For most issues, simply rebooting the iPad will fix the problem. When that fails, resetting the iPad to it's factory default settings becomes an option, but what if you can't even get to the iPad settings to start this process? Don't worry, the iPad has a recovery mode that is a fail safe for an iPad that has become locked, which happens when you enter the wrong passcode too often, or an iPad that freezes at the Apple logo when booting up, which can happen if the iPad doesn't update properly.
How to Enter Recovery Mode on the iPad:
Note: You will need to have iTunes installed on your PC to follow these steps. If you do not have iTunes installed, you can download it from Apple's website.
1. First, connect a USB cable to your PC. The cable that comes with the iPad can be used to connect it to your PC. Only connect the USB cable to your PC, not your iPad. Connecting the cable to your iPad must be done in the proper order.
2. Next, turn off your iPad. You can accomplish this by holding down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad until a red slider appears on the screen. Activate the slider to turn the iPad off.
3. Hold down the Home Button. The Home button is the round button at the bottom of the iPad, below the screen. While holding down the home button, connect the USB cable to the iPad. Your iPad should power on at this point. Keep holding the Home button down until you see the iTunes logo appear on the screen.
4. If you see a battery on the screen, you will need to let the iPad charge for a bit and then repeat these steps.
5. You are now in the iPad's recovery mode. You will receive a message on the screen alerting you that you have entered recovery mode. At this point, you can restore the iPad through iTunes using these instructions.
Note: If you have backed up your iPad using iTunes or iCloud, you should be able to recover everything up to the point of your backup. But even if you haven't backed up your iPad, you can still recover any apps that you have previously purchased by downloading them from the App Store.
What if you don't have access to a computer?
If your iPad is locked and you don't have access to a computer, you can use Find My iPhone/iPad to wipe it remotely. You can either use the iPhone app or you can go to www.icloud.com from any device that can connect to the web and then simply log on with your Apple ID.
To wipe your iPad remotely, choose your iPad (click the blue button if you are on the map screen) and then choose "Erase iPad".