How to Download Apps to iPad

Have fun personalizing your iPad

Woman using iPad at sunset
image credit: Tim Robberts/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The apps that come built into the iPad are good for basic tasks, but it's the apps that you install on it that make it a truly must-use device. Personalize your iPad with free and paid apps downloaded from the App Store directly to your device.

iTunes is no longer the place to go for iOS apps. Now, you buy apps and download free apps from the App Store directly onto your iPad, which is much more convenient than transferring them from a computer. If you delete an app and later want to retrieve it (without repaying for paid apps!), the process is simple.

How to Add Apps to an iPad

Downloading free apps and buying paid apps at the App Store on your iPad is easy. The hard part is selecting the apps you want from the vast selection. Here's how:

  1. Tap the App Store app on your iPad to open it.

    iPad Home screen with App Store icon
  2. The app opens on its Today screen, which includes new and recommended apps. If you want to see a larger selection of apps and app categories, tap Apps at the bottom of the screen.

    The App Store Today screen
  3. Find an app you want to install by searching for it by name or browsing the apps on the Today or Apps screens. If you are looking for games, tap Games at the bottom of the screen. Browse categories such as productivity, graphics, lifestyle, and many others by typing the category in the search bar, which is also accessible at the bottom of the screen.

    Games screen in App Store
  4. Tap an app to open its information screen, which contains reviews, ratings, screen shots and comments from the developer. When you find an app you want, tap Get for free apps or the price for paid apps.

    An app information screen in the App Store
  5. Tap Install for free apps or Buy for paid apps to confirm the download.

    Download confirmation screen in the App Store
  6. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID. If so, do that. The download starts, and soon the app is installed on your iPad and ready to use.

How to Re-Download Apps to iPad

Even after you delete an app from your iPad, you can re-download and install it. All your past purchases from iTunes and the App Store are available to you at any time, except for items that are no longer available in the App Store. To retrieve an app you previously removed from your iPad:

  1. Tap the App Store app on your iPad to open it. Tap your image or avatar at the top right side of the Today screen. (It is also available at the top of the Games, Apps, and Updates screens.)

    App Store Today screen
  2. Tap Purchased in the Account menu.

    The App Store account screen
  3. Tap Not on this iPad to see your previously downloaded apps that are not currently installed.

    The App Store screen showing previously downloaded apps not on the iPad
  4. Scroll through the apps you have removed from your iPad in the past. When you find the one that you want, tap the download icon (the cloud with the down arrow in it) to reinstall it. In some cases, you may be asked for your Apple ID, but usually the download starts right away. 

    A list of previously downloaded apps
  5. Tap OPEN next to the app to open it immediately or Done to exit the Purchased screen.

    The OPEN option next to a redownloaded app