iPad Unavailable: How to Reset Your Device Quickly and Easily

Having trouble with an “iPad unavailable” message? Resetting your iPad can resolve this issue and get it back on track. You’ll need a computer with iTunes or Finder. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to reset your iPad, erasing all its content and settings, and returning it to factory condition.

How to Reset an Unavailable iPad

Resetting an iPad that displays an “iPad unavailable” message can help you regain access to your device. Follow the steps to reset your iPad using a computer.

Step 1: Connect to a Computer

Use a Lightning or USB-C cable to connect your iPad to a computer with iTunes or Finder.

Plugging your iPad into a computer with iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac) is essential for the reset process. Ensure the computer has the latest version of the software to avoid compatibility issues.

Step 2: Open iTunes or Finder

Open iTunes on Windows or Finder on a Mac.

Once your iPad is connected, open iTunes or Finder. Both will detect the connected iPad and show it in the sidebar. If prompted, enter your device passcode or choose “Trust This Computer.”

Step 3: Force Restart the iPad

Force restart your iPad by pressing and holding the appropriate buttons for your model.

For an iPad with Face ID, press and release the Volume Up button quickly, then the Volume Down button, and finally, hold the Top button until recovery mode appears. For other models, hold the Home and Top buttons simultaneously until you see the recovery mode screen.

Step 4: Select Restore

In iTunes or Finder, select “Restore” when prompted.

You will see a dialog box giving you options to Restore or Update. Choose “Restore,” which will erase your iPad and install the latest iOS software. Confirm your selection when asked.

Step 5: Wait for the Process to Complete

Wait for the restoration process to complete.

The process may take several minutes. Ensure your iPad stays connected and do not unplug it during this time. Your iPad will restart automatically once the process is done.

After completing these steps, your iPad will restart in its factory default state, ready to be set up as a new device or restored from a backup.

Tips for Resetting an Unavailable iPad

  • Backup First: If you can, make sure to back up your iPad before beginning the reset to save your data.
  • Check Your Connections: Ensure your USB cable and computer ports are working correctly to avoid interruptions.
  • Keep Software Updated: Make sure your iTunes or Finder is up to date to prevent compatibility issues.
  • Know Your Passwords: Have your Apple ID and password handy for the setup process post-reset.
  • Stay Connected: Keep your iPad connected to the computer throughout the entire reset process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I back up my iPad before resetting?

Connect your iPad to a computer, open iTunes or Finder, select your device, and choose “Back Up Now.”

What if my iPad doesn’t appear in iTunes or Finder?

Ensure your USB cable is functional and try a different port. Update your iTunes or Finder software.

Can I reset my iPad without a computer?

You can reset your iPad from the Settings app if you have access to it. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Will resetting my iPad remove iCloud Activation Lock?

No, you will need your Apple ID and password to remove the Activation Lock after the reset.

How do I enter recovery mode on different iPad models?

For iPads with Face ID, use the Volume Up, Volume Down, and Top buttons. For other models, use the Home and Top buttons.

Summary of Steps to Reset an Unavailable iPad

  1. Connect to a Computer
  2. Open iTunes or Finder
  3. Force Restart the iPad
  4. Select Restore
  5. Wait for the Process to Complete


Resetting an “iPad unavailable” message might seem daunting, but following these clear steps can make the process straightforward. Remember, connecting your iPad to a computer with iTunes or Finder and using the correct buttons for a force restart are key actions. Ensuring your software is up to date and keeping your iPad connected will help avoid hiccups.

Don’t forget to back up your data if you can, as resetting will erase everything on your device. Knowing your Apple ID and password will also be essential for reactivating your iPad after the reset.

If you found this guide helpful, consider sharing it with others who might face the same issue. Stay tuned for more tutorials and guides to keep your tech running smoothly.