Backing up your iPad

Backing up your information on your iPad is essential

A lost, stolen, or badly damaged iPad can mean the complete loss of all your work if it's not backed up.

There are two methods available to you to backup your entire iPad (iCloud and iTunes) while backing up individual files can be done by copying them to cloud based storage services such as Google Drive and Alfresco, both of which are provided by Hillbrook as integrated services.


iCloud automatically backs up your most important data on your iPad to Apple's iCloud service. The iCloud service requires that you have an AppleID and a wireless connection. The free service provides 5GB of data storage.

Using iCloud is not the best option for the reasons given in the warning below but using iCloud to backup your iPad is as simple as switching it on under the Settings App.

  • Open the Settings App
  • Tap iCloud
  • Tap Backup
  • Turn iCloud Backup on

WARNING : Apple only provide 5 GB of iCloud storage for free. To increase this you'll need to purchase more space. Also, if you only have a reasonable monthly quota on your home internet connection and you try to backup a 64 GB iPad to iCloud you will find yourself using your monthly quota very quickly.

From the iCloud page in the Settings App you can choose which apps and data to keep synced with iCloud without having to turn on full backup. Of course only those apps written by Apple are choosable here.



Tunes can automatically backup your iPad each time it syncs with iTunes when you plug it in to a computer running iTunes.

This is our recommended way to quickly maintain a full backup of your iPad.

Once your iPad has been connected with an iTunes install on any computer it will perform a full sync and backup every time you plug it back in to that computer running iTunes. This is a simple and quick way to keep a full backup of your iPad and we recommend it to everyone who has access to a computer of their own running iTunes.

To setup your iPad to backup to iTunes:

  • Open iTunes on your computer.
  • Connect your iPad with a USB cable.
  • Make sure your iPad is unlocked.
  • Tell your iPad to "Trust this computer" if prompted.
  • Follow the iTunes prompts on your computer to finalise setup.
  • A full backup should automatically occur and will do so whenever you plug it in this way in the future.
  • Here you can direct if you would like to backup to the iCloud or your Computer
  • To configure automatic backups use the Summary page from the menu across the top.

A restore can be performed from the Summary page from the menu across the top.


Google Drive, Alfresco and the Documents App

Both Google Drive and Alfresco are cloud services which provide each Hillbrook user with some server based storage which can be used for transferring files between devices or between an iPad and our online Learning Management System (Online@Hillbrook).

These apps can be used to quickly create a backup of an important document you've just created rather than waiting until your next chance to run a plugged in iTunes backup.

As it's never a good idea to only have one copy of any document you value, you will need a way to create a backup of a document pretty much as soon as you've finished it or completed a significant amount of work.

The two "cloud storage" capable apps we recommend/require you to have installed on your iPad can provide this sort of backup mechanism whenever you need it (and have an online internet connection). These two apps are Google Drive and Alfresco.

The Documents app can also be used as an intermediate step to either of these two.

Simply using the built in iOS feature "Open in Another App" you can copy any current document to the Google DriveAlfresco orDocuments apps.

With Google Drive, as soon as the "Open In" step completes a sync to the cloud based Google Drive storage will happen as long as you have an internet connection.

With the Alfresco and Documents apps your document will copy to those apps and then you will need to perform one more step to direct them to transfer your document to an online destination.

Last modified: Wednesday, 4 February 2015, 1:21 PM