Q: I have a 64 GB iPad WiFi and just bought a new 64 GB iPad WiFi plus 3G. How do I transfer my apps, songs, and docs to the new 3G iPad? Thanks.
A: The basic answer is to simply plug the new iPad into your computer. Assuming that you’re using automatic synchronization and have all of your content in your iTunes library it’s really almost that simple.
The only small catch is to make sure that you’ve synced your old iPad to your computer one last time so that iTunes has a current backup of the data on it, and that any applications that you’ve purchased on your iPad have been transferred back to your iTunes library. You can check for current backups by looking at the Devices tab under your iTunes Preferences, and check the apps in your library simply by looking at the Apps section. If you have apps on your iPad that have not been transferred back into iTunes, ensure that your computer is authorized for the same iTunes Store account that was used to purchase these apps by choosing Authorize Computer from the Store menu in iTunes. Note that in most cases both the backups and the transfer of applications should be completely automatic, but it’s worth checking just to make sure.
Once you’ve done that, simply plug in the new iPad. iTunes will activate the new iPad and then ask you whether you want to setup a new iPad or restore the backup from your old one.
Restoring the backup will not only restore all of your application data, but also the iTunes synchronization settings for your iPad so that all of the applications, music, photos and other media content that you had been synchronizing to your original iPad will be automatically setup to sync with the new one. Once the restore finishes, the iPad will restart and iTunes will begun a full sync to transfer all of your selected media content and applications onto the iPad.
Note that if you have been managing the content on your iPad manually this process may be a bit more complicated. If you have the content in your iTunes library then you will simply have to retransfer that content onto the new iPad manually, as iTunes does not keep track of what was stored on the old iPad unless automatic sync was being used. If you don’t have a copy of your media in your iTunes library, then this process will be considerably more complicated as you will need to copy that content back into your iTunes library before you can transfer it to your new iPad. Our article on our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer can provide some guidance on how to do that.
Again, in most typical cases, however, the process is much more straightforward. If you’re using automatic sync and have your computer authorized for your iTunes Store account, the entire procedure should be almost automatic.