How to Reset your iPad

by David Lipscomb

Apple's iPad is a powerful device for its size. Like all tablets, the iPad is a small computer, and like all computers, an errant program or app can cause the device to lock up. However, resetting an iPad is a quick and simple process that usually restores normal operation. In more severe instances or if you are selling your old iPad, a full restoration is needed. You may also need to remotely wipe the device if the unit is lost or stolen, preventing access to private documents.

Basic Reset

Press and hold the "Sleep/Wake" button and the "Home" button for at least 10 seconds. Do not move the "Slide to Power Off" switch as your would for a restart.

Continue holding the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons until the Apple logo appears. Release the buttons, turning the unit off.

Press and hold the "Sleep/Wake" button for 3 seconds. Wait for the Apple logo to reappear. Release the button.

Restoring Factory Settings

Tap on the "Settings" icon. Tap "General."

Tap the "Reset" option. Choose "Erase All Content and Settings." Confirm you want to do this when prompted.

Plug the iPad in to your computer via the dock cable. Set up the unit once again as if the unit were new or restore a previous backup to the device.

Remote Wipe

Tap "Settings" on your iPad. Tap the "iCloud" icon from the list on the next screen.

Move the "Find My iPad" slider to the right to turn on the feature.

Go to the website on your Mac or PC.

Enter your Apple name and password into their respective fields. Click the "Find My iPhone" icon. Enter your password once more when prompted.

Choose your iPad from the "Devices" list that appears on the map. Click on the "info" button next to your iPad's name on the map.

Click on "Remote Wipe" in the pop-up screen to remote wipe the device. Confirm the command at the prompt.


  • You can restore certain components of the iPad without a complete reset. Tap "Settings," "General" and "Reset." Choose the component you want to restore, such as network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout and location warnings.


  • Back up your settings and content before restoring the iPad if you intend to keep it. After docking the iPad to iTunes on your computer, look for the iPad's name in the "Device" list. Right-click and select "Back Up."

Items you will need

  • Internet access

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images