Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your iPad - Managing Your Life and Your iPad - iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 8th Edition (2016)

iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 8th Edition (2016)

Part IV. Managing Your Life and Your iPad

Chapter 22. Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your iPad

Get ready to …

· Keep the iPad Screen Clean

· Protect Your Gadget with a Case

· Extend Your iPad’s Battery Life

· What to Do with a Nonresponsive iPad

· Make the Keyboard Reappear

· Update Software

· Restore the Sound

· Get Support

· Find a Missing iPad

· Back Up to iCloud

iPads don’t grow on trees; they cost a pretty penny, especially with phone equipment subsidies and two-year contracts disappearing. That’s why you should learn how to take care of your iPad and troubleshoot any problems it might have so that you get the most out of it.

In this chapter, I provide some advice about the care and maintenance of your iPad, as well as tips about how to solve common problems, update iPad system software, and even reset the iPad if something goes seriously wrong. In case you lose your iPad, I even tell you about a feature that helps you find it, activate it remotely, or even disable it if it has fallen into the wrong hands. Finally, you get information about backing up your iPad settings and content by using iCloud.

Keep the iPad Screen Clean

If you’ve been playing with your iPad, you know that it’s a fingerprint magnet (despite Apple’s claim that the iPad has a fingerprint-resistant screen). Here are some tips for avoiding fingerprint marks and cleaning your iPad screen:

· Use a stylus instead of your fingers. You can buy a stylus for about $1 (or even less) and use it to tap the screen. You may even find that a stylus is more accurate than your fingers when you’re using the onscreen keyboard.

· Use a dry, soft cloth. You can get most fingerprints off with a dry, soft cloth, such as the one you use to clean your eyeglasses or a cleaning tissue that’s lint- and chemical-free. Or try products used to clean lenses in labs, such as Kimwipes or Kaydry, which you can get from several major retailers, such as Amazon.

· Use a stand or dock to hold your iPad. With a stand or dock, you spend less time picking up your tablet, which cuts down on finger smudges.

· Remove the cables. Turn off your iPad and unplug any cables from it before cleaning the screen with a moistened cloth.

· Use a soft cloth. To get the surface even cleaner, very slightly moisten the cloth (moisture can damage your iPad if you overdo it). A microfiber cleaning cloth can be a good option. Again, make sure that whatever cloth material you use is free of lint.

· Avoid too much moisture. Avoid getting too much moisture around the edges of the screen, where it can seep into the unit. Although the iPad Air 2 and later models have their glass, LCD, and touch sensor bonded together to avoid any air gaps, they can be at risk from too much moisture.

· Never use household cleaners. They can degrade the coating that keeps the iPad screen from absorbing oil from your fingers.

tip Do not use premoistened lens-cleaning tissues to clean your iPad screen. Most wipe brands contain alcohol, which can damage the screen’s coating.

Protect Your Gadget with a Case

Your screen isn’t the only element on the iPad that can be damaged, so consider getting a case for it so you can carry it around the house or around town safely. Besides providing a bit of padding if you drop the device, a case makes the iPad less slippery in your hands, offering a better grip when you’re working with it.

Several types of cases are available for the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, and iPad mini 4, and more are showing up all the time. You can choose the Smart Cover, from Apple, for example ($39 for polyurethane), which covers the screen only; the Smart Case from Apple, which covers both the front and back ($49 in polyurethane; $69 in leather for iPad mini 4 and $79 in leather for iPad Air 2 and later). iPad Pro, being the new kid on the block, has only a few covers available at this time but that will change. Consider a cover from another manufacturer, such as Tuff-Luv ( or Griffin (, that comes in materials ranging from leather to silicone (see Figures 22-1 and 22-2).


Figure 22-1


Figure 22-2

Cases range from a few dollars to $70 or more for leather, with some outrageously expensive designer cases costing upward of $500. Some provide a cover for the screen and back; others protect only the back and sides or, in the case of Smart Cover, only the screen. If you carry your iPad around much, consider a case with a screen cover to provide better protection for the screen, or use a screen overlay, such as InvisibleShield from Zagg (

Extend Your iPad’s Battery Life

The much-touted ten-hour battery life of the iPad is a wonderful feature, but you can do some things to extend it even further. Here are a few tips to consider:

· Keep tabs on remaining battery life. You can estimate the amount of remaining battery life by looking at the Battery icon at the far-right end of the Status bar, at the top of your screen.

· Use standard accessories to charge your iPad most effectively. When connected to a recent model Mac or Windows computer, the iPad will charge slowly; charging the iPad on certain PC connections, on the other hand, drains the battery slowly. The most effective way to charge your iPad is to plug it into a wall outlet by using the Lightning-to-USB cable and the 10W USB Power Adapter that comes with your iPad (see Figure 22-3).

· The fastest way to charge the iPad is to turn it off while charging it.

· Your battery may lose power if you leave it connected to the USB port on an external keyboard.

· The Battery icon on the status bar indicates when charging is complete.


Figure 22-3

tip Your iPad battery is sealed in the unit, so you can’t replace it, as you can many laptop or cellphone batteries. If the battery is out of warranty, you may have to fork over more than $100 to get a new one with AppleCare coverage (see next tip). See the “Get Support” task, later in this chapter, to find out where to get a replacement battery.

tip Apple offers AppleCare+. For $99, you get two years of coverage, which protects you even if you drop or spill liquids on your iPad. (Apple covers up to two incidents of accidental damage.) If your iPad has to be replaced, it will cost you only $49, rather than the $250 it used to cost with garden-variety AppleCare. That means $148 versus the $299 price Apple offered me to replace my iPad when it died 14 months into its life (and Apple advised me that the company couldn’t service it). You can purchase AppleCare+ when you buy your iPad or within 60 days of the date of purchase. See for more details.

What to Do with a Nonresponsive iPad

If your iPad goes dead on you, the problem is most likely to be a power issue, so the first thing to do is plug the Lightning-to-USB cable (or Dock Connector-to-USB cable) into the 10W USB Power Adapter, plug the 10W USB Power Adapter into a wall outlet, plug the other end of the Lightning-to-USB cable (or Dock Connector-to-USB cable) into your iPad, and charge the battery.

Another thing to try — if you believe that an app is hanging up the iPad — is to press the Sleep/Wake button for a couple of seconds. Then press and hold the Home button. The app you were using should close.

You can always try the tried-and-true reboot procedure. On the iPad, press the Sleep/Wake button on the right top until a red slider appears. Drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad. After a few moments, press the Sleep/Wake button to boot up the little guy again.

If the situation seems to be drastic and none of these ideas works, try to reset your iPad. To do this, press the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears onscreen.

Make the Keyboard Reappear

When you’re using a Bluetooth keyboard, your onscreen keyboard doesn’t appear. The physical keyboard has in essence co-opted keyboard control of your device.

To use your onscreen keyboard after connecting a Bluetooth keyboard, you can turn off your connection to the Bluetooth keyboard by turning off Bluetooth in the iPad’s Settings app or Control Center, by moving the keyboard out of range, or by switching the keyboard off. Your onscreen keyboard should reappear.

Update Software

1. Apple occasionally updates the iPad system software to fix problems or offer enhanced features. You can also tap Settings ⇒ General ⇒ Software Update to update your software. If you’re not using the iCloud feature, which updates your iOS automatically, or if you prefer to look for updates yourself in iTunes, you should start by connecting your iPad to your computer.

2. On your computer, open the iTunes software that you installed. (See Chapter 3 for more about this topic.)

3. Click your iPad in the iTunes Source list on the left (in iTunes 12, click the Devices button at the upper left and select your device there).

4. Click the Summary tab, shown in Figure 22-4.

5. Click the Check for Update button. iTunes displays a message telling you whether a new update is available.

6. Click the Update button to install the newest version.


Figure 22-4

tip If you’re having problems with your iPad, you can use the Update feature to try to restore the current version of the software. Follow the preceding set of steps, but click the Restore button instead of the Update button in Step 6.

tip You can also use the iTunes Wi-Fi Sync feature (tap Settings ⇒ General) to sync wirelessly to a computer that has iTunes installed.

Restore the Sound

On the morning I wrote this chapter, as my husband puttered with our iPad, its sound suddenly (and ironically) stopped working. We gave ourselves a quick course in sound recovery, so now I can share some tips with you. Make sure that

· You haven’t touched the volume-control keys on a physical keyboard connected to your iPad via Bluetooth. They’re usually on the right side of the top row. Be sure not to touch one and inadvertently mute the sound.

· You haven’t flipped the Side Switch. If you have an older iPad model with a side switch, and the Side Switch is set up for the Silent feature, moving the switch mutes sound on the iPad.

· The speakers aren’t covered up. It may be covered in a way that muffles the sound.

· A headset isn’t plugged in. Sound won’t play over the speaker and the headset at the same time.

· The volume limit isn’t set to Off. You can set up the volume limit in the Music settings to control how loudly your music can play (which is useful if you have teenagers around). Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen; then tap Music on the left side. Tap the Volume Limit control (see Figure 22-5), and move the slider to adjust the volume limit.


Figure 22-5

tip When all else fails, reboot. (This strategy worked for us.) Just press the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears; then press and drag the slider to the right. After the iPad turns off, press the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo appears, and you may find yourself back in business, sound-wise.

Get Support

Every new iPad comes with a year’s coverage for repair of the hardware and 90 days of free technical support. Apple is known for its helpful customer support, so if you’re stuck, I definitely recommend that you try it out. Here are a few options you can explore for getting help:

· The Apple Store: Go to your local Apple Store (if one is handy) to see what the folks there may know about your problem. It’s best to make an appointment beforehand to avoid long lines.

· The Apple support website: Visit (see Figure 22-6). You can find online manuals, discussion forums, and downloads, and you can use the Apple Expert feature to contact a live support person by phone.

· The iPad User Guide: You can use the manual online at to visit the online version. You can also access the user guide through iBooks Store for free.

· The Apple battery replacement service: If you need repair or service for your battery, visit Note that your warranty provides free battery replacement if the battery level dips below 50 percent and won’t go any higher during the first year you own it. If you purchase the AppleCare service agreement, this service is extended to two years.


Figure 22-6

tip Apple recommends that you have your iPad battery replaced only by an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Find a Missing iPad

You can take advantage of the Find My iPad feature to pinpoint the location of your iPad. This feature is extremely handy if you forget where you left your iPad or someone walks away with it. Find My iPad not only lets you track down the critter, but also lets you wipe out the data contained in it if you have no way to get the iPad back.

tip If you’re using Family Sharing, someone in your family can find your device and play a sound. This works even if the sound on the iPad is turned off. See Chapter 8 for more about Family Sharing.

Follow these steps to set up the Find My iPad feature:

1. Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.

2. In the Settings app, tap iCloud.

3. In the iCloud settings that appear, tap Find My iPad.

4. Tap the On/Off switch in the Find My iPad pane that appears (see Figure 22-7) if the feature isn’t already turned on. Tap the Send Last Location On/Off switch so that iPad sends your iPad’s location to Apple if your battery is almost out of juice, if you like. From now on, if your iPad is lost or stolen, you can locate it on your computer or from another iOS device using the free Find My iPad app from the App Store.

5. To use Find My iPad, go to on your computer’s browser and then enter your ID and password. Tap on Find My iPad and the Find My iPad screen appears. If you have more than one Apple device, click the All Devices drop-down list and select your iPad.

6. Click the Find My iPad button to display a map of its location and some helpful tools (see Figure 22-8).

7. Click the circle representing your iPad, and then click the Information button (the i icon). In the toolbar that appears, to erase all information from the iPad in a process called wiping, click the Erase iPad button. Remember that this process will erase all content — contacts, music, notes, and so on — for good.

8. To lock the iPad against access by others, click the Lost Mode button.


Figure 22-7


Figure 22-8

tip You can also click Play Sound to help you find your iPad if you’ve left it nearby. If you choose this option, the sound plays for two minutes, helping you track down anybody who’s holding your iPad within earshot.

Back Up to iCloud

You used to be able to back up your iPad content only via iTunes, but with Apple iCloud, you can back up via a Wi-Fi network to your iCloud storage. You get 5GB of storage for free (not including iTunes-bought music, video, apps, and electronic books or music you’ve copied to the cloud via the paid subscription service, iTunes Match), or you can pay for increased levels of storage (50GB for .99 cents a month, 200GB for $2.99 a month, or 1 TB for $9.99 a month).

1. To perform a backup to iCloud, first set up an iCloud account (see Chapter 3 for details on creating an iCloud account) and then tap Settings on the Home screen.

2. Tap iCloud and then tap Backup (see Figure 22-9).

3. In the pane that appears (see Figure 22-10), tap the iCloud Backup On/Off switch to on to enable automatic backups.

4. To perform a manual backup, tap Back Up Now. A progress bar shows how your backup is moving along.


Figure 22-9


Figure 22-10