Setting Up an iPad Without a Computer

Get your iPad up and running, iTunes-free

Woman sits on couch with tablet
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You don't need to connect a new iPad to iTunes on your computer to set it up for the first time. Originally, you'd have to use a computer to transfer settings or restore data from a backup. But as long as you have a wireless internet connection, you can get started with your new Apple tablet without the extra step.

Here's how to set up a new iPad without iTunes.

How to Set up an iPad Without a Computer

After turning on your new tablet for the first time, you'll set your language and country. Then, you'll connect to the internet either via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection if you have an iPad 3G or 4G model.

Next up is setting up a passcode with at least six digits for your device. If your iPad comes with a fingerprint sensor, you'll also set that feature up during this step. You can also take care of it later if you prefer.

If you want to bring over your data and apps from your previous device, you will have three options. If you used an Apple device previously, you can restore from either an iCloud or iTunes backup, but note that the latter requires connecting to a computer. Otherwise, you can restore from an Android phone as well.

At this point, you can choose to sign on with your Apple ID and set up Siri as well if you wish. For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, you can customize your Home button, too. Phones from the iPhone 6 and up will let you customize your display settings as well.

The entire process pretty much involves the tablet asking you all sorts of stuff. One is whether or not you want to enable location services -- useful when using apps that require access to the tablet’s GPS function, for example. Regardless of whether you decide to turn it on or not, you can always change your location preference later via the Settings app.

Final Steps

With your basic settings and security set up, you'll have a few more decisions to make before you're ready to use your iPad.

One will be whether you want to use Apple's cloud-storage platform, iCloud, which comes with 5 GB of free space. This feature lets you back up your iPad to iCloud, so it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and use the service if you haven’t before.

You'll also decide whether to activate the Find My iPad feature, which allows you to track, disable, and even erase your tablet via computer or another iOS device in case you lose it.

Finally, you'll choose whether to turn on dictation and share analytics data with Apple. Both of these features are optional, and not everyone wants or uses them.

After all of that, your iPad will welcome you, and you can start using it.