How to Fix The iPad Black Screen of Death

Black Screen of Death on your iPad? Things go wrong. Here's what to do

Woman using an iPad with a black screen

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If your iPad seems to be stuck on a black screen and doesn't respond to touch, there are several fixes you can apply to attempt to get your iPad working again. Let's start with the simplest solution and work our way towards tougher possible solutions.

Start with The Power Button

Even though you've probably already tried this, try pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake Button again. This time, hold it for at least 30 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo. If that doesn't work, try the next steps.

Charge the Battery

If your iPad has a black screen, the problem could be as simple as the battery is depleted. If the battery is so depleted, the iPad will not have enough power to display the lightning charging symbol.

Remember, an iPad has a far bigger battery than an iPhone so you should charge the iPad with either a 10w or 12w charger or it will take a really, really long time to get fully charged. And as tempting as it is to charge the iPad by plugging it into your computer, be aware that will take a long time too. A dedicated AC adapter of the right size is what's best.

Let your iPad charge for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight. While it's normally fine to use your iPad while it's charging, as you try to figure out what this problem is, try to avoid using your iPad while it's charging.

Also note that If your iPad is too hot, or too cold, it will not charge. If your iPad has been in a car in freezing or soaring temperatures for a while, bring your iPad up, or down, to room temperature and try plugging it into the charger again.

Is An App to Blame?

If a drained battery is your problem, and this is a recurring issue, you may have an app that is the culprit. Go to Settings > Battery and scroll down to see usage. Apps that are consuming the most battery are at the top, with the percentage at the side. If you see an app that is consuming a large amount of battery power, try closing or uninstalling the app and see if your problem improves.

Screenshot of iPad battery usage screen

Check the Charging Port

Sometimes your iPad isn't charging properly because the charging point is dirty, and the device isn't getting a full charge. Dust or dirt could be inside the port and every time you push the charging port into the device you are compressing the dirt and dust. Use a non-metal tool, like a wooden toothpick, to dislodge the dust, and try charging again.

Adjust The Screen Brightness

Your iPad may be on, but you simply can't see the screen because the brightness setting is too dim. If Siri is enabled, ask Siri to increase screen brightness. Otherwise, go to a dark room and try to increase the screen brightness by pulling up on the bottom menu to try and to move the slider to increase the brightness. If you are using iOS 12 or later, swipe down on the upper right menu to access screen brightness.

Try a System Restart

If your confident the iPad has a charge perhaps restarting your iPad will get it out of its funk. A restart will not erase all the data but just force a reboot as if you were turning it on. Hold both the Home and the Sleep/Wake buttons for at least 15 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo. Let go, and wait for the iPad to come back to life.

Burping Your iPad

This is not a joke. Some iPad users have reported on forums that burping the iPad helps to realign cables that are loose and not making connections. To try burping, make sure the iPad is off. Cover the front and back of the iPad securely with a towel, and pat the back of the iPad, as if you are burping a baby. Try this for at least a minute before you unbundle the iPad and try turning it on again. If this fixes your problem then you likely have some kind of hardware issue that'll likely rear its ugly head again. A trip to the Apple Store might be in your future.

System Update

If you've tried all of the above fixes, and your iPad screen is still black, you can try to do a system update.

You'll need a computer, PC or Mac, which is loaded with the latest version of iTunes. Connect the iPad charger to the iPad and the computer. Open iTunes on the computer, and press and hold both the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons. Continue to hold both buttons, even after the Apple logo appears. Wait until you see the recovery mode screen. When you see the option to Restore or Update, chose Update. iTunes will try to reinstall iOS without erasing your data. After 15 minutes, if this fails, your device will exit recovery.

System Restore

A System Restore is your last resort, as this step will erase all of the data on your iPad. If you have backed up everything to the cloud, you should be able to recover all of your data. If you haven't, you may want to consider taking your device to an authorized Apple repair technician first, to see if there is a problem with the screen or another hardware repair that is causing the black screen of death on your iPad. Once your device is repaired, you may not need to do the System Restore.

If you still need to complete a System Restore, just follow the steps above for System Update, including connecting your iPad to a PC or Mac computer, loaded with the latest iTunes. Connect the iPad charger to the iPad and the computer. Open iTunes on your computer, and press and hold both the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons. Continue to hold both buttons, even after the Apple logo appears. When you see the option to Restore or Update, chose Restore.