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What to Do When Your iPad Keeps Shutting Down

Since the iPad was released in 2010, the device has won over millions of users. Among tablets, the iPad stands out for its stability, leading technology, and user-friendly interface. However, it’s possible to run into the issue of the tablet shutting down out of nowhere, no doubt leaving you confused.

If your iPad keeps shutting down, first ensure that it’s not overheating, which is usually caused by heavy use while charging. Check your device’s storage and clear out any excess data. It’s also a good idea to update your software. As a last resort, you can factory reset your device. 

When an iPad shows a pattern of turning off abruptly, several issues can be at play, including a low battery and possible hardware damage. While your first instinct might be to take your device in for repair, sometimes the solution is simple enough to reach at home. Here are some troubleshooting guidelines.

Why Does My iPad Keep Shutting Down?

Beautiful business working woman using Ipad while working with laptop and reading report

To fix your iPad’s random shutdowns, you’ll need to understand the underlying cause. The issue could stem from faults in either the device’s hardware or software.

To determine what kind of problem you’re working with, it’s helpful to use the process of elimination. Start with the simpler solutions first before you evaluate the need for professional repair or replacement.

Some typical reasons for an iPad to continually shut off are as follows:

Your Battery Is Overheating

When your iPad’s battery overheats, the heat can cause problems and affect the smooth running of the device. Apple says the optimal operating temperature for an iPad is between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Any extreme temperatures will impact performance. When the iPad overheats, some apps will struggle and the memory cannot execute functions properly. This will trigger a crash when the heat reaches a certain point as a safety measure.

The question you must ask is what is causing the device to overheat. Often, overheating is a sign the iPad is working too hard. Mostly, you can fix this by performing a power cycle, which includes switching it off completely and turning it back on.

If your iPad continues to run hot, check for any open apps that are draining power and running functions that require a lot of energy.

In most cases, the battery will overheat if you use the device to perform heavy tasks like gaming while it’s charging. Leave the iPad to charge, as the charging process in itself generates heat.

If you’re running apps that overwork the device, you should take a break after a while to let the iPad cool down, else it will crash to protect important components.

Removing any extra casing on the iPad allows for faster cooling. Also, if you need to keep using some apps, you can turn off background refresh, which can send many requests per minute to keep apps updated.

While charging and the iPad starts overheating, you should stop charging to first find out what could be causing the heat.

Your Storage is Low

Among common reasons your iPad is shutting down is lack of sufficient storage. This means you should declutter storage regularly to keep the iPad running smoothly.

Having too much stuff in your storage can choke the system, so the best option is to start removing the things you don’t need that are stored on your iPad.

If you look at your storage consumption, you will find System Data (previously called Other data). You can clear this data to recover storage.

There are several methods you can use to delete System Data on your iPad:

Clear Your App Cache

When you use an app over time, data piles up in the cache. This can create problems like unexpected sluggishness, freezing, draining the battery, and random crashing. Most apps allow you to delete their cache from your iPad’s settings menu.

Go to Settings, then select General, then “iPad Storage.” From there, you can clear the cache of individual apps. By clearing the cache on all the apps, you can save a significant amount of space and relieve the system of unnecessary strain.

Delete Extra Data

From the Storage section of an iPad’s settings, you can view data available to offload or delete. Certain files, like video and audio, can take up a lot of space. It’s worth taking some time to comb through these files for things you can transfer or delete.

You could also delete apps that you haven’t used in a while, as they also take up space and continue to drain the battery through background processes.

Clear Browsing History

This isn’t as impactful as other methods, but another means of freeing up space is to clear your browsing history or website data. Whenever you visit a website, some data about the website is stored on your device in a cookie.

The more websites you visit the more of this data you will have stored on your iPad. Clear browsing history often to enjoy a smoother browsing experience and save space.

Your iPad Has Software Bugs

If your iPad crashes often, software bugs might be the culprit. Your best bet is to update software often, as outdated software is not only susceptible to error, but security risks. Make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS version on your device.

You can upgrade to the latest firmware package to eliminate iPad malware and system bugs. Apple often releases software updates for new features and also provides patches to fix bugs on the software on your iPad.

Here’s how to update the software on your iPad:

  1. Open the Settings page and choose General from the options provided.
  2. Navigate to Software Update and check for available updates.
  3. If there’s an update, tap Download and Install.

When updating software doesn’t provide results, another option is to factory reset your iPad. By doing so, you restore the iPad to its original setting, so all the data and errors in software are removed and the device is like when you bought it new. Before you factory reset the iPad, ensure your data is backed up.

Here’s how to perform a factory reset:

  1. Go to Settings, then General.
  2. Select “Transfer or Reset iPad,” then reset.
  3. Choose an option for resetting.
  4. If you don’t have your Apple ID or password, you can still factory reset your iPad. Check out our guide on factory resetting an iPad without Apple ID.

Your iPad’s System Files Are Corrupted (Rare)

Corrupt system files can trigger problems in the smooth running of the iPad, so the device will shut down without notice. If you’re the kind of person to store media files like music or videos on your iPad, you might one day get a corrupted file, which triggers the error “the media may be damaged”.

Failed iTunes sync and terminated programs can also create corrupt media files on the iPad.

At this point, you’re probably wondering if there’s a way to fix corrupted system files or remove them if they cannot be fixed. For this, you can use a tool like PhoneClean, which fixes partially synced and corrupt files, making them playable on your device.

The tool also makes it easy to delete those stubborn corrupted files to clean your system and avoid errors.

You need to install the program on your computer and launch it. Connect the iPad via USB cable and click on the Toolbox tab. Choose Media Repair to scan for corrupted files on the iPad. Once you find the damaged files, Click on Repair in the top-right corner.

If all these interventions don’t provide the fix, you can try to update the software, as Apple provides patches that can fix corrupted system files. Also, it could be a good idea to clear all data and restore the device to factory settings.

Your iPad Has Faulty Flash Memory (Rare)

Young man holding ipad digital tablet on table desk

Errors in the flash memory can cause the iPad to crash and shut down randomly. A broken memory will trigger safety instructions, which the device uses to shut down and protect the system from damage.

One of the things you could do is to force restart the iPad. It’s recommended to force restart the iPad weekly, as this could fix issues in the system. Unlike factory reset, this doesn’t affect saved data in the memory.

To force restart the iPad, press and hold the Power and Volume up or down buttons for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo. Drag the slider and wait for 30 seconds, then turn on the iPad by pressing the top/Power button.

If your version of the iPad has a Home button, hold the Power button for some seconds, and when the Apple logo appears drag the slider.

If this persists, you could try another solution. Check if there are rogue apps on the device that can cause malfunction. The entire operating system on your iPad is connected, so if there’s a problem with a software component, it can affect the entire system.

Check for any app that crashes the system every time you try to open it. Long press on the app then press the minus (-) sign and this will remove it. When done removing all apps causing errors, reboot the iPad. This will refresh its operating system, memory, and clear caches.

When to Call a Professional

If none of these interventions fix the problem, you might want to visit an Apple Store to have the professionals have a look at the iPad.

They will help you fix hardware and software issues that might be causing the iPad to crash. Note this comes at a cost, so only go for it after you have tried all other do-it-yourself options recommended here.


Following these troubleshooting steps, we hope you’ll successfully handle the issue causing your iPad to shut down. For most of these interventions, you don’t need to perform a factory reset or walk into an Apple Store. Only consult a professional as a last resort if all these options fail to resolve the problem.