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I understand that when I press and release the power button on the top of my iPhone or iPad, it stays on but turns off the screen.

Whereas if I press and hold the power button, a "slide to turn off" control appears on the screen.

Sliding this, as I was told, does turn the unit off, but it does so by suspending the RAM to disk (flash memory, actually.) So, when turning on the iPhone or iPad, it isn't so much rebooting the OS as it is resuming it from flash storage.

How to force the OS to completely reboot on these devices?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

Press and hold the Home and Power Button until your iPhone / iPad reboot (ignore the "Slide to turn off"), you can release both buttons when you see Apple logo.

You can even read the official documentation from Apple.

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If this fails, start iTunes, connect the power cable, hold the power and home button for 10 seconds. Release the power button, but CONTINUE to hold the home button and you will be able to restore. – Michael Pryor Aug 18 '10 at 21:38
It doesn't seem he wanted to restore his iDevice. – Studer Aug 18 '10 at 22:45

Hard power off, hold power button and home button until it shows the shutdown slider, and then keep holding the buttons. After a while the screen will completely turn black. Now press the power button to boot the machine up.

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To cold boot your iPhone or iPad, hold down the power button and the home button together until your iPhone or iPad turns off (Ignore the swipe to turn off if it appears.)

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