Whether you've just got an iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad Pro, there are a few steps to get started with iPad.
We've got guides for all the steps you need, from the first "Hello" to downloading the best apps and game, setting up your email and calendar accounts, getting FaceTime and Messages ready for communication, setting up Face ID, and more.
If this is your first device in the Apple ecosystem, welcome to the family. We'll walk you through the steps to getting started. After that, you'll have a blast learning all about the great features on your new Apple iPad.
Looking for tablet #2?
Once you have an iPad in your home, you might want another one. Check out our best iPad of the year.
How to get started with iPad
Whether this is your first tablet, you're upgrading from last year's model, or you're switching from Android, setting up your new iPad is like unwrapping a digital present. Apple makes it easy to set up, but we've got the guides you need for the details.
- How to set up your iPad Pro
- How to set up Face ID on your iPad Pro
- How to set up your iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad Pro (2017 and older)
How to transfer data from your old iPad to your new iPad
If you're moving from an older iPad or switching from Android, you don't have to start over from scratch. You can transfer your content, making the transition much easier. Go from zero to productive in just a few minutes.
If you've got an iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular, there are also a couple of things to know before you make the switch.
- How to transfer data from your old iPad to your new iPad
- How to transfer your cellular account from your old iPad to your new ipad
How to take a screenshot on your iPad
Hoping to grab a screenshot of that high score in Candy Crush or share a funny text message you just had with your mom? That's what a screenshot is for. You can take a screenshot, add some annotations, crop it, and share it via several different communication channels.
- How to take a screenshot on iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini
- How to take a screenshot on iPad Pro with Face ID
How to set up mail, contacts, and calendar on iPad
Have an iCloud email address? Prefer Gmail or Yahoo? Is Microsoft your jam? Are you using Outlook for work but something else at home? No problem! You can sync your account with your iPad, check your email, access and edit your calendar, and sync your notes across multiple accounts. All of your accounts are displayed within each built-in Apple app (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Notes).
How to use iMessages on iPad
iMessage is Apple's built-in instant messaging service for sending texts, pictures, video, audio, and a whole lot more. You can create group chats, suggest movie or dinner plans for the evening, and even pay (or request payment) from a friend, right in the Messages app on iPad.
If you enable your Continuity features, your iPad can even act as a general text messaging app for friends and family that aren't using an Apple device (like an Android phone). You can even answer a phone call right on your iPad.
Your iMessages can be stored in iCloud, making it incredibly easy to pick up a conversation right where you left off on a different device.
How to use FaceTime on iPad
Video chatting: It's the way of the future, or at least that's what movies from the 80s taught is. Well, FaceTime is that future. You can make and receive video calls on your iPad with any other iPhone, iPad, or Mac user, and you don't need cellular data to do it (you do need to be connected to Wi-Fi, though).
It's ideal for keeping in touch with family that is far away (like opening presents on Christmas morning), connecting with employees or employers when you work remotely, and just generally having a good time with friends without having to be in the same room (or country) with them.
FaceTime also supports group video chat with up to 32 people (that's right, 32!), so you can plan your wedding or work on projects with multiple people all on one screen.
How to use the Camera on iPad
Photography on the iPad can be considered a divisive subject in some circles. Whether you think iPad photography is silly or not, there's a camera on the iPad and certain models, a darn good one.
Thanks to the large viewfinder that is the iPad screen, many filmmakers use the iPad for setting up shots. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) for extra clear and crisp images, and you can take a panorama shot, burst a bunch of shots in a hot second. When filming, you can take advantage of slow-motion or time-lapse video. And, on the iPad Pro (2018), you can use the True Depth front-facing camera to take beautiful Portrait mode selfies.
How to use the Notes app on iPad
The Notes app is your one-stop-shop for anything you need to write down, sketch, save for later, or collaborate with others. You can make lists, add tables, scan documents, take photos, and a whole lot more. Every note can be shared with anyone else with an Apple ID so you can collaborate in real-time, any time.
How to download apps and games on iPad
Once you've checked out the cool things that come stock with your new iPad, you're ready to add even cooler stuff in the form of apps and games. This is where your iPad really shines. The developer community has created a massive store for anything and everything you can imagine. The first thing you should do after getting set up with your new iPad is to visit the App Store.
- How to search for apps in the App Store
- How to download apps and games from the App Store
- How to manually update apps on iPhone and iPad
- How to automatically update apps an games on your iPhone and iPad
- How to automatically download apps and games you buy on one device onto others
- How to disable app updates over cellular
- Best iPad apps for new users
- Best iPad games
Let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns about getting started with iPad below.
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