How to back up your iPad using iCloud or iTunes

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Backing up your iPad is the most important habit you should try to keep with regard to routine maintenance of your device.  It’s the first step in your line of defense before ever attempting any trouble-shooting measures.  Furthermore, it is a prudent operation you should take prior to updating to a different device. By backing up your iPad you instantly have a fail-safe to fall back on in the unlikely event that your iPad is lost, stolen, or has to be replaced for other various reasons.  With back-ups you have a snapshot of the information on your device that makes it possible for you to transfer your data to another iPad.

So this then begs the question–how do you back-up your iPad, and which method will work best for you?  Not all back-up are created equal, so it’s important to know the differences between the two methods.

iCloud back-ups

  • Stores backups in the cloud
  • Offers up to 1TB of storage (your first 5GB are free)
  • Always encrypts your backups
  • Lets you make and use backups from anywhere with Wi-Fi
iTunes back-ups

  • Stores backups on your Mac or PC
  • Storage depends on your Mac or PC’s available space
  • Offers encrypted backups (off by default)
  • Lets you make and use backups from your Mac or PC
For added piece of mind, or if you ever need an alternative backup, you can make one in both iCloud and iTunes.  Now that you know the main differences between the two back-up methods available to iPad owners, how do you initiate each procedure?

How to Back-up your iPad via iCloud?

  1. First you need to connect your iPad to your local Wi-Fi network.
  2. Next, select the Settings App–> iCloud–> Backup, and turn to on
  3. To immediately inmate your back-up, select Back Up Now, and wait for the process to complete before before disconnecting from Wi-Fi.
  4. To verify that the back-up is complete, once again select Settings–>Storage–> Manage Storage, and select the iPad you just backed up. If you were successful, your iPad should now appear in the details with the time it was completed, and the backup size.

Now that iCloud bad-up is turned on, your iPad will automatically back-up each night as long as the following happen

  • Your device is connected to a power source.
  • Your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Your device’s screen is locked.
  • You have enough available space in iCloud for the backup.


How to Back-up your iPad via iTunes?

  1. Open iTunes, make sure you have the latest version, then connect you iPad to your computer via USB.
  2. Make sure all of your downloaded content is transferred to iTunes before backing up your device by selecting File–> Devices–> Transfer Purchases.  After the process has been completed.
  3. When completed, verify your back-up in iTunes Preferences–> Devices. Here the name of your iPad should appear with the date and time stamp.

One word of caution–there’s no way to recover your iTunes backups without your password, so make sure you keep it somewhere safe.  Good luck!

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2 thoughts on “How to back up your iPad using iCloud or iTunes”

  1. How do I view what is in my cloud. I have an IPhone that I no longer use. The cloud shows 7 GB storage but I cannot find a way to view this backup, or download it onto my IPad.
    Your site mentioned that Icloud lets you make And use the backed up on iCloud, how?
    I have an IPad only. I can view what is in DropBox easily, remove and add, but cannot figure out Icloud..
    Will you explain how this is done, please.

    1. Hi TJ,

      To view what is stored on your iCloud backup form your phone, open the Settings App, then select iCloud. Next choose Storage–> Manage Storage. Find the back-up of the device you would like to view and select it. All the data associated with apps that were stored in this backup are listed in descending order from largest to smallest. You can use the data from this back-up during a restore on another device when prompted.

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