Virtual iPad Support?

Hi all,
Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can help my mom get her iPad fixed? She is elderly and infirm and relies on her iPad for all her entertainment (she lives alone), but it’s been freezing and crashing constantly. I am not local to her, and without an Apple Store open (which wouldn’t be safe for her to go to anyway), I’m at a loss for how to help her. I’ve talked her through a few things like shutting it off, etc, but she’s getting frustrated (and frankly hostile towards me). She doesn’t have any Apple devices to FaceTime on or anything. Is Apple offering any kind of virtual support that might help?

Thank you so much for any ideas!

You can submit a support request (which leads to a chat or a phone call):

If she has AppleCare+ everything should be covered. If not, it might be covered by warranty.

If a repair is required:

The iPad can be sent in to Apple and they will take care of the device.

There is a support app for the iPad, some things can be done via this app. A little YouTube video:

But it might be of no big help for an elderly person that is not able to communicate with Apple on her own…

As tech support for an elderly parent, I empathise. That kind of support over the phone can be hard, and an exercise in frustration on both ends. It’s a tough one; even with AppleCare, it might still be challenging to get your mother the kind of support she might need.

If it were me and my mother, I’d start looking into the cost of trying to have the iPad couriered back to me so I could have a look at it for her and decide whether there was an easy fix, or whether further support might be needed. Besides the potential costs, that would also probably mean she’d be separated from her iPad for a bit. I might also consider whether it would be cost effective to source a cheap alternative/back-up iPad (eBay?), something I could order, set-up for her, then have delivered. That might sound a bit extravagant— your mother’s current iPad might be easily fixed by clearing down the internal storage, or by a clean reinstall. But if the path to fixing those issues is prohibitively complicated by difficulties in communication, those potential easy fixes aren’t easy options, with the end result being that your mother has an iPad that she can’t use.

The only other option I can think of is if she has a kind neighbour that could serve as a proxy for either your support offer or an AppleCare call, but that option carries with it other (security/trust) issues…


That really might be the best option.

Very good suggestions. I really like getting a second iPad setup and configured beforehand. This would solve a lot of issues.

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If you have access to iCloud you could restore a second iPad to last backup state. If that works without problems you know it it most likely a hardware problem. You could then ship this iPad to your mom/neighbour/friend and ask them to return the broken one. The restored one should work without problems (don’t forget to swap sim card if needed)