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Basic iPad Troubleshooting Tips

How to Fix Your iPad's Problems


Man using digital tablet in cafe.
Tim Robberts/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The iPad is a great device, but occasionally, we all run into problems. Luckily, a problem with your iPad need not mean a trip to the nearest Apple store or a phone call to tech support. In fact, most iPad problems can be solved by following a few basic troubleshooting tips.

Trouble with an app? Close it!

Did you know that the iPad keeps apps running even after you close them? As part of the move towards multitasking, many apps can leave a small part of themselves running in the background in order to continue providing basic services like music or just to allow the app to be booted quicker the next time you open it.

Unfortunately, this can actually lead to some problems with the app. If your problem centers around a single app, the first step you should take in solving your iPad's problem is to close the app in question.

You can close an app by pressing the home button twice in a row. This will bring up a list of the most recently opened apps at the bottom of the screen. If you press your finger against one of these apps and hold it down, the icons will begin to shake and a red circle with a minus sign in it will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the icon. Pressing this button will close the app, clearing it from memory.

More information on closing an app.

When in doubt, reboot

The oldest troubleshooting tip in the book is to simply reboot the device. This works with desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and almost any device that runs on a computer chip.

If you are having a problem with an app and closing it doesn't fix the problem, or if you are having any other type of problem, the best step to take is to reboot the iPad. This will clear out the available memory used by applications and help give the iPad a fresh start.

You can reboot the iPad by holding down the Sleep/Wake button on the upper rim of the iPad. This will bring up a slider that will let you power off the iPad. Once it is powered down, simply press the Sleep/Wake button again to turn the iPad back on.

More information on rebooting the iPad

Is the app constantly freezing?

There is no cure for an app that misbehaves based on bugs in the programming, but sometimes, a misbehaving app has simply become corrupted. If your problem centers around a single app and following the steps above doesn't solve the problem, you might be able to solve the problem with a fresh install of the app.

Once you download an app from the app store, you can always download it again for free. (You can even download it to other iOS devices so long as they are set up on the same iTunes account.) This even works if you downloaded the app during a "free download" period and the app now has a price tag.

This means you can safely delete an app and download it again from the app store. There's even a tab in the app store that will show you all of your purchases, so you can locate the app easily.

Remember: if the app in question actually stores data, that data will be deleted. That means if you are using a spreadsheet like Pages, your spreadsheets will be deleted if you remove the app. This is true for word processors, task list managers, etc. Always back up your data before performing this step.

More information on how to delete an app

Trouble getting connected?

Did you know most problems with getting connected to the Internet can be solved by simply moving closer to your router or simply rebooting the iPad? Unfortunately, this doesn't solve every problem with getting connected. But the basic troubleshooting step of rebooting the device can be applied to your Internet connection by rebooting the router.

The router is what runs your wireless home network. It is a small box installed by your Internet provider that usually has a lot of lights on it with wires connected in the back. You can reboot the router by simply turning it off for several seconds and then turning it back on again. This will cause the router to go out and connect to the Internet again, which can solve the problem you are having with your iPad.

Remember, if you reboot the router, everyone in your household will lose their Internet connection, even if they aren't using a "wireless" connection. (If they are on the desktop computer, they could be connected to the router with a network cable.) So it might be a good idea to warn everyone first!

More information on troubleshooting Internet problems

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