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The Complete Guide To Maximising iPad battery health (Apple says)

Everyone wants to get the most out of their mobile devices; the iPad battery is crucial to keep the device running smoothly. If you find your iPad battery doesn’t always last a day, I’m here to help.

Here are some key points to get the most out of your iPad’s battery, answering several questions that you want to be answered.

Why is my iPad not charging to 100 percent?

As a general rule, your iPad is not charging to 100% due to the optimized battery charging a feature released in iOS 13, which delays charge past 80% when you’re not using the device. Or the device is too hot and needs to cool or your using a non Made for iPad(MFi) charger or cable.

If your iPad has iOS 13 your iPad learns from your daily charging habits to improve the lifespan of your battery, and is likely why your iPad cannot charge past 80%.

All Apple products including your iPad have lithium-ion batteries the optimal charging levels are between 30-80% which is why Apple introduced the new feature, charging past 80% can reduce the longevity of your battery! To know more what percentage you should charge your Apple device see my extensive article.

Optimal lithium-ion charge levels are between 30-80%

Optizimised battery charging is designed to reduce the wear and tear of your battery by reducing the time your iPad needs to fully charge. Your iPad uses on-device machine learning to understand your daily charging routine so Opizmised battery charging only activiates when your iPad predicts will will be connected to a charger when you typically charge your iPad.

There are other reasons why your iPad is struggling to charge which are mentioned later, but here’s how to turn off the feature if you REALLY want to charge to 100%.

How to turn off Optimised battery charging

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Battery.
  3. Tap Battery Health.
  4. Tap the toggle for Optimized Battery Charging to OFF (gray).
  5. You’ll get two options for when turning Optimized Battery Charging to off: Turn Off Until Tomorrow or Turn Off (permanently). Choose which one you like

Now I will discuss other problems your iPad could have stopping it from charging.

Your iPad is getting too hot

Your iPad being too hot could cause the battery to not charge correctly, avoid leaving your device in a car or in direct sunlight, rooms with poor ventliation or near other electronics that generate heat like a heater.

If you ever find your iPad is getting too hot and the battery cannot charge do the following steps.

How To cool down a hot iPad.

  1. Get your iPad somehwere cool. Direct sunlight is terrible for electronics, and can peremantely damage your iPad moving your iPad out of direct sunlight gives it an opporunity to cool down
  2. Stop using resource intensive apps. Apps that drain a lot of resources like photo video editing software will cause your iPad to get warm. Force quits apps using significant battery life will keep the battery healthly allowing it to charge.
  3. Don’t use the iPad while charging. Although the iPad is designed to be used whilst charging this doesn’t mean it’s optimal for the device as it putting resources into whatever your doing and charging itself. To charge correctly leave it alone
  4. Restart or turn off your iPad. Restarting a hot iPad it off will sharply reduce the strain on the device allowing it to cool down

If your curious on if you can use your iPhone charging and the possible strain it puts on the battery, I wrote a dedicated post that goes into far more detail that you should check out.

Your not using an official Apple charger

Using fake or authorised charging accessories that dont have a Made for iPhone (MFi) label can damage the iPads battery.


Depending on which model of iPad you’re trying to charge, you’re either using Apple’s Lightning cable, USB adapter that was included with your iPad. Using made for iPad charging systems including cables and adapters is essential to maximising iPad battery healthl

Different iPads will require different voltages to charge correctly. For instance, the iPad Air and the iPad Air 2, along with iPad Mini models two through four and the iPad 2 will all use a 10 watt power adapter. Other models will use a 12 watt, 15 watt, or 20 watt charger instead; consult your device’s original documentation for more details there.

Once you’ve figured the correct charger, its wattage, and the proper cabling, it’s a safe bet your device will start charging fully. If not, Apple itself offers a few other tips that may help.

First, check your device’s temperature. If it’s below freezing or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, your device may not behave properly. While using an iPad in very cold conditions might temporarily shorten its battery life—that issue should go away once the iPad is brought back to around room temperature around 68–72 °F  (20–22 °C)

If you have a MacBook and wonder what to do if it’s get cold, I wrote a dedicated aritlce explaining exactly what you should do.

Under some conditions, your iPad may get warm, like doing a resource intensive application like video editing using Lumafumsion or restoring your system from a backup, these sudden changes in heat are temporary and should cool down after heavy use it done.

Remove your iPhones case to dissipate heat

Sites like Amazon have tons of different iPad cases that protect your iPad from scratches and liqud damage, but these cases can trap heat causing damage stopping your battery form charging.

If your device ever hots hot and cannot charge past 80% try to remove it from the see to see if it fixes the issue.

If none of these tips solve your issue a forced reset is a good idea, the steps will depend on if your iPad has a home button

How to force reset an iPad

  1. For iPads with a home button : Press the on/off button which is located at the top right corner of the iPad. For iPads without a home button: Press and hold the on/ off button and one volume button at the same time, skip to step 4
  2. Hold the button until a slider appears at the bottom of the iPad screen
  3. Let go off the on/off button
  4. Move the slider left to right to turn off the iPad, this shuts down the iPad
  5. When the iPads screen is off, it is shut down
  6. Restart the iPad by holding hte on/off button until the Apple logo appears, let go off the button the iPad still restart.

Similar to resetting a PC or router, a forced rest for an iPad fixes many issues.

Is it OK to use iPad while charging? 

As a general rule you can use your iPad while charging. Although if your using resource intenstive apps like video editing, you may charge at a slow rate or not at all especially if doing graphic intenstive applications with your screen set at 100% brightness. Also the battery will degrade faster.

You can absolutely use your iPad while it’s charging. It will do no damage that anyone has found to date. The “but,” however, kicks in when you consider recharge speeds. Using your iPad while charging will cause the device to charge more slowly than normal; this only makes sense; if you’re using the device, you’re causing a drain in power.

This causes the device so charge slowly since it’s doing two tasks, charging and whatever app your using in that moment, if your playing iOs games this sharply reduces the power going into the battery.

Think of it charging your iPad like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. If you pour water in faster than the hole drains it out, you will eventually fill that bucket regardless of the hole; if the hole drains water faster than you can pour it in, you will never fill that bucket. The best you will do is slow the rate at which it drains.

If your have an iPhone and wondering what are the signs it needs to be placed I wrote a dedicated article exactly on this topic that I reccomend you read.

Is leaving your iPad plugged in bad? 

In total leaving your iPad plugged in will not damage the iPad or its battery, as the lithium-ion batteries in your iPad are designed to stop charging at 100%.

The answer to this depends somewhat on what you mean by “leaving your iPad plugged in”. If you mean “while you’re using it,” then no, it’s not a problem at all. If you mean “overnight to recharge,” that’s also not a problem. If you mean “permanently,” then you may have a bit of a problem, but only a tiny one.

It is “bad” to leave an iPad plugged in, because it requires the battery to drain less often. Batteries are made to be use especially lithium-ion batteries found in all Apple devices.

Modern batteries last longer when they are used , this doesn’t mean the batteries that aren’t used are necessarily going to fail, but it’s still unlikely.

While undoubtedly, horror stories of exploding Samsung devices still ring in device owners’ heads, most of these fears are largely unfounded without a significant manufacturer defect.

The idea that a battery can be “overloaded” just doesn’t hold water these days. Charging simply stops once a battery reaches 100 percent charge; there are several protective systems built into most current devices that ensures such response take place.

Leaving your device plugged in will result in a trickle of power moving to the device every time the device’s battery drops below 100 percent power, reducing the battery’s life somewhat due to the extra heat being generated. This can impacts heat which affects battery life—but these are incremental losses, not disasters in the making.

The idea of freezing your iPad could permantely damage it, and is something you HAVE to avoid to keep the longevity of your device.

If you have a MacBook and are curious on how often you should drain it’s battery for optimal battery health (it’s the same as the iPad) please read my extensive article.

Does overcharging iPad affect battery life?

Overcharging an iPad will not affect battery life as lithium-ion batteries are designed to stop charging at 100&. There is not harm in overcharing any modern electronic device.

Apple has been making improvements to the iPad’s charging capabilities since 2012, and among these improvements are efforts to improve charging operations and get the most out of a battery’s life. There are some things that users can do to improve the life of their batteries—one of the biggest is not keeping a fully charged battery running at unusually high temperatures.

It is impossible to “overcharge” a iPad. Remember those extra features built-in, designed to stop a battery from charging once it reaches 100 percent charge? To actually be able to overcharge an iPad would require these features all fail beforehand, this is very unlikely.

What excessive charging can do, however, reduces the life of the battery somewhat. After all, batteries are meant to be used, keeping them charged with no way to discharge beyond that the one percent loss trickle charging presents will ultimately reduce that battery’s life should it ever be called upon to run for any length of time.

As Battery University, a site devoted batteries lithium-ion batteries of the type found in your iPad and other devices do age. Everything from turning the device on, playing games, video editing, and whatever else ages your battery. There is also a function called “planned obsolescence,” in which users are encouraged to replace their devices on such a regular basis that the gradual degradation of a lithium-ion battery never really factors into the equation.

Naturally your iPads battery life after 5 years will not last as long when it was fresh out of the box, but this is normal no matter what device you have.

Keeping these points in mind when operating your iPad will help you get the best longevity out of its battery. Thankfully, so many issues that could impact an iPad’s battery life aren’t factors due to protective systems built-in and the unlikely nature of their failure.