How to Start Using iCloud on Your iPad

When iOS 5 launched in fall 2011, it introduced iCloud, a service that allows you to back up all your content and certain settings (such as bookmarks) to online storage. That content and those settings are pushed automatically to all your Apple devices through a wireless connection. Now, you don't need to sync content with iTunes.

All you need to do is get an iCloud account, which is free, and then make settings on your devices to specify which types of content you want pushed to each device. After you've done that, any content you create (except video) or purchase on one device — such as music, apps, books, and TV shows, as well as documents created in Apple's iWork apps, photos, and so on — can be synced among your devices automatically.

When you get an iCloud account, you get 5GB of free storage. Content that you purchase through Apple (such as apps, books, music, and TV shows) won't be counted against your storage. If you want additional storage, you can buy an upgrade from one of your devices. 10GB costs $20 per year, 20GB is $40 per year, and 50GB is $100 a year. Most people do just fine with the free 5GB of storage.

To upgrade your storage, tap Settings→iCloud→Storage & Backup→Manage Storage. In the dialog that appears, tap Buy More Storage. Tap the amount you need and then tap Buy.

How to get an iCloud account

Before you can use iCloud, you need an iCloud account, which is tied to the Apple ID you probably already have. You can turn on iCloud when you first set up your iPad, or you can use the Settings app on your iPad to sign up with your Apple ID.

  1. When you first set up your iPad (except for an original iPad), in the sequence of screens that appears, tap Use iCloud.

  2. In the next dialog, tap Back Up to iCloud. In the next screen, shown in the following figure, enter your Apple ID and password.

    image0.png

    Your account is now set up based on the Apple ID you entered earlier in the setup sequence.

Here are the steps for setting up iCloud on your iPad if you didn't do so when first setting up iPad:

  1. Tap Settings→Mail, Contacts, Calendars→Accounts→iCloud.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the next screen, tap Storage and Backup and then tap the On/Off button to turn on iCloud Backup (see the following figure).

    image1.png
  3. When a message appears, letting you know that your computer will no longer back up to your computer when you sync with a cable, click OK.

  4. A dialog may appear, asking whether you want to allow iCloud to use the location of your iPad. Tap OK. Your account is now set up.

How to establish iCloud sync settings

Once your iCloud account is up and running, you have to specify which types of content should be synced with your iPad via iCloud. Note that the content you purchase and download will be synced among your devices automatically via iCloud.

  1. Tap Settings→iCloud.

  2. In the iCloud Settings screen, shown in the following figure, tap the On/Off button for any item that's turned off that you want to turn on (or vice versa). You can sync Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, and Notes.

    image2.png
  3. To enable automatic downloads of music, apps, and books, tap iTunes & App Store in the Settings pane (see the next figure).

    image3.png
  4. Tap the On/Off button for Music, Apps, or Books to set up automatic downloads of any of this content to your iPad via iCloud.

If you want to allow iCloud to provide a service for locating a lost or stolen iPad, tap the On/Off button in the Find My iPad field (refer to the third figure in this article) to activate it. This service helps you locate, send a message to, or delete content from your iPad if it falls into other hands.

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