How to Put iPad in Recovery Mode

iPad stuck or frozen? Learn how to fix it with iPad recovery mode.

If your iPad has become unresponsive or frozen, perhaps during a software update, and you've tried everything else, it might be time to learn how to put your iPad in recovery mode. When you do this, you will lose any data not stored in a backup, but you will get your iPad back. In this article, we'll teach you all about recovery mode for your iPad.

Related: What iPad Do I Have? How to Identify Apple's Different iPad Models & Generations

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What Is iPad Recovery Mode?

If your iPad is experiencing problems that make it unusable, like fault software after an update, recovery mode can let you restore your device from a previously made backup. Keep in mind that when you restore your iPad or any Apple device from a backup, you will lose any data you've added to the device since the last time you backed it up. Because of this, we recommend both regularly creating backups of your devices and using recovery mode only as a last resort. Before you try to put your iPad in recovery mode, try other troubleshooting tips for your iPad and find out what to do if your iPad or iPhone won't start.

iPad Recovery Mode: iPads without a Home Button

If you have an iPad Pro from 2018 or later (you'll know because these models will not have a Home button), here's how to put your iPad into recovery mode:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button (the button on top) and either the Volume up or Volume down button until the power-off screen appears.
  2. Swipe from left to right across slide to power off.

    Slide to power off ipad recovery mode
  3. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.
  4. While still holding the Sleep/Wake button, use your charging cable to connect your iPad to your computer.
  5. When you see a Finder or iTunes popup, release the Sleep/Wake button.

    iTunes pop-up ipad recovery mode
  6. Choose Update first. You may be able to fix the problem this way, but if not, follow the prompts on-screen to Restore and erase your iPad's content and settings.
  7. Once you have restored your iPad, follow the onscreen prompts to restore your latest backup from iTunes or iCloud.

iPad Recovery Mode: iPads with a Home Button

If you have an iPad with a Home button, here is how to put your iPad into recovery mode. First, you'll want to open Finder on your Mac or iTunes on your PC or older Mac (make sure it is updated to the latest version) and turn your iPad off:

  1. Press and hold the Top button until "slide to power off" appears.
  2. Swipe from left to right across slide to power off.

    Slide to power off ipad recovery mode
  3. Press and hold the Home button.
  4. While still holding the Home button, use your charging cable to connect your iPad to your computer.
  5. When you see a Finder or iTunes popup, release the Home button.

    iTunes pop-up ipad recovery mode
  6. Choose Update first. You may be able to fix the problem this way, but if not, follow the prompts on-screen to Restore and erase your iPad's content and settings.
  7. Once you have restored your iPad, follow the onscreen prompts to restore your latest backup from iTunes or iCloud.

If you were unable to restore a backup to your iPad, you may now need to set up your iPad again. If you are still experiencing trouble after following these steps, it may be time to contact Apple Support for help.

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, she has four years’ experience writing about technology for everyday users. As a former college writing instructor, she is passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why she loves helping people make the best use of the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. She has a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When she’s not writing for iPhone Life, she’s probably either reading (19th-century Russian literature or fantasy novels), writing fiction, or spending time with her adorable dog, Moosh.