The 18 Best Tips to Get More iPad Battery Life (Updated for iPadOS 15.5)

Don't run out of power when you need it most

While the iPad gets great battery life, battery life is like time and money: You can never have too much. That's particularly true when you must do something on your iPad, and the battery is heading for empty. 

You can do several things to avoid running out of juice at a critical moment. The tips here shouldn't be used all the time — you wouldn't want to do without an internet connection in most cases, for example — but they're good options when you need to extend the battery life of your iPad.

This article's information applies to iPads running iPadOS version 15.5 and earlier.

Turn off Wi-Fi

Your iPad's Wi-Fi connection drains the battery, whether or not you are using it connected to the internet. That's because your iPad constantly looks for networks. If you're not connected and don't need to use the internet for a while, you can conserve the iPad's battery life by turning off Wi-Fi. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Settings app on the iPad Home screen.

    iPad Settings icon
  2. Tap Wi-Fi in the left pane.

    Wi-Fi settings on iPad
  3. Move the Wi-Fi slider to off/white to disable the Wi-Fi connection.

    Turning off Wi-Fi on iPad

Turn off Cellular Data

Some iPad models have a built-in data connection. If your iPad has a cellular connection, the iPad battery drains when cellular data is enabled, whether you're using the internet or not. If you don't need to connect to the web or want to conserve battery more than you need to connect, turn off this connection. To do this:

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap Cellular in the left pane.

    A screenshot of an iPad Setting with the Cellular Data heading and switch highlighted
  3. Move the Cellular Data slider to off/white to prevent any cellular connections.

Turn off Bluetooth

You probably have the idea by now that wireless networking of any kind drains battery life. It's true. So, another way to save battery life is to turn off Bluetooth. Bluetooth networking is used to connect devices such as keyboards, speakers, and headphones to the iPad. If you're not using anything like that and aren't planning to anytime soon, turn Bluetooth off. Here's how:

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap Bluetooth in the left pane.

    Bluetooth settings on iPad
  3. Move the Bluetooth slider to off/white.

    Turning off Bluetooth iPad

Disable AirDrop

AirDrop is another wireless networking feature of the iPad. It swaps files from one nearby iOS or iPadOS device or Mac to another over the air. It's useful, but it can drain your battery even when it's not in use. Keep it turned off unless you're about to use it. To turn off AirDrop:

  1. Open Control Center on your iPad by swiping down on the screen, starting at the upper right corner. (On earlier iPadOS versions, you may need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen.)

  2. Tap the AirDrop icon, which is located immediately to the right of the Airplane Mode icon.

    Control Center on iPad with iOS 12
  3. Tap Receiving Off in the pop-up screen.

    AirDrop pop-up screen

Disable Background App Refresh

The iPadOS is designed to anticipate your needs. For example, when you check your social media accounts after work, they are already updated so you have fresh content waiting for you, courtesy of the Background App Refresh setting. Cool feature, but it requires battery power. If you can live without this helping hand, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap General in the left pane.

  3. Tap Background App Refresh.

    Background App Refresh on iPad
  4. Move the Background App Refresh slider to off/white to prevent all the apps in the list from loading content in the background.

    Background App Refresh toggle
  5. If you don't want to disable all the apps in the list, leave the Background App Refresh slider at on/green and use the sliders on each individual app in the list. The more apps you turn off, the more battery power you save.

    A selection of apps allowed to refresh in the background on iPad

Disable Handoff

Handoff lets you answer calls from your iPhone on your iPad or start writing an email on your Mac and finish outside the house on your iPad. It's a great way to tie together all your Apple devices, but it eats up the iPad battery. If you don't think you'll use it, turn it off:

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap General in the left pane, and then tap tap AirPlay & Handoff on the main screen.

    AirPlay & Handoff setting on iPad highlighted
  3. Move the Handoff slider to off/white.

    iPad Handoff setting off highlighted

Don't Automatically Update Apps

If you always want to have the latest versions of your favorite apps, set your iPad to automatically download apps and app updates, including app downloads made on your other devices. Needless to say, this function uses the battery. Disable this feature and manually update your apps instead. Here's how:

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap App Store in the left pane.

  3. In the Automatic Downloads section, move the sliders next to Apps and App Updates to white/off.

    iPadOS App Store settings with Apps and App Updates turned off

Turn off Fetch New Data

The Fetch New Data setting automatically pushes data such as email to your iPad whenever the data becomes available and the iPad is connected to the internet. Since wireless networking costs battery life, if you're not going to use this feature, turn it off. Setting your email to fetch periodically (rather than when anything is available) is a good trade for improved battery life. Here's how to make this change:

  1. Tapping Settings.

  2. Tap Mail > Accounts. (In previous iPadOS versions, you may need to tap Passwords & Accounts or Mail > Contacts > Calendars).

    iPad settings with Mail and Accounts highlighted
  3. Tap Fetch New Data.

    Fetch New Data highlighted in iPad Mail Account settings
  4. Move the Push slider to off/white.

    Fetch New Data > Push
  5. Select an interval for your iPad to fetch data. Choices are:

    • Manually.
    • Hourly.
    • Every 30 Minutes.
    • Every 15 minutes.

    Choosing Manually saves the most battery life, but choosing to fetch at other intervals saves some battery life.

Turn off Location Services

Another form of wireless communication the iPad employs is location services. Some apps send you alerts based on where you are — if you allow it. Other apps such as Maps require it to function properly. If you don't need to get driving directions or use a location-aware app like Yelp, turn off location services like this:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Privacy in the left pane and choose Location Services in the main screen area.

    Privacy Settings on iPad with iOS 12
  3. Move the Location Services slider to off/white to disable location sharing.

    Turning off Location Services settings on iPad
  4. If you need to leave Location Services turned on for some apps, don't change the slider next to Location Services. Leave it set to on/green and use the sliders next to the apps in the list on the screen to selectively allow some apps to access your location.

    Choosing some apps to use location services on iPad

Use Auto-Brightness

The iPad's screen can automatically adjust to the ambient brightness of the room it's in. Doing this reduces drain on the iPad battery because the screen automatically dims itself in bright locations. To turn on this feature:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accessibility on the left, and then tap Display & Text Size on the main screen.

    iPad settings with Accessibility and Display & Text Size highlighted
  3. Move the Auto-Brightness slider to on/green.

    iPad Display & Text Size settings with Auto Brightness slider on

Reduce Screen Brightness

This setting controls the brightness of your iPad's screen. As you can probably guess, the brighter your screen is, the more juice is required from the iPad's battery. So, the dimmer you can keep your screen, the longer your iPad's battery life. Tweak this setting by going to:

  1. Tap Settings on the Home screen of the iPad.

  2. Tap Display & Brightness in the left pane.

  3. Moving the Brightness slider to a lower, but still comfortable for viewing, setting.

    iPad Display & Brightness settings with brightness slider highlighted

Reduce Motion and Animations

Starting in iOS 7, Apple introduced some cool animations to the interface, including a parallax Home screen. That means that the background wallpaper and the apps on top of it seem to move on two planes, independent of each other. These are interesting effects, but they drain the battery. If you don't need them (or if they make you motion sick), turn them off by turning on the Reduce Motion setting. Here's how:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accessibility in the left pane, and select Motion in the main screen area.

    iPad Accessibility settings with Motion highlighted
  3. Move the Reduce Motion slider to on/green.

    iPad Motin settings with Reduce Motion highlighted

Turn off Equalizer

The Music app on the iPad has an equalizer built in that automatically adjusts settings, such as bass and treble, to improve the sound of music in specific genres. Because this is an on-the-fly adjustment, it drains the iPad's battery. If you're not a high-end audiophile, you can likely live without this being turned on most of the time. To turn it off:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Music in the left pane, and select EQ in the Audio section of the main screen.

    EQ highlighted in iPad Music settings
  3. Tap Off.

    Off highlighted in iPad Music app settings

Auto-Lock Sooner

You can determine how quickly the iPad's screen locks when it isn't touched for a while. The faster it locks, the less battery life is used. To change this setting:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Display & Brightness in the left pane, and tap Auto-Lock in the main screen area.

    Auto Lock highlighted in iPad Display & Brightness settings
  3. Choose an interval: the shorter, the better for improved battery life.

    Auto-lock intervals highlighted in Display and Brightness iPad settings

Turn off Fitness Tracking

Thanks to its array of cool and useful sensors, the iPad can track your movement and activity as a way to record how much exercise you're getting. This drains battery and — unless you have your iPad on you at all times — doesn't capture much useful information. (It is more useful on the iPhone, which is with you most of the time.) Disable this feature on the iPad to save some battery life.

  1. Tap Settings on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap Privacy in the left pane, and tap Motion & Fitness in the main screen area.

    Motion & Fitness highlighted in iPad privacy settings
  3. Move the Fitness Tracking slider to off/white.

    Fitness tracking slider highlighted in iPad Motion & Fitness settings

Don't Auto-Upload Photos to iCloud

As you can see, downloading and uploading data is a big cause of reduced battery life. This is especially true of automatic uploads and downloads that happen in the background because you don't know when they're going to occur. There is a setting on the iPad that can automatically upload every photo you take to iCloud. This might be important for photographers, but for everyone else, it uses a lot of battery life. Here's how to turn it off:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap your name at the top of the left panel, and tap iCloud in the main screen area.

    iCloud highlighted in iPad settings
  3. Tap Photos in the iCloud settings screen.

    Photos highlighted in iPad iCloud settings
  4. Move the slider next to iCloud Photos to off/white.

    iCloud Photos toggle

Identify Apps That Hog Battery

One of the best ways to save battery life is to figure out which apps use the most battery life and either delete them or reduce how much you use them. Apple gives you the power to identify those apps in a tool that's super useful, but not widely known. With it, you can see what percentage of your iPad battery each app has used over the previous 24 hours and the last 10 days. This can help you decide if you need to delete battery-hogging apps. To access this tool:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Battery.

  3. View the list of apps that appear under the charts and toggle between the two time frames to see which apps are the most power hungry. You may find a few surprises you can remove.

    Battery usage screen in iPad with intervals highlighted

Turn on Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode comes on automatically when your battery reaches 20 percent, but you can enable Low Power Mode at any time to save battery life. This setting reduces background activity and adjusts brightness after a period of inactivity. Here's how to enable it:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Battery.

  3. Tap Low Power Mode to enable the setting.

    Low Power Mode switch on in iPad battery settings

Quitting Apps Doesn't Save Battery

Everybody knows you should quit apps that you're not using to save iPad battery life, right? Everybody is wrong. Not only does quitting apps not save any battery life, but it can also actually harm your battery. Learn more about why this is true in 30 Tips to Save Battery on iPhone

Knowing how much battery life you have left is easy if you view your battery as a percentage. Get step-by-step instructions on how to do that in How to Display Your Battery Life as a Percentage.

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