My iPad Screen Is Frozen! Here’s The Real Fix.

Your iPad froze and you’re not sure what to do. You’re tapping the display and pressing the Home button, but nothing’s happening. In this article, I’ll show you how to fix the problem when your iPad screen is frozen!

Hard Reset Your iPad

The first thing to do when your iPad screen is frozen is to hard reset it. This forces your iPad to turn off and back on immediately and abruptly, which should unfreeze it.

If your iPad has a Home button, simultaneously press and hold the power button and the Home button until the Apple logo appears in the center of your iPad’s display.

If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, press and release the volume up button, then press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the Top button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears.

Back Up Your iPad

Before going further, make sure you’ve backed up your iPad. That way, you won’t lose any of your personal data, just in case we’re dealing with a more complicated software issue.

To back up your iPad to iCloud, go to Settings and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Then, tap iCloud -> iCloud Backup -> Back Up Now.

backup ipad to icloud

You can also back up your iPad in iTunes, if you have a PC or a Mac running macOS 10.14 or older. Connect your iPad to a computer and open up iTunes. Then, click the iPad button near the upper left-hand corner of the screen and click Back Up Now.

ipad back up now itunes

To back up your iPad to Finder, follow these steps:

You’ll be up your iPad using finder if you own a Mac running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer. Connect your iPad to your Mac using a charging cable and open Finder. Click on your iPad under Locations, then click the circle next to Back up all of the data on your iPad to this Mac.

We recommend encrypting the backup as well by checking off the box next to Encrypt Local Backup. Finally, click Back Up Now.

back up ipad using finder

Is An App Causing Your iPad To Freeze?

A lot of the time, a bad app can be the reason why your iPad screen freezes. The app may crash when you open it or use it, freezing your iPad.

One quick way to see if you’re having issues with a specific app is to head to iPad Analytics. Open Settings and tap Privacy -> Analytics & Improvements -> Analytics Data.

privacy ipad analytics data

If you see the name of one of your apps listed here many times in a row, there’s probably an issue with that app. I recommend uninstalling the app and reinstalling it again.

To do this, press and hold the icon of the app you wish to delete. Tap Delete App when the menu opens. Finally, tap Delete to uninstall the app on your iPad.

delete app on ipad

If the app continues to freeze your iPad’s screen, it’s probably best to just delete the app completely and find an alternative.

Reset All Of Your iPad’s Settings

We often refer to Reset All Settings as a “magic bullet” for troublesome software issues. Software problems are very difficult to track down, but we can usually fix the problem by resetting everything in the Settings app.

Everything in the Settings app in restored to factory defaults when you Reset All Settings. This means you’ll have to reenter Wi-Fi passwords, reconnect Bluetooth devices, and reconfigure the settings that help you improve iPad battery life.

To reset all settings on your iPad, go to Settings -> General -> Transfer Or Reset iPad -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. Enter your iPad passcode and tap Reset All Settings to confirm.

reset all settings on ipad ios 15

Put Your iPad In DFU Mode

A DFU restore is the deepest type of iPad restore. It erases and reloads all of the code on your iPad, giving it a completely fresh start. Make certain that you have a backup of your iPad before putting it in DFU mode. Once you’re ready, check out our iPad DFU mode walkthrough!

iPad Repair Options

If your iPad keeps freezing, or if iTunes isn’t recognizing your iPad at all, you’ll probably have to get it repaired. Liquid damage or broken internal components could be causing either of these problems! Set up an appointment at your local Apple Store’s Genius bar if your iPad is protected by an AppleCare+ plan.

It’s Starting To Warm Up!

You’ve fixed your frozen iPad! You’ll know exactly how to fix the problem next time your iPad screen freezes. Leave any other questions if you have about your iPad in the comments section below!

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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Lilian McCormick
1 year ago

i was using my ipad and it randomly just stopped I tried restarting it and it wouldn’t work and nothing is working and I don’t know what to do

1 year ago

I cant even get my passcode to work, cant turn it off because the slide tab to close the ipad is a touch screen and it wont work. Im going to try and run my battery down and then recharge it and try again 🙁

1 year ago

Thank you for this info it helps alot. I was able to unfreeze my son ipad. We just got the new iPad a month ago.

Roger Hughs
1 year ago

I’m a Linux Engineer and would like to decode some of these log entries. Are there any publicly available documents on these logs?

Kimberly Trejo
2 years ago

My sister was using my iPad and she was stuck playing in a game so like it froze, and I don’t know what to do and I tried to press all the buttons.

2 years ago

hey there! my ipad froze last night while playing a game and it stood on a dark blue colored screen when it froze. I held down the home and power button for at least 30 seconds so it turned off. But now it wont turn on at all or charge. Is there anything i can do ?

2 years ago

Thank you so much for helping me with my iPad

2 years ago

hi can you help me with my ipad Pro ? it’s frozen on the Apple Logo. What do I do? pressing the buttons doesn’t do anything.

Colin Boyd
2 years ago
Reply to  carrley

Hi Carrley, here’s a link to an article we published all about what to do when your iPad is stuck on the Apple logo:

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps!

3 years ago

Our I pad froze while uploading the latest upgrade. The screen says it needs to be charged, but it was plugged in the whole time. Hard reset isn’t working! Any suggestions?

3 years ago

Thank you David so much my grandson is 8 going on 9 and to me everything is knew it is brand new so and it worth it took me over night just trying to figure out how to do it trying different things but holding the button and the home button at the same time thank you perfect I think I’m happier than my grandson thank you so much!

Ceely Ellanour
3 years ago


Vishnu Priya K
3 years ago

I am Vishnu Priya from Hyderabad, India. Your suggestions really helped me to bring my iPad back to life. Thank you.

3 years ago

THIS IS AMAZING it worked I am so relieved I thought my iPad was broken forever. Thank you so much

3 years ago

Thank you so much. It worked perfectly for me.

Robert Ross
3 years ago

There is such a great lack in skilled technicians at our iStores. Really terrible and unskilled. Untrained! The iPad returns worse. I’m here in Durban, South Africa. I’m leaving Apple products.
Robbie Ross

Liam Shotwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Ross

Sorry to hear that! If you’re looking for a new phone, there are a lot of great Android phones out there that aren’t part of Apple’s closed ecosystem. I recommend UpPhone’s cell phone comparison tool. It lets you filter by price, manufacturer, internal storage, and more to help you find the phone that’s right for you. There’s a good reason why I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and not an iPhone 11 ?

3 years ago

I have an Apple I pad and it’s cosseted to 96%, and it won’t let me do anything, including shipping it

3 years ago

My ipad is still frozen i cant even do anything ive tried all youve said but it still remains frozen its just dark not showing anything? i need help

3 years ago

I’ve tried all of this but nothing works 🙁

Judy Pearlman
4 years ago

I have read your article, but nothing you said works. I only get a picture of the IPad recharging. I bought the device 4-5 yrs ago. Apple is closed, so should I call the guy you recommended to fix?

Liam Shotwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Pearlman

They might be able to help still. You could also use Apple’s mail-in repair service.

3 years ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

I’ve had 2 iPads and after 3 or so years they just start going and both have ended by frequent freezing etc. we pay a lot, they should last longer.

Liam Shotwell
3 years ago

Apple had to pay a minimum of $310 million this year because of a litigation about iPhone batteries being throttled after several years. It’s a tricky subject. Planned obsolescence definitely is something Apple stands to benefit from, even if the reason they gave for throttling the battery use was valid. Lithium ion batteries degrade over time and limiting the battery a little bit after a few years is actually good for the battery’s long term health. However, this all just plain sucks for consumers like you! ? As for software bugs like freezing, older hardware doesn’t always handle newer software… Read more »