How to Fix an iPad That Won't Charge or Charges Slowly

Troubleshoot charging problems with your iPad

A photo of the iPad charging

Pixabay / Public Domain 

If you are having trouble charging your iPad, the tablet may not be at fault. While the batteries in smartphones and tablets don't last forever, they tend to fade slowly, so you notice the problem long before the iPad stops charging completely. More likely, the problem is with the way you charge the device rather than the iPad itself. This is particularly true when your iPad charges but charges slowly.

An illustration of the reasons an iPad won't charge or charges slowly.

Stop Charging Your iPad With Your Computer

Your laptop or desktop computer may not output enough power to charge your iPad, especially if it is an older PC. The iPad requires considerably more power to charge than the iPhone, so even if your smartphone charges up fine with your computer, the iPad may take a lot longer.

When you hook up your iPad up to an older computer, you may see the warning "Not Charging." Don't fret; the iPad is probably still charging, but it isn't getting enough juice to display the lightning bolt that indicates it is charging. However, it charges slowly.

If you must charge using a PC, don't use the iPad while it is charging. This can result in the iPad not charging or losing more power than it is gaining.

The best solution is to plug the iPad into a power outlet using the adapter that came with the iPad.


Why Won't My iPad Charge?

Use the Adapter That Came With Your iPad

Not all power adapters are equal. The smaller iPhone adapter can supply the iPad with only half the power of the iPad adapter. If you have an iPad Pro, the iPhone charger takes even longer to bring it up to 100 percent.

While the iPad still charges with an iPhone adapter, it is a much slower process. Look for markings on the charger that read "10w," "12w," or "24w." These have enough juice to power up an iPad quickly. The 5-watt adapter that comes with the iPhone is a small charger that does not have markings on the side.

Want to charge your iPhone quicker? The reverse is also true. An iPhone charges faster using an iPad's AC adapter.

Restart the iPad

Make sure the tablet doesn't have a software problem by rebooting the iPad. This helps out if a software issue is causing the problem.

  1. Hold down the Top button (previously called the Sleep/Wake button) at the top of the iPad.

    iPad Sleep/Wake button
  2. After a few seconds, a red button appears instructing you to slide it to power off the device.

  3. Wait for the iPad to power down completely and then press the Top button again to power it back on.

You'll see the Apple logo appear in the middle of the screen while it boots back up. This may be enough to fix the slow-charging issue.

Rule Out a Misbehaving Cable or Adapter

If the iPad doesn't charge through the electrical outlet, you may have a problem with the cable or the adapter. You can troubleshoot the cable by connecting the iPad to your computer. If you see the lightning bolt on the battery meter, you know the cable is working.

If the computer does not react when you plug in the iPad, it doesn't recognize the iPad is connected. Try another cable to see if that fixes the problem. If it does, toss the first cable.

Similarly, try switching power adapters if you have more than one or can borrow one. If the iPad adapter doesn't work, but another one does, buy a new Lightning adapter.

Clear Out the iPad's Charging Port

If plugging in a new cable doesn't work, there may be a problem with the charging port. The most common problem is that dust, lint, or another material has made its way into the port. This is more common with the iPhone, which goes in and out of your pocket often, but it is possible with an iPad.

Turn the iPad upside down and shine a flashlight into the port. You should be able to see if any materials are clogging the port. Use canned air or an anti-static brush to clean out the port. If you use small tweezers, turn off the iPad before attempting to dislodge materials and avoid touching the sides of the port.

You can also take your iPad to an Apple Store and have someone from there perform the cleaning. They usually do it for free.

Contact a Pro When All Else Fails

In rare cases, when replacing the adapter or cable doesn't do the trick, you may have a hardware issue with the iPad. In this case, you need to contact Apple for support. If you live near an Apple Store, go to the store rather than calling the main Apple technical support line. Apple Store employees are accommodating and can most likely address the problem while you wait.