iPad Troubleshooting: cycle the power

The iPad power button is located just above the rear camera at the top right corner.

There’s a commonly-used technique that almost always works when an electronic device is acting erratically, and that is resetting the power. Whether it’s a TV satellite receiver or computer, this usually involves powering the device completely down and unplugging it for a minute or two. The same method works well for an iPad that’s acting up too. Examples of problems are frequent app crashing, difficulty connecting to Bluetooth wireless accessories, app installation hangups and sluggish performance.

Before going further it’s important to understand the difference between putting the iPad to sleep vs. resetting the power. When you tap the top right power button or close your iPad’s smart cover to turn the screen off, you’re simply putting it in sleep mode to conserve power. This most likely won’t fix any of the above problems. When you tap the home button to wake it back up, you’ll find the iPad in the same state as you left it, bugs and all. Restarting the iPad involves a few more steps and takes about a minute. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the top right power button for about 3 to 4 seconds until the screen dims
  2. You’ll see a white slider at the top that says “slide to power off;” doing this will power down the iPad
  3. After another few seconds, you’ll see the screen go completely black
  4. Now press and hold the top right power again for about a second, and an apple symbol will appear on the screen
  5. After about a minute you’ll see your Lock screen again

We’ve found that this is required more often with the early generation iPads, as apps have become increasingly sophisticated and demand more from the iPad processor. This won’t fix all app crashing problems, especially if the app is buggy to begin with. But the next time you experience something out of the ordinary with an app or accessory, try this power reset before writing it off as a problem with the app.


  1. I have an iPad mini retina. It is really sad to know that after 50 years of computer development, Apple and Microsoft still can’t make reliable computers. I’ve already had problems with Foreflight crashing while running the DUAL 160 GPS. (It’s embarrassing to me because I worked in the computer industry and know that these errors are caused by a lack of due diligence mostly on the part of software developers.) Imagine if the POH for your new airplane said something like “If you notice that your airplane is flying slow, or the engine doesn’t seem to be producing sufficient power, or the controls are not working normally, it is best if you land the airplane, shut down the engine and turn off the master. Then it should be okay to restart the airplane and take off. That should fix the problem.” Think of all the billions of dollars of lost productivity due to blue screens and OS lockups that would never have happened if Microsoft and Apple were held liable like airplane manufacturers for product defects.

  2. Foreflight went haywire when trying to edit/delete old flight plans, just yesterday, using 64GB iPad Air. Finally had to cycle power & re-open program. Solved problem.

  3. This is a good one! I welcome Foreflight opening up the general topic of improving performance on devices because I think you guys have been too slow in recognizing some of the limitations of using your software, in an active aircraft, and dealing with the results. You could post an article in a similar vein on the importance of trimming back all these ‘favorites’ (airports, flight plans, plates et al.) that we tend to accumulate within the app. When I started finding Foreflight taking many seconds to open and become accessible to me (no doubt due in part to your app growing increasingly dense), you suggested I trim back all this ‘baggage’ where possible to make FF become responsive sooner. I did, and it did…so you more prominently might spread the word on that, too.

    Now for your next order of business: many of us fly around in smaller a/c in bumpy weather on occasion. So for pete’s sake, make the menu boxes and their choices bigger. If e.g. I touch an airport in maps display, the rest of the display becomes inactive while I’m offered layers of boxes of tiny buttons I’m supposed to be able to select, all while the a/c is hopping about. The map itself is disabled – why not use the majority of the screen for that purpose?

    Keep at it, folks. iPad + FF + Stratus: the best investment I’ve made in recreational aviation other than my PPL.

  4. It also helps to occasionally do a cold reboot. Turn off as described above, then hold down both buttons until you get the Apple logo, screen goes blank and then you get the logo a second time. Takes about 20 seconds for this process and then another couple of minutes to power up. Had problems with Foreflight and Jeppview being very slow the other day – the cold reboot fixed the problem.

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