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How to install iPadOS

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How to install iPadOS: Wandering the Internet, you read about iPadOS : a new operating system for the iPad, designed to replace iOS. Intrigued by what, you immediately opened Google to search for more information about it and find out if your iPad is among those supported by the new platform, ending up fried on this tutorial of mine. That’s the way it is, isn’t it? Then know that you are in the right place at the right time! In today’s guide, in fact, I will explain what iPadOS is, with which devices it is compatible and what needs to be done to install it.

Let’s start by clarifying one fundamental thing: iPadOS is none other than the good old iOS (to be precise, iOS 13.1), which Apple has decided to rename and enrich with exclusive features for iPad. On iPhone and iPod Touch the operating system continues to be called iOS and provides other peculiar features (to a lesser extent), but at the base it remains the same. Among the exclusive functions of iPadOS I would like to point out: a more advanced multitasking , with the possibility of viewing the secondary app in slide over (therefore in a window that overlaps the primary app) and to open two instances of the same app at the same time; the ability to use the iPad as a secondary Mac screen (even wirelessly); the presence of widgetson the home screen; advanced text management with new editing tools; new gestures to work faster; the floating keyboard with sliding writing support; a download manager in Safari; support for USB drives in Files (via the iPad Pro USB-C port); new editing functions for videos and photos and much more. Then there is the dark mode , the Log in with Apple function and many other functions also introduced in iOS 13 for iPhone and iPod Touch.

In short, there are so many improvements. From the point of view of performance, then, even on older iPad models (I used an iPad Air 2 to write the tutorial), there are no slowdowns whatsoever, quite the contrary! I would say, at this point, that there are really all the credentials to ban the chatter and find out how to install iPadOS . Do you agree? Then set aside five minutes of free time and follow the instructions below: I assure you that you will not regret it!


Requirements for installing iPadOS

Version 13.x of iPadOS , the first to be released to the public, is compatible with the following iPad models.

  • iPad Pro (12.9″)
  • iPad Pro (11″)
  • iPad Pro (10.5″)
  • iPad Pro (9.7″)
  • 6th Generation iPad (10.2 “)
  • 5th Generation iPad (9.7 “)
  • iPad mini (2019)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (2019)
  • iPad Air 2

If you have an older iPad, I’m sorry, but you will have to give up this new version of the Apple operating system.

Another important thing you need to check is that there is enough space on your iPad to download iPadOS, i.e. at least 3-4GB of storage available. To check the amount of space available on your iPad, open the Settings app (the gear icon located on the home screen) and go to General> Device space and iCloud and select the Manage space option that you find in the Device space box (with iPadOS, this information is shown directly in the General menu , under the item Available ).

If you find that you don’t have enough space available, delete the superfluous apps and put in place all the other tricks to free up space on the iPad that I gave you in my tutorial dedicated to the subject.

IPad space

Finally, make sure your iPad has over 50% charge rate and is connected to a fast enough Wi-Fi network , as it will have to download roughly 2GB of data from the Internet.

To connect to a Wi-Fi network on iPad, go to the Settings> Wi-Fi menu , activate the Wi-Fi lever (if necessary), select the network of your interest and type in its access key : very easy!

Preliminary operations

Backup iPad

Once you have verified the requirements to upgrade to iPadOS , before taking action and installing the operating system on your iPad, you need to perform some very important preliminary steps .

  • IPad backup – updating the operating system on iPad does not delete any data or apps (unless you want to perform a clean installation ). However, you know, caution is never too much and therefore I invite you to perform a complete backup of the device. You can do this using iCloud or the local backup function on your PC.
    • To back up your device on iCloud , go to the Settings menu of your iPad and press on your name , in the left sidebar. If you don’t see your name, log in with your iCloud account by pressing on the appropriate item. Next, go to iCloud> Backup to iCloud and press the Back up now item . After that, go back to the iCloud menuand, if necessary, activate the levers of all the data that can be synchronized with the service (mail, contacts, calendar, etc.). Finally, proceed to store photos and videos on iCloud, using the iCloud Photo Library or other similar services. I point out that, although all backup operations are free, the basic iCloud storage plan, which offers only 5GB of storage, will hardly be enough to house all your data, forcing you to a paid upgrade.
    • To back up your device to your PC , connect your iPad to your computer using the supplied Lightning / USB-C cable, then open iTunes and allow communication between the two devices if necessary. Once this is done, click on the iPad icon that appears in the upper left corner of the window and click on the button to back up the device (more info here). Next, go to the File menu> Devices> Transfer purchases from iPad , to save all purchases made in Apple’s virtual stores via the iPad on the computer. As for the backup of photos and videos, however, I recommend that you take advantage of the Windows 10 Photos application or theFile Explorer available in all versions of the Microsoft operating system. If you use a Mac, however, you can use the Photo and Image Capture applications : everything is explained in my tutorial on how to transfer photos from iPad to PC.
  • ITunes update – if you intend to update to iPadOS via PC or want to perform a clean installation of the operating system, you need to make sure you have installed the latest version of the iTunes software, which is necessary to complete both operations. If you are using Windows, then open the Microsoft Store (if you have installed iTunes through the latter) or the Apple Software Update program (if you have downloaded the standard version of iTunes from the Apple website), while if you are using a Mac , go in System Preferences> Software Update . More details can be found in my tutorial on how to update iTunes.

How to install iPadOS


Now you can really take action! Below you will find out how to install iPadOS by performing a direct update of the operating system or a clean installation of the same. As can be easily understood, updating the operating system does not involve the deletion of any data or app; clean installation, on the other hand, involves deleting all data on the iPad.

Another important thing you need to know, as far as the operating system update procedure is concerned, is that by performing the operation from iPad, you will save some time, as only the components necessary to perform the upgrade will be downloaded from the Internet. Operating from a PC, on the other hand, it will take longer, as the entire operating system will be downloaded from the Internet (on the other hand, less free space will be needed on the tablet memory). Having clarified this aspect too, let’s get to work!

Update from iPad

How to upgrade to iPadOS

The easiest way to install iPadOS is to take advantage of the OTA (Over the Air) update system provided by Apple, that is, download the update directly from the iPad and let the device take care of everything.

To start the iPadOS download on your iPad, open the Settings app (the gear icon on the home screen), go to General> Software update and wait a few seconds for the update to be found. If you are not immediately notified of the availability of iPadOS, but that of iOS 12, it means that you have to install that release first and then switch to iPadOS, or perhaps it means that you are using an unsupported iPad and therefore cannot switch to iPadOS.

That said, when the message relating to the availability of iPadOS appears, press the Download and install button , answer Accept and Agree to the screens with the terms of use of the operating system and wait patiently for this to be first downloaded and then installed on your tablet. At the end of the download, you will be notified of this and you can decide whether to install iPadOS immediately or whether to postpone the operation (in this case, you will then have to go back to the Settings> General> Software update menu and start the update installation from there) .

During the iPadOS installation phase, the iPad will restart and show a black screen with the Apple logo and a progress bar in the center . Once the installation is complete, you will need to enter the device unlock code , reply Continue to the message displayed on the screen (regarding the completion of the installation) and choose whether to use the light theme or the dark theme of the interface. Once this is done, click on Start and enjoy your new iPadOS!

Update from PC


If you prefer to update your iPad via PC , connect your tablet to your computer via Lightning / USB-C cable and open iTunes , if it doesn’t start by itself already. If you have a Windows PC and you have not yet installed iTunes, fix it immediately by following my tutorial dedicated to the theme (on Mac the software is pre-installed, also from macOS 10.15 Catalina has been replaced directly by the Finder, as regards the communication with iOS / iPadOS devices).

At this point, if necessary, authorize communication between the two devices (by pressing the appropriate buttons and then typing the unlock code on the iPad) and wait a few seconds, so that you are automatically notified of the availability of an update for the tablet operating system .

If this is not the case, click on the iPad icon displayed at the top left of the main iTunes window, then press the Check for updates / Update button and answer Download and update to the warning that appears on the screen.

Finally, accept the terms of use of the software (by clicking on the appropriate buttons displayed on the desktop) and wait patiently for iPadOS to be first downloaded on the PC and then installed on the iPad.

Clean installation

IPad restore

On the occasion of the release of iPadOS, have you decided to “clean up” what is present on the memory of your iPad and to perform a clean installation of the operating system?

In this case, connect the iPad to the computer, as explained above, open iTunes , click on the device icon displayed at the top left and, on the next screen, click on the Restore iPad button .

Confirm the operation, accept the conditions of use of iPadOS and wait patiently for the download and installation procedure of the operating system to be completed. Next, you can decide whether to set up your iPad as a new device or restore a previous backup (not recommended if you want to perform a truly “clean” installation). More info here.

Note: If you had jailbroken iPad, I recommend that you do a clean install of iPadOS by putting the device in DFU mode. This way, you will erase the jailbreak and all its residual files from the tablet memory.

For more information


If you want more information on iPadOS , I invite you to consult the Apple website , where you can find a detailed description of all the features introduced by this operating system.