What Does an iPad Backup Include?

Backing up your iPad is crucial for ensuring that your important data and settings are protected. In the event of a device malfunction, loss, or upgrade, having a backup allows you to easily restore your iPad to its previous state. This article will provide an overview of the content included in an iPad backup, highlighting the key information and data that are safeguarded. The information presented here is based on reliable sources such as Apple Support Community discussions and Apple’s official documentation on iCloud backups.[^1^][^2^][^3^]

Importance of Backing Up Your iPad

Regularly backing up your iPad is essential for preserving your personal and professional data. While iCloud automatically syncs certain information, it doesn’t cover all data stored on your device. Therefore, creating backups ensures that nothing is lost in case of accidental deletion, device failure, or software issues.

Overview of the Content Included in an iPad Backup

Information and Settings

An iPad backup encompasses various types of information and settings that are vital for a seamless restoration process. This includes device settings, home screen layout, app organization, and preferences. When you restore from an iCloud backup, these settings and configurations are reinstated, saving you time and effort in reconfiguring your device.[^3^]

It is important to note that iCloud doesn’t sync all data, making backups necessary. While services like iCloud Photos, iCloud Drive, and Notes sync automatically, other data such as app-specific documents, application settings, and preferences are only stored in the backup. Backing up your iPad ensures that all these data elements are preserved and can be easily restored to a new device if needed.[^2^]

App Data

iPad backups include app data from the applications installed on your device. This encompasses various types of data, including in-app purchases, application settings, preferences, and documents. For instance, if you have a game installed, the backup will store your progress, achievements, and other game-related data. This allows you to resume your app experience seamlessly after restoring your iPad from a backup.[^2^]


Contacts stored on your iPad are also included in the backup. However, it is important to understand that relying solely on iCloud backups for contacts is not advisable. To ensure additional protection and accessibility, it is recommended to regularly sync your contacts with a computer or a cloud service such as iCloud. This way, even if you encounter any issues with your iPad backup, you can still rely on the synced contacts to restore your important contact information.[^1^]

Photos and Videos

iCloud backups include photos and videos stored in the Camera Roll of your iPad. This ensures that your precious memories are preserved and can be easily restored to a new device. However, it is worth noting that if you enable iCloud Photos, your photos, videos, and face information are automatically synced to iCloud and won’t be included in your daily backup. This provides an additional layer of protection for your visual content and minimizes the reliance on backups for photo and video preservation.[^2^]

Device Settings

Device settings play a crucial role in personalizing your iPad experience. With an iPad backup, you can restore various settings such as network settings, location service preferences, home screen layout, and app organization. This ensures that your device is configured exactly as it was before the backup, saving you the time and effort of manually reconfiguring your settings.[^2^]


iCloud backups include messages, including iMessage, SMS, and MMS messages. This means that your conversations, message history, and attachments are preserved and can be restored when needed. Backing up your messages is particularly important if you rely on them for personal or professional communication, ensuring that you don’t lose any important conversations or information.[^2^]

Purchased Content

When you purchase content such as music, movies, TV shows, apps, books, or ringtones, it is part of your iPad backup. This means that even if you delete the content from your device, you can easily restore it from the backup. Having your purchased content included in the backup provides convenience and peace of mind, knowing that you can always access your downloaded content even after a backup and restore process.[^2^]

Visual Voicemail

Your visual voicemail, including voicemail messages and settings, is also included in the iPad backup. This ensures that you don’t lose any important voicemail messages, and your voicemail settings are preserved during the backup and restoration process. You can easily retrieve your voicemail messages after restoringyour iPad from a backup, ensuring a seamless transition and continuity in your communication.[^2^]

iTunes vs. iCloud Backups

It is worth mentioning the difference between iTunes and iCloud backups. While iCloud backups are convenient and automatically performed over Wi-Fi, they have limitations in terms of storage space. iCloud provides 5 GB of free storage, which may not be sufficient for users with large amounts of data. In contrast, iTunes backups are stored locally on your computer, allowing you to have more control over storage space. iTunes backups also offer encrypted backups for enhanced security. Depending on your preferences and storage needs, you can choose between iCloud and iTunes backups to safeguard your iPad data.[^2^]


In conclusion, an iPad backup includes a comprehensive range of data and settings to ensure the smooth restoration of your device. It encompasses information and settings, app data, contacts, photos and videos, device settings, messages, purchased content, and visual voicemail. Regularly backing up your iPad is crucial for data safety and peace of mind. By understanding what is included in an iPad backup, you can confidently rely on backups to protect your important information and easily restore your device when needed. Remember to choose the backup method that best suits your needs, whether it’s iCloud or iTunes, and regularly perform backups to ensure the preservation of your valuable data.[^1^][^2^][^3^]


  1. Apple Support. (n.d.). What does iCloud back up? Retrieved from https://support.apple.com/en-us/108770
  2. Apple Community. (n.d.). Does iCloud backup include the Files Folder? Retrieved from https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250258595
  3. Apple Community. (n.d.). Does the backup include information from … Retrieved from https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6134988

Note: This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of iPad backups and cater to the needs of users searching for information on what’s included in an iPad backup. By incorporating the basic facts you provided, along with additional context and explanations, this article is designed to be relevant and valuable to users searching for iPad backup information on search engines like Google.


What is the purpose of backing up an iPad?

Backing up an iPad is essential for safeguarding your data and settings. In case of device loss, damage, or software issues, a backup allows you to restore your iPad to its previous state, ensuring you don’t lose important information or configurations.

Does an iPad backup include all data on the device?

No, an iPad backup does not include all data on the device. While certain data like contacts, photos, videos, app data, messages, and settings are included, other data such as synced media (e.g., music and movies) and some iCloud-synced data (e.g., iCloud Photos) are not part of the daily backup.

Can I restore my iPad from an iCloud backup without a computer?

Yes, you can restore your iPad from an iCloud backup without a computer. When setting up a new or erased iPad, you can choose the option to restore from an iCloud backup. This requires a stable internet connection and your Apple ID to access the backup stored in your iCloud account.

How often should I back up my iPad?

It is recommended to back up your iPad regularly to ensure your data is up to date and protected. Ideally, you should back up your iPad at least once a week or before performing any major updates or changes to your device.

Can I access my iPad backup from multiple devices?

Yes, you can access your iPad backup from multiple devices linked to the same iCloud account. iCloud backups are accessible to all devices associated with your Apple ID, allowing you to restore your backup to any compatible device you own.

Are there any limitations to iCloud backups?

Yes, there are limitations to iCloud backups. The free iCloud storage allocation is limited to 5 GB, which may not be sufficient for users with large amounts of data. Additionally, certain types of data, such as synced media and some iCloud-synced data, are not included in the daily backup.

Can I back up my iPad using iTunes instead of iCloud?

Yes, you can back up your iPad using iTunes instead of iCloud. iTunes backups are stored locally on your computer and offer more control over storage space. iTunes also allows for encrypted backups, providing an extra layer of security for your data.

Can I selectively restore data from an iPad backup?

No, the restoration process from an iPad backup is comprehensive and restores all the included data. It is not possible to selectively restore specific files or data types from an iPad backup. However, after the restoration, you can manually delete unwanted data from your iPad.