Got a new iPad for Father’s Day? Here are the first (5) things you need to do to set it up


So this year your family said enough is enough–it’s time Dad got caught up with the times and started using an iPad like the rest of the world! Great! Awesome! Exciting! Now what? I know there are plenty of tech savvy Dad’s out there that know what they’re doing with regard to their favorite gadgets. I’d like to think I’m one of them–at least most of the time. However, maybe for you it’s been a while since you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone and tried something new. Regardless of your level of expertise, there is a basic set of steps every one should take after purchasing/receiving a new iPad, and we’re going to highlight a few of the most important ones to get you on your way to enjoying your new device ASAP.

Back-up you data

I know this doesn’t necessarily pertain to those who are getting a new iPad for the first time, but I felt it was important enough that it should be the first thing we talk about. First and foremost, and this can never be overstated enough–anytime you are upgrading to a new device, you need to back-up your data–preferably in more than one place. I generally back-up my devices in iCloud as well as in iTunes. It might seem excessive until that one time when you don’t have it. Backing up your data should also continue _after_ you go through the initial process. I highly recommend you turn on automatic iCloud back-ups. It’s easy, convenient, and it happens in the background while you sleep at night as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi.

Update/download iTunes software

Whether you eventually choose to back-up your data using iTunes or not, it’s always best to make sure your software is up-to-date with the latest version. This is especially important for Windows users who don’t already have iTunes on their PC. To download the latest version you can visit the iTunes downloads page for the latest version of Windows or Mac.

Start initial set-up

So, now your data is backed-up (if you had previously owned an iPad), your rocking the latest version of iTunes software, the next step is to fire it up. For new iPad owners, the power button is on the top right side of the device when held in portrait mode. You will now be prompted with a series of initial questions ranging from selecting your language preference and geographical location, to entering in your Wi-Fi network user-name and password. You will also be asked about turning on location services for your iPad, which you can skip now if you like and re-configure at a later date.

Restore from a back-up or set-up as new?

If this is your first iPad, this is a no brainer as you only have one choice. However, for many iPad owners, this may very well be an upgrade from an older version. Even though you are required to make a decision now, you can always change your mind and flip-flop your decision based on your own needs. For me, I aways like to start with a new, fresh install. In my experience my devices always seems respond better than potentially loading a back-up that I have been adding to for months or years. Obviously, restoring from a back-up is the easiest way to get started, and is the most common choice iPad owners make–and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Passcode & Touch ID set-up

Setting up a passcode is a very important step in protecting the data on your iPad. Apple defaults to the (4) digit code, but also has an option for an alphanumeric code made up of numbers, letters or symbols. Additionally, in iOS 9, expected later this summer, you will now need to pick a passcode consisting of at least 6 digits.

Next step in your iPad set-up involves managing Touch ID. I can’t say enough about the merits of this added security and convenience, and how it makes your experience on iOS that much better. From making purchases in the App Store and Apple online store, to unlocking your iPad almost instantly, Touch ID is an amazing feature. You can set-up your iPad to recognize 1-5 different finger prints, and can change which fingers you want to keep at any time.