Apple makes it incredibly easy to back up your iPad using iCloud (Apple’s online cloud service that stores files and documents). With iCloud Backup turned on your iPad backs itself up over the internet. And if anything goes wrong the iPad connects to iCloud to restore your iPad back to when it was working.
Setting up iCloud Backup gives you the peace of mind to know that your iPad’s information is being kept safe. You don’t need to do anything at all if iCloud Backup is turned on: your iPad takes care of the backup all by itself.
Follow these steps to start backing up your iPad.
Step 1: Check iCloud
Before turning on iCloud Backup you first have to make sure you’re signed in to iCloud. Tap the Settings app on the Home Screen and tap iCloud from the Settings sidebar on the left. You should be signed in already (you sign in to iCloud when setting up your iPad) and you will see an iCloud window like the one above.
Scroll down and tap Backup and go to Step 3.
Step 2: Sign in
If you don’t see the usual iCloud window from Step 1, but instead see this window then you need to enter your Apple ID and Password to activate iCloud. The Apple ID and password is your email address and the password that you use to download apps from the App Store. Now tap Sign In and wait for the iPad to connect to iCloud. Tap the green Backup icon.
Step 3: Turn on iCloud Backup
After tapping Backup make sure the button next to iCloud Backup is turned on (it should turn green). An alert will pop-up saying Start iCloud Backup. Tap OK and backup will be turned on. It will now start to back up to iCloud whenever the iPad is connected to the internet (on a wi-fi network) and the iPad detects that you aren’t using it. If you want the backup to take place right away tap on Back Up Now at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4: What is backed up?
The iCloud Backup stores any photos you have snapped on the iPad, your account settings and documents. You can choose what is backed up by clicking Settings – iCloud and flicking the sliders on the right. You can’t back up email unless you have an @icloud.com account.
Any apps, music and movies you have bought from Apple are not backed up to iCloud, but it re-downloads these from the Apple Store for free if you ever lose them.
If you want to see what is being stored in your iCloud account tap Settings - iCloud – Storage – Manage Storage. This window shows what is stored in your iCloud and how much of the 5GB space it is taking up.
Step 5: Getting more iCloud space
If you use iCloud a lot, or back up several different Apple devices, then you may need to buy more storage than the 5GB you get free with iCloud.
If so tap Settings - iCloud – Storage – Change Storage Plan. You can buy an additional 20GB, 50GB, 500GB or 1TB a year of storage space from Apple. The price for each plan is shown in the main window. The free 5GB of iCloud Storage should be enough to keep the iPad itself backed up, so don’t purchase extra space unless you need it.