How to Reboot Your iPad

When you need to restart your iPad, do it right

What to Know

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, then slide the button from left to right to reboot the iPad.
  • After the iPad screen is completely off, wait a couple of seconds, then hold the Sleep/Wake button to restart.
  • If the iPad is frozen, hold down the button for about 20 seconds for a forced reboot.

This article explains how to reboot your iPad. These instructions work for all hardware versions of the iPad.

How to Power Down the iPad

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake hardware button for several seconds. The iPad prompts you to slide a button to power off the device. Follow the directions on the screen by sliding the button from left to right to reboot the iPad. The iPad screen displays a circle of dashes to indicate it is busy. After the iPad has finished shutting down completely, the screen goes completely black.

After the iPad screen is completely black, wait a couple of seconds and then hold the Sleep/Wake button again to trigger the restart. When the Apple logo appears in the middle of the screen, release the ​Sleep/Wake button. The iPad restarts shortly after the logo appears.

If the iPad is frozen, the slide to power down message may not appear. Continue holding the button. After about 20 seconds, the iPad powers down without confirmation. This is called a forced reboot because it works at a hardware level when the iPad software becomes unresponsive.

Lifewire / Daniel Fishel

Why Rebooting Works

Rebooting wipes the device's temporary memory clean and gives it a fresh start. If you keep your iPad running for weeks or months at a time, you may put it to sleep when you aren't using it. Over time, small bugs can pop up that interfere with the iPad.

A common mistake with the iPad is to think it is powered down when you put it to sleep. While using the Sleep/Wake button at the top edge of the device causes the screen to go dark, your iPad is running in power-saving mode. When it wakes up, your iPad will be in the same state as it was when it went to sleep. That means it will demonstrate the same problems it encountered that made you reboot it.

Rebooting the iPad is the top troubleshooting tip given for most iPad problems. When your iPad becomes unresponsive, apps crash randomly, or the device runs too slowly, reboot it.

8 Reasons to Reboot Your iPad

The iPad is a reliable device engineered by Apple to resist malfunctions and operating-system errors. However, the occasional glitch bedevils every device. Rebooting it makes sense as a primary troubleshooting step in eight situations:

  • The iPad runs slow or sometimes freezes for a few seconds: Most computers see performance degrade over time if left running for weeks at a time. If you think your iPad is running a bit slower than normal, try a reboot.
  • A particular app keeps crashing: One way to fix this problem is to delete the app and download it again from the App Store. However, a reboot is a good first step before you do.
  • You have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi: Reboot the iPad to reset existing network connections. Although, flipping the iPad into Airplane Mode for a few seconds is usually the first step before rebooting.
  • The iPad stops making sounds: The most common reason an iPad goes quiet is that the Mute button is switched on, which is easily fixed by opening the control panel and tapping the Mute button. If you don't want to search through the other reasons the iPad might go silent, a reboot may force whatever mutes the device to default to an un-muted mode.
  • The onscreen keyboard stops popping up or is slow:  Restarting the iPad is a good way to cure problems with the onscreen keyboard or with Spotlight Search.
  • AirPlay stops working: If you are trying to connect your iPad to your TV through Apple TV and you can't get the pairing to work correctly, reboot the Apple TV. If that doesn't work, do the same for the iPad.
  • The iPad battery drains too fast: There are plenty of ways to save on battery life, but if your iPad seems to drain too fast, a reboot might be in order.
  • A Bluetooth device won't connect: Connecting Bluetooth devices like wireless headphones to the iPad is usually simple. However, if you experience problems, you may end up rebooting the iPad. First, put the device in Bluetooth discovery mode by following the directions, and if that fails, reboot both the accessory and the iPad.

Consistent problems with your device suggest a problem that may require a visit to the Apple Store.

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