How to: Migrate From Your Current iPad to a New iPad

Posted in How To, iPad on 15/03/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


If you’ve just gotten your hands on a shiny new iPad, or are planning to get your hands on one in the near future, you may have some questions. To help, we’ve put together a guide for how to migrating your applications and settings from your current iPad over to your new device.

1. Backup Your Old iPad

The first step in migrating is to back up your original iPad. To do this, simply plug it into your computer. If iTunes doesn’t launch automatically, launch iTunes and then sync your iPad. Additionally, you can choose not to sync, but only yo back up by right-clicking on the iPad in iTunes and choosing Back Up from the contextual menu.

This backup is important – it will preserve your iPad’s settings and saved data. It will not, however, back up your installed applications, music, movies, or photos. This must be done by syncing the iPad later in the process.

2. Prepare Your New iPad

This is the easiest step. Simply plugging it in to your computer and making sure iTunes is open will take care of it.

3. Restore

With your iPad plugged in to your computer, within the iTunes interface, you should be presented with the option of setting up your iPad as a new device, or restoring from a backup. If for some reason you aren’t presented with these options, then you can simply right-click (or option-click) your new iPad in iTunes, and select “restore from backup” in the contextual menu that follows.

iTunes will now make a copy of your backup, and use the copy to configure your new iPad with your old iPad’s settings.

4. The First Sync: The Waiting Game

After the initial backup, your iPad will restart and begin syncing for the first time. It’s important not to interrupt this, as iTunes is now migrating all your applications, music, movies, photos, and settings to the new iPad, carefully making sure to preserve their position on the home screen and in their respective folders. Interrupting the transfer might result in apps being out of place or content not being transferred to your new device.

5. Enjoy!

Once this process is finished, your new iPad is ready for action! Simply eject it from iTunes, and enjoy a faster, better version of what you already loved before.

If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to comment or contact us.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

  • richbarbal

    I have a question, can i have the apps and music of my iphone 4 in my ipad 2, is the same proces described in this article?

  • Arnold Charow

    Can I migrate from an I pad to Ipad 2 using a windows computer or an old Mac 10.4.11 operating system?

    • You can from a windows computer, yes. I'm not sure you can do it from an older Mac.

  • Early adopter

    FYI, be sure to update your old iPad to 4.3, if you haven't already, before you back it up and restore the iPad 2 to the old iPad. The iPad 2 will not see the old iPad backup unless you have updated it.

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  • Helloelfa

    I did a restore from iPad 1 to iPad 2 using restore method. After successful restoration, i couldn’t see my camera, facetime and photobooth. Under Settings -> General -> Restrictions, camer and facetime are greyed out. Please advise.

    • That’s intriguing – you might try syncing the device, doing a complete restore, then restoring from the backup just made.  I’ve honestly never heard of an issue like this, so if that doesn’t work, you should call Apple Support or visit an Apple store.

  • Serguey Gorokhov

    WTF???? It’s the Post PC Era and iPad is a Post PC device! Sync your old iPad with the iCloud and then restore from it. Who the hell needs to connect his iPad to A computer?!?!

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J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.