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iPad Setup for Children: Sync Kids iPad to Mac (Computer) Before Installing Apps

There are several reasons for syncing your iPad to a Mac or PC as soon as you can after setting it up.  Really, I'd say SYNC your new iPad to your Computer as soon as possible. This will prevent any chance of losing or removing any NEW Apps you've installed when you sync for the first time.  So, make the first time the first thing you do (after setting a cool background for your new iPad, of course).  I say this so you can prevent what happened to me...

If I were you I would set up your new iPad straight away.  Once it's been set up, sync it to your computer before installing any new Apps.  This will ensure that you get to SYNC YOUR APPS with the iTunes program on your computer from the start.  

Once your computer has been synced with your iPad you can install Apps onto your iPad directly through the iTunes Store and when you Sync it with your computer again, your computer will notice the change and stay in sync. 

Why do I recommend you Sync your iPad straight away?

Well, because I just removed all the Apps from my son's iPad.  

Yep, every single one.  All the nicely ordered and organised apps... not there anymore.  

Why? Because when I first synced his iPad with our Mac it asked if we WANT to Sync Apps or NOT.   I said YES.   Immediately that put the 1300+ apps we've downloaded to our Mac from the iTunes Store onto his iPad... AAAAAHHHH!!  145gb extra required... oops.  Too many apps...

So I un-ticked "Sync Apps" and was promptly asked, "Would you like to remove all the apps and their data?"  AAAAHHHHH!!!!  No, no, no, no, I don't want to do that!

But what were my choices?  Sit and manually sort through 1300 apps, unticking the ones I don't want synced???  You've got to be kidding.  No time for that. Or remove them all and start again?   Arrrrrgh!   I tried unplugging it and attempted to sync it again...  it put all the Apps on again...  unticked and they're gone... oh dear.   

Luckily, he's only had it for two days and can 'catch up' to anything he was up to.  His photos and messages are still there.  Okay, here goes...  

Whoooossshhh.  Yep, there's a nice empty iPad... only the starting Apps are there.  Time to reload them.  And I re-installed them one-by-one from the list of 1300 (much faster) via iTunes on the Mac.   To our surprise, the apps which were wiped away and them re-installed had KEPT THEIR DATA once the sync was complete and we'd un-plugged the iPad from the computer...

This was unexpectedly pleasant.

What would I do?

To save YOU the hassle of going through this, SYNC YOUR IPAD BEFORE YOU START INSTALLING APPS.  Choose SYNC APPS, when setting up your iPad to sync via iTunes, and then you're good. 

If you do this straight away, your iPad and Mac will be synced with iTunes on your computer from the very beginning, allowing you to download new apps from the App Store (on your iPad) and sync them whenever you connect your iPad to your Mac, and hopefully saving you any sad faces.  

If you want to know a bit about How to Set Up a Family with a Single iTunes Account, read this Blog Post.

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