How to update your iPad to iPadOS

Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored
Tue September 24, 2019

iPadOS, aka iOS 13 for the iPad, is rolling out for the first time today with specific features just for Apple's tablets.

Like iOS 13 on iPhone and iPod Touch devices, iPadOS will include Dark Mode, which changes many elements of the interface to black and shades of gray. It's also said to be easier on the eyes and improve readability. You can use Settings or Control Center to activate it or set when you want it to come into play.

iPadOS will also deck out your iPad with new intuitive gestures that let you perform tasks like copy, paste, cut and even scroll with finger swipes and other gestures. The new OS also allows you to have two apps open side by side. These changes, along with general performance boosts, should deliver the smoothest iPad experience yet.

Many of Apple's iPads are eligible for this update. Below is a list of those that qualify:

Step 1: Back up

As always, it is important to keep your information safe by backing it up via iCloud or iTunes on the off chance that something goes wrong. To do this in iTunes, plug your iPad into your computer, select it in iTunes, and under the summary tab, press "Back Up Now." To back up to iCloud, go to the Settings app on your iPad, tap your name at the top, then press iCloud. From there, you can sync your data to your iCloud account and see what apps back up there. Keep in mind you might need to buy more iCloud storage, depending on the size of the backup.

Step 2: Download and update

In iTunes, open the app on your computer and connect your iPad. Next, select your device, click Summary, then Check for Update. Then just click Download and Update.

To update directly on your tablet, make sure your iPad is plugged in, so it doesn't run out of juice during the process. Next, go to the Settings app, scroll to General and press Software Update. Your iPad will search for the latest update, after which you will see a description of iPadOS and an option to "Download and Install."

Step 3: Restart and log in

After your iPad automatically restarts, you will have to log back into your Apple ID using your email and password. Once you've done that, you're ready to enjoy the new dedicated operating system for the iPad.