Get Started with iPad: The Sleep/Wake Button - dummies

Get Started with iPad: The Sleep/Wake Button

If your iPad or iPad mini is on but you’re not using it, the tablet automatically goes into standby mode after 1 minute. This is called Auto-Lock, and it’s a handy feature because it saves battery power when your tablet is just sitting there.

However, you can also put your tablet into standby mode at any time by using the Sleep/Wake button. You can find this dash-shaped button, shown in this figure, at the top of your tablet. The Sleep/Wake button has two main functions: Sleeping/waking and powering on/off.


Sleeping and waking the iPad or iPad mini

If you’re currently using your iPad or iPad mini, you can put the tablet in standby mode by pressing the Sleep/Wake button once, which drops the power consumption considerably. You can still receive incoming e-mail messages and texts but the screen powers down.

Tap the Sleep/Wake button again to wake your tablet. This is just like pressing the Home button: You’re prompted with the slide to unlock screen and you slide your finger from the left side of the screen to the right to unlock the tablet (or enter your passcode).

Press the Sleep/Wake button to put your tablet in standby mode whenever you’re not using the screen. This not only conserves battery power but also it prevents accidental screen taps. If you have a program (such as the Music app) running, it continues to run even after the tablet is in standby mode.

Power the iPad or iPad mini on and off

You can also use the Sleep/Wake button to turn off your iPad or iPad mini so that it doesn’t use any power. This is a good idea if your battery is getting low and you don’t think you’ll be able to charge it any time soon. You might also want to turn off your tablet if you won’t be using it for a few days.

To turn off your iPad or iPad mini, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for 3 seconds. When the slide to power off slider appears on the screen, as shown here, use your finger to drag the slider all the way to the right. The tablet shuts down after a few seconds.


If you change your mind and decide to leave your iPad or iPad mini on, tap the Cancel button that appears at the bottom of the screen. Note, too, that the slide to power off screen automatically cancels itself if you do nothing for 30 seconds.

When you’re ready to resume your iPad or iPad mini chores, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple icon. The tablet powers up, and then, a few seconds later, displays the slide to unlock screen.

When your cellular-enabled iPad or iPad mini is in standby mode, it still communicates with the nearest cellular network to check for new messages. This isn’t a problem at home but it can lead to massive roaming charges if you’re overseas. When you travel, you should always power off your cellular-enabled tablet when you’re not using it.