How to Fix a Frozen iPad

What to do when your iPad is stuck or frozen

Your iPad may freeze or stick whether you're in an app or on the Home screen. A few things may cause it, but you have some fixes you can try.

If your iPad won't start up or freezes during a reboot, check How to Fix an iPad Stuck on the Apple Logo instead.

Causes of a Stuck or Frozen iPad

An iPad may become stuck or frozen for several reasons. Apps may be conflicting with each other, or one might have left a chunk of corrupted memory. In some cases, the issue might be with the tablet's operating system, and a restart or restore might be necessary.

Unhappy child with a literally frozen iPad
 Lifewire / Ellen Lindner

How to Fix a Stuck or Frozen iPad

These instructions should work regardless of the iPad model or the version of iOS that it's running.

  1. Reboot the iPad. Hold the sleep/wake button at the top of the tablet for a few seconds. If you can shut down the iPad this way, a screen will appear with a cue for you to Slide to power off. Do so, and then press the sleep/wake button again to restart the iPad.

    Powering off an iPad screenshot
  2. Do a hard restart. You can force the iPad to restart by holding the sleep/wake and Home buttons at the same time for a few seconds. Release the buttons when the Apple logo appears.

  3. Delete a problem app. If your iPad freezes when you're running a specific app, uninstalling it may solve the problem. On the Home screen, tap and hold the app icon until all of the images start to wiggle. Tap the X in the upper-left corner of the app to delete it.

    You can reinstall apps you've deleted by visiting the App Store.

    Delete app from iPad screenshot
  4. Restore your iPad to factory default. If your iPad is freezing because of an issue with its operating system, you might want to try completely deleting it. This process will clear everything off of your device, and you'll reinstall your apps and data afterward.

    You should back up your iPad regularly to minimize the amount of data you lose from restoring it.

  5. Contact a professional. If your iPad continues to lock up or freeze after restoring the factory default settings, you may want to contact Apple support or take the iPad into an Apple store.