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How to Back Up Your iPad Device

Backing up your iPad data is important just incase something happens to your tablet such as accidental damage or theft. The backup process also simplifies transferring data from your device to a new iPad in the event of an upgrade. Fortunately, backing up and restoring an iPad’s data is as easy as apple pie (har). Here’s how to back up your iPad so that you don’t lose any data if the device fails at any point.

Backing up your iPad using iTunes

Using iTunes to back up your iPad is the most common method of backing up. If you have any other iOS devices such as and iPhone or iPod Touch the method is very similar. Note: If you use iCloud to currently back up you will have to disable it in order to back up with iTunes. Backing up with iTunes:

  • First make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed and running before attempting to update
  • Click sync with iTunes
  • Right-click (or Control-click) the iOS device in iTunes under Devices and choose Back Up
    backup-ipad-itunes

Please note with iTunes may not back up your purchased apps and media files, those are stored in your iTunes library. Follow these simple steps to back up your purchased content.

  • Connect your iPad to your computer
  • Sync with iTunes
  • A dialog box may appear asking you to transfer purchases, click transfer purchases
  • If dialog box does not appear, right click on your iPad’s name on the left and select “transfer purchases”

Backing up your iPad using iCloud

The use of iCloud is only available to those who are running iOS5 and above. First we will have to check if you are currently running version 5 of iOS or higher. To perform this check go to setting>general>about and look under version. If is is 5 or higher you have iCloud support enabled on your device. Backing up to iCloud:

  • Return to the Home screen by pressing the ‘Home’ button
  • Open the iPad settings
  • Now select iCloud provided at the left hand menu in the settings menu
  • Now to automatically back up your iPad using the iCloud, turn ON the ‘Back Up to iCloud’ switch
  • Now select the ‘Back Up Now’ button provided at the bottom of the screen to automatically back up your iPad.
But iCould has its limits, namely the measly 5GB of free storage you get to cover all devices associated with your Apple ID. You might find yourself running out of space, especially if you have more than one iOS device and use iCloud for email and document storage. Since iCloud storage is limited, it pays to be choosy about what else your device backs up. On your iPad, tap Settings > General > Usage and then scroll down to Manage Storage. All the devices associated with your Apple ID will appear here. Tap the one you’re interested in to see the date of its latest backup and the backup’s size. Under Backup Options, you can turn off backups for individual apps using the toggle buttons. Scroll down the list, tap Show All Apps, and then turn off any apps that you don’t need backed up. For starters, look for apps that sync data to Dropbox or some other cloud service.