How to Set Up a Preowned iPad


The person who owned your iPad before you most likely wiped his data before making the sale. However, when you set up your previously owned device, you should always restore the system to its out-of box condition, which gives you a fresh installation of the operating system. You need a laptop or desktop computer running Windows or Apple OS X to set up and back up your iPad. Check the iTunes download page for the current system requirements as they may change with each release of iTunes.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • High-speed Internet connection
  • Credit card
  • iPad sync cable
  • Connect your computer to a high-speed Internet connection, such as a DSL, cable or satellite connection.

  • Browse to and follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the latest version of iTunes on your computer. If your computer already has iTunes installed, launch iTunes and follow any onscreen prompts to update to the newest version if these prompts appear.

  • Sign into iTunes if you have an existing account. Otherwise, click the "Store" option and create an account by following the directions on your screen. iTunes will require a credit card to keep on file so you can purchase apps (software) for your iPad.

  • Plug your iPad sync cable into the iPad and a USB port on your computer. The sync cable is the same as your charger cable. Simply pull the cord out of the square wall connector to reveal the USB connector.

  • Wait for iTunes to recognize your device. It may take a few minutes, but the left panel of iTunes will add a "Devices" section and the name of your iPad will appear in this list.

  • Click your iPad's name. This will open the device summary tab.

  • Swipe the "Swipe to Cancel" button on your iPad if it starts to sync automatically. After the automatic sync stops, click the "Restore" button in iTunes. Follow any onscreen prompts to wipe any iPad data and reinstall the operating system.

  • Click each of the tabs across the top of iTunes, including "Music," "Books," "Movies" and "Photos" and select any of these items you want to sync to your iPad using the iTunes interface. Click "Sync" or "Apply" when you are finished.

  • Disconnect your iPad from the computer after the iTunes window says the sync process is complete. It is now ready to use.

  • Tap the "Settings" icon and choose "Wi-Fi" to set up your wireless network. Just tap the name of your local network when it appears and enter the password, if necessary.

  • Tap the "Mail, Contacts and Calendars" setting to set these accounts. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup.

  • Press the home button to return to your home screen when you finish with the settings. Tap the "App Store" icon to begin browsing for apps to expand your iPad's capabilities.

Tips & Warnings

  • Charge your iPad fully before setting it up. The iTunes software may not recognize an iPad with a low battery.

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