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How to sync your iPhone with your iPad

Syncing your iPhone with your computer is the easiest and simplest way of sharing the media across your devices. If you want your iPhone and computer to have the same music, photos, and contacts, then syncing is the way to achieve this. However, you might also like to sync your iPhone with your iPad so that both of these devices also have the same files and content.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Apple iPhone

  • Apple iPad

This is what this article explains how to do. It covers how to use iCloud to keep your iPhone and iPad in sync, and it shows how to choose which media and data types to sync. It also recommends steps for ensuring that you have enough iCloud storage space.

How to sync your iPhone with your iPad

Ordinarily, you’d sync your iPhone to your computer by connecting it using a USB/Lightning cable, and then using either Finder or iTunes (depending on your computer). This method can’t be used to sync between an iPhone and iPad. Instead, you have to use iCloud to sync between both devices, since they can’t be synced by physically connecting them.

You need to be signed in to iCloud on both devices to do this (see below for info on what to do if you aren’t). Here’s how you sync your iPhone with your iPad:

Step 1: On your iPhone, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud.

Step 2: In the iCloud settings screen, you’ll see a subheading: Apps Using iCloud. Tap on the slider for any app with data that you’d like to sync across your iPhone and iPad so that the slider turns green.

Step 3: Repeat for as many apps as you’d like to sync, and make sure you do the same for your iPad. Otherwise, they won’t sync.

Turn on automatic downloads

In addition to syncing various apps in the iCloud settings, you can also turn on Automatic Downloads for a variety of other apps you’ll find in the main Settings menu. Again, make sure you do this on both your iPhone and iPad.

Step 1: For example, go to Settings > App Store (or iTunes & App Store). Turn on Apps (under the Automatic Downloads heading), as well as anything else you’d like to sync. Doing this will ensure that, when you download an app on your iPhone, it will also download automatically on your iPad (or vice versa).

Step 2: Likewise, you can go to other apps in Settings to do the same. For example, you can go to Settings > Books > Purchases from Other Devices to sync the books you download on your iPhone and iPad.

If you aren’t signed into iCloud on both devices

You'll need to ensure you're signed in on your device. You’ll need their iCloud password to sign out of the device, so you’ll almost certainly need their help to do this.

Step 1: If you aren’t signed into your iCloud account on either your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Sign In to Your iPad/iPhone.

Step 2: It may be the case that someone else is signed into the iPhone or iPad, in which case you’ll have to go to Settings > [Their Name] > Sign Out.

Step 3: Once they’ve signed out, go to Settings > Sign in to Your iPhone/iPad.

Step 4: You’ll need to enter your iCloud email address and password. When signing into one device with your iCloud details, you’ll receive a notification from your other device, which should provide you with a PIN number to enter in the device you’re signing into.

iCloud storage space

If you want to sync all of your photos across your iPhone and iPad, you’ll most likely need more iCloud storage space than the default 5GB (the same goes for other kinds of media and content). If you want to have more space, you’ll have to subscribe to a new storage plan with Apple.

Step 1: Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Change Storage Plan.

Step 2: Choose one of the three available upgrades: 50GB, 200GB, or 2TB.

Turn on iCloud backup

Finally, it’s also worth turning on iCloud Backup so that you can easily restore your files and data in the event that you lose either your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.

Step 2: Tap the slider to turn it on, and do the same for your other device.

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