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Wonderful as the iPad is, it can occasionally behave in confounding ways, refusing to charge, failing to show the onscreen keyboard, becoming suddenly mute, becoming unresponsive, or just generally acting in a funky way. In this movie, we'll look at common cures for a misbehaving iPad. Your iPad needs power to work, and that power often comes from the batteries found inside the device. You have plugged it into your computer's USB port, yet it tells you that it's not charging. So what's going on? The iPad, unlike the iPhone and iPod, requires 10 watts of charging goodness while the iPad is awake.
On older computers, the USB 2.0 port doesn't provide that much power, and so the iPad won't charge while it's awake. Fortunately, the iPad tells you so, with its not charging message in the top- right corner of the display. Now I keep emphasizing this 'while it's awake' business, because these ports will charge an iPad when it's asleep, though more slowly than a port that provides the full 10 watts. The solution: if your computer doesn't provide enough power, use the power adapter that's included with the iPad to charge it.
And then there's the keyboard. You've picked up your iPad, launched Notes, and tap on a note to start typing, and nothing happens. That Bluetooth symbol at the top of the iPad's display is the hint. If you've paired your iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard or jammed it into the iPad's keyboard dock, the onscreen keyboard won't work because the iPad believes you're using a hardware keyboard. And now sound, you've downloaded a cool new game. You've fired it up and start blasting intergalactic cooties.
The problem is, the iPad makes no sound. The first thing to check is the Volume toggle switch on the iPad's side. Press it up to make sure you haven't muted the volume. Next, if you've configured the side switch above the Volume buttons to mute the iPad, make sure that it's pushed up and thus unmuted. If that still doesn't work, find your iPad's headset or another pair of headphones with a 3 mm plug, and plug and unplug it a few times. Sometimes the iPad's headphone port can get gunked up, thus muting the iPad.
This can clear it up. Another situation. You're working in an app, let's say it's Safari, and it suddenly becomes unresponsive. You tap and tap and nothing happens. That app is locked up. There are couple of ways to force-quit it. First, press the Home button to return to the home screen and then double-tap on the Home button. Locate the problem app in the row of running apps, tap and hold on it, and tap the Minus icon to quit the app. Or press and hold on the Sleep/Wake button, until the Slide the power off slider appears.
Now press and hold on the Home button until the app quits, and you've returned to the Home screen. When you next launch the app, it will hopefully behave itself. If it doesn't, try restarting the iPad by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button and swiping the Slide to power off switch. When the iPad shuts off, turn it on again by pressing and releasing the Sleep/Wake button. Worse yet, your entire iPad becomes unresponsive.
Now this is a rare occasion, but it can happen. When it does, press and hold on the Sleep/ Wake button, as well as the Home button. In a few seconds the iPad's screen will go dark. This indicates that you forced it to shutdown. To restart it, just press the Sleep/Wake button. If your iPad continues to behave in odd ways after this treatment, you may need to reset some settings. To do that, launch Settings, tap the General Setting, and tap Reset at the bottom of the list of General settings.
Start by tapping Reset All Settings. This resets the iPad's preferences and settings, but it doesn't affect any of your data or media. If you're having problems making connections to the outside world through Wi-Fi or 3G, try tapping Reset Network Settings. This will wipe out previously used network settings and flip Wi-Fi off and then back on. If nothing seems to be going well and you're not near your computer, you could try tapping Erase All Contents and Settings. This essentially returns the iPad to its condition when you first pulled it from the box.
Everything you've added to it is wiped out, so beware. It's a desperate action and one that you shouldn't take lightly. It's so desperate in fact that I'm not going to demonstrate it now, as I don't really want to take the time to restore it. If you must have an iPad that works but don't care about what's on it, this is the way to go. If you're within reach of your computer, attach your iPad to it, select it in iTunes, and take a gander at the Restore button. If you press this button, iTunes will download the latest version of the iPad software, if there's a newer version than what you currently have, and then it will install it on your iPad, overriding the software that's on it.
I'm not going to do that right now, because I'm going to keep my software just as it is. This gives your iPad a completely fresh start. Once that operation is done, you have the option to restore your iPad from a backup. But what about an iPad that doesn't appear in iTunes at all? You can try putting it into DFU mode. This is a recovery mode that forces iTunes to recognize it. To enter DFU mode, connect your iPad to your computer with a USB cable, shut down the iPad, press and hold Sleep/ Wake for 10 seconds, and let go of the Sleep/Wake button while continuing to hold the Home button for 10 seconds.
iTunes should throw up an error indicating that it's found an iPad in recovery mode. At this point, you'll see just a single Summary tab in iTunes with the Restore button showing. Click Restore and the iPad will be restored. Once it is, you can then restore your data and apps from a backup. And finally, a solution that seems like voodoo, but sometimes works as a last-ditch effort. If your iPad seems totally confused and your computer can't update it because it won't appear in iTunes, attach it to a different computer.
Sometimes iTunes on your computer plays a part of the problem. Connected to a different computer, even a Mac if you have a PC, or vice versa, restore it on that computer and then bring it back to your original computer to restore it from an update. It sounds crazy, I know, but it's worked more often than not. My hope is that you'll never need any of these troubleshooting tips, but in case you do, they should set your iPad straight.
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