Apple iPad Air 2 - setting it up


If you've got a new iPad Air 2, setting it up for the first time can be tricky. Don't worry, this guide takes you through everything you need to do, from inserting a SIM card to finishing up with a lock screen.

1. Box contents


Here's what you get in the box:

  • iPad Air 2
  • Lightning USB cable
  • Mains plug adaptor
  • SIM removal tool (With 4G Models)

2. Inserting a SIM card (4G models)


If you've got the Wi-Fi version of the iPad, then you can skip straight to the Setup Wizard, but if you have 4G one, here's how to put the SIM card in.

ipad air 2 sim card

Push the SIM removal tool into the small hole on the bottom-left edge of the tablet.


When the tray pops out, put the SIM card into the recess, with the metal contacts facing down.


Slide the tray back into the side of the tablet, making sure it's pushed in all the way.

3. Completing the iPad Air 2 Setup Wizard


Before you can start using your iPad, you'll need to go through the Setup Wizard. There are quite a few steps, but don't worry, we'll guide you through it and explain anything that might not make sense. To get started, press the power button on the top of the iPad.

Setting it up

ipad air 2 setup 1

Swipe across the screen, then choose your language.


Choose your country.


Tap the name of your Wi-Fi network.

ipad air 2 setup 2

Enter your network password (if you're not sure what it is, it should be on your router).


Tap Enable Location Services (that helps with things like maps, and weather apps). You can turn it off if you want by pressing Disable Location Services.


If this is your first iPad, tap Set Up as New iPad. If you've used an Apple phone or tablet before, you can restore from a backup by tapping Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from iTunes Backup - depending on how you backed up your data. If you're restoring from a backup, you'll need to enter your Apple ID and password, then follow the steps.

ipad air 2 setup 3

An Apple ID lets you do things like download apps, backup your iPad, and sync your data across your other Apple kit. If you've had an iPad or iPhone before, or if you've used iTunes, you'll already have an Apple ID. Just sign in with your details, or if you’re new to Apple, tap Create a Free Apple ID to set one up.


You'll need to enter your birthday, which helps with security and stops younger users downloading anything that's age restricted.


Type your name and tap Next.

ipad air 2 setup 4

Enter an email address to use with your Apple ID. You can use any email address, but we recommend using an iCloud email address, because it keeps all of your iPad stuff in one place. If you don't already have an iCloud address, you can set one up by tapping Get a Free iCloud email address.


If you're setting up a new email address, type in the address you want to use, and tap Next


Tap Create to finish setting up the email address.

ipad air 2 setup 5

Type a Password for your Apple ID, then enter it again to confirm it. Tap Next.


You'll need to choose some security questions in case you forget your password. When you're happy with your choices, tap Next.


Enter a Rescue Email address. You don't have to add one, but we recommend it in case you can't get into your iCloud account for any reason.

ipad air 2 setup 6

Choose whether you want to get email updates from Apple by turning the switch on or off, then tap Next.


Read through the 'Terms and Conditions', then tap Agree.


Tap Agree again to confirm you agree.

ipad air 2 setup 7

iCloud lets you sync everything in your iCloud account with all of your Apple kit, and it's a good way of keeping your information backed up. To use iCloud, tap Use iCloud, or tap Don't Use iCloud if you'd rather not.


You'll see a screen giving you some information about 'Find Mt iPad', which is automatically switched on when you use iCloud. Tap Next.


Add an email account to your iPad, by typing your email address and password, then tap Next.

ipad air 2 setup 8

Choose whether you want to upgrade to Upgrade to iCloud Drive, or tap Not Now to skip.


Enter a Passcode, a four digit code that helps to make your tablet more secure.


Type the Passcode again to confirm it.

ipad air 2 setup 9

'Siri' is Apple's digital assistant, and can help with things like searching the internet, sending messages, and checking information on your tablet. If you want to use Siri, tap Use Siri. Or to skip this, tap Don't use Siri.


You'll be asked if you want to share 'Diagnostics' information with Apple, which helps the developers improve how their apps and services work. Tap Automatically Send if you're happy to share it, or tap Don't Send if you don't want to.


That's the Setup done. Tap Get Started to start using your iPad.

4. Connecting to the Internet


Most of the iPad Air's apps and features need the internet to work properl. Here's how to get your iPad connected to Wi-Fi.

ipad air 2 wifi

From your Home screen, go to Settings > Wi-Fi.


Make sure the Wi-Fi switch is on (green). If it's not on, just tap it.


Tap the name of your network, and enter your password (if you're not sure what it is, it should be printed on your router).


Tap Join, and you'll see a blue tick appear next to network name, and a Wi-Fi symbol at the top of the screen.

5. Setting up your email accounts


Your iPad can manage lots of different types of email account, like Yahoo, Google, or AOL. Here's how to add email accounts to your tablet.

ipad air 2 accounts 1

Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars Add Account.


Pick your email provider from the list ('Exchange' accounts are usually used by employers and education providers and '' is the new name for a Hotmail or Windows Live accounts). If you can't see yours, tap Other.


Tap Add mail account.


Enter your email address and password (you might need to enter other information depending on the type of account you're setting up), then tap Next, or Sign in.

ipad air 2 accounts 2

When the account sets up, you might see some ticks pop up to show that your information was accepted. If you do, just tap Allow, or Next.


You'll see some switches that let you choose what you want to sync with your account. Turn these on or off by tapping the switches. Then tap Save when you're happy with the settings.

If you're having problems adding your email account to your tablet, our guide to email server settings will help.

6. Setting up a lock screen


We always recommend protecting your tablet with a lock screen, because it helps to keep all your data safe. So if you didn't do it as part of the Setup, here's how to add one.

ipad air 2 lock screen 1

Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode.


Tap the blue link to Turn Passcode On.


The default Passcode setting is a 'Custom Alphanumeric Code', which contains letters and numbers. You can change it if you want by tapping Passcode Options.


Tap the type of Passcode you want to use.

ipad air 2 lock screen 2

Enter your Passcode, then enter it again to confirm.


You can set how quickly the iPad will lock before asking for your Passcode by tapping Require Passcode.


Tap the setting you'd like to use - you can set anything from Immediately to After 4 hours.

ipad air 2 lock screen 3

Hopefully your tablet is set up and ready to use the way you want. For help using it (like sending emails and adding new users), we've written a Apple iPad Air 2 User Guide.

Or, if you'd like speak to a Team Knowhow Expert, you can do it here.

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