How to Merge iPad Data from 2 or More Computers

It’s common to have a desktop computer (or two) at home, a work computer, a smartphone (such as an iPhone), and, of course, your iPad or iPad mini. It’s nice to have all that digital firepower, but it creates a big problem: you end up with contacts, calendars, and other information scattered over several devices. How are you supposed to keep track of it all?

The latest solution from Apple is iCloud, which provides seamless information integration across multiple computers, including Macs and Windows PCs. If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can still achieve a bit of data harmony.

That’s because iTunes offers the welcome ability to merge information from two or more computers on the iPad or iPad mini. For example, if you have contacts on your home computer, you can sync them with your tablet. If you have a separate collection of contacts on your notebook, you can also sync them with your tablet, but iTunes gives you the following two choices:

  • Merge Info. With this option, your tablet keeps the information synced from the first computer and merges it with the information synced from the second computer.

  • Replace Info. With this option, your tablet deletes the information synced from the first computer and replaces it with the information synced from the second computer.

Follow these general steps to set up your merged information:

  1. Sync your tablet with information from one computer. This technique works with contacts, calendars, e-mail accounts, and bookmarks.

  2. Connect your iPad or iPad mini to the second computer.

  3. In iTunes, click your tablet in the Devices list.

  4. Click the Info tab.

  5. Select the Sync check boxes that correspond with information already synced on the first computer. For example, if you synced contacts on the first computer, select the Sync Contacts check box.

  6. Click Apply. iTunes displays a dialog like the one shown here.

  7. Click Merge Info. iTunes syncs your iPad or iPad mini and merges the computer’s information with that from the first computer.

    You can merge contacts, calendars, e-mail accounts, and bookmarks from two or more computers.
    You can merge contacts, calendars, e-mail accounts, and bookmarks from two or more computers.