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 or find it on the Home screen.

These instructions apply to third-generation iPads and later.

How to Open the iPad Settings App

There are three main ways to open the iPad Settings app. The easiest way is to find and tap the Settings app on the Home screen. You can also use Siri or Spotlight.

Use Siri to Open Settings

Another quick way to open Settings on your iPad is to hold the Home button to activate Siri. Once the voice assistant activates, say, "Launch Settings." Opening apps by name is one of many productive features Siri offers.

Use Spotlight Search

If the Settings app isn't on the Home screen, use Spotlight Search to open Settings or other apps.

  1. Place your finger on the Home Screen, then swipe down.

  2. In the search screen, enter Settings in the input box.

  3.  Tap the icon in the results like you would on the Home screen.

    Settings app on iPad from Spotlight search

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. Others are important for those who need extra help using the iPad, like the Accessibility settings.

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, and 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 App Notifications

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. Select Safari > Search > Search Engine to configure the default search engine by selecting one of the other available options.

Turn on Automatic Downloads

From Settings > App Store, choose which apps automatically download updates. You can also manage music, books, and apps downloaded on other devices, even PCs, by opening Settings > Your Name and selecting which apps use iCloud.

Customize Your iPad's Look

You can use any image you want for the background on the Lock screen and the Home screen. Go to Settings > Wallpaper and set a custom wallpaper for each screen or use one image for both.

Configure Touch ID

If you have a newer iPad with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and didn't configure it during the initial setup, do so in Settings. Touch ID isn't just for Apple Pay. It has other uses, such as unlocking your iPad without typing a passcode.

Configure FaceTime

Want to change how people reach you using FaceTime on your iPad? From Settings > FaceTime, turn the app on or off, manage incoming notifications, or set your Apple ID or an email address to use with FaceTime.

Turn Off Wi-Fi

iOS's ability to ask you whether you want to join a nearby Wi-Fi network can be handy. If you're traveling and passing by different networks, it can also be annoying.

Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Ask to Join Networks, and select Off or Notify to prevent your iPad from asking for permission to join nearby networks.

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