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Troubleshoot Your iPad: Reset Settings and Content

Resetting your iPad involves two methods: resetting iPad settings and erasing all content and settings. The first approach, resetting your iPad settings, resets every iPad setting to its default — the way it was when you took it out of the box. Resetting the iPad’s settings doesn’t erase any of your data or media.

The only downside is that you may have to go back and change some settings afterward — so you can try this step without trepidation. To reset your settings, tap the Settings icon on your Home screen and then tap General→Reset→Reset All Settings.

Be careful not to tap Erase All Content and Settings, at least not yet. Erasing all content takes more time to recover from (because your next sync takes a long time), so try Reset All Settings first. If this solves your iPad's problems, great, you don't need to take more drastic measures.

Now, if resetting all settings didn’t cure your iPad, you have to try Erase All Content and Settings. You find it in the same place as Reset All Settings. (Tap Settings→General→Reset→Erase All Content and Settings.)

The Erase All Content strategy deletes everything from your iPad — all your data, media, and settings. Because all these items are stored on your computer — at least in theory — you should be able to put things back the way they were during your next sync.

But you lose any photos you’ve taken (iPad 2 and third-generation) or screen shots, as well as e-mail, apps purchased on your iPad, contacts, calendar events, playlists, and anything else you’ve created or modified on the iPad since your last sync.

After using Erase All Content and Settings, check to see whether your iPad works properly. If it doesn’t cure what ails your iPad, restoring your iPad using iTunes, can help.

The seven steps for troubleshooting your iPad are Recharge, Restart, Reset your iPad, Remove your content, Reset settings and content, Restore, and Recovery mode.

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