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How to reset an iPad or iOS device

Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

Keep Calm And Don't Panic

This QuickTip is for those of you who find themselves locked out of their iPad or iOS device – which can be a real hassle. It is written especially for one of our clients, Margaret Dodds, principal of Waitaha School in Christchurch.

The first thing you should try to do is restart the device. Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your device completely off.
  3. After the device turns off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.
Iphone6 Hands Power Off

If a restart doesn’t fix the problem, you can try a reset. Follow these steps:

  1. You should reset your device as a last resort and only if you can’t restart it.
  2. To reset, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.
  3. Your device should now start up. If it doesn’t, check the next tab to learn how to restore it to its original factory settings.
Iphone6 Hands Reset

Restoring iOS or iPod software deletes all the data and content from the device, including songs, videos, contacts, photos, and calendar info.

The process of restoring your device effectively takes it back to its original factory state. Follow these steps:

  1. Back up the device using iTunes following these instructions.
  2. Make sure your computer has the latest version of iTunes installed on it.
  3. Open iTunes and use your USB cable to connect the device to the computer.
  4. Select your device when it appears in iTunes.
  5. You will get a warning asking if you wish to restore it again, click ‘restore’.
  6.  iTunes will download the device software file and restore your device.
Panic Button Magnet
Itunes Restore Iphone

If your iOS device still doesn’t respond, put the device into recovery mode and restore it again by following these steps:

  1. Make sure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Turn off your device and leave it off.
  3. Plug in your USB cable to your computer and the device (which is still turned off). Make sure this is the computer you wish to associate the device to when you synchronise future updates and content (eg. music, movies, books, etc.).
  4. While the device is connected, force restart it by holding down the home button and the On/Off button as it restarts (this requires a slightly different process for different models).
  5. Keep holding down the home button and On/Off button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
IPhone Connect To Itunes
Itunes Recovery Iphone

This will delete everything from the device. If you’ve backed up to iCloud you may be able to then restore the original data from the backup onto the device.

To explore more about how Learning Architects can support your organisation click here…

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