iPad Fast Fixes

Access the App Store when you can’t fix sudden slowdowns and make space for upgrades without deleting apps

It’s frustrating when you want the latest iOS but don’t have enough free space to install it. Deleting apps frees up space, of course, but just giving Safari a spring clean may give you the space you need. Tap Settings, Safari, and then ‘Clear History and Website Data’, followed by Clear to confirm.

Still not enough? You could clear your Reading List too, because this stores loads of data for offline viewing. In Settings, tap General followed by ‘Storage & iCloud Usage’, Manage Storage, then Safari. Next, tap Edit followed by the red minus sign next to Offline Reading List. While you’re here, tap through the other apps to see if they too have data you can delete without uninstalling the whole app.

One day your iPad is racing along, the next it slows to a crawl, and even typing seems to take forever. This sudden drop-off in performance happens when your iPad’s available storage falls below the 200MB mark. This can happen when your device uses free space as a cache when its own working memory (or RAM) is full. A quick solution is to free up storage space by deleting old or unused apps. Launch Settings, then tap General, ‘Storage & iCloud Usage’, then Manage Storage. If the Available figure is hovering around or below the 200MB mark, go through the list of apps below and tap any unwanted app, then Delete App (twice).

Many of us have a number of USB chargers that we use interchangeably. Plug a non-Apple charger into your iPad and it will probably display a message warning you that charging is not supported. Chances are, the device will charge anyway, and your iPad will not be damaged. However, avoid using dirt-cheap unbranded chargers because these can be poorly made and therefore dangerous. If you are using a genuine Apple charger and this message still appears, use a can of compressed air to clean both the iPad’s socket and the charger plug, and make sure the connection is pressed firmly home.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. One fix is to reboot your iPad by holding down the power and home buttons for around 10 seconds (or until the screen goes blank and is replaced by the Apple logo). If you still can’t log in, your iPad might be suffering a failed app installation. Swipe through your home pages looking for a greyed-out app icon with the message ‘Waiting’: tap this icon to prompt the installation to continue. If the App Store still won’t let you in, try resetting your iPad’s settings (this won’t wipe any personal data). Tap Settings followed by General, then swipe to the bottom and tap Reset. Now tap Reset All Settings and, if you have one set, type your PIN to confirm.

On older iPads you might accidentally flip the physical volume/rotation switch on the side of the device. You can control what this switch does in Settings, by tapping General and then either Lock Rotation or Mute, under ‘USE SIDE SWITCH TO’. On iPads with iOS 7 or later, you may have inadvertently switched on rotation lock via Control Centre (the panel that appears if you swipe up from the bottom-middle of the screen). If the padlock icon here is coloured white, tap it to allow rotation.

Are you using the original charger that came with your iPad? If not, perhaps you’re using your iPhone’s charger, or a different charger entirely? IPhone chargers output power at just 5 watts (w), while iPad chargers deliver at either 10 or 12w, which helps to charge your iPad’s battery faster. So, if you connect your new iPad Mini 4 to an old 5w charger you can expect it to take around double its usual time to charge.

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