How to Restart a Stuck iPad

restart ipad screen
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Restarting an iPad can often solve problems with the tablet, and while it can't fix everything, a restart should be your first step when you're having trouble with your iPad.

A restart is sometimes also called a reset. This can be a little confusing since there are two kinds of resets and each accomplishes slightly different things. This article covers what both are, how to use them, and also suggests some additional options to solve more complex problems. The solutions in this article can be applied to all of the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • 4th Generation iPad
  • 3rd Generation iPad
  • iPad 2
  • Original iPad
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2
  • iPad mini

How to Restart an iPad

The basic kind of restart—in which you turn the iPad off and then turn it back on—is the easiest to do and the first thing you should try when having problems. It won't delete your data or settings. Here's how to proceed:

  1. Begin by pressing the on/off and home buttons at the same time. The on/off button is located on the top right corner of the iPad. The home button is the round one at the bottom center of the iPad's front
  2. Continue to hold these buttons until a slider appears at the top of the screen
  3. Let go of the on/off and home buttons
  4. Move the slider left to right to turn off the iPad (or tap Cancel if you change your mind). This shuts down the iPad 
  5. When the iPad's screen goes dark, the iPad is off
  6. Restart the iPad by holding down the on/off button until the Apple icon appears. Let go of the buttons and the iPad will start up again.

How to Hard Reset iPad

The standard restart doesn't always work. Sometimes an iPad can be locked up so much that the slider doesn't appear on the screen and the iPad doesn't respond to taps. In that case, try a hard reset. This technique clears out the memory that apps and the operating system run in (but not your data; it will be safe) and gives your iPad a fresh start. To perform a hard reset:

  1. Hold down the home and on/off buttons at the same time
  2. Continue holding the buttons even after the slider appears on the screen. The screen will eventually go black
  3. When the Apple logo appears, let go of the buttons and let the iPad start up like normal.

More Options

There's one other kind of reset that's commonly used: restoring to factory settings. This isn't usually used to solve problems (though it can be, if the problems are bad enough). Instead, it's most often used before selling an iPad or sending it in for repair.

Restoring to factory settings deletes all your apps, data, customizations, and settings and returns the iPad to the state it was in when you first took it out of the box.