Beginner’s Guide: How to Set Up an iPad, iPad Air or iPad Pro?

So you ended up buying an iPad, or either you got it for your birthday or holidays. Anyways the most crucial part now is getting it set up the right way and if you’re worried that you’re going to screw it up, then don’t, as we’re here to guide you with the entire process with some of the best tips and tweaks. These tips will make your life easier and make sure you’re off and using that new iPad quickly without any hassle.

Restoring your back up from your old iPad to getting your brand-new iPad started from scratch, we’ve got all the bases covered.

Automatic setup for all iPads

The automatic setup process works as advertised and can make the setup a breeze. This can be done in two ways:

Step 1. Keep clicking “Next” until you reach the home screen – So, this is the most basic setup process, and it needs no more than 5-10 clicks at max. Your iPad would automatically bring up suggestions for you, and you can be up and running in under 10 mins.

Note: If you ever need to pause or go back to any step, hit the home button (not compatible with iPad Pro and the iPad Air lineup), which will prompt a pop-up screen that will show the option to start over.
Step 2. Use your old iPad – If you’re already an iPad user and have the iPad with you, the initial setup becomes much smoother. The “Automatic Setup” lets you transfer all your data across your Apple ID to the new iPad. You just by bringing them close together and follow the displayed prompts. At the same time, your devices should be connected to the same WiFi network.

Automatic Setup Pros

  • Dummy Proof
  • It can be completed in minutes
  • It doesn’t require a lot of settings to be changed or altered

Automatic Setup Cons

  • It doesn’t deliver a lot of customization options
  • Can allow unwanted settings

Note: The “Automatic Setup” process will also transfer all your apps, data, layout, and settings making the process as easy as possible. You won’t need any manual intervention and can leave the device to do its things. However, the automatic process can leave you with a few desired outcomes, and if you want the best personalized settings, you would have to start from scratch.

Manual setup for all iPads

The Manual Setup process can seem daunting at first but trust us that it’s as easy as the Automatic Setup process. However, it can take a few different steps to be completed and always requires a lot more time than the Automatic counterpart. So let us look at the steps on getting your iPad setup:

Step 1: Turn on your iPad and get to the opening screen. You’ll then see “Hello” in various languages and would need you to select your language.

Step 2: The second screen would show you a “Quick Start” option (Automatic Setup) which should be skipped, and you should select the “Set Up Manually” option. You would need to choose your region/ country now.

Step 3: After you’re done selecting the region, the next page would pop up, and you’ll be asked to choose a WiFi network or a wireless data connection. This would need you to have an associated data plan, and a SIM inserted in the SIM slot.

Note: If you bought a WiFi-only iPad, there’s no need to worry about the wireless data option, as all you would need to do is choose your preferred WiFi network and enter the password for it to be connected.

Step 4: The next screen will allow you to choose to enable or disable location services. We recommend keeping your location services enabled as this allows you complete freedom to access your devices and air tags without hassle. Location services allow various apps to access your location through GPS. For example, you open Maps, and the app already knows where you are. You can also turn this service off later if you don’t like broadcasting your location every minute or so.

Note: You can also disable location services if you don’t trust Apple and other apps with your location and if privacy is much more critical for you.

Step 5: This is probably one of the most critical steps, and it requires you to set up your biometric authentication to the phone. If you’re on older iPads or have one with a Touch ID enabled fingerprint sensor, then use that to set up your lock screen. If you have a new iPad Pro model, use Face ID as your primary unlocking method. You would also need to set up a backup password which is generally a six-digit PIN.

Step 6: Now, you would have the choice to restore your apps and data from your PC, Mac, or iCloud backup, but if you don’t have any of that, click on “Don’t Transfer Apps & Data”

Step 7: This step is crucial as well. You need to sign in with your Apple ID or create one for syncing contacts, photos, or even enabling the “Find your Device” option. So, enter your Apple ID and continue to the next step.

Step 8: The next screen is of selecting “Automatic Updates,” which we recommend you to enable as it will help keep your iPad up to date.

Step 9: This screen allows you to set up Siri but if you don’t need a voice assistant, click on the “Set Up Later in Settings” button. Whatever you choose is fine. You can turn Siri on/off later through the settings panel. Newer iPads also support the hands-free Siri feature, which lets you activate her by saying, “Hey Siri.”

Step 10: Now, you can choose to use iCloud, and we recommend setting it up as it is an excellent way to backup your data and keep everything safe. This can later be turned off in the settings if you don’t want to use it anymore.

Step 11: Set up “Find My iPad” to safeguard your iPad and so that you can always track and reset it through the iCloud webpage.

Step 12: Now, finalize your selections and say yes or no to the Apple Diagnostics options on the screen. Click on Continue, and you will be greeted with the home screen. 

Bam! you’re done with the setup. We told you it was easy.

Manual Method Pros

  • Has immense control
  • Can help you set up all your accounts and tracking services
  • It is generally the better setup method

Manual Method Cons

  • It takes up around 30 mins to be fully set up with backups

Tweaking your new iPad

Finally, as you get to your iPad’s Home Screen, you’ll be able to see all the apps included with your new iPad. The apps can consist of Messages, Safari, Photos, News, and many more. We would recommend you to tap and hold on to any of the icons and drag them around so that you can order them in any way possible and with the layout, you’re most happy with. This will help you stay organized and keep your device clutter-free.

Getting new apps and updates

Now, you should give the App Store a visit. This is where you’ll be able to download and manage any apps you need for your new iPad. After you’re done with this, you can go ahead and check for any updates and update your device and apps to the latest version for the best possible experience.

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