What to do when your iPad won’t turn on

iPads are pretty great. I love my iPad Pro, and I’ve had a few different models over the years. And whilst my Pro has been absolutely fine until now (touch wood), I have had a couple of issues with these tablets at some point. One of the most frustrating problems is when your iPad won’t turn on.

Whether you’ve got a fairly new iPad or you’re trying to turn your old one on, there should be a way to do so. That is, of course, unless your iPad is truly dead and buried, in which case you’ll need to think about getting a new iPad.

But before even contemplating having to fork out for a new one, you should do everything you can to get it working again. Here’s just a couple of the things that you’ll want to do to turn your iPad on.

What to do when your iPad won’t turn on

If you can’t get your iPad to turn on, then you should follow the steps below. They should work for any Apple tablet, whether you’re using an iPad Pro or iPad Air, or even an older generation of iPad.

  1. Force your iPad to restart by holding down the top button with the home button or by alternating between the volume buttons on new models – there may be a different method for this depending on your version.
  2. Plug your device into your mains electric at home. Let it charge for a few hours and see whether the battery is drained.
  3. Next, plug your iPad into your laptop or computer and make sure iTunes is open. Reset it as you’ve done above whilst it’s connected, as this will run a full software update.
  4. Finally, make sure that there’s nothing wrong with the hardware. This could be your screen, ports or something else stopping your iPad from displaying properly.

After doing all of these, you should have your iPad back and working as normal. Sometimes, there’s not much you can do aside from replacing the hardware you’re using with the device – just be sure to check it’s not the USB cable at fault first though.

On a positive note, it shouldn’t take too long to complete the steps to work out what’s at the crux of the issue. We’ll run through them in more detail so you can be sure of how to complete them.

Try to force restart

Having an iPad that won’t turn on isn’t that unusual, especially if you’ve had it for a while. The first thing that you’ll want to try and do is force your iPad into restarting.

How you do this will depend on the age of your iPad. If you have an older model with a Home button, then you should hold the Home button down whilst also pressing the button on the top of your iPad.

In newer iPads that don’t have a home button like the Air, it’s a bit different. You’ll need to tap the volume up button, then tap then volume down button quickly afterwards. Then, press the top button as normal as if you’re turning your iPad on or off.

Doing this should reset your iPad if things are operating as they should be. But if your iPad hasn’t turned on properly even after doing this, then you can also look at doing a few other things too.

Ensure that it’s fully Charge

One of the reasons your iPad may not turn on is because the battery is completely dead. It’s not unusual for an iPad’s battery to be completely drained, and even when you plug it in, it may not show that it’s charging for a while.

This is probably the best way to find out whether there’s a fatal problem with your iPad, or it’s just not got enough power. When you plug it in, within a few minutes the charging symbol should pop up on your home screen. Give it 5 minutes to do this, as it won’t always do it immediately.

If the charging signal does show but your iPad still won’t turn on, then you’ll probably need to leave it there for a while. Give your iPad a few hours on charge and then come back to it – at this point, it should have charged back to enough battery for you to turn it on.

Update your software

Whilst the most common cause of a dead iPad is down to a drained battery, it’s not the only possibility here. The next most likely scenario is that there’s actually an issue with the software on your device.

With Apple products, usually the software is pretty sound. But, it can still have problems – this could be with your operating system, or it could be an issue with a specific programs you’ve recently installed on your device.

What you’ll have to do in this scenario is first connect your iPad to your laptop or computer. Then, go ahead and open up iTunes on your device so you can see your phone connected to it.

Then, you’ll want to follow the steps above to try and reset your iPad as normal. This is by either holding the top and home button, or the alternative method already mentioned. This should restart your iPad, and run a full device firmware update whilst you’re there too.

If your iPad doesn’t show up when you’ve connected it to your computer, then you’ve likely got a hardware fault. This is a bit more of an issue, and you’ll need to try and isolate any potential faults on your device.

Check for faults with hardware

Okay, so you’ve tried a simple reset, made sure the battery is okay and ensured that your software isn’t causing the issue too. The next thing to check on our agenda is to make sure there’s no problem with the hardware itself.

You’ll want to check that there’s no issues with the screen on your iPad, as this could prevent it from displaying properly. As well as this, the power button could also be a reason why your device won’t turn on, especially if it’s stuck or not working at all.

Remember, this doesn’t just mean your iPad. You could also have a problem with the charger or cable you’re using with it too. So, it’s always worth trying to charge your iPad using a different cable to ensure that your cable works properly and isn’t the reason your iPad won’t turn on.

A hardware problem can be pretty difficult to determine, but if your device is completely dead with no signs of life, then this is the most likely issue.


Overall, there are four different avenues we can go down to get to some conclusion about why your iPad will not switch on. First, we check if a reset can fix any small bug or issue the device is having. Next, go onto the battery, and then onto the software of your iPad too.

If none of these work, it’s very likely that there’s a problem with the hardware of your iPad itself. Those more technical folk may feel comfortable taking the iPad apart, but if you don’t, you’ll need to take it to your local Apple store to get it fixed.

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About Nathan

Hello! I'm Nate. I work for an internet company during the week, so you'll probably see me on here jabbering about the internet and building websites, which is my main side hobby.

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