Nothing is more infuriating than waiting on your iPad to get a full charge. This can be especially frustrating when the “slow charge” message appears. We have all become seriously dependent on our electronic gadgets to make our lives easier. When problems occur, such as a slow charging iPad, we lose the advantages that we depend on from these devices.
Slow charging of your iPad is most often caused by using the wrong charging equipment, or the charging equipment is faulty. Occasionally, a bad battery can be the root of the problem. While they are uncommon, a damaged charging port or cable may cause slow charging. Some apps may interfere with the fast charge functions as well.
Sometimes diagnosing the cause of the slow charging of your iPad can be a bit confusing or difficult. However, there are some tips and tricks you can use to determine why your iPad isn’t charging as fast as it should. Taking a few minutes with these ideas may get your iPad back on the fast charge track.
Ensure You’re Using the Right iPad Charger or Adapter
Charging adapters are the number one source of problems, especially slow charging, or incomplete charging on your iPad.
The charger block, the portion of the charger that plugs into the wall outlet, is a transformer that converts the 120 volts AC provided at the outlet to the proper DC voltage for your iPad’s batteries.
Use the Right Charging Block
These charging blocks are designed to deliver specific voltages and amperages. Using a charging block or adapter that is not designed for your iPad can cause slow or incomplete charging.
In some instances, you may even seriously damage your iPad by using the wrong charging block. Don’t confuse this charging block with your smaller magnetic Apple watch charging dock.
Check the Charging Block for Damage
Charging blocks can also be damaged inadvertently. Exposure to moisture can cause short circuits in the electrical components of the charging block that can lead to problems.
The point where the cable enters the charging block housing is vulnerable to damage due to flexing, bending, or pulling.
Cable Ends are Vulnerable
The plug that inserts into your iPad can also be damaged over time. The simple act of plugging and unplugging the charging cable puts wear and tear on both the cable end and the socket on your iPad where the cable attaches. These points should be inspected regularly for damage, wear, and tear.
Plug Your iPad Directly into the Wall
Many of us routinely charge our iPads by plugging them into a USB port on our laptop or desktop computer.
If you notice that your iPad slow charges when plugged into a computer USB port and not when you plug your iPad directly into the wall, you should suspect one of these issues. This is a problem that is relatively easy to diagnose. Simply plug your iPad directly into the wall and see if your slow charge problem disappears.
Not all USB ports are created equal. Older USB ports may not deliver enough voltage or amperage from your computer to perform a fast charge on your iPad.
Even the most up-to-date computer may not deliver ample power to a USB port if the computer is running off of its battery. Some power management features can restrict the power levels sent to accessory devices.
Replace Your Cable
Charging cables take much abuse during their lives. They get folded, coiled, bent, kinked, and pulled. All of these can cause internal damage to the cable that may not be easily visible.
The connectors can also be damaged or become worn during use. Damage to the charging cable can lead to problems like slow charging on your iPad.
The quickest and easiest way to address this problem is to replace the charging cable. You should ensure that the new cable is appropriate for use with your iPad. Not all charging cables can handle the necessary voltages and amperages that iPad chargers deliver.
Clean the iPad Charging Port
Your iPad has a couple of vulnerable spots that can suffer damage during normal use. The charging port is one such point on your iPad.
Normal handling and everyday use can lead to dust and debris finding their way into this small opening which can lead to charging problems. Over time, the contacts in the charging port may also experience some slight oxidation which can lead to slow charging.
There are some do’s and don’t associated with cleaning the charging port on your iPad:
- DO use compressed air to blow out any debris or dust carefully.
- DON’T blow into the port. Your breath is laden with moisture which can make things worse.
- DO use a soft wood toothpick to dislodge large debris. This must be done very carefully to avoid damaging the small metal contacts in the charging port.
- DON’T use pencils, pens, or metal tools to probe into the charging port.
- DON’T use any kind of liquid or spray cleaners to try and remove dust or debris from the charging port.
If these solutions don’t work to clean debris from the charging port of your iPad, your only other solution is to visit an Apple service center and have them perform the repair.
Don’t Use the iPad During a Charging Cycle
While it is possible to continue to use your iPad while it is charging, it may not be a good idea. Some applications are very power and processor intensive, which can slow down the charging process.
Some applications may even turn off the fast charge option on your iPad when they are in use. To avoid slow charging of your iPad, try to avoid using it when it is on the charger.
Make Sure Your iPad isn’t Heating Up Too Much
Overheating can be a problem under certain circumstances. Your iPad is designed to protect itself and will shut down or go into slow charging mode if the internal temperature rises too much. This can happen for several reasons. To keep your iPad charging at a fast rate, keep these issues in mind.
Don’t allow your iPad to sit in direct sunlight, especially when charging. The sunlight on your iPad can raise the internal temperature very high. This is bad for the electronics and potentially dangerous for the battery. The dashboard of your car is not a great place to put your iPad at any time.
Make sure the iPad has adequate airflow around the case. Soft upholstery, inside a briefcase or even in a coat pocket, can keep your iPad from dissipating heat effectively, which can lead to high temperatures and slow charging.
Perform a Software Update
There may be newer software available for your iPad that will help with slow charging problems. Apple continuously improves and upgrades the operating system and much of the essential software included with your iPad.
Routinely updating the software on your iPad ensures that you have the latest and best versions. This can often help with charging-related issues. If you aren’t familiar with how to update the software on your iPad, visit the Apple website at this link.
Check if the iPad’s Battery Needs Replacement
The easiest way to check the health of your iPad battery is to install a third-party app that is designed for this specific application. There are several good apps in the Apple App Store available for download to your iPad.
Those apps can provide you with all the details of your iPad battery status. Download one of these apps and follow the instructions carefully. If your iPad battery needs replacement, a visit to an Apple service center is in order.
Restart your iPad or Perform a Factory Reset
Sometimes, simply powering down your iPad for a few minutes and then powering it back up will solve slow charging problems.
A restart brings the operating system back to a fresh boot and sets all the internal parameters to your configuration.
This can solve lots of problems associated with apps that make some changes while they are running on your iPad. In some cases, performing a factory reset is an answer.
Be aware that performing a factory reset will return your iPad and all of the internal settings back to the same state they were in when you got your iPad out of the box.
You will need to reinstall some apps and reset your custom configurations. I had to do the same troubleshooting when dealing with my slow Roku TV.
If Nothing Works, Bring Your iPad to the Apple Store
As a last resort, after trying all the other possible solutions, take your iPad to your local Apple Store. The trained technicians at the store can often diagnose charging problems and power problems.
In some cases, your iPad may need some internal attention from an Apple service technician. Never attempt to open your iPad’s case or perform these kinds of repairs yourself. You risk damaging your iPad beyond repair or, at the least, voiding the warranty.