iPad Black Screen of Death? Try These 6 Fixes First

  1. Published on Nov 5, 2021
  2. Updated on Nov 5, 2021
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Just when you’re in the zone, playing your favorite game or doing something on your iPad, it suddenly stops working.

Its entire screen goes black as if it’s turned off but you still receive notifications. This unusual issue is called the Black Screen of Death.

Though it might sound serious, don't panic. It can still be fixed. In this guide, we’ll show you various techniques on how to fix this deathly problem on your iPad.

Why Is My iPad Stuck on Black Screen of Death?

The black screen of death issue is common across many electronic devices, not just your iPad. Its root cause may be any of these factors: firmware crash, malwares, bugs, or hardware damage.

If it’s hardware-related, then your best bet would be to have it checked by an Apple expert. But let’s not dive into this conclusion yet as there’s a possibility that it’s just caused by issues on the software.

If you’re certain that the device is turned on and it’s just that the screen is not displaying anything, then we can confirm that it is indeed a black screen of death. If so, the methods below may fix it.

1. For iPad Air 2019 (3rd generation): Reach Out to Apple Support for a Free Repair

Apple has discovered that a number of 3rd generation iPad Air devices manufactured between March and October of 2019 may go blank permanently because of some internal issues.

Because of this, the company launched a service program to resolve the issue for eligible devices for free.

If your iPad is among those affected, reach out to an Apple service center and have them fix it for you, free of charge. You can also find an authorized service provider through Apple’s official support page.

2. Charge Your iPad

There’s a chance that your iPad’s battery was just running low a few moments before its screen turned black.

Perhaps you just didn’t notice because you were too busy. Or someone, maybe a child, might have borrowed your iPad until it emptied.

Let’s hope that this is the case, because that means it’s not really a black screen of death, but a simple case of an empty battery.

It’s always a good idea to rule this possibility out first before proceeding with the more complicated methods.

Grab your power adapter and charge your iPad for 15 to 30 minutes, then try to turn it on like you normally do.

If this doesn’t work, recharge it using a different adapter and cable as either or both of what you’re currently using may be malfunctioning.

Charge Your iPad

Suppose your iPad has not turned on following all these steps, it’s an indication of a more serious problem. In this case, it’s time to consider other solutions.

3. Force Restart your iPad

As mentioned earlier, bugs and software crashes may cause your iPad to get stuck on a black screen.

A simple yet effective way of flushing out minor issues from your device is to perform a force restart.

The process of doing this will depend on your iPad's version.

For iPads having a home button:

Press and hold down the home and power buttons at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

perform a force restart for iPads having a home button

For iPads without a home button:

    1. First, quickly press and release the volume up button.
    2. Next, quickly press and release the volume down button.
    3. Lastly, press and hold down the power button and wait for the Apple logo to appear before finally releasing the button.

perform a force restart for iPads without a home button

Usually, the Apple logo displays after 15 seconds. If you notice that you've been holding onto the buttons for a while and the screen is still black, then the next thing to do will be to try and repair the system. To do this, check out the next item on our list.

4. Use an iPadOS Troubleshooter to Repair Your iPad

Errors residing in your iPad’s firmware could be the reason for the persistent black screen. The best thing you can do in this situation is to repair your overall system.

Fortunately, there are lots of iPad system repair applications out there that can easily do this. Among them, we highly recommend TinyFix.

Here’s how to repair your iPad using TinyFix:

  1. First, download and install the TinyFix application onto your computer.
  2. Upon installation, launch the application and connect the iPad to your computer using its lightning connector.
  3. Next, from the main interface of the application, click iOS System Repair > Standard Repair Mode.
  4. At this point, follow the on-screen instructions of TinyFix to detect your device.
  5. Then, you will be asked to download the appropriate firmware for your iPad, which the program automatically determines. All you need to do is to click the Download button.
  6. Once the firmware has been downloaded, click the Start to Fix button. The program will then initiate the repair process.

 main screen of TinyFix

Wait for it to finish, then your iPad will restart. The black screen of death problem should be resolved by now. If not, you’ve one last hope before you need to take a trip to the Apple Service Center.

5. DFU Restore Your iPad

If none of the previous methods worked, you may need to resort to DFU or Device Firmware Update restore. This is known as the deepest type of restore for any iOS device.

It works by deleting and reloading the entire code of your iPad, relieving it of any underlying issues.

Keep in mind that this process will also delete all your files, so we suggest that you create a backup first, unless you also want to start afresh.

You can use iTunes to make a backup since your iPad’s screen is useless.

Here are the steps to perform a DFU restore:

Step 1. First, run iTunes on your computer.

Step 2. Next, connect your iPad to your computer using a USB cable.

Step 3. Then, start your iPad in DFU mode by pressing the appropriate hotkey combinations:

  1. For iPads with a home button: Press and hold the home and power buttons at the same time for 8 seconds. Then, release the power button only. Continue holding down the home button and wait until iTunes detects your iPad before releasing it.
  2. For iPads without a home button: Press and hold down the power button. After 3 seconds, while still holding the power button, press and hold down the volume down button. Wait for 10 seconds and release the power button only and keep holding the volume down button for 5 seconds. iTunes should be able to detect your device at this point.

Once your iPad is detected, follow the on-screen instructions on iTunes/Finder to restore your device.

DFU Restore your iPad

Test whether your iPad is working normally again after the restore process.

6. Contact the Apple Service Center

There’s only one thing left to do if all the previous methods have failed, and that is to reach out to an Apple expert. It's possible that your iPad’s LCD may have been damaged due to physical harm.

Bring your device to an authorized service center so a professional can diagnose and fix the black screen issue. The cost would depend on how serious the problem is.


There you have it! Though the black screen of death problem is indeed alarming, it’s not yet too late for your iPad.

You can still fix it by following the methods discussed in this guide. Read every instruction carefully before trying them out in order to achieve better results.

If you have any more questions about your iPad, let us know by leaving a comment below.

J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical freelance writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.
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