Quick Fixes for When an iPad App Won’t Open

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iPad Multitasking Bar

Here’s a problem that all iPad users have experienced at one time or another: you open an app and it closes right away and returns you to the home screen. Sometimes it’s just a fluke and the app opens properly when you try again, but sometimes the app just quits right away each time you try.

Luckily, there are several relatively easy potential fixes for this issue. Here they are, starting with the easiest and fastest method and going from there:

— Restart the iPad: Quite often that’s all it takes to resolve this problem and it’s quick to give it a try and either be done and good to go, or move on to the next possible fix.

— Open the Multitasking Bar and manually close the troublesome app. Double-press the home button to bring up the Multitasking Bar, which shows all recently opened apps. Tap and hold on any of the icons in the bar until you see the icons start to wiggle. Then tap the little red minus sign on the icon for the problem app.

— Delete and reinstall the app from the App Store. This is particularly appropriate if the problem has occurred right after you have installed the problematic app. This is another quick thing to try, at least with most apps – it will not be so quick with apps that have huge file sizes.

— Manually quit other apps in the Multitasking Bar. Double-press the home button to bring up the Multitasking Bar, which shows all recently opened apps. Tap and hold on any of the icons in the bar until you see the icons start to wiggle. Then tap on the little red minus symbol on each app to manually close it. If you’ve recently run a large number of apps this can be quite tedious – but it also may solve the problem, so it’s worth doing.

Those are the three easiest potential solutions. If none of them get your app to open correctly, some next steps to consider are these:

— Look at the App Store entry for the app and the Ratings and Reviews tab – see whether other users are reporting similar problems with the app. If they are, then the issue may not be on your iPad but with the app itself.

— Look for a support contact for the app / app’s developer and get in touch to seek assistance.

— Try a reset of all settings on the iPad. If that doesn’t resolve the issue and the app is important enough to you to merit continued effort, think about doing a full restore of the iPad.

Hope this is helpful with this common issue. Let me know in the comments if you have suggestions on other methods for tackling this problem.


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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5 thoughts on “Quick Fixes for When an iPad App Won’t Open”

  1. I’ve found closing the other open/recently accessed apps to solve the problem more often than not. I believe they’re holding on to memory, robbing the new apps of resources to run. One thing I’ve learned to do is close the other apps before I head out to a meeting or session so I avoid the embarrassing app launch snafus. Thanks for the other tips, they will be useful.

    1. Apple insists that there’s no need to ever even worry about manually ‘managing’ recently used apps like this, but like you I disagree. There are occasions when it is proves very useful.

  2. the Notes app that comes with the ipad is doing the same thing. i open it and it closes quickly.

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