How to Turn an iPad On and Off

Hand of woman pressing light switch
image: Dennis Lane/Blend Images/Getty Images

Every iPad turns on and off in nearly the exact same, very simple way. There's not much to understand about turning an iPad on. But turning it off, or rebooting it, is another matter.

While you probably won't want to shut your iPad down every day, it is necessary in some cases, such as if the software is being buggy or if the battery is about to die and you want to conserve the little remaining juice for later.

Note: Putting an iPad to sleep is sometimes preferred because it conserves a lot of battery. The downside, of course, is that you can't use the iPad when it's off. Enable low-power mode if you want to keep your device on but save on battery.

How to Turn an iPad On

This hardly needs any instruction. To turn an iPad on, hold down the on/off/sleep button in the top right corner of the iPad until the screen lights up. When the screen lights up, let go of the button and the iPad will boot up.

How to Turn an iPad Off

  1. Press and hold the on/off/sleep button at the top right corner of the iPad.
  2. Keep holding the button until a slider appears on the screen.
  3. Move the Slide to power off slider all the way to the right, or choose ​Cancel to keep the iPad on.
  4. If you chose to turn it off, you'll see a small, spinning wheel at the center of the screen before it goes dim and shuts off.

What If the iPad Doesn't Turn On or Off?

Sometimes, for whatever reason, an iPad might not respond to your request to shut it down or boot it up. In these cases, you can hold down the power button and the home button at the same time for around 5-10 seconds to force the device to reboot.

You can read more about restarting an iPad if it's stuck.

Use Airplane Mode Instead of Shutting Your iPad Off

If you've brought your iPad with you on a plane trip, there's no need to shut it down during the flight. Use it at any time, including during takeoff and landing when laptops can't be used, by putting the iPad into Airplane Mode.

Learn all about Airplane Mode in How to Use Airplane Mode on iPhone and Apple Watch (while this article isn't technically about the iPad, all the instructions apply to the iPad, too).

When You Should Reset or Reboot an iPad

It's important to recognize the difference between talking about "resetting" and "rebooting." These words are often used interchangeably, but they're really not the same thing. Rebooting is what's been discussed so far in this article: shutting down the iPad and then turning it back on. Resetting is removing your customizations and preferences to make the iPad's software like new.

You don't need to reset your iPad unless something is wrong with the way the software is working and it can't be solved any other way. For example, if apps aren't installing incorrectly, the settings aren't staying intact, or the menus and screen aren't consistently working as you'd expect, you might consider resetting the device.

Learn how to reset an iPad and erase all the content if that's what you need to do.