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Your iPad (Pro, Air, Mini) is frozen or not responding? Try the quick fix

Blake Sullivan Updated on Jun 23, 2022 4:23 PM

Going into the settings app, my iPad freezes up abruptly. Then I shut it down and turn it back on. Few seconds later, it gets stuck again. Whatever I do, it just keeps frozen and doesn't respond to any touch actions or button presses. Any tips?

iPad functions pretty well most of time, but there're some occasions - often attributed to the software glitches - when it grinds to a halt: the iPad keeps freezing or running extremely slow, app(s) stuck randomly or the update process is completely frozen. And with the only symptom of "nothing works", there isn't much to go on.

That said, you can still work out the frozen screen issues on your own before getting experts' help - which we still advise in batches of frozen iPad cases outlined in the end. Proceed with the solutions below that's organized in order of most-common to most intensive to get the device back on track.

Fix an iPad (Pro, Air, Mini) That's Frozen

Most often, sparing enough storage space and updating to the most recent iOS or iPadOS version can save yourself a heap of trouble to unfreeze iPad after it's stopped responding. If nothing makes a difference, read on.

The iPad freezing issues fixes work with all iPad models, whatever the operating system it's running.

Force Restart

Turning the device off then back on can always get everything right quickly, easily and harmlessly.

One normal way to do so is performing a single restart. But if your iPad is frozen and unresponsive for swiping, another option is available: force it to reboot. It's equivalent of doing a reboot with combination of buttons, clearing the memory that apps and system run in - your data will safe - and giving it a fresh start. Here's how to complete the hard-reset task:

iPad models with a Home button

  • Press the Home and On/ Off buttons at the same time and keep holding.
  • When the Apple logo appears, let go of them. Then the device will start up like normal.

iPad models with Face ID

  • Press the Volume Up button then release and press the Volume Down button then release.
  • Hold down the On/ Off button. When the Apple logo appears, let go of the button.

Learn what to do if your iPad is stuck at the Apple logo and never moves past it upon reboot

Make Sure Battery Power Is Enough

What causes iPad to freeze could also be related to a drained battery, especially when the screen turns black randomly then keeps locked up all the time. To determine if this is the case, use the following steps to charge your iPad.

  • Grab the cable that came with the box or that's certified by Apple.
  • Connect the device to the power adapter, computer or other power outlet. Then let it charge an hour or more.

My iPad Pro Got Frozen When Doing the iOS Update

Remove Any Firmware Errors (Vital Step)

Then operating system that has to manage all resources of your iPad - memory, processing power, running apps, etc. - is often at a high risk for failure, ending up with an unresponsive screen that won't sense any touch to the widgets.

Though patching such firmware-level problems seem to be a daunting proposition, iOS System Recovery delivers a feasible resolution for you. It can effectively get around any kinds of the "iPad is frozen and won't turn off" issues by bypassing any problematic areas and automatically flashing a new and healthy iOS or iPadOS firmware into the device without affecting any existing content.

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Go through the next part, and you'll learn how to address an iPad that freezes for no reason all the time.

Step 1: Get your device connected to the computer

Start the software and plug your iPad to the computer via the USB cable that came with the box.

In the software window, navigate to More tools option at the bottom-left corner. Then, click iOS System Recovery tab.

iPad Is Stuck at Analytics Page

Step 2: Choose "Standard Mode" to repair

Here, you can review its functions on fixing over 50 iOS & iPadOS system issues, under which is a Start button. Click it to get to the next screen.

Then press the Fix button to continue.

In the resulting window, highlight Standard Mode option if you prefer keeping all data safe. Click Confirm button.

Tips: When the Standard Mode doesn't do much good for you, fix the frozen device via the Advanced Mode. Keep in mind that this will remove any content.

iPad Freezes after Entering Passcode

See Also: iPhone Screen is Flickering Randomly? Here's What to Do

Step 3: Download iPad firmware package

Afterwards, the tool enables you to select the iOS or iPadOS firmware package to download. Simply use the cursor to check any one you desire, and then click Next button.

Step 4: Fix an unresponsive iPad screen

After the software finishes the download process, a Fix button will appear. Hit it to start the repairs.

Handle Apps' Interference

It's easy overlook that apps also need to be responsible for that iPad is unresponsive to any touch on its screen. Perhaps the device becomes stuck and starts opening and closing several specific apps. Or maybe you've had scads of background apps launched, using up the resources instantly and freezing the screen. Either way, walk through the methods below in sequence to unstuck iPad:

Return the settings to the defaults

Don't be scared by the description: Resetting all setting is essentially a way to go when an iPad continues to lock up or freeze after updating. It can iron out everything that could mess up from settings and preferences due to the incompatibility with new updated version, while leaving all other data immovable.

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset All Settings.
  • Enter your passcode when prompted.
  • Tap Reset to confirm resetting all settings.

Then, allow few minutes for the reset and reboot process to complete.

Restore the Device as New (Back up First!)

Before you move any further in this section to rectify an iPad completely not responding, make sure that you've got recent backup for your device to restore.

Your iPad ships with various restore options to reset the whole system to their factory settings for taking care of some dreadful situations. But if you're sitting in despair for that iPad becomes frozen and isn't turning on without Apple logo coming up or that iTunes doesn't recognize it at all, you'll need to put the device into Recovery mode or DFU mode to reinstall the software.

Restore from Recovery Mode

1. Connect your device to the computer.

2. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes.

3. Enter into the recovery mode screen:

  • iPad models with Face ID: Press then instantly release the Volume Up button. Press then instantly release the Volume Down button. Keep holding the Top button until the recovery mode screen appears.
  • iPad with Home button: Keep hold both the Home and Top buttons simultaneously until the recovery mode screen appears.

4. When you see the dialog box popping up in iTunes or Finder, choose Restore.

Wait while your computer downloads the latest software for your device. After it completes, follow the onscreen instructions to set up your device.

Restore from DFU Mode

As a general rule, recovery mode restore is enough to fix a frozen iPad screen. But if it doesn't, getting the device into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode can be your last, best hope for repairs.

Keep your device connected to the computer with iTunes or Finder running, then:

  • Enter into DFU mode.
  • iPad models with Face ID: Press and release the Volume Up button. Press and release the Volume Down button. Hold the Power button for 10 seconds until the device screen turns black. Then hold down both the Power and Volume Down buttons for 5 seconds. Let go of the button when iTunes or Finder shows the alert "an iPad has been detected in recovery mode".

    iPad with Home button: Keep holding both the Power and Home button for 10 seconds. Then release the Power button but continue to hold the Home button for 5 seconds. Let go of the button when iTunes or Finder shows the alert "an iPad has been detected in recovery mode".

    TIPS: The screen will go blank and remain totally black when the device is in DFU mode.

  • Click OK from the prompted message on iTunes or Finder.
  • Select Restore and Update.

Once done, restore the device from the backup you've made.

In Case iPad Frozen Problem Still Persists

Professional assistance plays a crucial role in overcoming the issues of:

  • The screen not responding after dropping or sustaining water-damage
  • Facing an unresponsive iPad that just won't unfreeze from time to time
  • Broken buttons leading to the frozen problems

You can either contact Apple customer service or visit an Apple Store or an Apple-licensed repair shop for in-person support to have your device examined thoroughly. Notice that unless your iPad is still under warranty, it could cost a fortune for fixing.

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