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How to migrate data, apps, and settings to Apple’s iPad 8th gen or new iPad Air

Apple’s September 2020 event introduced two new iPad models: The 8th generation iPad and the iPad Air 4. Learn how to migrate your data, apps, and settings to one of the new Apple tablets.

Apple’s new iPad Air include new full-screen design and a faster processor, among other upgrades.

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Apple’s new iPad Air include new full-screen design and a faster processor, among other upgrades.

Image: TechRepublic

Apple announced the new all-screen 10.9-inch iPad Air in five different finishes and the 10.2-inch iPad in three different finishes at its September 2020 event. The new models just don’t look good. The iPad Air version shown above boasts Apple’s new A14 Bionic CPUs, Liquid Retina displays, and Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard support. The 10.2-inch iPad features faster A12 Bionic engines and Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard compatibility. If you purchase one of these new Apple tablets–whether it’s for design or performance reasons–here are steps for smoothly migrating data and settings from an older model to one of the new devices.

SEE: Home usage of company-owned equipment policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Back before cloud services became popular, migrating files, content, configuration settings, and other information from one tablet computer to another proved a challenge. Apple’s iCloud service makes the process of migrating your setup from an older iPad to one of the new models announced this week much easier.

Begin the migration process by confirming your old iPad is configured to complete an iCloud backup. As reviewed in a recent TechRepublic Premium download describing proper, secure migrations to a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac, make sure new applications and recently created content, such as documents, photos, videos, spreadsheets, and similar material, have backed up to iCloud. It doesn’t hurt to make a list of apps you intend to migrate to the new device, too, just to ensure no program is overlooked.

Confirm apps, Keychain information, email, contacts, calendars, Notes, messages, and other information is backed up by reviewing iCloud settings on the old iPad. To do so, open Settings, tap your Apple ID, tap iCloud, and confirm the iCloud Drive and iCloud Backup radio buttons are enabled. Also, confirm each app’s radio button is enabled for each app you wish to back up in iCloud and migrate to the new iPad. Review the backup settings shown for each app and make any necessary adjustments (Figure A).

Figure A

Review individual applications to confirm each app is set to back up using iCloud as you intend.

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Review individual applications to confirm each app is set to back up using iCloud as you intend.

Erik Eckel

Remember that iPads must be connected to Wi-Fi and a power charger to back up any recent changes or new items. Force a backup by tapping iCloud Backup within Apps Using iCloud section and tapping Back Up Now. Double-check your storage allocation (a status bar at the top of the iCloud window displays the amount of free space remaining) to guard against running out of storage space, which could prevent a backup from completing properly.

iCloud presents the best and easiest method of migrating data to one of the new iPads–the alternative of essentially manually installing and configuring applications and settings on the new device, not to mention manually configuring email accounts, can prove a deal breaker. Don’t hesitate to purchase additional storage space if need be. You can use the cloud storage account to back up everything from program data to Apple Watch backups to photos and videos.

After confirming all your old iPad’s data and settings are safely stored in iCloud, you can power up the new iPad. Associate the new iPad with your iCloud account to begin the process of installing the previously backed up programs, configuration information, and files to the new device. 

Note: Depending upon the amount of data backed up in your iCloud account and the quality of your internet connection, the migration could require a few hours to complete.

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