AppleInsider is supported by its audience and can earn commissions as an Amazon Associate and Affiliate on qualifying purchases. These partner relationships do not affect our editorial content.
Whether you’re transferring an older one iPad or buying a new one for a younger person or an older relative, there are some things you should do first.
Apple’s iPads are a great device to keep in the family as they are great for both younger and older users, so they are a great device to give to a family member. Likewise, many people buy newer iPad models specifically for use by older or younger users.
Before handing over an iPad, there are some simple steps to take to make sure it’s set up correctly for your family member. Here’s how.
Reset and erase your iPad
If you’re handing over an older iPad that you already have, take the time to sign out of your important apps and reset the device.
You do that by going to Settings > General > Reset†
It is recommended that you don’t just give an iPad to someone else without resetting it. While it may not seem like the device contains any personal information, managing it and your Apple ID can get messy.
Create a new Apple ID
An Apple ID is not designed to be shared. We strongly advise against creating a “family” Apple ID or giving your credentials to your child.
Every person who uses an Apple product must have their own Apple ID. That includes children as well as older relatives.
If your child or family member already has an Apple ID, they can just sign in to your standard iPad with their email address and password.
Children over the age of 13 must create their own Apple ID. If you have a child under 13, they can still have an individual Apple ID, but you’ll need to create one for them.
You can create an Apple ID for a user under 13 by going to the Settings app on a parent’s iPad or iPhone.
- Open the Settings app on a parent or guardian’s Apple device
- Tap the Apple ID card. It will have the name of the parent or guardian
- Find and tap Family Sharing
- Tap Add Member
- Finally, tap Create an account for a child
- Make sure to double check the date of birth as you can’t change it later
Set up family sharing
Family Sharing is an Apple mechanism that allows family members to share purchased content using their individual Apple IDs. It has other useful features for both parents and relatives of the elderly.
For example, parents can remotely set parental controls — including screen time limits — with Family Sharing. When enabled, family members can also more easily share their locations with each other.
You can even restrict whether system settings, such as the camera, are available on a child’s device.
A Family Sharing group can contain up to six people. The person who creates a family group is considered the “Family Organizer” and will be charged for purchases made by other family members, if enabled.
Do this if you want to add a family member over the age of 13 who already has an Apple ID.
- Go to Settings
- Tap the Apple ID card, which will display your name.
- Tap Family Sharing
- Tap Add Member
- Finally, tap Invite people. Enter the details of the person you want to invite
Download their favorite apps
An Apple device runs on apps. If you’re setting up an iPad for a family member, you may want to equip the tablet with some useful or fun applications before handing it over.
For kids, this can be all kinds of educational apps or games. Older family members can benefit from apps like Facebook, Zoom and other ways they can stay connected.
In the same vein, it might also be a good idea to uninstall apps that the younger or older user doesn’t need — or apps you don’t want them to access. For a kid, you probably want to ignore web browsers and the Mail app.
Preloading apps on a user’s device is a good way to set them up without giving them access to download just any app from the App Store† Once the device includes apps, you can remotely restrict App Store downloads and purchases with Family Sharing.
Set parental controls
If you’re giving an iPad to a younger user, it’s a good idea to set parental controls beforehand.
Some good items to enable are Ask to Buy, which means remote kids need to get permission from you before making a purchase.
Screen Time, which allows users to set limits on how often they use certain apps or their smartphone in general, is also a good idea. You can even give a child more time than a screen time limit if they ask.
AppleInsider has a complete guide to set up parental controls on your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.
Tips for older family members
There are also some things you can do to set up an iPad so that it is easier for older family members to use.
For example, go to General > Accessibility† From here you can enable a zoom feature that allows users to zoom in on specific elements of the user interface. Enabling larger text can make things easier to read iPadOS†
You may also want to simplify backing up to your elderly family member’s device. go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup and press the switch next to iCloud backup† This automatically backs up their device to the cloud periodically.
If this is your elderly relative’s first Apple device, you should definitely go to Contacts and add information for you and other family members. Setting up FaceTime is also a good idea to keep in touch with your elderly relative.