Apple iPad Tablet Apps Won’t Open / launch after sync

Starting up my new trusty friend the iPad to record something with Garageband this morning, (a lil piece of a tune that just popped into my head that I did not want to loose) I found all of the apps that I had purchased or downloaded from the Apple app store would not launch. The icon would move and the screen would go black for a part of a second and then nothing. So the guitar was set aside and a trawl in iOS forums began. Needless to say I have pretty much now forgotten what it was that I had come up with before grabbing the tablet :(.

Anyway, the forums were helpful somewhat, in that they eventually guided me towards the right direction, but none of the solutions for this issue discussed what the problem was exactly. There are however a lot of: “well I tried everything and after doing …. it suddenly start working”. While some of the solutions I found were teaching me tricks on the iPad, like removing apps from memory, doing a hard reboot etc., most of the “…” were various process for removing and reinstalling apps via wifi or 3G (not iTunes they said). I was desperate and decided to try this. I use iTunes to install apps and decided to go that route even though the posts said not to. There it was that I hit on the issue my own: “I just tried … and it start working” and I did not have to remove any apps. For me it had to do with Authorization (I think). I did get a new app from the iTunes store, but then before doing much else, iTunes start complaining that my desktop machine was not authorized to play content purchased with this machine. It had always been before, and I do not know what could have changed the status of the machine but it was so. Reauthorizing the machine or in iTunes eyes authorizing it at all, as it thought it had never been, did the trick. After that all my apps were fine again.

I do not know how it happened but something during a sync caused the machine or my apple account to forget about the connection between these two machines.

So before deleting and reinstalling apps etc. try syncing with iTunes, and choosing the Store menu

and either deauthorize and authorize or authorize as needed, then see if you can use your apps again. If it is still not working, then hit the iPad forums and start installing or reinstalling apps, or find your own “I just did … and it start working” process (and let me know via comments what your “…” was for next time please)

About Jayson
Father, mountain biker, Software development manager at a wire service, and also work with the IPTC (

16 Responses to Apple iPad Tablet Apps Won’t Open / launch after sync

  1. Ben says:

    Yes I had this problem too, and found similar solution – need to re-authorize and re-register ipad in itunes, re-sync, then suddenly they work again
    New ipad, old macbook pro with snow leopard (no icloud => using itunes)
    Maybe related to having an old forgotten appleID on the old macbook

    • Jayson says:

      Your case is so similar that the actual issue must be along these lines (bad or missing id, something in a cache, etc.) Thanks for commenting and adding to or backing up the solution.

  2. Faizy says:

    I tried this, but it still doesn’t lunch 😦

  3. all5hills says:

    the only way mine would launch is if I download another app…weird

  4. Melky says:

    I have had a similar problem. This was caused by have two accounts, one on iTunes on my PC and one on my iPad. Once I had both working from the same account the apps worked again.

    • Ted says:

      I also have two accounts, one on iTunes on my PC and one on my iPad — how were you able to get both working from the same account?.

  5. Teresa Green says:

    Tried. Still cannot run some apps. Tried deleting, adding back, adding new apps, hard shut down, deauthorize, authorize. Still have not found my “I just did…and it started working.” Super frustrating. Kiddle and ibooks stopped launching so now I have to go my pc to read my ebooks for class.

    • Jayson says:

      Sorry that this is not working for your case. It seems, after hearing comments from others on this post, that mine was probably just luck. Computers really do do just what we tell them, so I am sure there is some pattern that can recreate or bypass each of our situations, but there are just so many pieces of software (and in many different versions) involved that it is just really difficult to debug. In my case the reauth was all that was needed but many others have stated that was not their case.

      I hope you get this as the iPad as an ebook reader is just the best. In the interim, though it is just a temporary solution and I am in no way suggesting the removal of DRM from books is a good thing or the right thing to do, but you could do the following. First install Calibre ( ) on your desktop where you have Kindle installed. Then import your books you need for classes, and convert them to DRM free epub format ( ). Last install the app “iBooks” on your iPad. IBooks has a nice feature that when you hit a link in the browser for an ebook, when it asks what do you want to do with this file, that the browser cannot open, there is an option to open it in iBooks. This adds it to your iBooks library on the device. Calibre, once you have your books imported and converted into a standard epub or pdf, has a built in webserver that serves up your catalog of ebooks as a website, running on port 8080 I think. So last run the calibre webserver, and then put the iPad on the same network that the pc is on, so it can find the calibre website( like http://%5Bip address here of your pc]:8080/ ) in the browser. Load that site in the browser and then navigate to your books that you need to take with you on the iPad and click the ePub link and tell it to open it in iBooks. Whala. Now again, I am not advocating removing DRM, just trying to help you get your class material to your class until the bug is worked out of your iPad. Hope this helps.


  6. B. says:

    Same problem after syncing my ipad with my HP laptop. Could not open up any of previous downloaded apps. Foo, I went in to download and app, pauses it and deleted it. Then I could open up the previously downloaded apps again.

  7. AvsFreak says:

    Authorized the computer, synched, working fine! Thanks!

  8. Joan says:

    It worked already, I authorized my laptop and synced again.thanks to this forum 🙂

  9. LXI says:

    Using iOS 5.1.1. Had same problem after syncing. Deauthorize and authorize didn’t fix this issue. After installing another free app the problem was fixed magically 🙂 Thanks!
    PS: I’m a necomer to iPad and iOS 5.1.1 is the first OS I use. Just wondering if this problem also exists on older iOS?

  10. dillon555 says:

    also installing a new app worked for me.

  11. Ahmed says:

    I installed new app and it works now.. Thanks

  12. myo myint aung says:

    My friend downloaded fifa 13 app with his iphone 5. I backed up it to my pc using “syncious software”.I exported it from my PC to my new ipad. I installed in my new ipad correctly but I can’t run it. When I tap the icon the screen appears black a while and nothing happened. How do I do with this app without downloading again and using itune in my PC.I don’t want to connect itune coz’ my 2G internet is so weak. One more thing, I hacked my neighbour wifi by connecting “Droid VPN” software in my android phone.It’s OK.Is there an app like “droid vpn” for my non-jailbroken new ipad?

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