Restoring Your New iPad From Backup — The Right Way


Screen Shot 2012-03-16 at 2.03.00 AM

Last week, we showed you how to prepare your old iPad for today’s upgrade to the new one. Now you have your new device, you’ll want to ensure that all of your data from your old one gets transferred over during the setup process. Here’s how to do it — the right way.

At the end of our previous guide, we told you to “backup, backup, backup.” And it’s time to do it one last time. Plug your old device into iTunes and sync it, ensuring it performs a full backup before you unplug it again. To be sure, right-click on its name under the ‘Devices’ tab in the sidebar, then click ‘Back Up.’

Once the process is complete, you can begin setting up your new device. At the end of initial setup on the device itself, you’ll be given the option to ‘Restore from iTunes Backup’. Simply tap this button, then connect your new iPad to your computer to restore it, ensuring you select the backup that you most recently created.

If you accidentally tapped ‘Set Up as New iPad’ instead, then all you need to do is connect your device to your computer, right-click on its name under the ‘Devices’ tab within iTunes, then click ‘Restore from Backup…’, ensuring again that you select the most recent one you created.

If you backup to iCloud, then the process is even easier. When you get to the end of the initial set up on your device itself, you’ll be presented with the option to ‘Restore from iCloud Backup’. Tap this button and select your backup, then allow your device to do its thing.

  • GregsTechBlog

    If this is my first iPad, is there any way to set it up with the data and apps from my iPhone, or do I have to set it up as a new device?

  • Tim Pease

    You can set it up from a backup of your iPhone.  Keep in mind though, that only universal apps will be rendered to your new iPad’s screen.  iPhone only apps will need to be 2X magnified to fit your iPad screen, which looks lousy on an iPad 1 or 2, but may look better on the new iPad.

  • Tfr2002

    You can restore from an iPhone backup. Just be aware it will put all your iPhone apps on the iPad as well. Not all iPhone apps are created to take advantage of the iPad, but instead are scaled up after tappigng the “2x” symbol in the bottom right of the screen, so you may have a bunch of apps then you’re just going to end up deleting anyway.

  • joewaylo

    iCloud backs up automatically though if you have it already setup with them. As long as you didn’t change your password though. I had to delete my iCloud and add it again when I changed it recently.

    It doesn’t push notifications if you changed the password.

    Just be sure to go to iCloud – Storage and Backup – and have iCloud Backup on to save it automatically when connected to WiFi.

  • mevans7

    If I have multiple iOS devices (e.g., an iPod and an iPad), how do I use iTunes to manage and sync both?

  • CharliK

    iTunes knows the difference between devices, it’s built in so it knows what media it can put on different devices. 

    It can also track two or more of the same type of device if you give them different names. Either in iTunes or on the device. 

  • CharliK

    A better technique is to not use a backup. iOS is subject to software corruption and it often gets backed up with everything else. So if your old iPad was building up something nasty, you’re just putting it on your new one. Rumor has it that iCloud backups are less likely but its not proven. 

    Also, if you are going to back up to iCloud it’s a good idea to import your photos to your computer and turn off the camera roll. I often import my photos and videos for editing and iCloud takes an easy 2-3 hours if the Roll is on. Turn it off and it’s less than 20 minutes. 

  • Alex_Malureanu

    You also have anytime the solution of using the iPhone Backup Extractor third party app to recover data from your backup and then import what you want from the recovered data to your new iPad. It works easily.

  • Daisyrose

    If you had the backup file on your computer it might be possible using 3rd party software to extract the app data for a specific app from the backup and copy it back to the ipad (for example, see ), however this wouldn’t be possible if your only backup is in iCloud. As far as I know there is no mechanism to do anything other than restore the entire backup from iCloud.

  • Henry James

    Right click your iPad in your iTunes’ sidebar, then select “Restore Lost Data from iPad Backup”. iTunes should ask you now what backup you want to restore from, just select the latest one (should be preselected) and it should start restoring all you data.