PadGadget’s iPad Tips: What to Do when an App Crashes

iPad FrustrationWelcome back to another edition of our how-to tutorial guide for the iPad. Three years after it’s launch, there is probably not a lot that you don’t already know about your iPad, but there is always something new to learn and sometimes, there are simple tips and tricks that you may not have even known about. We try to give you basic guides to how to make the most out of your Apple tablet. Last time, we told you how to properly clean your iPad.

This week, we have some guidance on something that can often be a source of frustration for App Store consumers – the dreaded app crash.

Almost every app in the App Store has at least one review from an angry user who makes claims of crashes. While there are times when an app will have an unknown glitch that will cause it to freeze or shut down entirely, it is not usually because the developer is a “scam artist” trying to “steal your money” or make a buck off of shoddy work.

Oftentimes, the problem can be resolved on your end with just a little effort. So, before you accuse some poor independent developer who sunk his entire life’s savings into developing an app of being a scam artist, try these simple tricks first.

How To Crash App 1

Close the app in Multitasking

If you open a new app and it crashes immediately, or if you are in the middle of a game when it freezes up, the first thing you should do is close the app in Multitasking.

Double tap the home button to bring up the Multitasking bar and touch the app in question, holding your finger down until it starts to wiggle and a red “-” appears. Touch the red symbol and it will close the app, essentially restarting it so that any glitch you may have come across will be reset.

If that doesn’t stop the crashing, try restarting your iPad.

Restarting your device

Sometimes, an app gets a little goofy and you might have to restart your iPad. Most people don’t do this because there isn’t really any reason to shut down your device anymore. However, restarting your iPad could clear away any issues that might be hiding inside.

To shut down your iPad, touch and hold both the home button and the sleep button at the same time. Hold them for about six seconds. Your screen will go completely black. Don’t worry. It is supposed to do that.

Then, hold down the home button and sleep button again. This time, it should only take about two or three seconds for the Apple logo to appear.

This is restarting your device, which could take just a few seconds, or even a few minutes. Personally, I’ve never had it take more than 30 seconds for my iPad to restart.

When it is finished, your lock screen will appear and you’ll be ready to go.

If your app still causes problems try deleting and reinstalling it.

How To Crash App 2

Reinstalling an app

If you are still having trouble, a great solution is to just re-download the whole thing. I actual usually skip the first two options and go straight for the reinstall because it almost always works, while the others are hit-and-miss.

First, delete the app. Touch the offending app and hold your finger on it until it starts to wiggle and an “x” appears in the left corner. Tap the x to delete it from your iPad. You will receive a popup message to confirm that you want to delete the app. If the app is connected to Game Center, you will receive a second message asking if you want to keep or remove your Game Center standings. You should probably keep the standings since you are trying to reinstall the app and don’t want to lose your data.

After you’ve deleted the app from your device, open the App Store app and re-download it. Most of the time, an app that you have already downloaded will show a cloud icon in place of the app’s price. If you see the price, don’t be afraid that you will be recharged for an app twice. Every once in a while, there is a glitch in the App Store that shows a price tag for an app that has already been downloaded. Your account information is saved in Apple’s data center. If you have downloaded it once, you will not be charged a second time. Tap the install button and re-download it to your device again.

If that doesn’t work, you are pretty close to the end of the line and you may want to contact the developer. However, there is one final option that may fix the problem. You could restore your iPad and start over from scratch.

How To Crash App 3

Restoring your iOS device

Restoring your iPad is a last resort. Frankly, I don’t recommend it unless you are having a lot of problems with your device. You will essentially be wiping your entire iPad and resyncing all of your data.

The first thing you will need to do to is to back up the data on your device. Connect your iPad to your computer with the 30-pin or Lighting connector cable. When iTunes launches, it may sync automatically. If it does not, select it from the list on the left side of your iTunes screen on your computer. Select the device’s summary page from the top of the screen. Then, under “Backup” and “Manually Backup and Restore,” select “Back up Now.” Do not restore your device until you have backed it up first. Depending on how much storage your device has, and how long it has been since you’ve backed it up, this may take a while.

When the device has finished backing up, select the “Restore” tab on the device’s summary page in iTunes. The restoration process will take a long time. Even if you only have a 16GB iPad, restoring it will take a long time. I mean hours. Make sure you don’t need your device for the better part of a day before you restore it.

Once it is done, any issues you were having before the restore will probably be fixed. However, if you are still having issues, contact the developer to see if they are working on fixing the problem.  Before you give up, talking to the dev may provide a solution that you hadn’t previously thought of.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik