Where to Download Manuals for Every iPad Model

Take control of your iPad's operating system with an Apple manual

Because Apple updates its iOS regularly, the manual for your iPad is the manual for the iOS installed on it. With the internet being central to your tech experience, it's rare to get CDs with software or printed manuals. Downloads have replaced most of those items.

When you buy an iPad and open the box that the iPad comes in, you won't find a manual, but that doesn't mean you won't need one. Apple provides links to locations where you can download the iPad User Guide for your iPad operating system, either in Apple Books or as a downloadable PDF. Searchable web access is also provided, although it is not downloadable.

If you're unsure which operating system is installed on your iPad, look in Settings > General > About.

User Guide for iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16

Apple Inc

Just like in iOS 16, the iPad gained several welcome additions to Messages in this version of the operating system, the main ones being the ability to edit, un-send, and mark messages as read. Mail received some similar updates, with the option to un-send emails and set reminders.

Photo management also got a boost, with a new (very cool) feature letting you tap and hold on a picture to remove the subject from its background. From there, you can drag and drop it into another app like Notes, Messages, or Mail. And if your image library is too big, Photos in iPadOS 16 will also check for duplicates and let you quickly delete them to free up room.

Other updates include updated Home and Weather apps, Family Sharing, and the "virtual whiteboard" app Freeform, which allows for collaboration and quick notes and sketches.

User Guide for iPadOS 15

iPadOS 15

Apple Inc

Starting with iPadOS 15, you could add widgets to your Home screen, right above your apps. Doing so lets you check the weather, stocks, international time, and other things without having to go to a different screen. An even bigger improvement came to multitasking, which gained a dedicated menu and the ability to add apps to Split View from the App Switcher.

While it wasn't available at launch, iPad 15.1 introduced SharePlay, which lets multiple people watch a movie, listen to music, and share their screens over a FaceTime call. For example, a group can set up a music playlist and update it in real time, or watch a movie and have it automatically sync up to everyone's devices.

Another big addition to Messages is Shared With You, which collects all of the photos, links, and other items people have sent to you. This feature saves you from having to scroll up to find that news article or podcast; it's all in the conversation details.

User Guide for iPadOS 14

iPadOS 14

Apple Inc.

The second iteration of iPadOS (though it's called "14") introduced more changes that make the most of the tablet's larger screen. App improvements include sidebars and extra menus that let you perform tasks quickly without leaving your window. Scribble lets you hand-write notes with an Apple Pencil; your iPad will automatically convert your scrawls into type.

Messages also gained the ability to pin conversations, and the iPad also gained the option to set a maximum volume level for headphones.

User Guide for iPadOS 13

iPadOS 13.3 user guide
Apple Inc. 

iPadOS is the first operating system for the iPad that differs from the iOS used by the iPhone — hence its name change. The most obvious change is the introduction of dark mode to the iPad. Still, there are many other enhancements to improve the iPad experience for users.

iPad OS 13 supports SD cards and external disk drives natively, through the Files app. Markup is introduced systemwide so users can annotate images and documents. Improved multitasking with Slide Over, a new Home screen redesign, and lower latency for the Apple Pencil add to its features.

iPad User Guide for iOS 12

iPad User Guide iOS 12.3
 Apple Inc.

The performance improvements of iOS 12 made the iPad faster. New gestures include accessing the app switcher, jumping between apps, going to the Home screen, and invoking Control Center. Even the photo import process, which hasn't changed in years, is improved. A few apps are redesigned, including News, Books, Voice Memos, and Stocks.

iPad User Guide for iOS 11

iPad User Guide for iOS 11
Apple Inc. 

While iOS 11 was a less significant upgrade for the iPhone, it was a huge step forward for iPad users. In addition to features such as Augmented Reality, iOS 11 added to the iPad a dock for apps, improvements to split-screen apps, new drag-and-drop options, systemwide document drawing and annotations, and more.

iPad User Guide for iOS 10

iPad User Guide for iOS 10
Apple Inc. 

When Apple released iOS 10, it wasn't so much a revolutionary upgrade over iOS 9 as it extended the features and shored up the foundations of the operating system. Major changes delivered with this version include apps in iMessage, improvements to Siri, and a revised lock screen experience.

iPad User Guide for iOS 9

iPad User Guide for iOS 9
Apple Inc. 

All kinds of impressive and useful features were added with iOS 9. Besides things like low-power mode, better security, and a refined user interface, iOS 9 brought cool iPad-specific features such as picture-in-picture viewing for video, split-screen multitasking, and an iPad-specific keyboard.

iPad User Guide for iOS 8

iOS 8.4 iPad User Guide
Apple Inc. 

It's a good thing the manual for iOS 8 exists. When Apple released iOS 8, 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.

iPad User Guide for iOS 7

iOS 7

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

iPad User Guide for iOS 6

iOS 6
Apple Inc. 

The changes introduced in iOS 6 feel standard now that we've used them for a few years, but they were 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.

iPad User Guide for iOS 5

iOS 5
Apple Inc.

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

iPad User Guide for iOS 4.3

iPad User guide for iOS 4
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 with iOS 4.3, it released a combined user guide.

Original iPad User Guide for iOS 3.2

Original iPad with iOS 3.2
Apple Inc. 

The first generation iPad made its debut in 2010 with iOS 3.2 (earlier iOS versions were iPhone-only). There's probably not much here for day-to-day use at this stage. However, the document is interesting from a historical perspective.

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