'Why is my iPad screen black?': 3 ways to troubleshoot your iPad if the screen is unresponsive

iPad black screen

  • If your iPad screen is black and unresponsive, it may simply mean the device is turned off or has a dead battery.
  • A black iPad screen may also indicate a software crash, which can usually be fixed by forcing it to restart.
  • In bright light, an iPad screen that is at or near its darkest setting may appear black, so try brightening the screen. You can tell Siri to do this if you can’t see the Control Center.
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Black screen of death, eh? That’s it, toss your iPad in the trash and get a new one. Just kidding, of course — you should recycle it responsibly at an e-waste facility.

Actually, an iPad with a black screen is probably no big deal. Ideally, it’s just turned off, or maybe it has a dead battery. And in the event of a software crash causing an iPad black screen, a quick forced reset will usually do the trick.

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How to troubleshoot your iPad if the screen is black

Here are the steps to take if your iPad is unresponsive and has a black screen.

Charge the battery

First, you can simply try turning the iPad on. Just hold the Power button on the top or side, depending on which model you have, of your iPad until the white Apple logo shows up on your screen.

However, if you do this and a battery icon shows up on your screen or nothing happens at all, you may have to connect the iPad to power and wait to see if it was simply drained. Apple recommends using only certified charging hardware, especially if you’re having issues.

Adjust the brightness

Try brightening the screen, a feature you can access from your iPad’s Control Center if screen brightness is the issue, as sometimes in bright light an iPad screen at its darkest setting looks black. You can also tell Siri to brighten the screen.

Reboot your iPad

If nothing else is working and you suspect the iPad is on, just frozen on the black screen, force a restart. 

Note that a forced reset is different than simply turning the iPad off and on again — which you can’t do anyway when its screen is black — and can be more effective at refreshing an iPad that is working but is sluggish or buggy.

  • On iPads with a Home button, hold down the Home button and the Power button until the Apple logo appears.
  • On iPads without Home buttons, like newer iPad Pros, press the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button, then hold down the Power button until the Apple logo appears on your screen.

Now try to turn the iPad back on as usual. Try this reset several times, and while connected to power if it doesn’t immediately work, before you head to the Apple store, as it is occasionally not effective on the first try.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • ‘Why won’t my iPad screen rotate?’: How to turn off the Orientation Lock on an iPad or troubleshoot its screen

  • How to fully silence your iPad in 2 different ways

  • How to change the AutoFill settings on your iPad to make filling out forms easier, or to keep your passwords secure

  • How to disable the Screen Recording feature on your iPad, and remove its icon from your Control Center