Apple iPad Pro 10.5 owners complain of constant reboots after updating to iPad OS 13.4 and above; squeezing near the battery could be a temporary workaround
Apple's iPad OS has greatly expanded the iPad's multitasking abilities, but updates to the OS do not seem to have been a smooth experience for many iPad Pro owners. A reader wrote in to us describing that the iPad OS 13.4 and above update has resulted in constant restarts to his iPad Pro 10.5; a look at the Apple Community pages showed that the problem wasn't an isolated case.
Apparently, the iPad Pro 10.5 would restart every 180 seconds while in use. This issue wasn't noticed in iPad OS 13.3.1 but started becoming prominent after updating the tablet to iPad OS 13.4 and subsequently, to iPad OS 13.4.1. The owner was informed by Apple Support that it could be a hardware problem, but manually downgrading to iPad OS 13.3.1 apparently rectifies it. The issue seems to be persistent even with the latest 13.5 update.
The constant restarts mean that even a complete factory restore in DFU mode can sometimes end in failure. In the words of a user on the Apple Community forums,
Did a complete factory restore in DFU mode. New IOS load and new firmware. No apps, photos, music, or any other personalization installed. Couldn’t even get through the initial setup without the iPad rebooting. Previously did all of the other online suggestions as well (reset SIM card, manually set time to a previous date, shut off cellular connection...you name it. 13.4.1 literally killed my iPad. Apple, please help. This is simply unacceptable. Note that we have Sprint service. Unique to Sprint-configured machines???"
And those that did manage to get remote diagnostics done from Apple ended up having no hardware issue.
i had Apple run diagnostics on the iPad remotely. They told me there was no hardware issue.
They then told me I could pay them $449 plus shipping to send it in and have them “fix it”.
I found that highly irritating that they want to charge me to fix a software problem that they caused."
Going by the replies to the threads (see Source links below), the problem seems to be affecting quite a few Apple iPad Pro 10.5 owners. A workaround that did seem to be effective was to squeeze the iPad Pro in the area near the battery. However, going by the replies in the Community page, this seems to be only a temporary measure as the problem can recur when initializing or trying to update the iPad Pro again.
Several users have talked about turning on Analytics in the Settings and checking if the "panic" text shows something on the lines of "no successful checkins from com.apple.thermalmonitord in 180 seconds". This seems to imply some issue with the iPad not being able to complete a thermal monitoring routine successfully causing it to restart till it gets a "success" feedback.
Whether this is a hardware failure or some sort of firmware bug remains to be seen. Given that users who rolled back to 13.3.1 could alleviate the problem suggests that this could be a firmware issue affecting only certain iPad Pro 10.5 units.
Right now, the only option seems to be to try all sorts of clean-wipes and factory restores or to contact Apple Support. Those with an AppleCare plan may be able to get the defective iPad Pro serviced, but it looks like the rest will have to fork out a pretty large sum to get a replacement.
Thanks to reader Mehdi Adlany for highlighting this issue.