How to Enter Low Power Mode on the iPad

There's no Low Power Mode on the iPad, but tweaks extend battery life

When the iPad got split-view and slide-over multitasking, the iPhone received an even more useful feature in the Low Power Mode, which extends the battery life of the iPhone by up to an hour.

The iPhone offers a choice to enter Low Power Mode at 20 percent of battery power and then again at 10 percent battery power. The phone's Low Power Mode turns off certain features like background app refresh, removes some user interface graphics, and slows down the processor to help with battery life.

Frustrated person using low power mode on a mobile device
Lifewire / Ashley Nicole DeLeon

The iPad can't achieve a true Low Power Mode — there's no toggle for slowing down the CPU — but there are settings to change and sliders to manipulate to extend battery life.

These instructions apply to iPads running iOS 12 through iOS 9. Low Power Mode is not available in iOS 8 or older.

Minimize Sources of Power Draw in iOS Itself

Start by bringing up the Control Panel by sliding your finger up from the bottom edge of the screen toward the top of the display. This Control Panel is a shortcut to several controls that reduce battery usage:

  • Lower the brightness of the iPad's display. The brighter your screen, the more power the iPad requires to support that level of luminosity. Lower the display to the lowest setting that's comfortable to view given your environmental conditions.
  • Turn off Bluetooth. If you're not connecting to Bluetooth devices, shut the radios off. Leaving them on when you're not using a connected device still leaves the radio powered up and actively searching for signals.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi. If you don't need Wi-Fi, turn it off. Much as with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi uses radios that draw power as they scan for new connections.

Stay Away From Power-Hungry Apps

Battery life usage on the iPad

Another feature that can help if you need to squeeze as much power as possible from your iPad is the battery usage table. The iPad reports which apps have used the most power during the previous 24 hours, so you'll know which apps to avoid to preserve battery life. You can get to this information by going into the iPad's Settings app and choosing Battery from the left-side menu. Battery usage for different apps is shown in the middle of the screen.

Other Battery-Saving Settings

In a power emergency, you can also turn off Background App Refresh to prevent apps from contacting the internet and downloading data. You don't want a huge game update during a power shortage, and you can check for your email manually when you are ready. To reach Background App Refresh, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Tap the slider at the top of the screen to turn off background refresh for every app on the iPad or make selections from the list if you must leave some of them turned on.

Background App Refresh settings screen on iPad

Location services can be a drain on your iPad battery, so turn this feature off at Settings > Privacy. Tap Location Services at the top of the screen and toggle the feature to the Off position.

Location Services screen in iOS Settings app on iPad