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How to Back Up, Wipe and Restore Your iPad

Security is not exclusive to your computer alone. Sometimes data in an iPad might be equally if not more valuable to you, than the data stored in your computer hard disk. Moreover your iPads are more vulnerable towards theft and malfunction and they are as personal as a computer.


So before you decide to sell them off, you need to wipe all your data from it. Sometimes it is necessary to clean them and take a back up even while you are troubleshooting. So it is vital, to have a basic knowledge about back up and restoration of data on your iPad. In this article we focus on how to back up, wipe and restore settings and data on your iPad.

Backing up your iPad

Before erasing the data from your iPad, it is essential to have a back up of the information and applications stored in it. If you are going to change or upgrade your iPad, you need to have a backup of your existing data so that you can load it into the new device.

Also if you are wiping the iPad for fixing any malfunction you need to take a back up to restore it once the device is ready. You can always back up the data and restore most of it in all three Apple gadgets – the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

If you go through the Apple iPad documentation you will find three means of saving your information.

  • Backing up
  • transferring application purchases
  • synching your iPad data to your computer

The backing up process involves saving up your iPad settings and your personal data like your ringtones, photos etc. But a word of caution, though you transfer your applications to your computer you do not pass on the purchases but just the back up of your application settings.

The following are the steps through which you can create an effective back up of your iPad.

  1. Make sure you have the updated version of iTunes both on your iPad and your computer.
  2. Connect the iPad to your computer and enable synching with the iTunes application
  3. Right click the iPad icon displayed in the iTunes menu and select the option ‘Transfer purchases’.
  4. This option enables the backing up of all the applications downloaded from the app store of iTunes
  5. Double check whether all your data is backed up
  6. If you are going to wipe the iPad and later restore the data to the same device then go ahead with the erasing now (The next part of the article explains how to wipe a iPad)
  7. If you are transferring your data to some other device, connect that device to your PC containing the backup data
  8. iTunes would ask whether you want to restore the backup data or you want to create a new device and you have to select the backup data that you created using the above steps.
  9. Restart your iPad and you should be able to locate your device in the iTunes window. Click on the device icon and select the items you want to be synched. Then select the ‘Apply to sync’ option.
  10. Now the process is complete and it is advisable to verify whether you have synched all the items needed by you. Check for stuff like your iTunes, emails, passwords etc. Bear in mind you have to re enter your passwords when you restore this back up data.

After successfully creating the backup of your iPad data now we can proceed to wiping this data.

Wiping you iPad

Both the procedure and duration of wiping your iPad solely depends on the model of your iPad. The process is easier if your iPad supports hardware encryption (Most iPads do).

  • If your model supports hardware encryption, then you can wipe your data just by taking away the encryption key. The entire process will be complete within five minutes.
  • If it does not support hardware encryption, then you have to overwrite your user settings and other such information. This is a lengthier process and might consume hours together. The duration solely depends on the storage ability.

Before you wipe out your data ensure that your iPad has enough battery power or else use a power plug in.  Then click on the following options mentioned in the same order

  • Settings
  • General
  • Reset
  • Erase all contents and settings

Voila! The data is gone.

Restoring the data

Once the data is wiped the iPad will prompt you to share some information like whether you want to connect to a Wi-Fi network and such. When you have answered these prompts, you would be asked whether you want set your iPad as new or restore data from an existing back up.

Plug your iPad to your computer and retrieve the backed up data. You should be able to procure all the data in matter of minutes.

Now that you have started fresh, ensure you protect your data and privacy by installing the necessary security modules.

Vishal Gaikar

Vishal Gaikar

Vishal Gaikar is a professional blogger from Pune, India. He is Software Engineer, Web Addicted. At Shake the Tech, he writes on Technology, Gadgets & so on. Follow me @vishal

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