Common iPad problems and how to fix them

iPad is an amazing computer that manages to be powerful, portable, and accessible all at the same time. If it's working. If it's giving you problems — if it's sluggish or stuck, won't power off or power back on, if the battery is draining fast or not charging properly, if you can't connect to Bluetooth, HomeKit, or AirDrop — then it can be frustrating. Your first instinct might be to call Apple Support or visit the Genius Bar, but that all takes time. If you just want to get everything working again, here are some things you can try on your own, and try right now!

How do you restart, reboot, and recover your iPad?

Reboot Windows! is a running joke in the technology world, but restarting your devices works. It kicks any stray bits back into place and can fix a lot of problems. Powering down and powering back up is a simple way to start. Then you can escalate to hard resets and even restores if you need to.

You also don't have to reset everything. If only one aspect is bugging you, you can reset your iPad's settings, remove network connections, erase content, zap the keyboard dictionary, rearrange the Home screen, or dump Location and Privacy data.

How do I fix problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connections?

AirDrop

AirDrop (Image credit: iMore)

Connections have become... complicated. It's not just a matter of turning something on anymore. Bluetooth broadcasts availability and creates connections, Wi-Fi transfers data fast so it doesn't waste a lot of power, and a bunch of different services from handoff to AirDrop, HomeKit to tethering try to manage it all. If your connections aren't connecting, though, there are a few things you can try!

What if you iPad won't charge, gets terrible battery life, won't shutdown, or won't start up?

Whether your battery is draining unreasonably fast or it's taking far too long to recharge, not having enough power when you need it is unacceptable. Likewise if your iPad refuses to shut down or won't power back up when you need it. Luckily, even when it comes to batteries, there are a few fixes you can try on your own.

What if nothing is working?

Sadly, not every problem can be solved through troubleshooting alone. Sometimes you really will need to contact Apple. You can call the company at 1-800-MY-APPLE, tweet them @apple_support, visit them online at apple.com/support (opens in new tab), or go straight to your local Apple Retail Store.

What problems do you need help solving?

If you're having an issue with your iPad and it's not addressed in this guide, or if you've found a solution that works better, drop it in the comments below!

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

3 Comments
  • I mostly use my iPad Air 2 in landscape view (left and right Home button, depending on how I'm holding). I don't precisely recall which iOS version saw this inconvenience begin, but I have the screen-view periodically lock in the particular landscape view last used and be unable to rotate, upon awakening, to the opposite landscape view. [iPad is set to lock / unlock when closing / opening the cover (with TouchID active).] ...A normal shutdown reactivates the ability of the view to rotate normally.
  • I have an iPad issue!
    I am using iBooks in the iCloud, and have a few dozen books on my Mac in iBooks. I see them on my iPad with an iCloud icon next to them, and click on the books to download them directly to the iPad to read. No problems, right? However... I am having a problem *keeping* those books on my iPad. Sometimes a large group of them revert back to iCloud status, and I have to redownload them. It is not a huge problem, because they are small (and iCloud saves the progress/bookmarks etc..) but why does it keep reverting? I have disabled iBooks sync within iTunes-do I need to delete the books that show up in iTunes as well? (Those always stay on my iPad for some reason even though I disabled iTunes sync) Is iCloud sync for iBooks just a bit screwed up?
  • Wow @PBguy I thought it was just my iPad... Sent from the iMore App