One of the biggest hassles of getting a new device can be transferring data over from your old one. For its iPhones and iPads, Apple's done its best to make this process as painless as possible with tools like Automatic Setup. Here's how you go about moving your data from an old iPad to a new one.
Products Used In This Guide
- A great entry-level tablet: Apple iPad (2019) (From $329 at Apple)
- The best of the best: iPad Pro (2020) (From $799 at Apple)
- Excellent stylus: Apple Pencil (first-generation) ($95 at Amazon)
- Second-generation Pencil: Apple Pencil (second-generation) ($129 at Apple)
- Get this keyboard: Apple Smart Keyboard ($159 at Apple)
How to use Automatic Setup with your iPad
In iOS 11 and later, you can use any current device to set up a new iPad by transferring the settings from your current device to your new device when in close physical proximity.
- Select your language on your new iPad with your new and current devices in close proximity.
Tap Continue on your iPad on the popup that appears asking you to set up your new iPad with your Apple ID.
- Use your current iPad to scan the image that appears on your new iPad.
- Enter your current iPad's passcode on your new iPad.
Set up Touch ID or Face ID on your new iPad.
- Choose whether or not to restore your new iPad from your most recent compatible backup, if that option presents itself.
Choose to restore your new device from an iCloud or iTunes backup, set up as a new iPad, or transfer data from an Android device.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
Tap Continue under Express Settings to use the settings for Siri, Find My iPhone, Location, and usage analytics that were transferred over from your current iPad.
- Complete the setup process for your new iPad as you normally would.
How to transfer your data to your new iPad on your Mac
With macOS Catalina, iTunes, as we knew it as gone, split into three apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. None of those apps handle backing up, updating, or restoring iPhones and iPads anymore on the Mac. For those tasks, you need to turn to the Finder.
- Connect your old iPad to your Mac.
- Click Finder in the Dock to open a new Finder window.
Click on your iPad in the sidebar.
- Click the checkbox next to Encrypt local backup if you want to encrypt this backup.
Enter a password if you chose to encrypt your backups.
Click Back Up Now and wait for the backup to complete, then disconnect your old iPad.
- Connect your new iPad to the same Mac that you used to back up the old one.
- Click your new iPad in the sidebar.
Click the button next to Restore from this backup.
- Click on a backup from the drop-down.
Follow the instructions on your new iPad to finish setting it up.
How to transfer your data to your new iPad using iCloud
If you use iCloud to back up your iPad, you can transfer everything to your new iPad wirelessly. Before you do that, however, you'll want to trigger one last manual backup on your old iPad to make sure you get everything as up-to-date as possible on your new device.
- Open Settings on your old iPad.
- Tap the Apple ID banner.
- Tap iCloud Backup.
Tap Back Up Now.
After you back up your iPad, you'll want to get started with your new iPad and restore the older device's back up to it.
- Press the Home button on your new iPad to start the setup process.
- Follow the instructions for initial setup. If you're looking to transfer everything from your old iPad to your new iPad, try using the Automatic Setup process in iOS 11.
- Tap Restore from [date of most recent backup] Backup to restore from your latest iCloud backup when you're using Automatic Setup.
- Tap Agree.
Finish setting up your new iPad with settings for Siri, location, app analytics, and Apple Pay.
Your iPad will now restore from your iCloud backup. This could take some time.
Brand new iPads
Apple's latest iPads fill in spots in the company's tablet lineup, offering excellent performance and capabilities for those that can't or don't want to spend the money on an iPad Pro.
The new mainstream
The entry-level iPad gets an even bigger display.
Apple's entry-level iPad now sports a larger 10.2-inch display and, like last year, supports the Apple Pencil. For the first time, Apple's entry-level tablet also features the Smart Connector, allowing it to use accessories like the Smart Keyboard.
For people just looking for a decent tablet at a reasonably low price, the seventh-generation iPad is a good choice. The inclusion of the Smart Connector, and thus Smart Keyboard support, allow this iPad to have similar flexibility for productivity as more expensive iPads.
Best of the best
The best iPad around gets incrementally better.
While not the biggest upgrade to the iPad Pro that Apple's ever offered, the 2020 version brings more RAM to the table, more default storage, and LiDAR on the rear camera.
If you have the 2018 iPad Pro, you might want to skip this, but anyone with an older iPad Pro, or looking to get their first iPad Pro, should pick this up. It's a slightly better version of what was already the absolute best tablet on the market, and if you're really into augmented reality, the new LiDAR sensor will be perfect for you.
The Apple Pencil is compatible with the new iPad Air and iPad mini, while the Smart Keyboard works with the smart connector found on the iPad Air.
Apple Pencil (first generation) ($95 at Amazon)
Usable by both the new iPad mini and iPad Air, the first-generation Apple Pencil is an excellent stylus, whether you're writing, drawing, or working with fine details on a photo edit.
Apple Pencil (second generation) ($129 at Apple)
The stylus to get for both the 2018 and 2020 iPad Pro, the second-generation Apple Pencil improves upon the first iteration with a matte finish and the ability to magnetically attach to and be charged by the iPad Pro.
Apple Smart Keyboard ($159 at Apple)
No Bluetooth or battery required, this keyboard cover uses Apple's smart connector to get data and power from the iPad Air, and it's an excellent accessory for anyone who plans to type a lot on their new iPad.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Draw and type more comfortably on your iPad Pro with one of these stands
Drawing or writing with iPad Pro at a desk or table? Check out these stands for a stellar working experience.
USB-C headphones you can trust with your trusted iPad Pro
The iPad Pro has ditched the headphone jack! Want to use headphones with your iPad Pro? Here are the best USB-C headphones options out there.
Your Mac holds your digital life, so make sure to back it up!
One of the most important things you should be doing with your Mac is backing up all of its data. Here are some of our favorite solutions for backing up your most important files, should anything ever happen.