If your iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPad Pro freezes and stops responding to gestures and button presses, you should be able to fix the issue in a matter of seconds.
Once in awhile, your iPad might stop responding to touches. In most cases, this isn’t a sign of a larger problem and you should be able resolve the problem quickly.
In this guide we’ll take you through some quick and easy steps to take if your iPad locks up while you’re using an application or simply just sitting on the home screen.
If the fixes in this guide fail to work, you may need to bring your tablet into an Apple Store so they can try and diagnose the issue.
Table of Contents
Restart Your iPad
The first thing you should try is a simple restart. Power your iPad down normally if you can, wait a minute, and then power the device back on.
In some cases this may not work because the screen won’t respond to button presses and gestures. If that’s the case, move onto the next steps.
If a simple restart doesn’t work, you’ll need to try forcing your iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro to restart. This process only takes a few seconds to complete and your data will remain intact.
If you own an iPad with a home button, use this button combination to force your device to restart:
- Press and hold the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons until you see the Apple logo appear. Note, if you’re stuck on a black screen, you’ll want to keep holding the Top or Side button down for a minute before releasing it.
- Your iPad will then reboot and you’ll need to input your passcode, if you have one.
If you own an iPad without a home button, the button combination is different:
- Press the Volume Up button located on the left side of the tablet and let go.
- Press the Volume Down button and let go.
- Press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. Again, if you’re on a black screen, keep holding the power button for a minute before releasing it.
At this point your iPad should reboot normally and return you to the lock screen. If it doesn’t reboot properly, move onto the next steps.
Charge Your iPad
If your iPad fails to boot up normally, you’ll want to find your nearest charging cable and plug it into your device and wait for it to charge up to 100%.
Once it’s fully charged, try turning the device on. If it’s still frozen, move onto this step.
Boot Into Recovery Mode
If your iPad is still locked up, you’ll need to boot it into Recovery Mode. Here’s how to boot an iPad into Recovery Mode:
First, connect your iPad to a computer. If you own a Mac running macOS Catalina or newer, open up Finder. If you’re using a mac on macOS Mojave or older, or a Windows PC, open up iTunes.
Find your device and with your iPad still plugged in, follow these steps:
- iPad without a Home button: Press and release volume up, press and release volume down, press and hold the top button until your device restarts and continue holding the button.
- iPad with a Home button: Press and hold the Home button and the top button.
Keep holding these buttons until you see the Recovery Mode screen. You will soon get a popup and you’ll want to choose Update, not Restore, from the menu.
This will update your iPad with the latest iPadOS software.
Install iOS 17.3.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, and you missed older versions of iOS 17, think about installing Apple's iOS 17.3.1 update right away.
iOS 17.3.1 doesn't have any security updates of its own, but if you missed iOS 17.3 or older, you'll get security patches when you upgrade.
The iOS 17.3 update brought 15 new security patches to iPhone. These will help keep your device and its data protected from harm.
The software also added Stolen Device Protection to iPhone. It increases the security of your iPhone and Apple ID by requiring Face ID or Touch ID to gain access to passwords, make purchases in Safari, and more.
This is useful if someone gets access to your iPhone and its passcode.
iOS 17.2 delivered 10 new security patches to iPhone. If you wish to find out more, you can head on over to Apple's security site for the details.
iOS 17.1.2 had two security patches on board. Both were related to WebKit. If you want to learn more, you can do so right here.
iOS 17.1 brought 18 security fixes to iPhone. It addressed issues within Weather, Status Bar, WebKit, and more.
iOS 17.0.3 brought two patches for two security issues Apple identified within the software. If you want to read about the patches, head here.
iOS 17.0.1 delivered three important patches to iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.
As for iOS 17 itself, it brought 40+ new security patches with it. A staggering number to say the least. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple.
In addition to those patches, iOS 17 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including improvements to Communication Safety beyond Messages.
It now includes content sent by AirDrop, Contact Posters in the Phone app, FaceTime, and the systemwide photo picker. You now have an option to blur out sensitive photos and videos before you choose to view them.
There's also an expanded Lockdown Mode which will help protect you against cyber attacks.
Apple's also improved sharing permissions and you now have more control over what you share with the apps on your device.
The company also notes that starting in iOS 17, Voice Memos encrypts the titles of recordings stored in iCloud, in addition to the recordings themselves.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 17.3.1 update as well.
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