8 Quick iPad Troubleshooting Techniques - dummies

8 Quick iPad Troubleshooting Techniques

If your iPad or iPad mini is behaving erratically, it’s possible that a specific component inside the device is the cause. In that case, you don’t have much choice but to ship your tablet back to Apple for repairs. Fortunately, most glitches are temporary and can often be fixed by using one or more of the following techniques:

  • Restart your iPad or iPad mini. By far the most common solution to most problems is to shut down and restart the device. Rebooting the tablet reloads the entire system, which is often enough to solve many problems.

    To restart your iPad or iPad mini, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until you see the Slide to Power Off screen (at which point you can release the button). Drag the Slide to Power Off slider to the right to start the shutdown. When the screen goes completely black, the device is off. To restart, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo, and then release the button.

  • Reboot the hardware. When you restart your iPad by pressing and holding Sleep/Wake for a while, what you’re really doing is rebooting the system software. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to reboot the hardware as well. To do that, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons. Keep them pressed until you see the Apple logo (it takes about 8 seconds or so), which indicates a successful restart.

    The hardware reboot is also the way to go if your iPad or iPad mini is really stuck, and holding down the Sleep/Wake button doesn’t do anything.

  • Recharge your iPad or iPad mini. It’s possible that the battery is completely discharged. Connect your tablet to your computer or the dock. If it powers up and you see the battery logo (note that this may take a minute or two), then it’s charging just fine and will be back on its feet in a while.

  • Shut down a stuck app. If your iPad or iPad mini is frozen because an application has gone haywire, you can usually get it back in the saddle by forcing the application to quit. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Slide to Power Off screen, and then press and hold the Home button for about 6 seconds.

    Your iPad or iPad mini shuts down the application and returns you to the Home screen. If an app is frozen but your tablet still works fine otherwise, double-press the Home button to display the multitasking screen, scroll right or left as needed to bring the app’s thumbnail screen into view, and then drag the app thumbnail up to the top of the screen. iOS sends the thumbnail off the screen and shuts down the app.

  • Check for iOS software updates. If Apple knows about the problem you’re having, it will fix it (eventually) and make the patch available in a software update.

  • Check for app updates. It’s possible that a bug in an app is causing your woes, so you can often solve such problems by updating the app. Fortunately, app updates are automatic in iOS 7 or later, so this should never be much of a problem. To confirm that your apps are updating automatically, open Settings, tap iTunes & App Store, and make sure the Updates switch is On.

  • Erase and restore your content and settings. This may seem like drastic advice, but it’s possible to use iTunes to perform a complete backup of everything on your iPad or iPad mini. You can then reset the tablet to its original, pristine state, and then restore the backup.

  • Reset your settings. Sometimes your iPad or iPad mini goes down for the count because its settings have become corrupted. In that case, you can restore it by resetting its original settings. If iTunes doesn’t recognize your device, then the backup-and-restore option is out.

    However, you can still reset the settings on the tablet. Tap Settings in the Home screen, tap General, tap Reset, and then tap Reset All Settings. When Settings asks you to confirm, tap Reset.

    If resetting your iPad or iPad mini doesn’t get the job done, it could be some recalcitrant bit of content that’s causing the problem. In that case, tap Settings in the Home screen, tap General, tap Reset, and then tap Erase All Content and Settings. When Settings asks you to confirm, tap Erase.