How to Clean an iPad Screen

Don't let a dirty screen hinder your view

Photo of a man reading an iPad.

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If your touchscreen is smudged and smeared from repeated taps, make sure you take the proper precautions as you clean it. The wrong type of cloth can cause a lot of damage. Here's the right way to make your iPad screen look brand new.

What's Needed

Before you begin cleaning your iPad, there are a few supplies you will need on hand.

  • Microfiber cloth. If none is available, a soft, lint-free cloth will work. If you wear glasses, the small square you use to clean your glasses will work perfectly for the iPad.
  • Water. You will need to wet the cloth, but use only water. Never use cleaning supplies or solvents. These can break down the protective coating on the iPad's surface.

How to Clean Your iPad

Cleaning your iPad is simple and takes only a few steps.

A microfiber cloth on an iPad
Make sure to use a soft, non-abrasive cloth while cleaning the iPad.
  1. Unplug your iPad.

  2. If you keep your iPad in a protective case, carefully remove the case.

  3. Lightly dampen the cloth with water If water can be squeezed out of the cloth, it is too wet. Do not use cleaners or solvents. Make sure the cloth is free of lint.

  4. Use the cloth to wipe the screen. Start at the top and use gentle, side-to-side movements to clean the entire screen. Do not get moisture in any openings, including the camera or the headphone jack.

  5. Allow the iPad to air dry.

  6. Replace the protective case.

Continued Care of Your iPad

A clean and reflective iPad screen

Because iPads are primarily touch-based (folks do use keyboards and keyboard shortcuts after all), you'll be cleaning your iPad's screen pretty often. Keep in mind, however, that iPads have an oleophobic coating on the screen that repels the oils from your fingers. Over time, this coating will wear down from normal use, but using an abrasive cloth or solvents will accelerate this effect.

A tempered glass screen protector can be cleaned the same way, but take extra care that moisture does not make its way under the glass screen. If moisture does get inside the iPad, take it to a certified repair shop.