Fixing an iPad That Keeps Asking for Its Password

It's a rather common issue that is easy to fix

Why does your iPad keep asking you for a password? If you haven't set up a passcode for your iPad and the prompt for the password contains your iTunes email address just above the input box for the password, the iPad is prompting you to log into your Apple ID, which is your iTunes account. This issue commonly occurs after an app download or update was interrupted, keeping the iPad from fully downloading the latest version of the app, and it is usually easy to solve.

Focused woman working at digital tablet in cafe
Hero Images / Getty Images

First, make sure the iPad is asking for your Apple ID. If you are prompted for your iCloud password, there are simple ways to fix the issue.

Reboot the iPad

The first troubleshooting step with most problems is to reboot the iPad. Not only can this solve the problem, but it will flush the memory and make sure we are working on a clean slate. You can reboot the iPad by holding down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad for several seconds. This will prompt you to slide a button to power down, and then you can simply hold down the same button to restart the iPad. 

Look for 'Waiting' Apps

If the problem persists, the iPad will probably prompt you to log in as soon as you get back to the home screen. Our next step is to scroll through the pages and look inside of folders for an app with the word "Waiting" below it. This is an app that is caught in the middle of a download.

Once you find an app stuck on the download, you can safely log into iTunes the next time you are prompted. This will finish the download and should solve the problem.

You can log into iTunes even if you don't spot an app stuck on a download. This will solve most problems, and it is usually just an app that you missed.

Open iBooks and Newsstand

Sometimes, it is a book or magazine causing the problem rather than an app. Simply launching iBooks and Newsstand will usually solve the problem, but just in case, you should scan through the contents to see if any item is stuck on "Waiting."

If you do spot a book or magazine stuck on a download, you can log into iTunes. This should clear up the problem.

Reset Your iTunes Store Login

In addition to a stuck download, the problem can also be caused by problems with your iTunes store login. To correct these, you'll simply need to log out of the iTunes store and log in again.

You can log out of your account by going into settings and choosing Store from the left-side menu. On the Store page, simply touch where it says Apple ID followed by your iTunes Account email address. This will give you the option to sign out. Once signed out, you can choose to sign back in and the problem should be solved.

Still Having Problems?

If the problem does persist, you can take a more aggressive approach. Some issues cannot be solved through simple troubleshooting, but almost every problem except those caused by hardware issues can be solved by wiping your iPad and then restoring it from a backup.

The first step of this process is to make sure you have a recent backup. You can do this by syncing your iPad to iTunes or backing up your iPad to iCloud.

Last, you will simply restore the iPad by setting it up just like you did when it was new. If you backed up the iPad to iCloud, you will be asked during the process if you want to restore from the backup. If you synced the iPad with iTunes, simply sync it again once you have finished the initialization process.