How to Fix It When an iPad Won't Turn Off

Try a force restart or OS upgrade

If your iPad won't turn off, you may be concerned that something is really wrong with it. Maybe, but there are lots of simple ways to fix this problem. This article explains what can cause an iPad not to turn off and eight ways to fix it.

We also have the solution if you've got the opposite problem and your iPad won't turn on.

Why Won't My iPad Shut Off?

The problems that can cause an iPad to not be able to shut off fall into two broad categories: software problems and hardware problems.

  • Software Problems: There are many kind of software problems that can cause this problem (too many to list in a short article, in fact), but the vast majority of these issues have to do with the iPadOS that runs the iPad. In some cases—less common, but they're still valid—the software problem has to do with a specific app that's running on your iPad.
  • Hardware Problems: The most common hardware problem that can stop an iPad from turning off is when one of the buttons you used to shut off the iPad is broken. If the Home, Volume, or Side button isn't registering a press that's required to turn off the iPad, the tablet won't be able to shut down. If you have a broken button, skip right to Step 8 in the next section.

How Do You Fix an iPad That Won't Turn Off?

If your iPad won't turn off, fit it by trying these suggestions, in this order.

  1. Try a force restart. Sometimes the iPad just needs a reset to snap it out of not shutting down. Since the iPad won't respond to normal commands, try a force restart. How you do that depends on your model:

    • iPads with a Home button: Press and hold the Home and top buttons at the same time until the Apple logo appears.
    • iPads without a Home Button: Press Volume Up, and then press Volume Down. Finally, press and hold the top button until the Apple logo appears.
  2. Turn off the iPad in the Settings app. The pre-installed Settings app includes a manual shut down option you can try. Go to Settings > General > Shut Down and move the slider to left to right.

  3. Update iPadOS. If these steps haven't worked, and the problem is more likely to be with software than hardware, it's time to try updating the iPadOS. New versions include bug fixes, so you may get a fix for your issue. Go to Settings > Software Update to install any available updates.

    For step-by-step instructions, check out our article on how to update iOS (it also applies to iPadOS).

  4. Shut the iPad down using AssistiveTouch. If your iPad won't shut down due to a hardware problem with the Home or other buttons, adding a virtual button to the screen can solve things for you. AssistiveTouch is designed to increase accessibility for people with motor-skill impairments, but it can help in this case. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch > move slider to on/green. With it enabled, tap the new onscreen button > Device > More > Restart.

  5. Reset your iPad's settings. While unlikely, a problem with settings on the iPad could stop it from shutting down. To fix it, you have to delete every setting and preference. This won't wipe all of your data, but you'll need to create a new passcode, re-join Wi-Fi networks, and so on. To reset all settings, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPad > Reset > Reset All Settings > Reset.

  6. Put your iPad into Recovery Mode. This safe setting helps solve serious software problems without requiring you to delete data from your iPad. If nothing's worked so far, this is a good option.

  7. Try DFU Mode. If Recovery Mode doesn't work, your next step is Disk Firmware Update (DFU) Mode. This is a more comprehensive OS-level software reset than Recovery Mode. It's trickier to use, but is a worth a shot.

  8. Contact Apple for support. If you've tried all of these steps and your iPad still won't turn off, you need the experts. Make an appointment with the closest Apple Store for in-person support, or get online and phone text support from Apple's support website.

FAQ
  • How do I fix a disabled iPad?

    If you're locked out of your iPad after too many failed passcode attempts, you have to take some extreme methods to get back in. Unfortunately, you'll need to remotely reset your tablet to factory settings using iCloud: go to iCloud.com and log in, and then go to Find iPhone > select your iPad > Erase iPad. This process will erase everything on your iPad, but you can restore it from a backup afterward.

  • How do I fix a frozen iPad?

    Occasionally, your iPad might become unresponsive. Possible fixes include a force restart, charging the battery, and freeing up space by deleting apps.

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