How to Fix a Tablet That Will Not Turn on or Boot After Splash

By Todd Bowerman

Every tablet is a little different, but many have the same troubleshooting steps.
i Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Experiencing issues with a tablet is no fun task, especially if that tablet won't even boot into the operating system. Most troubleshooting steps for tablets rely on your having access to the tablet's “Settings” menu, which isn't an option when you can't get past the splash screen. Your options are fairly limited when it comes to troubleshooting tablets in this grim state, but it might still be possible to salvage the device.

Charge the Battery

The first step in troubleshooting your tablet is ensuring the battery has a full charge. Connect the tablet to either a wall outlet or a powered USB port on your computer and leave it to charge. Whether you're using an iPad, Kindle, Nexus, or Surface, a fully-charged battery ensures the tablet can complete its boot process and stay powered through any future troubleshooting efforts.

Perform a Restart

Tablet manufacturers often recommend a quick reset of the tablet to clear out possible glitches and bugs. On the iPad, press and hold the “Sleep/Wake” button and the “Home” button to force the device to reset. On the Kindle, hold the “Power” button for 20 seconds. Press and hold the Nexus' or Surface's “Power” button to turn it off and then do the same to turn it back on.

Perform a Factory Restore

If a soft reset doesn't resolve your tablet's issues, it might be time to perform a full factory restore. On the Nexus, turn the tablet on and immediately press the “Volume Down” button. Select “Recovery mode” and press “Power” again. When the device boots into Recovery mode, press “Volume up” to select “wipe data/factory reset” and press the “Power button” to select. Confirm to initiate the wipe of all settings and data. On the iPad, connect the device to your computer, open iTunes, select the iPad from the “Devices” menu, and select “Restore iPad.” Surface and Kindle do not provide a method for performing a factory restore that doesn't rely on the tablet first booting successfully.

Further Troubleshooting

If charging the battery, restarting the device and performing a full factory reset do not solve the boot problem, it's likely that your tablet has experienced a critical failure of either software or hardware, or both. At this point, you will need to contact the technical support staff dedicated to your specific device for deeper troubleshooting steps up to and possibly including the replacement of the device. Most new devices should be covered by a manufacturer's warranty.