How to fix an iPad Air 3 that keeps crashing or shutting down randomly

Apple’s recently released tablet, the iPad Air 3 (2019) is deemed among the finest tablets but the fact that no device is perfect makes it possible for this new iOS device to give in to random issues and begin to act up. On this positive note, most of these issues are inflicted by software glitches and therefore very possible to remedy at home.

Highlighted below are potential solutions and suggested workarounds that are used to deal with an issue with the iPad Air 3 that keeps crashing or shutting down randomly. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough whenever you need further references when troubleshooting the same problem on the same iOS tablet.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar to yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPad issues questionnaire.

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First solution: Clear all background apps on iPad Air 3.

Apps you’ve opened on your iPad will stay suspended or running in the background unless you quit them. Keeping apps suspended benefits in terms of multitasking, like when you need to reload the same app more often. Nonetheless, keeping apps in this state for long can also inflict troubles especially if any of them crashed. When this happens, there’s a tendency that it would cause conflict to other apps or the entire system itself. That said, clearing all background apps is recommended. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. To get started, navigate to the Home screen and press the Home key twice to view recent applications.
  2. Swipe up on an app preview to close individual apps.
  3. After clearing all background apps, tap the Home screen or press the Home key to go back to the Home screen.

You should notice smoother performance with your iPad Air 3.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPad Air 3 apps that are freezing, closing unexpectedly

Second solution: Forced restart your iPad Air 3.

If clearing background apps doesn’t solve the problem and your iPad still crashes or shuts down unexpectedly, do a forced restart to abruptly and simultaneously quit all errant apps and process and to refresh the iPad system. This does not affect any saved information on the internal memory, so backing up files won’t be necessary. For starters, follow these steps to force restart your iPad Air 3:

  • Simultaneously press and hold the Power button and Home button until the device shuts down and reboots. You can release the buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Allow your device to finish booting up and then see if the problem is gone. If your iPad continues to act up, continue to rule out other causing factors and culprits.

Third solution: Delete bad apps.

Rogue apps can cause a device to act up or misbehave. Everything in your iPad makes up the entire system so if something is wrong with one software component, there’s a tendency for other features or the entire system to become adversely affected. To stop the symptoms and solve the problem, the culprit must be obliterated. For example, if your iPad crashes or shuts down only when using a certain application, that app is likely the trigger. So here’s what you should do then:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPad Storage.
  4. Select the suspected app that you want to delete.
  5. Tap the option to Delete App.
  6. If prompted, tap the option to confirm that you want to delete the apps.

You can also delete the bad apps straight from the Home screen of your iPad Air 3. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen to get started.
  2. Tap and hold on an app icon until the icons start wiggling.
  3. Tap the X on the upper left corner of the app.
  4. Tap Delete if prompted to confirm app deletion.

After deleting bad apps, reboot your iPad to clear caches and to refresh its memory and operating system. Then try to use the device as you normally do and see how it behaves without the suspected apps.

Fourth solution: Update apps.

Another potential solution to app-inflicted symptoms is to install pending app updates. This is likely what’s needed if the in-app glitches are the underlying cause of the problem. If your device is still responsive and has stable Internet, you can manually check and install pending app updates through the App Store with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap App Store. Doing so launches the Apple Store app.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the App Store screen then tap on Updates. A list of apps with pending updates will appear.
  3. To install individual app updates, tap the Update button next to the name of the app.
  4. If multiple app updates are available, tap the Update All button on the top-right corner of the screen.

Reboot the iPad after updating apps to implement the recent software changes and to refresh your apps.

ALSO READ: What to do if your iPad Air 3 is not recognized in iTunes

Fifth solution: Update iPad software.

Aside from app updates, installing the latest iOS version available for your iPad Air is also a potential solution if the symptoms are triggered by malwares and system bugs. The software updates released by Apple periodically not only offer new features but also integrate fix patches to eliminate bug-inflicted symptoms on the device. Here’s how to check for OTA updates on your iPad Air 3:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

Follow the onscreen instructions whenever you’re ready to download and install the update. Then reboot your iPad when the update is finished to save and apply the recent system changes.

Sixth solution: Reset all settings.

Incorrect settings are among the parameters to consider looking into when dealing with recurring symptoms, particularly when they instigated from an update or settings modification. This reset does not result in permanent data loss so it’s safe to proceed even without backing up files. If you wish to give it a try, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose Reset all settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Allow your device to finish resetting and then restores the default options and values. Your iPad restarts when the reset is done. By then you can start re-enabling features that you want to use again on your device.

Seventh solution: Erase your iPad and restore factory defaults.

A full system reset is usually needed when dealing with major system issues or problems that are depicted by stubborn symptoms. If you’ve reached this point facing the same symptoms of random system crashes, then this could be due to some complex system errors. As resolution, you can factory reset your iPad Air to wipe everything from its system including tough bugs and malwares. Just be sure to back up all important files beforehand so you can still recover them later. There are two ways to erase and reset your iPad. A faster way is through settings and it’s depicted with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose Erase all content and settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm full system reset.

If your iPad crashed and then became frozen or unresponsive, you will need to use iTunes to manually erase and restore its factory defaults. You will need to use a computer either Mac or Windows, with the latest version of iTunes app in it. Then follow these steps whenever you’re all set to begin with the full system reset:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPad to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB cable.
  3. When your iPad appears in iTunes, tap to select it.
  4. Then navigate to the Summary section.
  5. Click Restore [device name].
  6. When asked, click Restore again to confirm. Wait for iTunes to finish erasing your device and then installs the latest iOS version available.

Factory settings are then restored and then your iPad Air should restart. As soon as it’s finished rebooting, follow the start-up wizard to set your iPad Air as new.

ALSO READ: How to fix Forbidden error 403 on your iPad Air 3 Safari app

Last resort: Restore iOS in iTunes.

Performing iOS restore is usually needed when dealing with fatal system errors that could not be rectified by a factory reset. By doing so, you can manually erase your iPad, restore it from a recent back up or set it up as new. You will need to use a computer and iTunes app then proceed with these steps:

  1. If your iPad is turned on, turn it off first.
  2. On your computer, launch or open iTunes. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app to avoid system conflicts.
  3. Then connect your iPad to the computer while pressing and holding down the Home button.
  4. Release the Home button when the Connect to iTunes screen appears.
  5. At this point, iTunes will prompt you with a message saying that it has detected your iPad in recovery mode and will allow you to restore your device. Just click the Restore iPad button to instigate recovery mode restore through iTunes.

Aside from a recovery mode restore, you can also restore your iPad Air 3 in DFU mode. This the deepest type of system restore you can do if the problem isn’t resolved by a recovery mode restore. Here’s how to perform a DFU mode restore on an iPad Air 3:

  1. Turn off your iPad if it’s still turned on.
  2. Connect your iPad to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB cable.
  3. While the device is connected, simultaneously press and hold the Home button and Power/Top button for about 8 seconds.
  4. After the elapsed time, release the Power/Top button but continue to hold down the Home button until the screen turns completely black.


  • If the Apple logo appears after releasing the Power/Top button, it means that you’ve held the button for too long and so you’ll have to start all over from the very beginning.
  • If nothing will be shown on the screen, it means that the device has successfully entered DFU mode.

To exit DFU mode, simply follow the steps to force restart your iPad Air 3.

Other options

Software-related issues are usually resolved after performing all the above solutions unless there’s something more fatal in your iPad system that needs more advanced solutions. At this point, you’ve got three remaining options.

  1. Use iTunes alternatives to repair iOS. Third-party iOS recovery and repair tools can also be considered among the last options if performing iOS restore through iTunes doesn’t solve the problem. Thus if your iPad Air continues to crash or shutdown on its own, download and install a preferred iOS repair tool on your computer just like what you did with iTunes. Then connect your iPad to the computer and use the alternative iOS repair tool to fix your device.
  2. Repair/service. If all else failed to offer a resolution and your iPad Air 3 keeps crashing or shutting down randomly, hardware damage might be present. This is when you should opt for service. That said, take your iPad to the nearest Apple service center and ask a technician to inspect your device. While it rarely occurs in new devices to obtain hardware damage, it’s not impossible especially with prior instances of liquid exposure or accidental dropping.
  3. AppleCare warranty. To evade from paying hefty service costs, contact your carrier to report the issue and if possible, avail for warranty.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix your iPad Air 3 that keeps crashing or shutting down randomly. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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