Moving to a new iPad

In my case I have one of the new 10.5 iPad Pro’s and I am quite excited about it.  I am normally very fond of iPad’s but this is a very powerful iPad, and with a bit more screen real estate that means I can do more with it.  I understand I can use the big iPad Pro 29W chargers with it to charge even faster too, and I am told the Pencil works better with it.

Update: (10/22/20) I am using this article again running Big Sur beta 10, and a 2020 iPad Pro 11 (second generation) and iPadOS 14.1.

Update: I am using this article now with a 2018 iPad Pro 11″ and iOS 12.1.1. Then again on a similar iPad but with iOS 13.3.1 and Catalina 10.15.2.

Update: (1/2/21) I used this article when I only updated the new iPad to v14 and not 14.3.  At the end of the restoration of things it actually did an update to 14.3.  Very nice! But still worth avoiding to shorten the process and you can do that by updating the new iPad to the proper version!

Lets get started!

But there are a variety of ways to get your world to a new iPad and I have listened to people lately do it the hard way so I thought I would share my way which is much easier and I much safer.

  • Do App updates that are outstanding.  We do want a complete backup after all.
  • Do any iOS updates that are outstanding.
  • You should confirm what Amazon / Netflix / Apple videos you have.  You will need to re – download most of them later. Your stats on what was watched is not lost.
  • You should first make sure you have a good sync – mostly to make sure your iPad is healthy. If you have not done this before you may be prompted to trust and you should.
  • Next, using iTunes do an encrypted backup of your old iPad.  While most of your backups can be in the cloud – which is in fact good – they do not contain everything.  If you do an encrypted backup they include much more. I understand the screenshot below looks odd.  You need to do This computer click first, then select Encrypt, then select iCloud again.  What this means is you will get iCloud backups, but when connected to your iTunes (or in Catalina the Finder) you will get encrypted backups as necessary. Confirm that the Last Backup shows the time you did it.  Do not continue if it doesn’t.

Above is iTunes before Catalina.

Above is the Finder view in Catalina when your iPad is connected.

Notice in the screenshots above that the Encrypt local backup is enabled?  And see how it mentions that passwords, Health, and HomeKit data will be included as a result of the encryption?

  • Once you have the backup of the old iPad turn off the old iPad and leave it off.
  • Now start up your new iPad and answer all the questions.  Once you get to the end, and have a choice that allows you to restore from iTunes you need to select that. Be aware, you will be prompted to hold your iPad (or iPhone) close to an existing and working device.  Skip that for now and do manual setup.
  • Connect your new iPad to your iTunes via cable.

You will get prompted for which backup to use.  Make sure you pick the right one and the right date / time.

  • I hit an issue when I tried to restore. I was told I could not restore since the iOS version on the new iPad was older than my old iPad.  I only had to disconnect, and re-connect the cable and wait, and I was prompted to update my new iPad to the latest OS, which when it was done I was able to restore with no issue.
  • It will take a while and a restart or two.  Plus it will not bring all your applications back. The apps will be downloaded fairly quickly over WiFi.

I had a lot of software and it took less than 1.5 hours to get my new iPad working, and my old iPad cleaned up.

BTW, and important, once your new iPad is working I suggest you go log out of iCloud on your old iPad, followed by logging out of the App store.  I also do a complete reset on it so that it is ready for the next user.

  • I also suggest once your iPad is finished, and before you start testing things, to restart the iPad.  I did not and had all the issues I mentioned below (one time but not the second or third).  Many or most were fixed with a restart so I suggest you do it here proactively. Of note, on another migration time someone moved to a new iPad using these instructions they did not have the issues that required a restart.

Problems I had, and solved!

Problems I had once or more.

  • I hit an issue when I tried to restore. I was told I could not restore since the iOS version on the new iPad was older than my old iPad.  I only had to disconnect, and re-connect the cable and wait, and I was prompted to update my new iPad to the latest OS, which than allowed me restore with no issue. This was when my old iPad was at 12.1.1 and the new iPad was 12.1.
  • In addition, when I went to the iPad Pro 11 inch I found that Amazon, and Netflix did not have the TV or movies, so I had to re-download.  Apple had two of four movies but that was it.
  • I had to re-log in on Evernote and NetFlix. Still occurred on my most recent use of this article (10/23/20).
  • Once ready had an issue when they connect the new iPad to iTunes.  They got an error about cannot do if OS is old.  This should not happen.  But if it does what works is:
    • Stop working with new iPad.
    • Upgrade newest iPad to newest version – in our case it was 10.3 and had to be upgraded to 11.0.2.
    • Redo your encrypted backup – just in case.
    • Plug your new iPad to iTunes and continues as above.
  • Amazon (Video) was confused afterwards and said I had network errors.  So I logged out of Amazon. The reset of the iPad fixed that issue.  Still need to log in but now I can. Once logged in I still had to download. In another use of these instructions a relatively recent version of Prime Video did not have this issue. This did not happen on my recent upgrade (10/23/20).
  • Slack knew my teams but could not seem to connect. A restart of the iPad fixed this issue.
  • Twitter could not connect.  A restart of the iPad fixed this issue. Tweetbot was able to connect after the restore, without a restart on my recent use of this article (10/23/20).
  • My email was present, but it could not seem to connect. A restart of the iPad fixed this issue. This did not occur during my recent use of this article (10/23/20).
  • My iBooks needed to be set up again but that did not take too long. This was not fixed by a restart of the iPad, but it did not take long after you say to use the cloud.  Even found my right page.  I think that this maybe was fixed by a restart actually. This did not occur on my most recent use of this article (10/23/20).
  • Kindle Reader did not preserve my credentials so need to log in again. Still need to log in after the restart and it synced right away and brought everything back fine.
  • On my most recent use of this article (10/23/20) when I said restore it started and stopped. It was due to new iPad having 14.0.1 and the backup being 14.1.  So I did the Restore iPad which also did upgrade.  Then did Restore Backup and made sure to select the right time.
  • You can use the Manage Backups button to remove backups done as part of upgrade, so that you will be prompted – during restore – for the backup you made.  Which is the only one we care about!

Test time

Here are some things I did to test my migration.

  • Did I see the latest tweet or Slack message?
  • Could I see and send email?
  • Did you see the iTunes / NetFlix / Amazon video(s) you expect?
  • Icons in the right place?

All of these turned out good (yes) for me.

I also suggest that once you iPad is ready do not charge it until it is almost dead.  That is a good way to help your battery life.


  • Here is an article that highlights some of why I bought this new iPad (iPad Pro 11). Here is another article, and one more.
  • Details on restoring your iPad (or iPhone / iPod) to factory settings.  Good to do when you want to hand your old iPad to someone as their new iPad.
  • Here is some info on why I bought this 10.5 iPad Pro.


  • 10/22/20 – used it again, did some minor grammar updates, and it all worked fine. Later versions of iPadOS, Big Sur as I mentioned above.
  • 2/16/20 – used it again and updated the screenshot to fit what is current. Also changed the verbage a little to make it easier to use.
  • 12/15/18 – used this with another new iPad and did some updates. The new iPad was a 2018 11 inch. I had hardly any issues, and I love the new iPad.
  • 10/9/17 – cleaned up the grammar and spelling, plus added in the odd issue that was reported to me.

Hope that this helps,


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