How to sync your iPhone and iPad

How to sync your iPhone and iPad

If you have an iPhone and an iPad, keeping them in sync with each other makes sense. If you buy music or an app on one of them, you’ll want it on the other too. It’s extremely easy to sync an iPhone and an iPad, thanks to iCloudas well as a little overlooked feature called App downloads. We will take a look at both.

Read more: Apple iPhone 14 Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know


To sync between an iPhone and an iPad, sign in to both devices with the same Apple ID. Make sure the account has enough storage space for both devices, then enable iCloud backup on each. You can also sync your app downloads between iPhone and iPad by going to Settings > App Store and enabling App downloads.


Here’s how to sync an iOS device to an iPhone. However, the same procedure and screen layouts apply to an iPad.

Sync your iPhone and iPad using iCloud

Apple iCloud stock photography 4

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Please note that iCloud will not install new apps from one iOS device to the other device. It will only sync with your media, calendar, contacts and emails. We’ll show you how to sync app downloads in the next section.

  • Once your iCloud account (also known as Apple ID) has enough space, sign in to both your iPhone and iPad. You’ll usually be prompted to do this when you first set up your phone or tablet.
  • To go Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  • Turn on the settings and tap on your iPhone name at the bottom of the screen. do not touch Copy now yet.
iPhone device sync backup

When you have modified this screen, return to the previous screen and touch Copy now. The sync process will start. After that, the device will automatically sync once a day if it is turned on and connected to power. Or you can always tap on that backup button and do it manually.

iPhone iCloud backup by selecting apps

Once the other iOS device is synced with iCloud, both devices will have the same content.

Backup to iCloud with Finder and iTunes

You can also back up your iPhone and iPad to a Mac or Windows computer, using Finder and iTunes, respectively. Although, why you would want to do it, given how simple the above method is, is a mystery. However, it’s still a viable option, so let’s review.

On a Mac, connect your iOS device using a lightning cable and then open Finder. Click on the name of your iOS device in the left sidebar, and in the main part of the window, you will see the backup options. You can encrypt the backup, so your passwords are protected.

ios backup macos finder sync

On a Windows computer, you’d use iTunes. The principle is the same as Finder. Connect the iOS device with a Lightning cable, click on your phone’s name in iTunes, and you will see the backup options.

The iPhone summary page in iTunes for Windows sync

Sync your iPhone and iPad by enabling automatic downloads

As mentioned in the last section, syncing your devices with iCloud doesn’t sync with new app downloads. To do this, you would have to go to another section of your iOS settings.

This would be Settings > App Store. Under automatic downloadsActivate App downloads.

iPhone app store app download sync

When you download an app on one iOS device, it will appear on the other. But keep in mind that it is purely one-way as it will install the app for you on the other device. But if you decide to delete the app later, it won’t delete it on the other device. You would have to delete it yourself.

Also, many iPhone apps are not designed or optimized for iPad, so this is also something to keep in mind when enabling app downloads.

Read more: Apple iPad (10th generation) review

frequent questions

Probably because you haven’t set up iCloud sync correctly. Both devices must be signed in to the same iCloud account, and the account needs enough storage space. Also, if the battery of one or both devices is below 50%, you must charge the device above 50% or connect a charging cable to begin syncing.

Probably because you have two-factor authentication enabled on your Google device. You will need an app password from the Security section of your Google account for the iOS device to bypass your 2FA protection. Next, the calendar and contacts options must be activated in the iOS calendar and contacts.

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