Getting Started with an iPad Guide


Purchasing an iPad

The Apple iPad can be purchased with one of two connection types: Wi-Fi only, or with a cellular data connection. iPads with cellular connections can be purchased with ATT or Verizon connections, however, purchasing an ATT or Verizon version of the device does not include a service plan, only the ability to connect to the network of said provider. A description of the options - Wi-Fi only, ATT and Verizon - is below. Purchase the connection type that works best for you. Note, this may not be the same provider with whom you have your cell phone plan. Each connection type is available on models containing 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of memory.


Wi-Fi Only

The Wi-Fi only version of the iPad is generally recommended by SF State for economic reasons. By connecting to the campus Wi-Fi, the device will be free to use on campus. If you need data elsewhere, purchasing a wireless 'Hot-Spot' that can be used on the ATT or Verizon network is generally cheaper than an iPad data plan.



The ATT version of the device should be purchased if the device will be used overseas. ATT can provide service in most foreign countries. Hot-Spots can also be purchased from ATT for Wi-Fi only devices but the company offers limited data plan options only.



The Verizon version of the device should be purchased if the device will be used in locations where ATT service is poor. Verizon also offers Hot-Spot devices with unlimited data plans.



A Hot-Spot is a device that can be used to connect up to 5 wireless/Wi-Fi devices to a cellular network. Generally smaller than your average smart phone, the device can be carried in a backpack or purse to provide a wireless signal to devices within range. Service plans for Hot-Spots are often less than those for integrated plans on devices such as the iPad.


Initializing an iPad

Prior to connecting an iPad to a computer for the first time, verify that the most recent version of iTunes is installed on the computer. iTunes can be downloaded from Apple.


Wi-Fi Only

If you have purchased a Wi-Fi only device, press the power button and wait for the 'Connect to iTunes' message to appear. Connect the device to your computer and follow the on-screen instructions.


ATT or Verizon - with Service

Depending on where/how you purchased your device, the SIM card in your device may or may not be active. If the SIM is inactive, ATT, Verizon or your purchasing contact will have provided information on activating the SIM card. Follow the provided instructions to activate your SIM. Once complete, connect the device to your computer and follow the on-screen instructions.


ATT or Verizon - without Service

To add service after a device has been purchased (requires credit card):

  1. Tap Settings > Cellular Data > View Account
  2. The Cellular Data Account management window loads. Enter all required user information.
  3. The Terms of Service agreement loads. Take a minute to read this agreement. Tap Agree to continue.
  4. The Payment Summary loads. This shows you a summary of the account and plan you have selected. NOTE: If you need to use your iPad internationally, you must sign up for the international data plan prior to leaving the United States.
  5. Tap Submit to complete the creation of your Cellular Data account. The Congratulations screen loads. This lets you know that your account has been created, and that the device is being activated.
  6. Tap OK to finish and return to the Settings screen.

Note: To to purchase or add an eligible iPad to an existing university service plan, please contact telecom.


Setting A Security Code

  1. Select Settings > General Settings > Passcode Lock.
  2. Select Turn Passcode On.
  3. Enter a four digit passcode twice as required.
  4. Tap Require Passcode and adjust how long your iPad will stay unlocked during use before requiring the passcode entry.


Connecting to the Campus Wi-Fi

  1. On the home screen, select Settings.
    Settings Button
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Toggle the Wi-Fi switch to On if currently Off.
  4. Wait for the SFSU network to appear in the Choose a Network... list.
  5. Tap the SFSU network.
    WiFi Screen
  6. Wait for Safari to open the SF State Wireless Login page.
  7. Enter your SF State ID number and password.
  8. Tap Login.
    WiFi Login Screen


You will need to log in again if your connection is idle for longer than 15 minutes.

Note: If, after clicking login, you are returned to the Login page and the fields are blank, it means the username or password was entered incorrectly. Enter your information again. Verify that the iPad is not trying to auto capitalize the first letter of your password.


Adding a Campus E-mail Account to an iPad

If a Passcode has been set on the device, you may be prompted to enter the passcode during configuration.

  1. On the home screen, select Settings.
    Settings Button
  2. Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Select Add Account...
    Add Account Selection
  4. Select Microsoft Exchange.
    Exchange Button
  5. Enter your account information:
    1. E-mail address: enter your e-mail address(e.g.,
    2. Domain: leave blank
    3. Username: enter your e-mail address (e.g.,
    4. Password: enter your SF State password
      Account Details
  6. Select Next.
  7. The device will verify your account. The device may require manual entry of the server name. If prompted with a blank Server field, enter (Staff and Faculty) or (Students) and then select Next again. NOTE: Sometimes the iPad will not register the server name, so it must be entered more than once.
  8. Syncing may take a few minutes. The iPad will indicate when the configuration with Exchange is complete and successful.
  9. Select the items you would like to sync by turning the Mail, Contacts and Calendar items on/off.
    Sync Settings
  10. Click Save.


Using an iPad to Access SF State E-mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Resources

Turning the sync option on or off for your e-mail, calendar, or contacts can be done by selecting Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars > Account and setting the toggle switch for each item to on or off.



When sync is On, e-mail will sync automatically between your iPad and your SF State e-mail account. Sent items will be copied to your Sent Items folder. More than one account can be setup on the iPad.


Switching E-mail View

To switch the view of your e-mail from your inbox to a folder or secondary account:

  1. Open the Mail application from the home page.
    Mail Icon
  2. If the device is in portrait mode, tap the Inbox button.
  3. Tap Mailboxes/Account. Note: If you have more than one account setup on the device, the Mailboxes button will be labeled with the name of your account.
    Select Account/folder
  4. Tap the appropriate account/folder button, and the folder opens and displays the list of messages in that location.
  5. Tap a message to review it.


Compose an E-mail

  1. Open the Mail application from the home page.
    Mail Icon
  2. Tap the New Message icon.
    New Message Icon
  3. Enter a recipient's address in the To field. If you have saved addresses in Contacts, tap the plus symbol in an address field to choose an addressee from the Contacts list.
  4. If you want to copy other people on the message, tap the Cc/Bcc line to expand it and then enter other addresses in the Cc/Bcc fields.
  5. Tap the Subject line and enter a subject for the message in the Subject field.
  6. Tap in the message body area and type your message.
    New message Setup
  7. Tap Send.

Delete an E-mail

From a folder:

  1. With the folder containing the message displayed, tap the Edit button.
  2. Tap the circle next to the message(s) you want to delete. You can tap multiple items if you have several e-mails to delete. Messages marked for deletion show a red check mark in the circular check box.
  3. Tap the Delete/Archive button.
    Delete Message

With the message open:

  1. Tap the Delete/Archive symbol.
    Trash IconArchive Icon



Add a Calendar Entry

  1. Open the Calendar option from the home page.
    Calendar Icon
  2. Tap the plus + icon.
    Add Calendar Item
  3. Type in the Title and Location information.
  4. Tap Starts/Ends to input when the event will start and when it will end. Highlight the Start or End time by tapping it and push the scroll wheel with your finger to set the value. If it is an all day event, slide the Off button next to All-day to the On position.
    Set Time
  5. For a repeating event, tap Repeat and select how often the event will repeat.
  6. Tap Done.
  7. Tap Alert to set a reminder and select from 5 minutes to 1 day for your alert.
  8. Tap Done.
  9. If you have multiple calendars synching with the device, select which calendar this event should be set (e.g., a business or personal event).
  10. If you have any special notes to type, tap Notes and input any text.
    Calendar Event
  11. Tap Done


Respond to a Meeting Invitation

It is not recommended that you respond to a meeting invitation on an iPad or iPhone. Microsoft is aware that doing so can cause issues and we hope the issue will be resolved in future software releases.



Add a Contact

  1. Open the Contacts option from the home page.
    Contacts Icon
  2. Tap on the + icon. A contact entry form appears and the onscreen keyboard pops up.
    Add Contact +
  3. Enter any contact information that you wish. To scroll down the contact page and see more fields, flick up on the page with your finger.
    New Contact
  4. To add an additional information field, tap Add Field. In the Add Field dialog that appears, choose a field to add (you may have to flick the page up with your finger to view all the available fields).
  5. Tap the Done button when you finish making entries.

If your SF State e-mail is set as the default e-mail address, the contact will sync with the server automatically. The contact will then appear in your address book on the server (e.g., will be viewable online or via Outlook).


International Travel with an iPad

Purchasing an international data package can significantly reduce the cost of using your iPad overseas. International data plans are available for countries specified by your provider. You can purchase the different data options directly from your iPad by navigating to Settings > Cellular Data. The international roaming data plan can be set to start on a specific date and the charge will not renew automatically every month.


Minimize Data Usage

The following are tips on ways you can minimize your data usage while traveling abroad:

  • Utilize Wi-Fi instead of a cellular connection. Wi-Fi is available at many international airports, restaurants, hotels, cafes, etc. Using Wi-Fi to check e-mail or browse the Web does not incur data usage charges or detract from pre-paid data usage. Be cautious about using unknown Wi-Fi connections as they may be a security risk.
  • Verify your iPad is only using Wi-Fi by putting it in Airplane mode and then turning Wi-Fi on.
  • Turn off fetch. E-mail, contacts, and calendars, on your iPhone may be set to fetch data at a specific interval. By turning off fetch and syncing e-mail, contacts, calendars, and other program data manually, you can control the flow of data to your iPhone. Fetch settings can be found at: Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data. (NOTE: Some apps also use fetch data (e.g., the Facebook app). You will need to set fetch settings for these separately according to the instructions for the app.)
  • Turn off alerts.


Track Usage

Because data usage overseas is so expensive, it is a good idea to track the amount of data you are using to make sure you stay within your data usage limits and are not charged overages. Prior to leaving to the United States, reset your data tracker to zero:

  • Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage > Reset Statistics

When overseas you can monitor your usage:

  • Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Usage
  • Add Send and Received MB to calculate total usage.


Useful Hints and Tips

Before you leave:

  • Purchase an International Data plan.
  • If you have a Wi-Fi connection you can use Skype from your iPad to make free calls to other Skype users and calls to land lines at reasonable rates – remember to open a Skype account before you go and to add a $10 deposit for making calls to land lines. Google Voice is an alternative to Skype.
  • Make sure you have your account information and the phone number of your providers international hotline in case you run into problems during your trip (ATT: +1-916-843-4685, Verizon: variable, contact Verizon for your specific support number).
  • Make sure your phone is international roaming enabled.
  • If you plan to use the Map feature while overseas you can save data charges by viewing the map and zooming in on places of interest while on a Wi-Fi network. This will cache (save) the map images to your iPad and avoid the need to download them over the cellular data network.
  • Turn off iCloud temporarily.
  • Beware of thieves. Device theft is common all over the world.