How to Fix It When a Tablet Won't Turn On

Try charging, restarting, or resetting

If your tablet doesn't turn on, it doesn't mean it's completely broken and unrecoverable. In fact, there are a number of things you can try which may get it back working again. It might be as simple as needing to charge it up again after it's run out of battery, or it could be something a little more serious.

This guide will focus on general solutions which should work on all tablets, whether they're Android devices from Samsung, Huawei, or Google. Where necessary, specific instructions will also be given for iPads.

Why Is My Tablet Not Charging or Turning On?

If your tablet isn't turning on and isn't charging either, then there are a number of things that could be causing the problem.

  • The charger might be faulty or the cable damaged
  • Charge port connections might be dirty or water damaged (even waterproof phones need a dry charging port for safe charging)
  • The device might have frozen in its off mode
  • A bug in the software might be preventing it from turning on
  • The screen might be broken
  • The tablet might be too hot or too cold

Some of these issues are easier to fix than others, but there are some solutions that you can try before you talk to a repair shop.

How Do You Fix a Tablet That Won't Turn On?

Whether your tablet has just gone dark on you, or you've pulled a tablet out of a drawer and it won't turn on, the steps to try to get it working again are the same.

  1. Charge it up: Find the official, original charger and plug it in. Leave the tablet for a while and try to turn it on with the tablet still in place. If that doesn't work, try a different compatible charger, preferably one you know works from using it on another device.

    You can also try replacing the cable used between the charger and the tablet. Consider trying to charge from a different wall socket.

    If you think the charging port on your tablet might be dirty, try cleaning the contacts with a lint free cloth and some isopropyl alcohol. Also look for lint in the port itself.

  2. Check the temperature: Although this is only really applicable in extreme environments, make sure you are trying to charge the tablet at a time when it isn't experiencing very cold or very hot temperatures. Make sure the tablet has been out of direct sunlight for some time, or hasn't been resting somewhere very cold for some time.

    Bring the tablet somewhere moderate and wait for the temperature to normalize before charging again.

  3. Perform a power cycle: If the tablet isn't dead, but locked in off mode, you may need to perform a power cycle. You can do so by removing and replacing the battery if possible. Alternatively, hold down the power button for up to one minute.

    Every tablet manufacturer has their own way to power cycle a tablet, so to be sure, look up your tablet's specific method before continuing.

  4. Plug it into a computer: Try plugging the device into a compatible computer and see if it's recognized. If it is, the device probably isn't dead. If your manufacturer offers it, try running any repair software that's available. If in doubt, check the manufacturer's website.

  5. Try an unbricking tool: Some Android devices can be fixed even if they're bricked (or at least you can recover your data). Try some these unbricking steps to see if you can get your tablet to turn on.

  6. Perform a factory reset: Resetting your Android or iOS tablet can get it working again if a problem with the software is preventing it from starting up properly.

    A factory reset erases the entire tablet as if it was brand new out of the box so consider this a last resort.

    To do a factory reset when the tablet won't turn on, you'll need to use Android or iOS' Recovery Mode.

  • What do I do when my tablet goes black?

    Any time your tablet doesn't power up or the screen turns black and won't turn back on, your first step should always be to charge it using its included charger. If that doesn't work and the tablet doesn't charge or turn on even with the charger in, then you'll need to try some other possible solutions.

  • How do I force my tablet to turn on?

    Unfortunately, if basic troubleshooting doesn't work, you aren't going to be able to force your tablet to turn on. Your best bet if it is still stubbornly refusing to turn on, is to take it to a repair shop or back to the retailer.

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