Tablet Tips

How to Troubleshoot an iPad

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How to Troubleshoot an iPad

One of the best parts about owning an iPad is not that it is so portable, although that is a pretty good little feature, but it is how well everything just works.  Rarely do you ever have to deal with some of the normal headaches that you find when using a PC or even a Mac.  They truly are amazing little devices.

However, while they may not have anywhere near as many problems as a typical computer, from time to time they can still start to act up and require a little tender love and care to get back to normal working order.  But if you start having problems with your iPad, what do you do to fix it?  After all, it’s not like you have the same amount of control over the system that you get with the typical computer or even that of a high-end Android tablet.

Today, we will take a look at some of the most common problems you can run into while using your iPad and how you go about fixing them so your iPad runs fast and smooth no matter what you do.

Hardware Issues


Today, we will primarily be talking about software problems, but I did want to take a moment to touch on hardware problems such as a broken screen or a bad battery.  When you think about a typical desktop computer, if you have a hardware problem you simply pop open the case and change it out.  The whole process usually takes only a few minutes and you are back up and running.  An iPad, on the other hand is a different story.

If you have a problem with your iPad that requires repair, unless you have the proper tools and know what you are doing, you are probably going to want to seek professional help.  Different problems often take different levels of knowledge and experience to repair, so if you do decide to undertake a repair, be sure you are prepared with exactly what you need before you begin.

If you have a cracked screen or a bad battery, you can often change it yourself after ordering the part.  But there is one thing you should know.  If you do open it up yourself you could void any warranty that you have on the device preventing you from receiving free repairs in the future.  If you are at all concerned about the warranty on your iPad I would recommend taking it to an Apple Store or an Apple Certified Repair Technician for any repairs.

Software Issues


Now that we have touched on hardware issues, let’s take a look at several different software issues you could encounter while using your iPad on a daily basis and what you need to do to fix them.

My iPad is Running Slow

Does your iPad start to slow down after a few days of continuous use or even after a few hours of really heavy use?  This isn’t an uncommon problem.  Often it is caused by an app that you have closed but is still running in the background.  An iPad never fully closes its apps.  Instead it suspends them but allows a small portion of them to continue running in memory in the background.

If your iPad is slow, first close any apps that you may have open by double tapping on the home button and then swiping up to close the apps.  If after closing the apps your iPad still seems a little slow, you might need to go ahead and refresh the RAM memory by rebooting your device.  To turn the device off and then on again, hold down the sleep/wake button found on the top right of our device.

Another issue that can cause slow downs is if your storage memory is running rather low.  This is really easy to do especially if you store all your photos and music on your iPad as well.  Go through your device and delete any apps that you don’t need and then sync your files with your computer so you can remove some of the photos from your device to free up some space.

My Screen Won’t Rotate

I don’t know how many times I have been asked this question.  Believe it or not, this problem is more common than you think.  It’s great that you can easily rotate the screen of your iPad so you can use it in both portrait and landscape modes.  Of course it can be frustrating if it won’t flip in the direction you want.

The first thing you need to check is if it is the app you happen to be using.  Not all apps will work in both modes and some won’t rotate in any direction at all.  If you are in an app when it’s doing it, it is probably just that app.  Close the app and check to see if your iPad rotates.  If it does, you know the cause.  However, probably the most common cause of this issue is the iPad has been unintentionally locked in its current rotation state.  To check this, go to your Home screen and then swipe up from the bottom to open the Control Center.  From there, you will see a row of icons.  The one on the far right will lock/unlock the rotation abilities of your iPad.

No Wi-Fi Access

Sometimes, your iPad just won’t want to connect to your Wi-Fi network.  When you are sitting in your home, you have no network access.  In most circumstances, this is simply because the Wi-Fi has been turned off on the iPad.  From the bottom of the Home Screen, swipe up to open the Control Center and tap on the Wi-Fi icon to turn it back on.  If this doesn’t take care of the problem, you will need to reset your network settings.  To learn how to do that, keep reading as we address it below.

Apps Won’t Open

Have you ever tried to open an app and it just immediately closes for no good reason at all?  If that happens, there are two possible issues.  First, your iPad’s operating system could be out of date but the app has been updated for the new version of the operating system.  And two, the app could be corrupt and must be deleted and reinstalled.

If this is happening to you, tap on Settings > General > Software Update.  Run any updates that are available and then try that misbehaving app.  If it still doesn’t work, go and ahead and close the app completely by double tapping on the home button and swiping up on that app and then deleting it by tapping and holding your finger on the app and then pressing the “x” that comes up on the app icon.  Once it is deleted, head back to the App Store and download it again.

The Hard Reset

Sometimes it is possible for your iPad to lock up or even some of the fixes we have already talked about above just won’t work.  If your iPad locks or you just can’t seem to get it to speed up again, you could be looking at the need for a hard reset.  In many ways it is much like the reboot feature on your iPad, only you hold down an extra button at the same time.  Don’t worry, this won’t delete anything on your iPad, just give it a good reset so you can get back to doing whatever it was you were doing.

To give your iPad a hard reset, hold down the Sleep/Wake button on the top right of your device and the Home button at the same time.  Keep pressing down until the iPad begins to reboot.  This is the same button presses that you use to take a screenshot, the only difference is you must keep holding them down until it restarts.  If you don’t, you could end up taking a screenshot of your iPad’s screen.

Reset Settings


If you are still having problems, it is time to get a little more drastic.  On your iPad, you can choose to reset a wide variety of settings and you can even completely reset it back to factory settings so it is just like it was the day you brought it home from the store.  To access these options tap on Settings > General > Reset.

When you first tap on this, you will be presented with many different options.  It is important you select the right one based on the problem you are having.  Let’s take a look at each one and what it does.

  • Reset All Settings – This will reset every setting in iOS but will not delete any data or media. Think of this as the catch all.  If you aren’t sure what is causing your problem, try this one.
  • Erase All Content and Settings – This will reset all your settings and erase all contend and media. Think of this as a complete reset of your iPad.  When it is done your iPad will be as close to the way it was when you first bought it as possible.  Only perform this one as a last resort as you will use all your data during the process.
  • Reset Network Settings – This will wipe out data related to your network including all your Wi-Fi networks that you have connected to and saved. If you are having trouble with your Wi-Fi on your iPad, this is the choice for you.
  • Subscriber Services – If you subscribe to news feeds, magazines and the like and they don’t seem to be cooperating as they should, reset these settings to start over.
  • Reset Keyboard Dictionary – This setting will reset the dictionary on your keyboard back to factory settings. If you are having trouble with a lot of bad autocorrected words, you can try this one so it is forced to relearn the words you say most often.
  • Reset Home Screen Layout – Is your home screen all messed up and you don’t know what you did and how to fix it? If so, choose this setting to reset how the home screen looks.  By tapping on this setting, you will reset your home screen back to how it was the day you brought it home.
  • Reset Location & Privacy – Your privacy settings and location services are tied to this feature. If you are unsure about what privacy settings you have set and what location services you have on and off, you can always reset them all using this feature.  Keep in mind that you will still need to visit your local settings for apps and location and set each one the way you want it.


As you can see, even the rock solid iPad can experience a little trouble from time to time.  Luckily, in most cases the fixes for these problems only require a few taps or swipes to get you back underway.  Of course, if you continue to have problems with your device even after running these fixes, consider taking it in and having it checked out by an Apple Certified Technician or at your local Apple Store if there is one close by.  Of course needing to take it in is pretty rare, and most of these fixes will put your iPad back on track and ready for you to continue to use for almost all of your computing needs.