7 most common problems with the iPad and how to fix them

Ever since its introduction, the Apple iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and the previous editions of the tablet proved to be one of the most popular devices available, continuing to maintain its stronghold in the ever-growing tablet market. Through every subsequent generation and changing form factors, the growth and market share of these tablets have continued not only in the US, but across the world, by combining a premium build quality and design with a software experience that is appreciated by many.

Unfortunately, as is the case with most mobile technology available today, the iPad is not without its flaws. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common issues that plague iPad owners, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them.

Disclaimer: Since a lot of these issues are related to the latest iOS version, they will apply to almost every iPad iteration. The iPad is still a great tablet, and in all likelihood, you will not face any of the problems stated below.

Having problems charging your device? Check out our guide to iPad charging problems.

Problem #1 – Occasionally slow and laggy keyboard


Users have occasionally come across a keyboard that lags while typing an email or using iMessage. Any iPad running iOS 8 and above can make use of third-party keyboards, but this issue persists even then.

Potential Solutions

  • Guided Access, an accessibility mode, sometimes interferes with some keyboards. Go into Settings – General – Accessibility – Guided Access,  and make sure that the button is off.
  • Go to Settings – iCloud – Documents and Data, and turn it off. If the issue goes away, you should be able to turn this back on again without the problem coming back.
  • You can also try resetting all settings by going to Settings – General – Reset all Settings.
  • Adding or removing third-party keyboards is now possible by going to Settings – General – Keyboards. Swiping a keyboard name to the left will reveal a delete button. Tap on “Add New Keyboard…” for other available options.

Problem #2 – Interface orientation stays stuck to landscape or portrait


Some users have found their iPad user interfaces to remain stuck in either landscape or portrait mode, without switching when the device is rotated.

Potential Solutions

  •  Tap the power button to turn the display off, and press it again to wake it up again. If that doesn’t work, press and hold the power button and the physical home button for 15 seconds to restart the tablet.
  • Go Settings – General – Use Side Switch, and check to see whether it is set to “Lock Rotation” and turn it off.
  • If this happens when using a particular application, double tap the home button to open the multitasking screen, and slide the app window up.
  • You can also try resetting all settings by going to Settings – General – Reset all Settings.

Problem #3 – Performance issues, crashing, and random rebooting


Older generation iPads can face issues with performance following updates to macOS, or switching from the old iOS version to the latest macOS. Slowdowns, freezing, and random rebooting can seem to occur. This issue is regularly seen on most iPad problems lists.

Potential Solutions

  • While all the animations and transitions may look good, older hardware may have a difficult time keeping up. Reducing animation and transition effects may help alleviate any problems with performance. Go to Settings – General – Accessibility – Reduce Motion to reduce animations, and Settings – General – Accessibility – Increase contrast – Reduce transparency to reduce transparency.
  • When a slow down is evident, double tap the home button and close all the apps running in the background by swiping the windows up.
  • If crashing and random rebooting are the problems, a rogue application may be the issue. Try uninstalling them one by one, and reinstalling them carefully.
  • There is also the nuclear option which can make the most difference: a complete, factory reset. Go to Settings – General – Reset – Reset all Settings and Content but be warned you will lose your apps and data not backed up

Problem #4 – Connectivity Issues

One of the more common iPad problems that users face have to do with connecting or maintaining a connection to a Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth pairing, and for the devices that support it, cellular network issues.

Potential Solutions

  • If your Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping or doesn’t connect, try restarting the router by turn it off for 30 seconds, and then turning it back on. Then, go to Settings – General – Reset – Reset Network Settings and add the information from scratch.
  • If pairing your iPad with a Bluetooth device is an issue, go to Settings – Bluetooth and turn it off, and back on again
  • For data connectivity issues, go to Cellular – Cellular Data and turn it off and on again.
  • If these problems continue, go to Settings – General – Reset and Reset All Settings.

Problem #5 – Safari keeps crashing

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Many users have found the Safari app closing unexpectedly, especially when multiple tabs are open, or even while attempting to open more another tab.

Potential Solutions

  • Go to Settings – Safari and tap on “Clear History” and “Clear Cookies and Data.”
  • If this issue becomes too much to handle, a factory reset may be the only solution. Make sure that you back up any important data, and then go to Settings – General – Reset – Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Using a third-party browser such as Google Chrome or Opera may help.

Problem #6 – Camera application crashes

Some users have found the camera application failing to load, or crashing while in use.

Potential Solutions – 

  • Double tap the Home button, and swipe up the Camera app and any other app that uses the camera to close them. Start the app again to see if it is now working.
  • Go into Settings – General – Restrictions and check to see whether the camera app is allowed.
  • Resetting the settings may help. You can do so by going to Settings – General – Reset – Reset All Settings. 
  • A rogue third-party application that uses the camera may be the culprit. You can try deleting these apps one by one to see if the issue is fixed, or performing a factory reset being careful about what you install.

Problem #7 – iPad activation error

Some users have come across an error message stating that “the iPad could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable.” While this generally occurs when setting up a new device, quite a few users have faced this problem after using their iPads for a while. This is one of the iPad problems that happen only with the cellular data-capable versions of the device.

Potential solutions:

  • There is a workaround that has worked for some users. Remove the SIM card from the tray, and perform a hard reset by pressing down and holding the home button and the power button simultaneously until the device restarts. Re-insert the SIM card and the issue should go away.
  • For some users, the issue was related to the SIM card itself. Simply replacing the older SIM card with a new one should fix the problem.
  • If you are having issues with setting up cellular service on your iPad, a useful guide is available here.

Problem #8 – Saved IDs and passwords are no longer being displayed

While login information for various websites would normally be saved, this seems to no longer be the case, requiring users to type in IDs and passwords each and every time.

Potential solutions:

  • This isn’t a bug, but rather a new security feature that has been introduced with macOS where IDs and passwords are no longer auto-filled. However, the system does have the information available. All you have to do is tap on the empty username field for the site you are trying to log in to. At the top of the keyboard, you will now see the password listed. Tap on the password and the login information should be auto-completed from there. However, if the site is not secure, the URL will be highlighted as unsafe with a red box.

Problem #9 – Problems where the only option is to wait for an official software update

There are some iPad problems that don’t have a solution or workaround currently available. In these cases, the only option is to wait for an official software update. The good news is that since a lot of these issues are software related, an upcoming update should address them.

  • Personal Hotspot not working – A few users have faced an issue where the iPad cannot connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Something to keep in mind here is that not all network carriers allow hotspot connectivity, and is something that you may have to pay extra for.
  • Backup restoration failure – This is quickly becoming one of the biggest iPad problems around, where the device fails to restore a backup. There are a variety of error messages that may show up. You can find more details on these errors and solutions to address these problems here.

So there you have it for this roundup of some common iPad problems that users have come across. If you’ve faced any of these issues, let us know if the solutions have worked for you. If there is anything else you may have come across, be sure to let us know, and we will try our best to have a solution available for you.

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