Protect Your Valuable iPad Data with a Backup Plan

iPad with backup cloud and document

The iPad falls in just the right size range for disaster to happen. It’s not small enough to fit in your pocket, but it’s not as big as a laptop which you would notice leaving behind. It can be easy to lose or have some accidental break. While you may be able to replace the iPad itself, the data you have on your device is often irreplaceable. Fortunately, you can easily backup your iPad (or your iPhone or Mac) and protect yourself from catastrophic data loss.

All Good Things…

One of the best things people say about their iPad or other Apple product is that it ‘just works.’ Day after day, your iPad will probably light up and do exactly what you expect it to without any hiccups. Unfortunately, life has a way of throwing surprises at us when we least expect them. And even the most well-built device can suffer sudden catastrophic disassembly under the right circumstances. As the old saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Protecting the data on your iPad is as easy as can be, so why not plan to set up your backup options today?

Backup Your iPad with iTunes

Itunes logoUsing iTunes to backup your iPad is a popular option because it offers almost unlimited storage space. When you use iTunes to backup your device, you have as much storage space as you have available on your computer. For most users, this will be more than the amount you could store on your iPad.

To make a backup with iTunes, first open iTunes on your computer. Then connect your iPad to the computer. Your device should now appear in iTunes. If your device doesn’t appear in iTunes, you may need to do a little troubleshooting first. Make sure the iPad is turned on and unlocked. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. Try unplugging all other USB devices from the computer and try connecting through a different USB port, if available. If it still doesn’t appear in iTunes, try turning off both your computer and the iPad and trying again. If even this fails, you may need to contact Apple Support.

Once your device is connected with iTunes, select the device to pull up backup options. It is a good idea to check the box for ‘Encrypt iPad Data’ and if you are including health and activity data, this will be required. When you are ready to back up your device, click ‘Back Up Now’. Note, this does also give you the option of storing your backup on iCloud through iTunes as well.

Back up Your iPad with iCloud

icloud logoOne of the most convenient options to back up your iPad is to choose to back up through iCloud. To begin, you will need to have a Wi-Fi connection established. Open ‘Settings’ on your iPad and select your name. Near the top of the list you will see ‘iCloud’. Tap on that to bring up your iCloud options.

At the top of the screen, simply tap on the slider labeled ‘iCloud Backup’ to turn on backup to iCloud. This will instruct your iPad to automate backups from your iPad in the future. Further down, tap on ‘Back Up Now’ to start the process of creating and uploading a backup of your iPad to iCloud. This process could take some time the first time, so be sure your device has enough charge and you are connected to Wi-Fi until the process is completed.

Restore Your iPad from Backup

If you are launching a new iPad, in the process of setup, you should come to a screen labeled ‘Apps & Data’ that presents you with the option to ‘Restore from iTunes Backup’ or ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’. Select the option that matches how you previously backed up your iPad to continue. If you are starting fresh from a previously used iPad, you will need to ensure all data is erased before starting the restore process.

If you are restoring from iCloud, continue by signing in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Choose the backup you want to restore and select it. This process will take some time and you will need to ensure your iPad maintains a charge and is connected to Wi-Fi throughout the entire process.

If you are restoring your iPad through iTunes, first open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPad to the computer. Select your device when it appears in iTunes. Now click ‘Restore Backup’. Choose the backup you want to restore to start the process. If you chose to encrypt your data, you will once again need to enter your password to access the encrypted files.

While nothing lasts forever, having a recent backup of your iPad can guard you against data loss in the event something does go wrong. It only takes a few minutes to secure your information and nobody every regrets making a backup, they only regret it if they need it and haven’t made one.

An additional side note to this process is that you might want to look into the Apple privacy policy. In the process of making a backup you are giving the company a lot of your private information. Make sure your privacy is protected in a way that pleases you.

Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. Since 2019 she is's cybersecurity news coordinator.