How to Clean an iPad Screen

Don't let a dirty screen hinder your view

Cropped shot of young businessman sitting on hotel sofa reading digital tablet

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Cleaning an iPad is part of the regular maintenance needed to keep your tablet in tip-top shape. If the touchscreen is smudged and smeared from repeated taps or some other reason, take the proper precautions as you clean it. The wrong type of cloth can cause damage.

What You Need

Before you clean your iPad, collect a few cleaning supplies:

  • Microfiber cloth: If one isn't available, a soft, lint-free cloth also works. If you wear glasses, the small square you use to clean your glasses works perfectly for the iPad.
  • Water: You'll need to wet the cloth, but use only water. Never use cleaning supplies or solvents. These break down the protective coating on the iPad.
A microfiber cloth on a dirty iPad

How to Clean Your iPad

To make an iPad screen look brand new:

  1. Unplug the iPad if it's charging or connected to a computer.

  2. If the iPad is in a protective case, carefully remove the case.

  3. Lightly dampen the cloth with water. If the cloth is too wet, squeeze the water out of the cloth.

    Don't use cleaners or solvents, and make sure the cloth is free of lint.

  4. Wipe the screen with the cloth. Start at the top and use gentle, side-to-side movements to clean the entire screen. Avoid getting moisture in any openings such as the camera or headphone jack.

  5. Allow the iPad to air dry.

  6. Replace the protective case.

Continued Care of Your iPad

Because iPads are primarily touch-based, the iPad screen should be cleaned often. Keep in mind, however, that iPads have an oleophobic coating on the screen that repels the oils from fingers. Over time, this coating wears down from normal use and using an abrasive cloth or solvents accelerates this effect.

A clean and reflective iPad screen

Clean tempered glass screen protector the same way, but make sure that moisture doesn't get under the glass screen. If moisture does get inside the iPad, get support from Apple or a take it to a certified repair shop.