Reader's question: iPad screen frozen - what to do?

Here's my tip on how to bring a frozen iPad back to life.

I got a question yesterday from a reader whose daughter had problems with her iPad. She has an iPad of the 2nd or 3rd generation, which simply no longer responded to inputs via the touchscreen. Here is the exact wording of his question:

Dear Jens, I hope you have advice:
My old iPad (2nd or 3rd generation, which my daughter now has) has stopped responding to swipes since yesterday, which means you can call up the start screen, but you can no longer unlock it. Switching off is also not possible, since you have to move the switch-off slider on the screen for this too. Unfortunately, "Find my iPhone" is activated, which is why I can't reset it using iTunes. The charging works, as does the display in iTunes and the Photos app on the Mac. Do you have a tip, please?

What to do if the iPad shutdown slider does not respond to my touch? Here's the solution! (Photo: Sir Apfelot)

What to do if the iPad shutdown slider does not respond to my touch? Here's the solution! (Photo: Sir Apfelot)

Forced restart helps

My answer was the typical "switch off and on" tip, but of course you have to get the iPad off without the switch-off slider. This is done using a key combination that is different on old iPads with a home button than on the new iPads with Face ID:

  • iPad with home button: Hold down the home button and standby button at the same time for approx. 5 seconds until the Apple logo appears on a black background.
  • iPad without home button (from 2018 iPad Pro): Hold down the volume button (louder or quieter) and the standby button at the same time for approx. 5 seconds until the Apple logo appears on a black background.

My reader tried this and after the forced restart everything ran again without any problems and the touchscreen was no longer "frozen".

Incidentally, this tip works just as well on iPhone models on which the screen no longer reacts to touch input. Here too - as described above - you have to proceed differently, depending on whether you have an older iPhone with a home button or a newer one with a Face ID camera.

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