How to restart or shut down a smartphone or tablet

Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Illustration: Restart a smartphone.

Restarting a smartphone or tablet can be helpful for a few reasons. For instance, it clears your device's cache and can repair minor errors associated with various apps. Additionally, restarting fully closes running apps, thus improving performance when your phone or tablet powers back on again. To proceed, select your device from the list below and follow the instructions.

Android smartphones and tablets

Power options menu on an Android device.

Before proceeding, it's important to note that there are many skins applied by device manufacturers on top of stock Android. While the base functionality between various phones and tablets should be quite similar, you may need to use some intuition to get results with the step below.

  • Press and hold the power button (generally on the top or right side of the device), then select Restart or Power off.

The Restart option - This option performs a soft reboot, meaning the phone closes all open applications and then restarts itself.

The Power off option - This option shuts down the device fully, thus requiring the user to press and hold the power button for a few moments to turn it back on. This process is known as a hard reboot.

Apple iPhone and iPad

The Apple iPhone and iPad may be shut down one of two ways: using the Power button on the side of the device or using the Settings menu.

Slider used to turn off an iPhone.

Turn off and restart using the Power button

  1. Press and hold the Power button until you see a screen with a toggle slider.
  2. Lightly press your finger on the power symbol and swipe to the right side of the screen.
  3. To turn the device back on, press and hold the Power button for about three seconds.

Turn off and restart through menu options

  1. Unlock your iPhone or iPad and click the Settings Apple settings icon. icon.
  2. In the window that opens, select General from the Settings menu (A), and then Shut down from the General menu (B).

How to shut an iPhone down using menus.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Press and hold volume down and the power button at the same time for 10 seconds.