Troubleshoot Your iPad

Though everyone wants to think that his or her iPad is a perfect magical machine, unburdened with the vagaries of crashing Windows PCs and system software bugs, that’s not always the case.

Here are some common issues that can come up with iPad, and ways around them.

Dealing with a nonresponsive iPad

If your iPad goes dead on you, it’s most likely a power issue, so the first thing to do is to plug the Lightning to USB Cable (Dock Connector to USB Cable for pre–fourth-generation iPads) into the 10W USB Power Adapter, plug the 10W USB Power Adapter into a wall outlet, plug the other end of the Lightning to USB Cable (or Dock Connector to USB Cable) into your iPad, and charge the battery.

Another thing to try — especially if you think that an app might be hanging up the iPad — is to press the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds. Then, press and hold the Home button. The app you were using should close.

You can always try the old reboot procedure, which in the case of an iPad means pressing the Sleep/Wake button on the top until the red slider displays. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad. After a few moments, press the Sleep/Wake button to boot up the little guy again. Be sure your battery has a decent charge because this procedure can eat up battery power.

If the situation seems drastic and none of these ideas works, try to reset your iPad. To do this, press the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears onscreen.

Troubleshooting iPad keyboard woes

When you’re using a Bluetooth keyboard, your onscreen keyboard won’t appear. The physical keyboard has, in essence, co-opted keyboard control of your device.

To use your onscreen keyboard with a Bluetooth keyboard connected, you have a few options: You can turn off your connection to the Bluetooth keyboard, turn off Bluetooth in iPad’s Settings, switch off the keyboard, or move the keyboard out of range.

Your onscreen keyboard should reappear. Are you accidentally tapping extra keys on the onscreen keyboard as you type? Wearing a wrist support can keep you from hitting extra characters with your wrists. Also, it’s much easier to use the onscreen keyboard in landscape mode where it’s just plain wider.

Restoring sound to iPad

Here is a quick course in recovering sound from your iPad. Make sure that

  • You haven’t touched the volume control keys on a physical keyboard connected to your iPad via Bluetooth. They’re on the right side of the top-right side of your iPad when holding it in portrait orientation. Be sure not to touch one and inadvertently lower the sound ’til it’s essentially muted.

  • You haven’t flipped the Silent switch. If you have the Screen Rotation/Silent switch set to control sound, moving the switch mutes sound on your iPad.

  • The speaker isn’t covered up. Make sure you haven’t covered up the speaker in a way that muffles the sound.

  • A headset isn’t plugged in. Sound won’t play through the speaker and the headset at the same time.

  • The Volume Limit is set to Off. You can set up the Volume Limit in Music Settings to control how loudly the Music app can play (which is useful if your partner’s into loud rap music).

    Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen, and then on the left side of the screen that displays, tap Music and then the Volume Limit controls (see the figure), and move the slider to adjust the Volume Limit.

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If all else fails, reboot. That’s what worked for many — just press the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. Press and drag the slider to the right. After iPad turns off, press the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo appears, and you may find yourself back in business sound-wise.

If you’re also an iPhone user, and Siri or Voice Control stop understanding you, this reboot trick works for them, as well!