Having issues and problems with your iPad? Sadly, at one time or another, all of us iFolk run into an error, bug, or just plain Apple-weirdness. And we need to do some iPad troubleshooting NOW.
If this sounds like you or a loved one, fear not! You are most certainly NOT alone. Apple ToolBox is at the ready, to work through some of your problems and hopefully get everything back to working order.
Periodically, our team here runs into trouble with our iDevices and iPads.
- General iPad Troubleshooting Tips and Maintenance
- iPad Symptoms and Cures
- Symptom: Why won’t my iPad turn on?
- Check Out Our Video Tips for iPads Not Turning On (Dead)
- Symptom: Why is my iPad not responding or slow to respond to my touch?
- Symptom: Why cant I install the latest iOS /iPadOS update on iPad?
- Symptom: Why isn’t my iPad showing up in iTunes when connected?
- Symptom: My WiFi connection doesn’t work on my iPad, how do I fix it?
- Symptom: Why isn’t an app or the App Store app working on my iPad?
- Symptom: Why is my iPad not charging or is charging very slow?
- Symptom: How do I stop my iPad battery from draining?
- Symptom: My iPad is stuck in a reboot loop! How do I fix my iPad from restarting?
So to assist us all, we compiled a list of common symptoms and basic iPad troubleshooting tips!
These tips are suitable for all iPad models, from the oldest to the newest.
- My iPad will not turn on: How to fix a dead device
- Black or Blank Screen on iPad or iPhone
- iPad running slow? How to speed up a slow iPad
- iPad Frozen, Not Responding, How To Fix
- Reset Your iPad Back To Factory Settings
General iPad Troubleshooting Tips and Maintenance
- Make sure that you update your iPad to the latest version of iPad OS. You can check this under Settings > General > Software Update.
- Open the App Store and check and see if any of your apps have updates. If so, update your apps too.
- Make sure that your battery is fully charged and then Optimize Settings for More Battery Power
- To improve battery life, you can turn off the feature that allows apps to refresh in the background. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and set the switch to Off.
- If the Mail app lists Background Activity, you can choose to fetch data manually or increase the fetch interval.
- Clean Your iPad’s Screen–your know it’s time when your iPad has more fingerprints than pixels.
- Delete any apps you no longer use or never used!
- BackUp–just in case you ever need it.
- Free-Up Space with an iPad Spring Cleaning–yeah, it’s that important we should do this at least once a year and preferably MORE.
iPad Symptoms and Cures
Symptom: Why won’t my iPad turn on?
Turn your iPad off and on
- On an iPad with no Home Button and iPhones X or later: press and hold the Side/Top/Power button and either volume button until the slider appears
- On an iPad or iPhone with a Home Button and iPod Touch: press and hold the Side/Top/Power button until the slider appears.
- Drag the slider to turn the device off and after the device turns off, press and hold that Side/Top/Power button again until you see the Apple Logo.
- With iOS 11 and above, restart using Settings > General > Shut Down.
Reset or force restart your iPad
- On an iPad with no Home Button and iPhones 8 or later: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and immediately release the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Side/Top/Power button until the device restarts.
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad with a Home Button, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo
- It may be that your screen is dirty. Try cleaning your screen.
- To do this, unplug everything, turn off iPad (see above), then with a very soft, lint-free and slightly damp cloth gently wipe the screen. Do NOT use window cleaners and paper towels.
- If you have any screen protector sheet, try removing it.
If you were able to download the iOS update but the install button is grayed out, you may be missing one of these:
- The iPad must be charged to over 50%.
- Low Power Mode must be OFF.
- You cannot be connected through VPN.
- You must have a Wi-Fi connection (not cellular).
Symptom: Why isn’t my iPad showing up in iTunes when connected?
- Check that your Lightning port is clear of any dusty, debris, or dirt.
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
- iPad requires USB 2.0 or higher to function properly. Unplug your iPad from your computer, and plug it into a different USB port.
- Turn your iPad off and on.
- Disconnect your iPad from your computer, then turn your computer off and on and reconnect.
- Especially for Windows users, if the above steps do not resolve your issue, uninstall iTunes entirely and then reinstall the latest version of iTunes.
- If you are on macOS Catalina on your MacBook, you will need to use Finder to sync or restore your iPad.
- Turn WiFi off and then on by tapping Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Make sure that your Wi-Fi router and the modem is on.
- Update your Wi-Fi software to the latest version..
- Turn your iPad off and on by holding the On/Off button until “slide to power off” shows.
- Turn your Wi-Fi router off and on.
- Change your DNS settings to use Google’s Public DNS of 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. Learn more about how changing your DNS improves performance.
- Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings and reset your network settings.
- Update your iPad to the latest iOS version.
- Check to see if there is an update for your app, if there is, update (App Store > Updates).
- Only one app with issues? Try closing the app by double pressing Home or swiping up the Home Gesture Bar and swiping up on the problem app’s preview to close it. Then relaunch that app and see if it works normally.
- Turn your iPad off and on.
- Force restart your iPad by pressing both the home and power buttons and maintain this hold until you see the Apple logo on the screen. Then release the buttons and the iPad restarts.
- Remove the app. You may want to backup before removing any app. Tap and hold on the app icon until the icons start to wiggle. Just tap the “x” button to delete an app. After removing the app, go to the App Store and reinstall it.
- To charge your iPad, you can try either connecting your iPad to a power outlet or connecting to a port on your computer using the charging cable that came with your iPad.
- Computers generally don’t supply enough power to their USB ports to be able to charge an iPad. When this happens, a “Not Charging” message appears.
- Check that your Lightning Port on both your iPad and your charger is clean and clear of any debris, lint, or dust
- Change your notification settings to Show Previews only when unlocked instead of always
- Use headphones or earphones instead of your iPad’s speakers.
- Turn off background app refresh.
- Turn down your iPad’s screen brightness or have your iOS manage brightness settings via Auto-Brightness
- Set your iPad’s Auto-Lock to 30 seconds via Display & Brightness Settings
- Switch off the Data Roaming Setting – Even in older iPads, we have seen that the wi-fi/cellular settings can cause battery drain. Switching off the Data Roaming may help in addressing this issue.
- If you have the Wi-Fi/Cellular iPad, tap on Settings > Cellular Data > Toggle off. Do the same for the other mobile options, i.e., Cellular Data > Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE to off and Data Roaming to off.
- Once you have set the settings to off; next you can toggle them back to ON. This simple toggling of Cellular related options can often fix battery issues on an iPad that has both Wi-Fi and Cellular.
Sometimes the iPad consumes excessive battery if there is a process in the stuck mode
Try doing a forced restart on the iPad.
Let the device charge until 100% and then start using it and see if it made a difference to your situation.
The chances are that your iPad has insufficient battery power even to start up
Usually, iPads don’t attempt to restart until there is enough battery power.
But for you (and some unlucky others), something is telling the iPad to try to boot even though the battery can’t last long enough to finish.
Hence, the loop you experience–charging a little, attempting a boot, shutting off, charging a little, trying to boot and so forth again and again.
We need to get your iPad sufficiently charged to complete a normal and full boot cycle
- Plug the iPad into a power source. Ideally, use the charger that came with your iPad. DO NOT plug it into your computer.
- Next, hold down the home button and the power button simultaneously for as long as you possibly can–the longer, the better–and ideally at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Holding down these two buttons prevents that loop cycle. That allows your iPad to charge up a bit. Think creatively about how to hold these buttons down for a length of time.
- As soon as you release these buttons, your iPad tries to boot. If you don’t hold Home and Power long enough for a sufficient charge, that loop pattern continues.
- So try and hold down these buttons for as long as possible–or create some makeshift tools to assist–keep these gentle, so they don’t cause other damage.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.