If your iPad is dead and not responding, all is not lost. You can, potentially, fix a dead iPad by following the steps listed below.
If there’s nothing terminally wrong with your iPad, then one of the four fixes below should work and get your iPad back to its usual functional self once again.
However, it is worth noting that older iPad models can simply stop working.
The #1 cause of this is that the battery has died. If this happens, you will need to get a replacement battery.
Check out the steps outlined inside our battery replacement for iPhone post for more details on this (and, yes, all the steps outlined in that post can be used for your iPad).
Another option, if you’re running a super-old iPad, is to simply get a new one.
New iPad models are less likely to break (for obvious reasons).
Or, if you want to get super-savvy and save some money, buy a refurbished one.
We have a full guide on the INS and OUTS of buying refurbished iPads, so check that post out if you want to save some money on your next iPad purchase.
How To Fix An iPad That Won’t Switch On
This is a worst-case scenario: your iPad is dead. Now what? Well, you’ve got 4 options – and here they are:
1. Recharge The iPad
If you see the red empty battery icon, your iPad will not be able to reboot until there is a certain amount of charge in the battery.
Plug the iPad into a power source such as the mains charger or one of the main USB ports on a computer that is plugged in.
If you see the red section of the battery image flash three times and then the screen goes black, it means that the iPad is not receiving power to charge.
If the iPad battery is totally drained you may not see the battery recharge image for several minutes. If the display is blank when you plug it in, wait a while to see if the image appears.
2. Reboot The iPad
To reboot or restart your iPad press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button on the top until the red slider appears. Slide it across to turn it off. Repeat the process to turn the phone back on.
If the iPad is frozen and can’t be restarted in the normal way do the following.
Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds. The red slider may appear and the screen may dim but don’t release the two buttons until the Apple logo appears.
3. Reset The iPad
Click on Settings then General then Reset All Settings
This will reset all the settings to the factory defaults. None of the data or content on the iPad will be deleted.
4. Back up and Restore The iPad
If all else fails, you will need to back up and Restore your iPad.
If you haven’t performed a Sync recently do so now to make sure all your contacts, photos, and videos are in sync.
Click on the Summary tab and then click Restore. If you haven’t already backed up your iPad you will be prompted to do so now. This will back up all the settings on your iPad.
At the next prompt click on Restore. If you have completed all the steps above you need not worry about your data and settings.
Wait until your iPad completes the restore process and returns to the home screen.
Guide To Buying A New iPad – An Expert’s Opinion
If your iPad is getting on a little bit and you’re starting to have problems with it, it might be time to start thinking about upgrading to a newer model.
Apple now makes a range of iPads – from smallish units to big, expensive ones.
Choosing the right iPad for your exact needs will depend on a variety of factors that we’ll look at in more detail below.
For now, let’s first take a look at what iPads you can currently buy, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with…
What is The Latest iPad?
- Apple iPad 10.2in (2019) – $329
- Apple iPad mini – $394
- Apple iPad Air – $499
- Apple iPad Pro (2020) – $799
What’s The Difference Between The iPad Models?
As you can see, there are four distinct iPad models currently made by Apple across a range of price points, ranging from fairly affordable to pretty expensive.
This means, regardless of your budget, you should be able to find an iPad that meets both your budget and your exact requirements.
Let’s now look at each iPad model in more detail.
- Apple iPad – The Basic iPad: The iPad was launched in 2019 and is perfect for those looking for the iPad experience on a budget. The iPad features a 10.2in display, works with Apple Pencil, and runs Apple’s world-learning iPad OS software. If you don’t want to spend big bucks but still want that killer iPad experience, the iPad is the one to go for.
- Apple iPad mini – The Small iPad: Apple rejigged the iPad mini in 2019, adding in a massively powerful new processor, updated internals, and a better display. The iPad mini is the smallest iPad you can buy, its display is 7.9in makes it ideal for single-handed use and storage in smaller bags. The iPad mini is also one of the cheapest iPad options in 2020.
- Apple iPad Air – Larger, More Premium iPad: If you want killer specs, gorgeous design, and support for the Apple Pencil, the iPad Air is the one to go for. Sitting between the iPad Pro and the iPad, the iPad Air is a more premium version of Apple’s entry-level iPad. If you want a premium iPad, but don’t want to spend iPad Pro money, this is the one to go for.
- Apple iPad Pro – The Best iPad. Perfect For Professional Users: The iPad Pro is essentially a laptop inside a tablet. It is the best looking and most powerful iPad you can buy. It has the most storage, the fastest processors, and it supports keyboards and mouses too, so you can use your PC’s wireless mouse and keyboard with it. You also get support for Apple Pencil too. Get the iPad Pro if you’re looking to replace your laptop. This thing is a workhorse.
Which iPad Should I Buy?
We’ve covered what each iPad is designed for above, so in order to answer this question you need to ask yourself what you want an iPad for – is it for work or pleasure, or, perhaps, a bit of both?
If it’s the latter, you’ll want to go with either the iPad Air or the iPad Pro (pictured below) – these are the most powerful iPads and are designed with professional usage in mind.
If you just want an iPad for casual usage, you’re best off with either the iPad Air, if your budget allows, or the basic iPad if you want to save some money or are operating on a tight budget.
If the size is important, and you don’t want a big iPad, go with the iPad mini; it’s the smallest iPad you can buy and it packs in a ton of killer specs and features.
Another Option For Buying Cheap iPads?
If you’re on a budget but you want a powerful iPad, there is another thing to consider: buying a refurbished iPad. If you go the refurbished route with your next iPad purchase, you stand to save, on average, around 40% when compared to buying a brand new iPad.
This means you could buy an iPad Pro (the 2018 model) for around the same price as the iPad Air. And do not be put off by the term refurbished; these refurbished iPads look and function as good as new.
I’ve used multiple refurbished iPads and iPhones over the years and they’ve always looked and functioned as good as new.
If this is something that intrigues you, make sure you use reputable refurbished retailers like Gazelle – it sells a ton of amazing refurbished iPads across a wide range of price points.
If you go refurbished, I would wholeheartedly recommend that you pick yourself up an iPad Pro model. You’ll get it for the price of a basic iPad and it will get iPad OS updates for years to come.
For me, refurbished is the #1 way to buy an iPad.
You’ll save money, get a great iPad that looks and functions as good as new, and, best of all, you can get an iPad that would normally be way outside your usual budget.
What more could you want!? Check out all the latest deals and see how much you could save.
And want more tips? Check out how to fax from iPhone! And be sure to check out How To Use iPad As An External Display for Your Mac!
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.