Where to Download Manuals for Every iPad Model

Last Updated: Nov. 2015 

With the Internet being so central to everyone's computing experience these days, it's more and more rare to get things like CDs with software on them or printed manuals. That's especially true with Apple products. When you open the box that the iPad comes in, one thing you won't find is a full manual. But that doesn't mean you won't want one. The links below will help you get full manuals for many different iPad models and OS versions.

01
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iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4

turn off any iPad model
image credit: Apple Inc.

Most manuals that Apple releases for the iPad are specific to a version of the iOS, rather than the device itself. That's likely because a lot more changes from version to version in the iOS than it does in the hardware of each iPad model. Still, the company releases some basic hardware information, such as this PDF for all currently sold models of the iPad as of Fall 2016.

02
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iOS 9

iOS 9 icon

The latest version of the iOS—iOS 9—adds all kinds of impressive and useful features. Besides things like low-power mode, better security, and a refined user interface, iOS 9 brings cool iPad-specific features like picture-in-picture viewing for video, split-screen multitasking, and an iPad-specific keyboard.

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iOS 8.4

iOS 8 logo

It's a good thing these manuals for iOS 8 exist. When Apple released that version of the iOS, it made major changes to the platform. Things like Handoff, which connects your devices and computer, HealthKit, third-party keyboards, and Family Sharing all debuted in iOS 8.

04
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iOS 7.1

iOS 7 logo

iOS 7 was notable both for the features it introduced and for the major visual changes it ushered in. It was this version of the OS that changed from the look and feels that had been present since the iPad was released to the new, more modern, more colorful look we know today. The manual covers those changes and new features like Control Center, Touch ID, and AirDrop.

05
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iOS 6.1

iOS 6 logo
image credit: Apple Inc.

The changes introduced in iOS 6 feel pretty standard these days since we've been using them for a few years, but they were pretty cool at the time. This manual covers new features like Do Not Disturb, Facebook Integration, FaceTime over cellular networks, and an improved version of Siri.

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4th Generation iPad and iPad mini

1st Generation iPad mini
image credit: Apple Inc.

Apple doesn't publish documentation for every individual iPad model it releases. It generally only provides it when there's a change so big that the previous version is outdated. That's the case here, where the iPad mini made its public debut (the 4th gen. iPad did, too, but it was relatively similar to the 3rd). 

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iOS 5.1

iOS 5 logo
image credit: Apple Inc.

There can't be many people—if any—still running iOS 5 on their iPad, but if you happen to be one of the few out there, this PDF can help you master features new in iOS 5 like syncing over Wi-Fi, iMessage, iTunes Match, and new multitouch gestures for the iPad.

08
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3rd Generation iPad

3rd Generation iPad
image credit: Apple Inc.

The 3rd Generation iPad doesn't have a manual dedicated to the versions of the iOS it can run, but it does have some basic product information guides. There's one each for the Wi-Fi-only model and the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. 

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iPad 2 with iOS 4.3

iPad 2
image credit: Apple Inc.

In the early days of the iPad, Apple released manuals that combined details on both the latest version of the iPad and the iOS. When it released the iPad 2 running iOS 4.3, it also released a combined user guide and a standalone product information guide.

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Original iPad with iOS 4.2

Original iPad
image credit: Apple Inc.

Version 4 of the iOS was the first called by that name, while 4.2 was the first to bring the features of iOS 4 to the iPad (there was no 4.0 that supported the iPad). Previously, the operating system had just been referred to as the iPhone OS, but as the iPad and iPod touch became increasingly important parts of the lineup, a name change was warranted. These manuals cover features like AirPlay, AirPrint, and more.

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Original iPad with iOS 3.2

Original iPad
image credit: Apple Inc.

These are the original manuals released by Apple when the first-generation iPad debuted back in 2010. There's probably not much here for day-to-day use at this stage, but both documents are certainly interesting from a historical perspective.

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Guides to Cables

Apple's Composite AV Cables
Apple's Composite AV Cables. image credit: Apple Inc.

These guides help iPad owners understand how to use video-out cables that display the iPad's screen on TVs and other monitors. You have two options: