How to Fix Your iPad's Battery Life

Take these steps to extend the battery life on your iPad

If you use your iPad throughout the day, it can be easy for it to run low on power. As an iPad ages, the expected battery life for each full charge becomes shorter, so older devices can have battery life problems. A few methods will fix your iPad's battery life that include ways to save battery power. No matter which iPad you have, these tips work to extend its battery life.

The information in this article applies to iPads with iPadOS 14, iPadOS 13, or iOS 12, except as noted.

Fix an iPad's Battery Life by Saving Power

The best way to get a full day out of your iPad's battery is to use it more efficiently. You can do that by adjusting a few settings to ensure you don't use more battery power than you need.

  1. Reboot your iPad: This isn't a setting, but powering off and on your iPad can solve problems. You shouldn't have to do it every day. However, before you change the settings, try a reboot.

  2. Adjust the display brightness. The iPad has an auto-brightness feature that adjusts the display based on the amount of light in the room. Still, reducing the overall brightness may be the best thing you can do to get more life from the battery.

  3. If you aren't using any Bluetooth devices, turn off Bluetooth from the Settings menu or the iPad Control Center.

    You can quickly access the iPad control center by swiping down from the upper-right corner of the display (in iPadOS 14 and 13, and iOS12) or up from the bottom (in iOS 7 through iOS 11).

  4. Fetch mail less often. By default, the iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini check for new mail every 15 minutes. They also check for new mail every time you open the Mail app, so it is easy enough to push this back to 30 minutes or an hour. There's also an option to only check for mail manually.

  5. Turn off background app refresh. Background app refresh keeps your apps updated by refreshing them while the iPad is idle or while you are in another app. This uses battery life, so if you don't care whether the iPad refreshes your Facebook newsfeed and has it waiting for you, turn it off.

  6. Keep up with iPad software updates. It's important to keep iOS updated with the latest patches from Apple. Updating your iPad helps optimize its battery life and makes sure your iPad has the latest security fixes and patches for any bugs that have popped up, which helps the iPad run smoother.

  7. Reducing motion features is a trick that saves a little battery life and makes the iPad seem slightly more responsive. The iPad's interface includes animations such as windows zooming in and zooming out and the parallax effect on icons that creates a hovering effect over the background image. You can turn off these interface effects to conserve the battery.

    Go to Settings > Accessibility > Motion (iPadOS 14 and 13) or go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion (iOS 12, iOS 11, and iOS 10) to adjust these settings.

  8. Consider buying a Smart Case that can save battery life by putting the iPad into a suspended mode when you close the flap. It may not seem like much, but if you aren't in the habit of tapping the On/Off (Sleep/Wake) button every time you finish using the iPad, it can give you an extra few minutes at the end of the day.

How to Fix Your iPad Battery By Finding an Errant App

It is not only the settings that can cause your iPad battery problems. While the apps that use the most power are typically the ones that you use the most, sometimes a little-used app can use more than its fair share. It's a good idea to check which apps are draining your iPad's battery by viewing the data from Settings > Battery.

  1. Look for battery level drops. The top of the Battery screen shows a graph of battery level and activity. You should see the biggest battery level drops when the iPad is active. If not, you may have an issue with an individual app.

  2. Examine Screen On and Screen Off time. The number of minutes the iPad was awake and active the previous day (or 10 days) is listed as Screen On time. Also shown is how much activity occurred in the background, labeled as Screen Off time. If the Screen Off time is large, check the settings for background activity to see what's happening behind the scenes.

  3. Review battery usage by app. Below the activity graphs is a list of battery usage by app. The number next to each app represents the proportion of battery used the previous day (or 10 days). If you see an app with a large percentage of battery usage that you rarely use, it may be the problem. Delete it or limit its background activity.

    A screenshot of battery life usage on the iPad

Extend Your iPad's Battery Life With a Power Boost

If nothing else helps, you can get a boost from outside your iPad. You may not be able to plug in your iPad throughout the day for an extra charge, but you can carry an external battery pack. These battery packs act similarly to a wall outlet, except that they are portable.

Is It Time to Replace Your Battery?

For many people, low battery life signals a good time to upgrade to the latest iPad. However, if your iPad serves your needs, you may benefit from a battery replacement. Apple charges $99 to replace a battery on an out-of-warranty iPad in addition to a shipping fee if you don't take it to a store. There are also other options for battery replacement, such as taking it to a third-party Apple-authorized dealer.

Steps to Take Before You Get a Replacement

Before you replace the battery, perform a factory reset on the iPad. This deletes everything and resets it to factory conditions. This could fix battery issues that are caused by the operating system and is a worthwhile step before paying for a new battery. Remember to back up your data first.

You should also back up your iPad before sending it to Apple. Many iPads are set to back up every time they are charged, but it doesn't hurt to do a manual backup in this instance.

Is a New Battery Worth It?

The entry-level iPad is now $329 and is powerful enough for most people. The newest iPad Pro models start at $799 and the iPad Mini 4 is $399. If you estimate that the entry-level iPad should last a person three to four years and the Pro models even longer, then $99 represents about a year to a year-and-a-half worth of iPad use. If you don't need or plan an upgrade for a couple of years, battery replacement is the way to go.

Does the iPad Have Low Power Mode?

Unlike the iPhone, the iPad doesn't have a Low Power Mode, but the above tips can help maximize battery life. On iPhones, this feature alerts you at 20 percent and again at 10 percent power that you are running low on battery life and offers to put the phone in battery-saving mode. This mode turns off a number of features, including some that couldn't ordinarily be turned off, such as special graphics used in the user interface.

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