How to Use an iPad as a Computer


The iPad is a tablet computer made by Apple. While some people may use an iPad for entertainment purposes, such as playing music, watching movies or looking at pictures, you can take advantage of the device's 1 GHz dual-core central processing unit and its storage capacity (16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB, depending on the configuration) to use it as a computer. It has a multi-touch screen that measures 7.3 inches by 9.5 inches. Apple currently offers two iPad models. The Wi-Fi iPad can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, and the Wi-Fi + 3G iPad connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi or a cellular data network.


  • Press the "Home" button on the iPad to go to the home screen. The iPad comes with some free apps already installed, such as the "Safari" web browser, "Mail" and "Calendar," but if you want to do certain basic tasks such as you might perform on a desktop or laptop computer, including working with spreadsheets or text documents, you will need to download new apps.

  • Tap "Settings," and then tap "General." Tap the "Wi-Fi" option to "On" if you want to connect to the Internet and download apps via Wi-Fi. Tap the "Cellular Data" option to "Off" if you want to disable the Wi-Fi +3G's ability to connect to the Internet over cellular data networks, or tap "On" if you want to use a cellular data network when Wi-Fi is unavailable.

  • Tap the "Airplane Mode" to "Off." Airplane Mode prevents the iPad from connecting to the Internet. Press the "Home" button to return to the home screen. Tap the "iTunes Store" icon on the home screen to connect to Apple's iTunes Store.

  • Tap "Search," and then type the name of an app you want to use on the iPad, such as "iBooks," Apple's free app for reading e-books; "Pages," which you can use to write letters, make brochures, flyers, reports and other documents; "Numbers," a spreadsheet app, or "Keynote," a presentation app. The app will appear in a list of search results.

  • Tap the name of an app to read more about it, and see screenshots and user reviews. Tap the price tag or the word "Free" to download an app directly to your iPad, type in your Apple ID at the prompt, and then tap "Install." The icon of the app will appear on the iPad's home screen.

Working with Folders and Apps

  • Touch the icon of an app and hold it until all the icons on the iPad's screen start jiggling. Unlike those in a desktop or laptop computer, folders on the iPad stay in position until you activate them in this fashion. Touch any icon and drag it onto another icon to create a folder. The iPad will automatically give the new folder a name based on the type of app, such as "Productivity." Type a new name if you want to rename the folder.

  • Touch a jiggling app icon or folder of apps and then drag it to the right toward the edge of the screen to move it to another screen. For example, you might want to put all of your games, videos and music apps on one home screen, and put business apps on another screen.

  • Tap the "X" on the upper left corner of any jiggling app to delete it from the iPad. Press the "Home" button to stop all the icons from jiggling after you finish moving apps and folders to new positions and deleting any unwanted apps.

  • Press the "Home" button twice to reveal a list of the most recently used apps, which will appear in a strip at the bottom of the screen.

Running Apps

  • Tap the icon of an app on the home screen or from the list of recently used apps to launch it. A new window or a blank document will open, depending on the type of app you are running. For example, the native Safari web browser will open with a new blank window if you didn't have any Web pages open the last time you used Safari. Otherwise, the last page you were using or looking at will appear. If you launch the "Pages" app, you will see a new blank document to start writing in, if you didn't have an open document when you last quit the app.

  • Tap a button at the top of the app's window, which will be labeled something like "My Documents," to see a list of your documents, and then tap on a document's name to open it. When you touch an area in the app's window where you can write, the iPad will automatically show the on-screen keyboard. Tap letters to type, or tap numbers if you are entering figures into a spreadsheet.

  • Press the "Home" button twice to reveal a list of the most recently used apps. Touch the icon of any app in the list, and hold it until the icons start jiggling. You will see a red circle with a minus sign in the upper left corner of each app's icon. Tap the minus sign to remove it from the list and to quit the app, which otherwise might stay running in the background while you switch to another app. This will free the iPad's system memory.

Emailing and Printing Documents

  • Tap the action icon, which has an arrow and is at the bottom of the screen when you are working with a document. You will then see a list of options to email or print the document. You might want to send a new spreadsheet to a colleague, or send a presentation to your boss for evaluation.

  • Tap the email option, and the iPad will automatically launch the "Mail" app and create an email message with the document attached. Type an address for your recipient, or tap the plus sign next to the "To" field, and then tap an address from the contacts list to automatically add it to the "To" field. Tap "Send" to email the document.

  • Tap the print option, and then select an AirPrint-compatible printer from the list if you are in range of computer network that has an AirPrint-compatible printer attached to it. Tap the options to set how many copies of the document you want to print, and to select a range of pages, and then tap "Print."

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to get iPad Apps

    Apple's iPad provides a new mobile experience for surfing the Web, checking email, listening to music, looking at digital photos, watching movies...

  • How to Edit Documents on an iPad

    Like any computer, the iPad comes with a basic operating system. To enable features beyond basic operation, you need to load additional...

  • How to Use an iPad As a Laptop

    If you define a laptop computer in its broadest terms the iPad is most respects already a laptop. It is a highly...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Geek Vs Geek: Robot battles, hoverboard drag race, and more

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!