How to set up your new iPad

Today being launch day, there will be plenty upgrading, but it also brings us a great number of new iPad owners. If you are a first time iPad owner, this short guide help you set up your new iPad using iOS 5.1.

Setup new iPad
How to set up new iPad
Upon powering up your new iPad for the first time, you’ll be greeted with a black linen background and it will simply say ‘iPad’. The first step to setting up your iPad is to swipe your finger to the right where it says ‘Slide to set up’. You might see other languages, since you’ve yet to set up the default language.

Select language

Select your language and then tap on the blue arrow at the top right of your iPad.

Next up, you’ll select your country and region. Depending on where you purchased your iPad, this might already be selected and correct. When finished, select ‘Next’.

Select country or region

In the next step, you’ll be able to enable ‘Location Services’. Location Services allows Maps, Camera and other apps to use your location to provide you with a more personal experience. If you have a new iPad with 4G LTE, then it can assist the GPS and crowd-sourced hotspots to determine your whereabouts. As with any of these selections, you can always change them within settings. Make your selection and then select ‘Next’.

Enable location services

Here’s where you will set up your WiFi network. If your home network requires a password, you’ll need to enter it here. Having Internet connectivity is critical to your iPad experience, so you will not want to skip this step in the iPad setup process. Select your WiFi network and enter the password and tap on the ‘Next’ button.

WiFi setup iPad

Troubleshooting tip: Sometimes folks might get confused as to which router is driving their WiFi coverage. If your desktop computer is wired to your router, then type This will allow you to login to your router and see the router name. Default login information is often username: admin and password: password1 or password. If still unsure, you can usually find a factory reset button on the back of your router that will allow you to press and hold for 10 seconds. A quick Google search of the name, model of your router will reveal the default login information.

Once connected, your iPad will attempt to activate. This can take seconds up to three minutes.

You’ll now be faced with three choices:

  • Set Up as New iPad
  • Restore from iCloud Backup
  • Restore from iTunes Backup

Since this is a new iPad, select the first choice and select ‘Next’.

Setup iCloud new iPad

The new iPad offers a wealth of music, videos, movies and of course apps. In order to take advantage of the App Store, you will need an Apple ID, if you don’t already have one. This is the email address associated with your iTunes account, which is tied to a credit card. Select ‘Sign In with an Apple ID’ or create a free Apple ID if you don’t already have one. You’ll see Terms and Conditions. Select ‘Agree’ at the bottom right.

Apple ID setup

It will now say something along the lines of “It may take a few minutes to setup your Apple ID”.

Setup iCloud
If you are an existing iOS owner or not, there are plenty of great benefits to setting up iCloud on your iPad. This next part of the setup process allows you to either Use iCloud or Don’t Use iCloud.

Apple stores all of your content in iCloud and pushes it wirelessly to all of your devices. Make one change on your new iPad and it’ll populate on your iPhone, Mac or other device. It’s a very cool feature and it’s free.

Setup iCloud

If you opt-in to iCloud, then you can also utilize iCloud Backup. iCloud will automatically backup your iPad on a daily basis. Don’t worry, it does so using the WiFi connection only, so if you picked up a 4G LTE iPad, it won’t affect your data usage.

What does iCloud backup?

  • Purchased music, apps, and books
  • Photos and video in camera roll
  • Device settings
  • App data
  • Home screen and app organization
  • Messages (iMessage, SMS, MMS)
  • Ringtones

Apple also offers the old school option of backing up to your computer. Make a selection that works best for you and select ‘Next’ at the top right.

iCloud backup

If your iPad should be lost, stolen or even misplaced, Apple’s Find My iPad service can be a lifesaver. This free service allows you to track any of your iOS devices, if you opt-in. This one is a no brainer folks, select Use Find My iPad and tap on ‘Next’.

Find my iPad setup

The next option is whether you want to allow Apple to collect anonymous data to improve upon their products and services. Select automatically send or don’t send, then select ‘Next’.

iPad setup

Your new iPad now set up. You’re ready to start using the most advanced iOS ever.

Have fun with your new iPad!

Have questions or need help. Join our free iPad forums. You can ask questions, download the free everythingiCafe app from the App Store and more.

Articles of interest:

  • Munk

    Hello. What to do if there is no name of your country on the selection of country and region? Thanks

  • Anne Healy

    I accidentally selected portuguese instead of english when I started to set up new ipad. the localisation then came up (in portuguese) but I don’t want to continue setting up in this language. How can I start over so I can select english? When I turn off and then turn on ipad again it remembers I started the set up in portuguese and wants me to continue. Thank you in advance.

  • James

    I do not want to connect my new iPad 4 to the internet… ever!!! (not even during setup); however it appears that the Setup process requires you to specify a network, and if you refuse, you are denied all access to use of the iPad. Is there a way to get around this ridiculous attempt by Apple to force iPad owners to connect to the internet? I just paid $600 for this iPad and I hate it because Apple seems to be holding my machine hostage until I comply with the “Specify a Network” request during setup.