New iPad: Do an iTunes backup first

Posted on by Mike Evans

This evening, fresh from my China trip, I made a big mistake. My new iPad was sitting in its box and, of course, I couldn’t wait to get started. I decided, with supreme confidence, to use iCloud rather than restore via iTunes. It did occur to me to backup the old iPad to iTunes first, then restore from iTunes. This is certainly what I had seen recommended. But I didn’t do it.

Foolishly, I decided to restore from iCloud and then compounded the error by wiping the old iPad in readiness for its new owner. The new iPad was coming to life from the iCloud backup and it was only after half an hour I realised all was not well. 

I saw that nearly all my apps were flagged as “Waiting”. Some had the blue download bar but it kept moving towards the right and then retreating. After another hour I suspected there was maybe some problem with the set up of the iPad, so I reset it and started again.

This time there was a slight improvement, but the rate of download of my apps is still at snail pace. It’s the same problem I experienced with the batch of retina-ready apps I tried to download to my iPhone while in Beijing. At the time I blamed the Chinese internet, but it seems the problem is at the Apple end of things.

Another three hours have gone by and apps are still downloading, however glacially. Having reconnected my common sense, I can see what a strain I am placing on Apple’s servers by requesing download of fifty or so apps in one go. Apart from the combined size, which must be several gigabytes, I am one of probably several million people attemting to do a similar restore on their new iPads.

I’ve learned my lesson: Whatever you do, don’t go down the iCloud restore route except in a dire emergency. It is clearly far better to backup and restore using iTunes on a Mac or PC. 

Zero points for MacFilos this evening. 

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