How to Open the iPad's Settings

Control how your iPad looks and runs

The Settings app on the iPad contains the menus used to change how your tablet works. It also lets you manage your Apple ID and App Store subscriptions, block particular content types, and monitor and control how you and your family use the device. Access Settings the same way you open games or apps on your iPad. You'll find it on the Home screen. But if you have multiple pages of content on your tablet, you have other options.

These instructions apply to 3rd-generation iPads and later.

How to Open the iPad Settings App

The fastest way to open Settings on your iPad is to hold the Home Button to activate Siri, and once the voice assistant activates, say, Launch Settings. Opening apps by name is one of many productive features Siri offers.

Another quick way to open Settings or other apps is with the iOS universal search feature called Spotlight Search. Place your finger on the Home Screen, then swipe down. In the search screen, enter settings in the input box. Tap the icon in the results like you would on the Home Screen.

Settings app on iPad

When Settings is open, you can move the icon to the dock at the bottom of the iPad screen. Doing so provides constant access to it in the future.

What Can You Do in the iPad's Settings?

The Settings app has several options that change how the iPad behaves. Some are practical for everyone, like turning off cellular service to save battery life, and some are important for those who need extra help using the iPad, like the Accessibility settings.

Illustration of hands holding two iPads, one that is asking Siri to launch settings, the other typing in Settings into the search bar
Lifewire / Kyle Fewel 

Here are a few things you can do with the iPad settings:

  • Add a new Mail account: Add new mail accounts under the Mail, Contacts, Calendars settings. You can also configure whether or not to receive notifications when you receive new messages and how often the iPad checks the inbox.
  • Turn off notifications for a specific app: Notifications are handy to receive news and updates in real-time. But you may not want them for all apps. Rather than turning off push notifications for the entire iPad, go to the Notifications settings and turn them on or off for a single app.
  • Adjust the iPad's brightness: This setting saves battery life. In the Brightness and Wallpaper settings, slide the brightness down to a point where the iPad is easy to see but not quite as bright. The lower this setting, the longer the battery will last.
  • Set a default web browser: You don't have to use Google as your default search engine. Under the Safari settings, configure the default search engine to be Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
  • Turn on automatic downloads: A neat feature of Apple's move towards the cloud is the ability for the iPad to automatically download music, books, and apps made on other devices, including purchases made on your PC.
  • Customize your iPad's look: You can use any image you want for the background on the Lock screen and the Home screen by setting a custom wallpaper.
  • Configure Touch ID: If you have a newer iPad with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and you didn't configure it during the initial setup, do so in Settings. Touch ID isn't just for Apple Pay. It has many other uses such as quickly unlocking your iPad without typing a passcode.
  • Configure FaceTime: Want to change how people reach you using FaceTime on your iPad? Turn FaceTime on or off or add another email address to the list.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi: iOS's ability to ask you whether or not you want to join a nearby Wi-Fi network can be handy, but if you're traveling in a car and passing by different networks, it can also be annoying. In the Wi-Fi settings, tell the iPad not to ask you to join nearby networks.
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