How to hard reset an iPad – Hard, Soft + Force Restart Guide

Resetting your iPad is one of the best ways to deal with any issues you may be having. Although Apple have removed the Home button on a lot of their newer models, it’s still possible to perform a hard reset on your iPad.

And if you’re having problems with your iPad, then one of the first things that you’ll want to do is reset your device. This is likely going to work on all of the different iPads that have been released in recent years.

But, there are alternative types of reset that you can opt for. So, you’ll need to know which one to do, and what effect it’ll have on your iPad too.

How to hard reset an iPad

Before you go ahead and reset your iPad back to factory resettings, you’re going to want to make sure that all of your data is secure. You can do this by taking advantage of Cloud storage (Google Drive), or you can easily back up all of your data when connecting your iPad to a laptop or computer.

When this is done, all you need to do is;

  1. First, go into your Settings
  2. Then proceed into General
  3. In general, you can then select Reset
  4. Click through to the Erase All Content and Settings option
  5. Finally, select Erase iPad.

See – it’s actually very simple for you to factory reset, or hard reset, an iPad. Make sure to make an iCloud backup before you do this if you want to keep all of your photos and files. This is the most used method to do this, but it’s not the only one.

Factory reset an iPad without the password

So it’s extremely easy for you to factory reset your iPad if you have the password and access to its settings. The good news is that even if you don’t have those details, you can still factory reset the device relatively easily.

All you need to do is hold the power button and the home button down together, but for a long period of time. It could be 20-30 seconds before your device resets, at which point, the Apple logo should pop up on your home screen.

For iPads without a Home button, then press the + volume button, then the – volume button, and finally hold the power button down for 20 or more seconds.

If this method doesn’t work, then you can also do this by connecting your iPad to a laptop or computer. You’ll need to find the Restore option, which will take everything back to factory settings.

There are a couple of different reasons why you might want to go all the way and hard reset your device. This includes;

Selling your iPad – If you’re just about to sell your iPad to someone else, then you’ll want to hard reset it before you do. This can give you peace of mind that the other person can’t get access to any of your own personal details.
Speed up your iPad – Over the time that you own it, your iPad will gradually get slower and slower. Factory resetting it back to its default settings is a great way to get rid of all the clutter and speed your iPad up.
iPad that won’t turn on – The majority of the time, people want to try and factory reset their iPad because it’s off and it won’t turn on. This is usually the best way to do things, though connect your iPad to your computer beforehand.

Remember that after doing this, you’ll have to sign in to your iCloud with your email address to get all of your old data and files back onto your device. Obviously, you’ll need to be already using iCloud properly for this to be the case.

Soft reset/Restarting an iPad

In certain circumstances, it may actually not be necessary for you to completely factory reset your iPad. Before you do this, you should simply try turning your iPad on and off again to see if this resolves your issue.

You can easily do this by just holding down the power off button and swiping the slider that appears from left to right. This might help to fix some specific iPad problems, including;

A jittery/freezing iPad – Going through a soft reset on your iPad is a great idea if your tablet has been getting slow and unresponsive. This is a pretty common occurrence, especially with older models, and a soft reset could fix the problem.
An app won’t download – Apps that won’t download properly are a common occurrence on any tablet. Whilst it could be an issue with the app itself, it’s more likely a problem with your software, and a reset could fix the issue.
You can’t update your device – Another good reason to use a soft reset is if your iPad won’t update properly. Though there are many reasons why your iPad won’t update, it can usually be resolved very quickly by doing this.

Although on other brand devices there are special methods to perform a soft reset, on an iPad you simply turn the device off and back on again. It’s a great way to immediately clear the memory of your iPad if it’s got stuck processing some data.

Forcing a restart

Now, if you want to go somewhere between a soft reset and a hard reset, then I’d advise that you simply do a force restart. Actually, Samsung refer to a soft reset and a force restart as the same thing, but with iPads, this is a level above.

It’s the best thing for you to do if your iPad has crashed or frozen, but you don’t want to delete all of the stored settings on your device. You can force restart your iPad quite easily, and it only takes a few seconds for it to work.

Press the Home button and your power button at the same time as each other. If you have a new iPad Pro without a power button, then you need to tap the + volume button, then the – volume button, and then hold the power button down.

That should force your iPad into restarting. If this doesn’t work, then you might have to go ahead and hard reset your device instead.


In some scenarios, performing a hard reset is going to make sense as your only option. But you shouldn’t jump the gun, as you need to be aware that everything on your iPad will be wiped when you do this. Your data, apps and all of your preferences will disappear.

So whilst it does make sense to factory reset an iPad in certain circumstances, it isn’t the answer the majority of the time. You’ll need to go into the app store and download all of your apps again, which can be a hassle.

Taking a backup of your device is the best thing you can do before performing a hard reset. You can do thing pretty easily by going into your Settings, then iCloud, and then iCloud backup. This will save all of your current iPad settings and data.

Avatar of Melissa
About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Leave a Comment


Where Is The Microphone On iPad Pro Or Air 2023?

Here’s why your iPad won’t update apps