How Can I Sync My iPad & Desktop?

By Anne Hirsh

Syncing your iPad is necessary to initially set up the full functionality of the device. It also provides a backup for all of the information stored on your iPad. Syncing your iPad to a desktop is easy, and in most cases, the process takes care of itself once you get it started. The sync process takes a little time, especially if you need to install the appropriate software on your computer first, so don't try to rush the process or you may end up frustrated.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with USB port
  • Internet connection
  • iPad sync cable

Step 1

Connect your computer to the Internet and browse to the iTunes website (apple.com/itunes/?cid=OAS-US-DOMAINS-itunes.com). Download the latest version of iTunes and follow the on-screen prompts to install the software. Skip this if you already have the latest version of iTunes.

Step 2

Launch iTunes and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your user account. This may require a credit card for future purchases. If you already have an account, sign in with your username and password.

Step 3

Plug the iPad sync cable into your iPad, and plug the other end into a USB port on your computer.

Step 4

Wait for iTunes to recognize the device. When it does, the "Devices" area will appear in the left iTunes menu and your iPad's name will appear below it. Click on your iPad's name to bring up the relevant pane.

Step 5

Syncing should begin automatically, but if it doesn't, click "Sync" in the lower right part of the pane. Allow the sync to complete before you disconnect or attempt to run any apps on the iPad, as this will cancel the sync.

Step 6

Disconnect when the sync is finished and your iPad returns to its normal screen from the "Sync in progress" screen.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can sync selective items rather than your whole iTunes library by clicking the tabs at the top of your device pane to choose movies, music, TV shows, books, apps and photos to sync.
  • Your computer must run Windows or Mac OS X and meet the minimum requirements for the latest version of iTunes.

References & Resources