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Why Does My iPad Battery Drain so Fast? Troubleshooting and Tips

The iPad’s premium all-day battery is one of its selling points, but sometimes it doesn’t live up to expectations. If you’re wondering why does my iPad battery drain so fast, you’re not alone! While the problem is unlikely to be your iPad Pro 11 inch 2nd generation case, it could be caused by half a dozen different reasons. The good news is that it is likely an issue with your software and settings, rather than an actual hardware problem that needs an AppleCare repair. 

 Reasons Your iPad Battery Might Drain Quickly

Here are some common reasons your iPad battery might be draining quickly:

  • Your iPad needs a reset
  • You’re using your iPad more than usual, and your apps of choice are high-energy-consumption
  • Your iPad is re-indexing after an update, draining the battery as it works hard in the background
  • You’re letting your iPad get too hot or too cold
  • Weak wifi and poor cellular reception is causing your iPad to waste battery searching for signal
  • High camera usage is taking a toll on your battery
  • Push notifications aren’t giving your tablet a break. 

As you can see, there’s more than one possible culprit— and many of these reasons come and go. iPad Os does include a handy diagnostic tool that you can use to find out exactly what is going wrong with your battery. Here we’ll show you how to take advantage of that tool, and how to run a full-scale trouble-shoot. 

Troubleshooting Your iPad Battery’s Power Drain

If your iPad is brand new, you’ve just updated the PadOs, or you’ve done a big data dump, you should expect your battery drain to be higher than usual. This is normal, and there’s nothing to do about it but wait. It takes a little while to get the kinks out of the system, and when your iPad is working hard getting everything in order it’s going to need power to do so. 

But maybe two or three days have gone by and you’re still frustrated with the rate at which your iPad battery goes down. Then the first place to go is your iPad’s diagnostic center.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch Settings from your home screen
  2. Click on Battery, then wait for the Battery Usage screen
  3. Tap Show Detailed Usage, then scan the resulting details

You can check your battery usage for the last seven days, and it’ll be broken down by app, as well as by active time and background time. Now you know which apps are battery hogs and which are team players. If there’s an app you use a lot that has taken a good portion of your battery use, you’ll know to cut down on usage of that particular app when you’re not near an outlet.

For instance, if you’ve been doing major photography, you can expect the camera to take up a big chunk of your battery. The apple pencil isn’t a lightweight, either, so if you’ve been into sketching you should expect to need to charge your iPad more than usual. 

Sometimes apps ‘misbehave’ and take more than their share of battery even when you’re not using them. If you see Messenger has been using 3% of your battery when active, for instance, but a good 60% in the background, you’ve found the reason for your battery drain. Force quit the app, shutting it off from background action. If the problem continues, un-install the app, then reinstall a clean version. 

Off and On: Let Your iPad Reset

If everything in your battery usage looks normal, or the system shows a larger-than-expected power drain, your iPad’s system may have a quirk that is causing your problems. This is an easy fix: all you need to do to ‘reset’ your iPad is to turn it off and on. To do this: 

  1. Press and hold both your top button as well as one of your volume buttons
  2. Keep on holding both buttons down as the screen goes black
  3. When the Apple logo comes up on the screen, let go

If you’ve got an iPad with a home button, hold down that and the On/Off button rather than the top and volume buttons.

It’s a simple fix, but this is often enough to get rid of a battery drain if it’s not caused by any specific application and is simply due to a system malfunction. 

Keep a Moderate Temperature

Believe it or not, your iPad is highly temperature dependent, and it functions optimally within a narrow range. According to Apple, the comfort zone of your tablet is 62 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, a little cooler than room temperature. That doesn’t mean you need to be sticking your tablet next to the air conditioner or in the fridge, but they do recommend keeping your tablet between 35 and 95 degrees at all time.  Once you go over or below that you’re likely to run into surprisingly quick draining batteries.

So don’t leave your iPad in a hot locked car. If you need to taking it outdoors in frozen, subarctic temperatures, consider sticking it under your jacket when you’re not using it. Temperature problems will cause more than a small battery drain: in fact, a trip out in snowy weather can bring you down from 80 to 5-and-off in less time than it takes to win a snowball fight. 

Wifi and Signal

If your battery drain problem turns out to be caused by a poor Wifi connection or low signal, there are two possible fixes: improve your Wifi or signal, or turn it off when you’re not using it. A better router may be in the books, or reposition your Wifi router so it provides more optimal signal to your favorite stomping grounds.

If you live in an area with poor cellular reception, turn on airplane mode when you don’t actually need to be in contact with your cell towers. This will free up both your iPad’s processing power and battery potential for other uses.

You can also turn off your push notifications to keep your iPad from wasting power in the background when you don’t really need to know what’s going on anyway.

Your Battery Your Way

Using your iPad will involve using up the battery, there’s no two ways about it. But you should never have to deal with unreasonable battery drain surprising you just when you need power. With the knowledge provided here, you’ll be able to run a battery diagnosis, decide on your priorities, and eliminate power hogs that aren’t actively contributing to your quality of life and your iPad experience.  It’s your iPad, run it your way!