The iPad Troubleshooting Guide

Frustrated man with tablet
Getty Images / Vitranc

Apple has built its reputation on creating easy-to-use devices that rarely have technical issues.  But no device is perfect, and part of Apple's reputation is due to the support they give those devices.  Every Apple Store has a Genius Bar where experts are available for your technical needs.  And if you don't have an Apple Store nearby, you can get in touch with representatives over the phone or through a chat session.   

But not every problem requires a trip to the nearest Apple store or placing a call into technical support. In fact, many of the most common problems you might experience with your iPad can be solved by using some basic troubleshooting steps or a quick fix for the problem.    We'll go over some of the most common steps you can take to cure issues as well as some of the more common problems people experience with their iPad.  

Basic Troubleshooting

Did you know that rebooting an iPad will solve most problems?  Many people think pressing the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad powers it down, but it doesn't.  The iPad is simply hibernating.  You can do a full reboot by holding down the Sleep/Wake button until the iPad's screen changes and directs you to slide a button to power it down.   

After you slide the button, the iPad will go through a shutdown process.  Once the screen goes blank, wait a few seconds and then press the Sleep/Wake button again to power it back up.   You won't believe how many problems this simple process will solve. 

If you are having problems with an app crashing constantly, you can try deleting the app and reinstall it.  After you have purchased an app from the App Store, you can always download it again for free.  You can delete an app by holding your finger on the app icon until it begins shaking and then tapping the "x" button in the top-left corner of the icon.  After you delete the app, press the Home Button to make all of the icons stop shaking.  

If you are having problems with your Wi-Fi network but no other devices have any problems, you can try resetting your network settings.  You can do this by launching the Settings app, choosing "General" from the left-side menu and then scrolling down to choose "Reset" at the bottom of the general settings.  On this screen, tap "Reset Network Settings".  You will need to know your Wi-Fi password before resetting the network settings.  After you have reset the settings, your iPad will reboot.  You will then need to go into the Settings app, choose Wi-Fi and then choose your Wi-Fi network from the list.   If you still have problems, you can refer to our Wi-Fi troubleshooting guide.

Common iPad Problems

If you are having problems getting your iPad's display to rotate when you turn the iPad on its side or if your iPad doesn't seem to charge when you plug it into your computer, you've come to the right place. These are the most common issues people have with their iPad, and luckily, most of them are easy fixes.

How to Reset Your iPad to Factory Default ("Like New") Status

This is the nuclear bomb of troubleshooting.  If you have a problem that you just can't seem to fix, this should do the trick so long as it is not a problem with the actual iPad itself.   However, this troubleshooting step deletes all data and settings on the iPad.  It is a good idea to back up the iPad first.   After you complete this step, you can set up the iPad as if you were upgrading to a new iPad.  

You can reset the iPad by launching the Settings app, choosing General in the left-side menu and choosing Reset at the bottom of the iPad's general settings.  In this new screen, choose "Erase All Content and Settings".   You will be asked to confirm this choice a couple of times.   After you confirm, the iPad will reboot and start the rest process.  When it is done you will see the same "Hello" screen as when you first turn on a new iPad.  You should be able to restore from your backup during the setup process.

iPad Tricks and Tips

Once you have your iPad up and running again, you might as well get the most use out of it! There are a number of tricks and tips that will help maximize your time with the iPad, including tips to help that battery last longer.

How to Contact Apple Support

Before contacting Apple Support, you may want to check if your iPad is still under warranty.  The standard Apple warranty grants 90 days of technical support and a year of limited hardware protection.  The AppleCare+ program grants two years of both technical and hardware support.   You can call Apple support at 1-800-676-2775.