How To Best Setup Your iPad To Replace Your Computer

I’m often asked if it’s possible to setup your iPad to replace your computer? My standard answer, it depends. There are no USB ports or SD card slots, although with the newest iPads you can add them with an accessory.

What kind of tasks do you perform on your iPad? If it’s things like exploring the web, checking email, finding out what friends and family are doing on Facebook, maybe you balance your checkbook, write a letter or paper for class. You can easily achieve this on an iPad. You just need the right devices and apps.

Apple has plenty of these to help you out. Most people don’t need to purchase the top of the line iPad Pro. Apple recently introduced a new iPad Air which is the bomb and if that’s out of reach for you the new iPad is just fine! You can even use an Apple Pencil if you like.

Get a Real Keyboard and Mouse

All of the iPad’s have a bluetooth connection which makes it really easy to connect a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You could choose to use Apple’s full-size smart keyboard for easy typing and just add a mouse. If you don’t want to spend that kind of money just purchase the bluetooth keyboard and mouse on Amazon or Best Buy.

Click on image to search Amazon


How to Connect a Bluetooth Keyboard

  • Turn on the bluetooth keyboard to make it discoverable. 
  • Launch the Settings App on your iPad
  • Tap on Bluetooth, check that it’s on (let it search for the keyboard)
  • Once the keyboard appears tap on it to pair it to your iPad

Depending on the keyboard it may request you enter a passcode, which the manufacturer of the keyboard will give you so read the instructions. Otherwise you are good to go.

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How to Connect a Bluetooth Mouse

  • Put your mouse in pairing mode by turning it on.
  • Open the Settings App on your iPad
  • Tap on Bluetooth and make sure it’s set to on (let it search for the mouse)
  • Once the mouse appears tap on it to pair it to your iPad.
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How To Manage the Pointer Settings

Once your mouse is connected to your iPad, you can manage some of the settings.

  • Launch the Settings App
  • Tap General
  • Tap Trackpad or Trackpad & Mouse ( depending on what pointer device is connected)
  • Drag the slider to change the speed of your pointing device
  • Toggle on the Switch next to Natural Scrolling ( scroll down by swiping up and scroll up by swiping down) This is the way scrolling works if you’re touching the iPad with your finger.
  • Toggle the Switch next to Tap to Click to enable or disable that feature. (It will only be available if you’re using a trackpad)
  • Toggle the Switch next to Two Finger Secondary to enable or disable that feature. (You may only see the option to use the right button of the mouse or left button for secondary click) When using a mouse with your computer it uses the Right button for the secondary click.
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Find Apps to Replace Your Go to Computer Apps

Apple offers many apps that can replace the programs you use on your computer. If you use Microsoft Office, it’s available on the App Store. You could also replace it by using the equivalent apps that Apple provides, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.

Get a Stand

If you’re using the iPad as your primary device, you might want to add a stand. This will help keep you from being hunched over and looking down at your device. You’ll be able to use your device in either Portrait or Landscape mode. This could be a game changer for you!

Click on image to search Amazon


There may be many reasons you may be unable to go iPad only but for most people who aren’t using their iPad for hard core computer work can do it easily. Anytime I travel or want to do work outside my home I often just grab my iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard and head out the door.

If you have any questions post them in the comments section.

How are you using your iPad like a computer replacement?

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Hi, I'm Ellen!

I help mature adults master their iPhone and iPads, even if they aren’t  techie! 

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