iPad Tips: How To Hard Reboot the iPad When It Freezes Up

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A hard reboot will very rarely be needed on the iPad but it is worth knowing how to do one for those occasions when it is called for. If your iPad becomes unresponsive – i.e. does not react to taps and gestures on the screen or to home button presses – then you need a hard reboot to snap it back to normal behavior.

Here’s how to perform a hard reboot:

– Hold down the Power and Home buttons at the same time for close to 10 seconds.

– Ignore the Slide to Power Off bar across the top of the screen when it appears and just keep holding the two buttons until you see the iPad screen go black and then see the Apple logo on the screen as it restarts.

That’s it. This sort of reboot should get you past any rare occasions where the iPad freezes up or becomes largely unresponsive.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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15 thoughts on “iPad Tips: How To Hard Reboot the iPad When It Freezes Up

  1. Rare? In my experience an iPad freezes up as much as Windows in The old days. At least if, as I do, you use lots of apps that have to interact with each other.

    • Well your experience is very different to mine then. I use a large number of productivity apps and many that work together. I’ve used every generation of the iPad and helped plenty of friends and acquaintances with their iPads – and I very, very rarely come across any freeze-up issues.

      • I’ve had an iPad since the launch of the first one, and my iPad locks up at least once a year

  2. I subscribe to your site and read your posts religiously, and have learned A LOT from you! I read this hint earlier this evening AND guess what? MY IPAD FROZE for the first time ever (freaked me out) – YIKES, and since I have a terrible short term memory, I was praying I would remember your advice AND I DID AND IT worked! Thank you Patrick!

    • Hi Sylvia – very glad to hear you’re a regular reader and that the site has been helpful to you. Also very glad to hear this hard reboot tip helped you out last night. Thanks for commenting.

  3. All I get is the apple and then a blank screen.
    Even when I try the hard reboot. Anyone know what I can do?

    • Mine’s doing the same as Monica’s. Apple comes on for about 5 seconds and then black screen for about 5 seconds. Hard reboot isn’t working. Any ideas?

  4. My wife’s iPad freezes regularly when using the mail. Or, more specifically, the mail itself freezes. It will continue to download emails but won’t allow her to open them. Until reading this, we had to let the machine run the battery flat, then re-boot when charging back up again. Very frustrating!

    I’m no closer to fixing the mail problem but at least I now know how to hard reboot without leaving it switched on, playing video all night to empty the battery, so thank you for that!

    Now if you’ve any thoughts as to why the mail would hang itself frequently???

  5. thank you so much i was so scared i started crying i tried the home button it did not work i tried the wake and sleep button i did not work but when i tried them together it worked thanks so much

  6. Had iPad 3rd gen for 1 year had to make first hard reboot today.
    App alert would not turn off.

  7. My wife is having precisely the same trouble as Keith did (6 Jan posting). Can Keith or anyone please help?

  8. Hi Barry, sorry I’m not going to be much help. We had to crash the machine a few times, then it began to become more stable with the emails. I’m not sure if it was down to making sure it was running the latest updates, if it sorted itself out or because she now generally uses a web based email, so she opens the iPad’s email software less often, but she’s not had a problem for a long while.

    I’m tempted to tell her to start using the iPad’s email again, just to see if she breaks it again! ;-)