5 ways to unfreeze your iPad after it's stopped responding, including a force-restart
- There are several steps you could take to unfreeze your iPad when it freezes or crashes.
- If you're running too many apps on your iPad, it may freeze. This doesn't mean your iPad is broken.
- Certain apps that have become corrupted might need to be deleted and reinstalled if they freeze or crash often.
- Simply forcing an iPad to power down and then turning it back on is the most reliable way to unfreeze it, but this approach will also mean losing any progress you have made and haven't saved.
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When it comes to computers and tablets, one way to deal with a frozen device is to put it down, walk away, and give it a few minutes to work. Like a watched pot that doesn't boil, a frozen iPad seems never to come back, but with a bit of time, it just might.
If the timeout isn't working and you have work to do right now, then it's time to get a bit more proactive in unfreezing that iPad.Here are various things you can try to fix a frozen iPad.
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How to unfreeze an iPad
Give it some power
If your iPad won't turn on or has become unresponsive, chances are good that it's very low on battery (or fully drained). Connect it to a power source and leave it alone to charge for an hour.
Close apps to unfreeze an iPad
If you have too many apps running, your iPad could slow down or freeze.
Close any apps you are not using by either double-clicking the home button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen, then swiping up on any app you are not using.
If that doesn't work, close all your apps and then try to resume your work.And if you notice the iPad freezing whenever you use a particular app, consider uninstalling and then reinstalling the app, as it may have become corrupted.
Force-restart the frozen iPad
You can do this by holding down the home button and the power button at the same time on older iPads for more than ten seconds (or through a combination of buttons on an iPad with Face ID).
When you see the Apple logo, let go. The iPad will restart itself, and hopefully without you having lost your progress in any app.
Turn the iPad off
If the reboot does not work, you need to turn the iPad off fully and let it rest for a few moments (or charge it if needed).
Hold the power button on top of an older iPad (or hold the the power button and one of the volume buttons on an iPad with Face ID) until the swipe to power off toggle appears, and swipe right to shut the iPad down. Now give it a break.
Reset the settings
Your frozen iPad may be dealing with software issues that can be assuaged with a reset, but know that you will lose some data in the process. Launch the Settings app and tap the General tab. Next, tap Reset.
On the next window, select "Reset All Settings."
If that doesn't seem to help, next try "Erase All Content and Settings," but know that this will erase everything on your iPad, resetting it to factory defaults. For more info on resetting and restoring your iPad, check out our article, "How to restore your iPad from a backup after resetting it."
And if none of these fixes work, the good folks at the Genius Bar at your nearest Apple store can diagnose the issue using hardware (and know how) not available to the rest of us.