How to Sync Your iPad Tablet Manually

When you first connected your iPad or iPad mini to iTunes, the brief setup routine included a screen that asked if you wanted to automatically sync certain content, such as music and photos. If you selected a check box for a particular type of content, iTunes configured the tablet to sync all of that content. That’s fine, but depending on how much content you have, you might end up throwing a lot of stuff at your iPad or iPad mini.

Sync your tablet manually

One fine day you’ll be minding your own business, performing what you believe to be a routine sync operation, when a dialog like the one shown in this figure rears its nasty head.

You see this dialog if iTunes can’t fit all of your stuff on your tablet.
You see this dialog if iTunes can’t fit all of your stuff on your tablet.

This most unwelcome dialog means just what it says: You don’t have enough free space on your iPad or iPad mini to sync all the content from your computer. You can handle this in one of the following ways:

  • Remove some of the content from your computer. This is a good way to go if your tablet is really close to having enough space, such as if the dialog says your computer wants to send 100MB of data, but your tablet has only 98MB of free space. Get rid of a few megabytes of stuff on your computer, and you’re back in the sync business.

  • Synchronize your tablet manually. This means that you no longer sync everything on your computer. Instead, you handpick which playlists, podcasts, audiobooks, and so on are sent to your iPad or iPad mini. It’s a bit more work, but it’s the way to go if there’s a big difference between the amount of content on your computer and the amount of space left on your tablet.

Syncing manually means that you handle the syncing yourself for the various content types: Contacts, calendars, e-mail, bookmarks, music, podcasts, audiobooks, e-books, photos, videos, and apps. You do this using the other tabs in the iTunes window: Info, Music, Photos, and so on.

When your sync settings are ready to go, click Sync to perform the synchronization.

Sync your tablet via Wi-Fi

The ability to sync your iPad or iPad mini with your computer without a wire in sight is one of the nicest iOS features. If you’re sitting in your easy chair or relaxing on the front porch, who wants to get up, go to the computer, connect your tablet, and then run a sync just to get, say, the latest podcasts? As long as your device is attached to a power source and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, you can run the sync by barely moving a muscle.

Follow these steps to sync with iTunes right where you are by using Wi-Fi:

  1. Make sure your computer is running and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad or iPad mini.

  2. On the Home screen, tap Settings to launch the Settings app.

  3. Tap General.

  4. Tap iTunes Wi-Fi Sync.

  5. Tap Sync Now. The Settings app syncs with iTunes on your computer.