How to Force a Backup of an iPad

by Melissa King
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Your iPad backs up data automatically when it's synced with iTunes or connected to the iCloud service. If you're planning to reset the iPad, send it in for repair or sell the device, you may want to back up your content manually. This allows you to keep your data even if the iPad's memory gets wiped clean. The backup and recovery methods differ slightly for iTunes and iCloud.

Back Up in iTunes

Step 1

Connect the iPad to the computer you usually sync with via a USB cable. If iTunes does not start, open it.

Step 2

Click your device in the iTunes window, then click "Summary."

Step 3

Click "Back Up Now." The backup process can take a few minutes if you have a large amount of content.

Step 4

Verify the backup by clicking "Preferences" and "Devices." The date of the latest backup appears next to your device's name.

Click "Summary" and "Restore Backup" to restore your content to the iPad.

Back Up in iCloud

Step 1

Tap "Settings" on the iPad, then tap "iCloud."

Step 2

Tap "Storage & Backup," then select "Back Up Now." When the process completes, the date and time of the latest backup displays under the "Back Up Now" button.

Step 3

Tap "Restore from iCloud Backup" after erasing your iPad's memory. The three latest backup files will display.

Select the backup you want to restore.


  • This article applies to iOS 7 and iTunes 11.1. Instructions may differ for other versions.


  • ITunes does not back up data automatically if you have enabled iCloud backup. You can still force iTunes to back up your content manually, however.


Photo Credits

  • Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

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