July 16, 2016

Starting Fresh With An iPad 3

I do the majority of my writing and internet browsing on an iPad. The same iPad 3 that I bought in March of 2012. About a year ago[1] it started freezing up and crashing. I’d usually restart it and it would work fine for a while, then I’d repeat the cycle. Yesterday my 4.5 year old iPad finally pooped the bed.

My iPad got into these crash loops. It would reboot itself, then immediately crash again and reboot. It would repeat this process for 30 minutes or so. If I tried to do anything on it another crash loop would begin.

I wanted to go to the store and buy an iPad Pro, but that wasn’t in the cards. I decided the best course of action would be to start with a clean slate. I was going to restore my iPad back to factory settings and start fresh.

The process was pretty painless. I don’t store pictures or files on my iPad itself, so I didn’t have to worry about losing anything. I hit the restore button in iTunes and left to do yard work. An hour later I came back and it was done.

I was starting with a brand new iPad. No apps. Nothing. It was freeing. I had built up so many unused apps. I had been meaning to weed through them, but this method was way better. Just get rid of them all and only re-download the stuff you absolutely need.

I’ve used my iPad for a week since refreshing and it has been working flawlessly. It feels like a brand new device. It is so much more responsive. I haven’t had one instance of lagging or crashing. I only have a few apps on it, but that is all I need for now.

I use a Bluetooth keyboard with my iPad a lot. A few months ago there started to be a noticeable delay between when I typed on the keyboard an when those letters showed up on screen. There have been times when I’d type out a whole paragraph with nothing showing up on the screen. I’d sit there and wait for several seconds and then the words would start to appear. Before the refresh it would happen to some extent every time I typed. I am writing this post right now with my bt keyboard and it hasn’t happened once.

It appears that my old iPad has new life, and should be able to get me to whatever iPad announcement Apple makes this fall or early 2017. I am still hoping to upgrade then. For now I am just happy to have an iPad that works.

I was skeptical about how effective it would be to restore the iPad. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was old and probably wasn’t going to work very well ever again. I’m amazed by how big a difference it made. If you are having any slowness or weird problems with an older iOS device give it a shot.

  1. Probably around the same time I installed iOS 9 on it.  ↩

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