How to Manage iPad Backups to iCloud

Whether you know it or not, your iPad backs up your settings, app data, and other information on your iPad whenever you connect to a computer and use iTunes to:

  • Sync with your iPad

  • Update your iPad

  • Restore your iPad

Backups are saved automatically and stored on your computer by default, or you can choose to back up to iCloud by clicking the appropriate button in iTunes' Summary pane.

To switch to backing up to iCloud using iTunes on your computer:

  1. Connect the iPad to the computer.

    If iTunes doesn’t launch automatically when you connect the iPad, launch it now.

  2. Select your iPad in the Source List on the left side of iTunes.

  3. Click the Summary tab.

  4. Click Back Up to iCloud or Back Up to This Computer.

    If you choose to back up to your computer, you can encrypt your backups with a password by enabling the Encrypt iPad Backup checkbox.

If anything goes wonky, or you get a new iPad, you can restore most (if not all) of your settings and files that aren’t synced with iTunes on your computer or iCloud. Or, if you’ve backed up an iPhone, iPod touch, or another iPad, you can restore the new iPad from the older device’s backup.

If you’re using an iPad computer-free, here’s how to enable backing up to iCloud from your iPad, which you should do right away:

  1. Tap Settings→iCloud→Storage & Backup.

  2. Tap iCloud Backup to switch it on.

Enabling this option means your iPad will no longer back up automatically if you connect it to a computer. So, if you sync your iPad with your computer, give some thought to which option suits your needs. Restoring from a computer backup requires physical or Wi-Fi access to that computer, but not Internet access. Restoring from iCloud requires Internet access and can happen anywhere on earth that has it.

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