to iCloud. Not all apps will be shown immediately. Too see them all, tap Show All
  7. For any apps you don't really want or need to be backed up, switch the toggle button to Off

The Camera Roll above is 35GB. That could cost you quite a bit in iCloud storage fees!

How to buy more iCloud storage

If you run out of free space, and there aren't any backups you want to delete or apps you want to stop backing up, you can choose to buy more iCloud storage.

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  • Launch Settings
  • Tap on iCloud near the bottom
  • Tap on Storage and Backup
  • Tap on Buy More Storage
  • Select your storage increase option -- 10GB for $20, 20GB for $40 or 50GB for $100 per year.
  • Enter your iTunes password to charge the increase to your iTunes account.
  • If you change your mind, you have 15 days to contact Apple and cancel the storage increase. If you're happy with it, you'll be billed the same amount, once a year, for as long as you keep the selected storage tier.

    How to downgrade your iCloud storage

    If you eventually change your mind and decide you no longer need extra iCloud storage, and don't want to be billed for it again when it comes time for renewal, you can downgrade to a lower tier, or back to the free version.

    1. Launch the Settings app
    2. Tap iCloud near the bottom
    3. Tap Storage and Backup near the bottom
    4. Tap Buy More Storage
    5. Tap Downgrade Options near the bottom
    6. Login with your Apple ID password
    7. Choose your new plan from the available options

    The downgrade will take effect at your next billing cycle (one year after you bought the additional storage).

    How to update your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad software over the air (OTA)

    Whether you've bought a new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and an update is already available, or one comes along months later, applying them over-the-air (OTA) via iCloud is faster and more efficient than the old-school iTunes method.

    If a software update is available for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, a popup notification will let you know, and a red badge will appear at the top righthand corner of your Settings app.

    iPad software update alert notification

    1. Launch the Settings app
    2. Tap General
    3. Tap Software Update
    4. If there's nothing new, you'll be told just so. Otherwise, you'll be presented with all the details about the update.
    5. Tap Download and Install
    6. Agree to the Terms and Conditions
    7. Watch the progress bar (This part depends on the speed and quality of connection. Don't be alarmed if it takes a long time, speeds up or slows down, or appears to jump around -- be patient.)
    8. Once it's finished downloading, you'll be prompted to instal (and restart) your device. If you don't explicitly hit Later or Install within a few seconds, it will install on your behalf.
    9. Agree to the Terms and Conditions yet again.
    10. Apple will verify the install.

    How to remove an iCloud account from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

    You can remove an iCloud account from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad at any time. When you remove the iCloud account, all the associated data will also be removed from your device. It's not deleted, however, and if you add the iCloud account back, it will restore the data to your device.

    1. Launch the Settings app
    2. Tap on iCloud
    3. Tap on Delete Account at the bottom.
    4. Tap on Delete to confirm.

    If you change your mind, you can always log back into that iCloud account again.

    How to change the device name of your iPhone or iPad over-the-air (OTA)

    The device name is how everything from iTunes to iCloud, Wi-Fi Personal Hotspot to iPhoto identifies your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. A unique, easily identifiable device name is a great way to make sure you can always pick out your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad from a crowd, especially if that crowd is multiple devices in your own family.

    1. Launch Settings.
    2. Tap on the General tab at the bottom left.
    3. Tap About at the top right.
    4. Tap on the Name at the top right.
    5. Change the text to reflect the name you want.
    6. Tap Done on the keyboard.

    That's it. From now on when you go to Personal Hotspot, iCloud backups, etc. you'll see your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad listed under its brand new name.

    If you have problems, want to go old school, or simply feel more comfortable changing the name of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iTunes, you can still do that as well.

    How to get more help with iCloud

    If you still need help with setting up, backing up, restoring, or updating your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, or any other iCloud feature, head on over to our iCloud Forum and ask away!

    Ally Kazmucha, Chris Oldroyd, and Gary Mazo contributed major sections of this guide.

    Rene Ritchie

    Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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    There are 8 comments. Add yours.

    Jane says:

    I have set up iCloud on my iPhone but the app icon does not appear on my screen. How can I download the icon shortcut? Please help.

    what are the symptoms of diabetes says:

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    Bravespirit says:

    The How to restore your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad from an iCloud backup shows how to restore for new iPhone but not after activated one.
    I restored first from my computer which did not restore my apps and their folder properly. How can I use restore from iCloud after activating?

    conblue says:

    hi
    I want to delete all the apps purchased .is it possible ?
    Thanks

    snoopchic says:

    I need to know if you restore from back up with a new iCloud back up (july 12) but you want to restore from an older one that is still on there (July 3) because when I restored on July 3rd nothing restored, but when I did today with the newer version I didn't loose anything. So, if I re restore from the July 3rd one will I loose my July 12th one? My concern is if the July 3rd doesn't load everything again then can I go back to the newest one...or will it be gone? I lost all my game data and would love to have the years worth back, but I'd hate to loose the weeks worth that I have now by trying! Thank you!

    PubRickRan says:

    I've tried managing my apps that get backed up to icloud to try to sync certain ones between my iphone and ipod, but the app settings don't seem to be syncing at all.

    mughal ali says:

    I've tried managing my apps that get backed up to icloud to try to sync certain ones between my iphone and iphone5
    , but the app settings don't seem to be syncing at all.

    givemeaclue says:

    I have not backed up for months due to lack of space and am now in the process of trying to delete my previous back up to create space for new back up as about to upgrade my phone and would like to restore with iCloud. I have tried deleting the back up and I get a message saying 'unable to delete as iCloud is in use'. Please help