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13 Apr 2022

7 iPad questions you might be too embarrassed to ask

Is your iPad annoying you and you can't figure out how to solve it? We're here to help
Someone unboxing an ipad mini

We don't think iPads are difficult to use, but if it's your first tablet or Apple device, you will have a learning curve.

You could find yourself neck deep in apps before you realise you don't know how to rotate the screen or turn the thing off.

Don't worry, this is a safe space. There's no shame here, no silly questions, just answers to help you get the most out of your iPad and make your life easier. Plus we also let you know what we think of the latest 2022 iPad Air.

Wondering if you should buy an iPad? Learn the differences between the standard iPad, the Mini, Air and Pro so you choose the right one - see which iPad should I buy?

1. How to rotate the screen on an iPad (with bonus how to access the Control Centre)

Nothing says 'I don't know how to use my iPad' quite as much as watching a video in portrait mode.

If you've accidentally turned auto rotate off (easier to do than you might think), then the struggle comes in trying to turn it back on.

Struggle no more. Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen and you'll see the Control Centre.It's a menu that gives you quick access to several oft-used settings (very handy) and one of them is the Rotation Lock.

Make sure this is turned off and your display will start switching between portrait to landscape automatically.

someone using an ipad. Screen shows the homepage w

2. How to get rid of splitscreen on an iPad

Split screen is terrific. Seeing two apps on one display opens up a world of possibilities. Keeping a calculator open as you look through your bank statement, having a list on one side of the screen as you do shopping on the other, or, let's face it, having Netflix open while you're supposed to be working.

Very useful, until it's not, and that transition happens the second you can't figure out how to go from splitscreen to one screen.

You'll see a black divider between the two windows and you can drag this around to resize the two boxes. Drag the slider left or right to make one of the windows smaller and, if you drag it all the way to the side of the screen, the window you've been making smaller will disappear.

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3. How to take a screenshot on an iPad

To be fair this isn't obvious. There's no dedicated button for it, you need to press two at once.

Press the power and either volume button quickly, there's no need to hold it down. When you release the buttons your screenshot will be taken and you'll see a small thumbnail of it in the corner of the screen for a few seconds.

If you have an iPad with a power button, the process is the same but you press the home and power button instead.

Even the standard iPad isn't exactly cheap. Spend less on one of our top cheap tablets for under £200

Settings screen on an iPad

4. How to turn off an iPad

You held the power button to turn your tablet on, so surely you press it again to turn it off, right? Wrong.

Instead you have to hold one of the volume buttons and the power button to turn it off, because of course you do.

If you have an older iPad with a home button, then congratulations - the power button turns your iPad on and off without the assistance of the volume.

5. How to factory reset an iPad

If you're getting rid of your iPad then you need to get rid of all the personal data it's accrued about you over the years.

Go to Settings then General and scroll down until you see Reset. Press it then select Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your password and your iPad will be as personal data-free as the day you bought it.

You may also need to remove your Apple ID account otherwise it will ask you to login and restore the iPad when you turn it on. If you're reselling your iPad, stores won't accept it with your iCloud still on there. This won't delete your account, it will just be removed from the iPad.

camera screen on an ipad

6. How to clear the cache on an iPad

The internet remembers and those memories are stored as cached files in your browser. This can be a good thing because when you load a webpage you access a lot, your browser can load files from your cache and only download new stuff from the website. This helps websites load faster.

Things can go wrong with browsers, though. Sometimes a webpage won't load with no clear reason why, and clearing your cache can help. This is more to do with your browser than your iPad, but since this is Apple you're more than likely using its Safari browser.

Open Settings and scroll all the way to Safari (it's quite far down). Press it then select Clear History and Website Data.

That's it, all selected website data will be cleared, so you'll need to log in to websites again.

Find the right iPad for your budget - see our expert tablet reviews

7. How to access your downloads on an iPad

If you're looking for a downloads folder then that was your first mistake. iPads store your downloads in theFilesmenu. You can search for the Files app on your iPad homescreen.

Once you've opened it, you'll see options to look at files saved to your iCloud Drive, or those saved on your iPad. Click either and you'll see an actual Downloads menu. Open that to access anything you've downloaded.

What we thought of the 2022 iPad Air

2022 Apple iPad Air

There are four iPads:

  • The standard one, which is the cheapest
  • The Mini has a smaller 8-inch display
  • The Pro has the biggest screen and the most powerful specs
  • And the Air, which sits somewhere in the middle.

The latest version of the Air launched in February 2022 and it got a major upgrade with the M1 processor - this is the same one in the top-end iPad Pro. It means the Air should have comparable performance to the Pro, which costs close to £400 more.

It helps the Air stand out among the other three tablets, which have a clear place in the lineup and a target customer. Anyone who wants a big screen (close to 11 inches on the new Air) and top-tier speeds, but doesn't fancy spending close to a £1,000, should consider the iPad Air.

No tablet is perfect though and having good specs doesn't automatically make a good tablet. The £569 iPad Air is competing with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. And if it's not much better than the £319 standard iPad then it's hard to make a case for spending £240 more.

Head to our expert 2022 iPad Air review to see how it fared in our lab tests.

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