How to set up a new iPad

How to set up a new iPad
Mac Tip #447, 28 July 2010

A new Apple iPad takes only a few steps to set up. Here’s how it went when I set up mine.

WiFi only, or with 3G?



The iPad was slow to come to New Zealand. Apple first starting selling them here just a few days ago. So far I’m loving mine. I bought the model that has both 3G and WiFi, on the theory that it would allow me to use it in places with no WiFi, if I needed to.

I’m holding off on buying the 3G access though until I do need it.

For me, the first step was to insert the MicroSIM card, by pressing the tiny tool provided into the small hole on the side of the iPad. That opened a tiny tray for the SIM card. It could only be placed one way, so I broke the card free from its cardboard holder, added it to the tray, then slid the tray shut.

Plug the iPad into a computer

Next up is to use the supplied cable to plug the iPad into a computer, in my case, a Mac. After a few moments iTunes opened up and displayed a screen inviting me to set up my iPad. From memory I had to agree to some terms first.

Register your iPad.

Register your iPad.

Soon a registration screen appeared. I entered my name and contact details. The screen also displays the iPad’s Serial Number. It’s useful to note that down somewhere for insurance purposes.

Choose how to set up the iPad

I already have an iPhone and a first generation iPod touch. iTunes offered to either set up this new iPad afresh or to restore the backup of my iPod touch. I chose to start fresh.

Set up iPad afresh.

Set up iPad afresh.

Name your iPad

Next came the opportunity to name the iPad. iTunes suggested a name and I could have accepted that, but I chose to name it “Galaxy”.

That screen also gave options for how to handle Photos, Music and Applications.

What to sync automatically.

What to sync automatically.

I wanted the Applications, but decided to wait for photos and music.

Software update

At one point an alert advised me a software update was available. I selected to go ahead with that.


Finally all the choices were made and the sync proceeded. It took a while. How long yours takes depends on how much data is being synchronised.

After the sync was complete I unplugged the iPad and started exploring it, in particular adding more apps, both paid and free.

Once I’ve had more time to work with it I’ll bring you some more detailed Tips.

Do you have an iPad? Tell us in the Comments at the website your favourite iPad features.

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