Q: My son recently gave his mother an iPad as a birthday gift. He bought it earlier this year, but he decided he wanted an iPad mini instead. What's the best way to delete all of his data and accounts on the iPad, and get him moved over to the iPad Mini without losing all of his emails, contacts, music and apps?
A: It is really important to clear your iPad out before you give it to someone else. You don't want to hand out your personal information when you sell or give someone your iPad or iPhone. But, it's also good to do, even if the only reason is so that the other person has more room for their own stuff. So, here's what you do on your iPad to clear it out.
First, you want to back it up and sync it with his computer before you do anything to it. Backing it up saves his settings, Messages, photos in his Camera Roll, documents, saved games, and other data. Syncing his iPad saves all of his downloadable piurchased content such as movies, music, podcasts, and apps.
In general, you should sync and back up any iOS device, like an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch once a day, but if you only back it up once every couple of weeks, or even once a month, it's OK. I won't tell on you. Just keep in mind, you could lose anything that's on your iPad at any time since the last time you backed up and synced your iPad. So, the more often you back it up and sync it, the better.
Just plug his iPad into his computer, and you'll be able to back it up and sync it in iTunes. Once you're done with that you can take his iPad Mini and plug it into his computer, and restore it using the backup you just made of his old iPad. Just plug it in, and tap Restore iPad. If it asks you which backup to use, make sure to choose the most recent backup. Once iTunes is done restoring and syncing his content, he should have everything back and it should look just like his old iPad. Of course, it will look a little smaller since it is an iPad mini.
Now, the next step is to wipe the old iPad. Now, don't take this step lightly. Once you've done it it cannot be undone. His iPad will be completely wiped clean, and it will look brand new like the day he bought it. Well, except for those scratches and the ding on the corner.
To wipe his iPad, open the Settings app and tap General, then tap Reset, then tap Erase All Content and Settings. The iPad will give you one warning to try to pull you to your senses. If you're sure you want to do it, pull the trigger and tap Erase iPad. It will take a few minutes to do it's magic, but once it's done, it will reboot, and you'll be greeted with the setup greeting screen, just like he was when he first got the iPad.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, it is easy, if it works. I'll be honest, this is the one area where Apple to this day has still dropped the ball when it comes to the iPhone and iPad. If it works, it's seamless and polished. But, a lot of times, it just doesn't work, and it is very complicated to make sure you have all of your files from your old iOS device on your new iOS device. So, if you try it and it doesn't work, you may want to contact a professional before you wipe the old iPad.
If you were wondering, yes, this is exactly how it works to move from an old iPhone to a new iPhone as well.