How to Reboot Your iPad

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How to Reboot or Restart the iPad

An iPad with the Slide to Power Off on screen.

Rebooting the iPad is the number one troubleshooting tip for most problems. In fact, rebooting any device is often the first step in troubleshooting. If you are experiencing issues with the iPad, whether it is unresponsive, apps are randomly crashing, or the iPad simply running too slow, it is time to reboot the iPad. 

A common mistake with the iPad is to think the iPad is powered down when you put it to sleep. While the Sleep/Wake button at the top edge of the iPad will cause the screen to go dark, the iPad is still running in power saving mode. When it wakes up, the iPad is in the exact same state as when it went to sleep, which includes any problems it was having that made you want to reboot it.

The reason rebooting a device is such a helpful troubleshooting step is because it essentially wipes the device clean and gives it a fresh start. Most of us keep our iPad running for weeks and even months at a time because we simply put it to sleep when we aren't using it, and over the course of time, small bugs can pop up that can interfere with the iPad. This is why rebooting the iPad can clear up so many problems.

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Powering Down the iPad

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button for several seconds. (This is the button shown in the diagram above this article.)
  2. The iPad will prompt you to slide a button to power off the iPad. Follow the directions on the screen by sliding the button from the left side to the right to reboot the iPad.
  3. If the iPad is completely frozen, the "slide to power down" message may not appear. Don't worry, just continue holding down the button. After about 20 seconds the iPad will power it down without the confirmation. This is called a "forced reboot" because it will work even when the iPad is totally unresponsive.
  4. The iPad screen will display the circle of dashes which indicates it is busy. Once the iPad has finished shutting down completely, the screen will go completely black.
  5. After the iPad's screen is completely black, wait a couple of seconds and then hold down the Sleep/Wake button again to restart the iPad.
  6. When the Apple logo appears in the middle of the screen, you can release the Sleep/Wake button. The iPad will restart shortly after the logo appears.

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8 Reasons to Reboot Your iPad

  • The iPad is running slow or sometimes freezes for a few seconds. Most computers will see their performance degrade over time if they are left running for weeks at a time, and the iPad is no different. If you think your iPad is running a bit slower than normal, try a quick reboot.
  • A particular app keeps crashing. One way to fix this problem is to delete the app and download it again from the App Store, but a reboot is a good first step before you go to that extreme.
  • You have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi. If you are absolutely sure you are typing in the right password, try rebooting the iPad.
  • The iPad stops making sounds. The most common reason an iPad goes quiet is the mute button has accidentally been switched on, which is easily fixed by opening the control panel and tapping the mute button. But if you don't want to take the time to search through all the different other reasons the iPad might go silent, a quick reboot will usually do the trick.
  • The onscreen keyboard stops popping up or is very slow.  Restarting the iPad is a good way to cure problems with the onscreen keyboard or with Spotlight Search.
  • AirPlay stops working. If you are trying to connect your iPad to your TV via Apple TV and you can't seem to get them working, first try rebooting the Apple TV, and if that doesn't work, do the same for the iPad. (Or you can restart both devices at the same time.)
  • The iPad's battery drains too fast. There are plenty of ways to save on battery life, but if your iPad seems to drain way too fast, a reboot might be in order.
  • A Bluetooth device won't connect. While connecting Bluetooth devices like wireless headphones to the iPad is usually pretty simple, if you do experience problems you may end up rebooting the iPad. First, put the device in Bluetooth discovery mode by following the directions, and if that fails, reboot both the accessory and the iPad.
  • More Basic Tips for Troubleshooting Problems on the iPad