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Improving Your iPad's Battery Life - Tips For Longer Life One Tweak at a Time

Updated on May 27, 2014

Practical Tips for Making Your iPad Battery Life Last Longer

The iPad has some of the best battery life numbers in the market, but even then when you use it everyday you can still drain it pretty quickly. You can take some kind of 'preventative' steps to increase your iPad battery life and implement some basic settings you probably won't notice a whole lot. Following even a handful of these practical battery life tips will increase the time you'll use your iPad unplugged.

These iPad battery tips will also help you keep battery life optimal as the battery ages. We're after collective tweaks that will make the sum greater than the individual pieces - little tweaks that don't make much difference on their own but altogether can be quite noticeable.

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iPad push fetch mail settings
iPad push fetch mail settings

Use Smart Email Settings

If iPad Isn't Your Main Machine, Consider Limiting Email Access

For me, and for a lot of even everyday iPad users, the tablet is not your primary email machine - to be honest i use email on my iPhone more than I do email on my iPad.

So, if email isn't a big thing on your iPad, turn off Push email and use Fetch less. Push is automatic downloading email from the server as new emails are 'pushed' to your iPad. Fetch is when the device, at pre-set intervals, logs onto the server to check for new mail.

Turning off Push altogether and using a less often Fetch setting will improve battery life. The iPad will allow Fetch settings of new mail every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes, every hour, or manually. I have mine set to Fetch manually, but hourly would be a 400% improvement (in theory) over the lowest setting. It won't save 400% of your battery life, but it will contribute to a longer battery life overall.

Open Settings, tap into Mail, Contacts, Calendars, then into Fetch New Data, then slide Push to "Off", and scroll down to find the settings for Fetch, choosing a less-often Fetch interval. Manually is best, but Hourly will suffice if that's all you can bring yourself to do.

bluetooth ipad settings
bluetooth ipad settings

Turn Off Bluetooth

Only Turn Bluetooth On When You Really Need It

I use a Bluetooth device on my iPhone, never with my iPad. The fact is the iPad is not a telephone, or at least not out of the box - and you probably have a cellphone anyway. Most people don't use the iPad for making calls, but those keyboard cases that turn your iPad into a 'laptop' will need it - but you can still turn off Bluetooth for most of the time. And it only takes a few seconds to turn back on anyway.

Open Settings, go into General and then into Bluetooth and slide the slider to "Off" to turn off Bluetooth.

wifi settings ipad
wifi settings ipad

Turn Off Wifi, 3G, & LTE

Disabling Connectivity Means Better Battery Performance

When you're using the iPad as an e-reader, for writing an article (like me!) or preparing an email, or playing a game that doesn't require an internet connection, turn off Wifi.

To disable Wifi, open Settings, tap into Wifi and tap the slider to turn it off.

For a 3G-enabled iPad, follow the same procedure. The less open connectivity the device has to keep track off the more juice it's saving. The more connectivity-dependent features you're able to disable the better.

The same goes for LTE. Disable LTE on 3rd-Generation iPads that have 3G capabilities. Disable LTE for a bit better iPad battery life - again little tweaks that add up to a bigger difference.

iPad Battery Packs: On the Go Electricity - Be Sure You Never Run Out of Juice!

ipad restrictions settings
ipad restrictions settings

Manage Restrictions (AKA: Ping Is a Battery Hog)

Enabling App Restrictions Can Also Improve Battery Life

I have all Restrictions disabled, but that's just me. The one you really need to consider here is Ping - some iPad owners have reported it can adversely effect the battery life. To turn off Ping (which is enabled by default) open Settings, tap into General, then Restrictions. Tap the slider to toggle Ping off.

Most people don't use Ping anyway, even if you know what it is. If you don't know what it is, you won't miss it. It's Apple's social music service that didn't get adopted much.

location services ipad settings
location services ipad settings

Use GPS & Location Services Smartly

Monitoring Location-based Settings Can Help

Apps that want to access the iPad's current location (for finding friends, movie theatres, or greasy spoons) have to ask for permission from iOS, and these permissions are all managed in Location Services. Location Services moved from it's old location in iOS5 to a new spot in iOS6. To find it, open Settings, then Privacy, and Location Services is the top option. You an manage all the apps that have asked to use your location in here. Manage these apps smartly. A camera app may want to use your location, but it's less important than in an App like Yelp, which is basically dependent on location for any real functionality.

Airplane Mode will kill all these birds with one tap. Enable Airplane Mode in Settings, and you'll instantly turn off Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities. Turn Airplane Mode off, and the manual settings for each of these services is re-enabled.

notification services on ipad 3
notification services on ipad 3

Reign In Push Notifications

Only Allow Essential Apps to Access Notification Center

A pet peeve of mine is a stupid app asking to send me Push Notifications - basically it's saying "Yes! I'm a sucker! Send me stuff and try to get me buy more!" On some apps notifications can be great, but in most cases they're really unnecessary and eat up battery life on your iPad. So, turn them off.

If you accidentally granted access to an app to send you push notifications, don't fear: You can manage everything Push Notification-related in Settings > Notifications. It will even tell you what apps want access but haven't been given permission.

Turn off as many as you can.

Protect Your iPad With A Solid Case - Don't Give 'Accident' a Chance to Damage Your Tablet

brightness settings on ipad
brightness settings on ipad

Adjust Screen Brightness

The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do For Better Battery Life

Hello? No-brainer called, it's for you! Adjusting the brightness of the screen is the biggest things you can do to save battery life. Turn the brightness down to lowest level you can tolerate. And unless you're out in the sun a lot, also turn off Auto Brightness.

Most of the time, you can get away with 60% brightness and be fine (and also reduce fatigue on your eyeballs), and this can be lowered to 30% or 40% at night.

You can quickly access brightness by using Four Fingers Up on the screen, then swiping the active apps tray to the right. The left slider controls brightness (it has the little Sun icon under it). Tap the screen to hide the active apps tray.

Apple says that managing screen brightness "is the best way to extend iPad battery life." Take it from the maker. They even do their own battery life testing with Auto Brightness turned off. What does that tell you?

ipad ipod music eq
ipad ipod music eq

Disable iPod Music Equalizer

Sticking to the Basic Music Settings is Best

If you use your iPad as a music station, turn off the equalizer - it likely won't make much difference at all on that tinny little speaker, and if you have it plugged into a sound system it won't matter anyway.

In iOS on iPad, open Settings, tap into Music and the second item is EQ. Turn it off to give that additional little boost to your iPad.

This setting is disabled by default, but you might want to double check if someone else used your iPad, or if you've ever played music on your iPad and can't remember if the setting is on or off.

ipad temperature
ipad temperature

Maintain Optimal Environmental Temperature

iPad Work Best at About 72 Degrees (Fahrenheit)

Keeping your battery life up is also dependent on environment. Avoid very noticeable changes in temperature, and per Apple's official recommendation, keep your iPad between 32 and 95 degrees. Don't take it out in the sun, don't leave it in the car in the summer, and off of heaters in winter and away from air conditioner vents in the summer.

Turn Your iPad Into a Laptop! - Keyboard Cases Offer the Best Balance of Portability & Usability

ios 6 for ipad update
ios 6 for ipad update

Keep Up With iOS Updates

Battery Life Improvements Can Come with Software Updates

Keeping up with your iOS updates also can help, because these sometimes come with firmware updates that will incrementally improve your batter life as well.

This is good idea just as a matter of course. Any security issues are patched with iOS updates, as well as interface tweaks, functionality, etc. If you have an update to iOS available for your iPad, install it the next chance you get.

diagnostic reporting for ipad
diagnostic reporting for ipad

Turn Off Diagnostic & Usage Reporting

Disabling Background Reporting May Help iPad Battery Life

Sending diagnostic stats and usage information to Apple may help them improve the user experience, but it can also lower your battery life with some background activity you don't absolutely need to have going.

Disable Diagnostic & Usage sending in Settings, then tap into General and you'll find Diagnostics & Usage near the bottom. Tap into that and turn it off.

*It should be noted that Apple gathers this information anonymously. No iPad users are harmed or compromised in the process. Brazil-esque policemen aren't going to drill through your ceiling and put you in a bag if you have it enabled.

turn off icloud ipad
turn off icloud ipad

Turn Off iCloud When Not In Use

Disabling Cloud Access Can Play a Big Role

iCloud is a great service - you can take your music anywhere, often in better quality format than what you might have on your hard drive in iTunes.

But you don't use iCloud all the time, and if you're like me you have it enabled just because it's cool - not because you actually really need it or even use it much.

So, disable iCloud and it will kill the background process of uploading and syncing information, and save a bit of juice for the iPad battery life.

netflix app for ipad
netflix app for ipad

Don't Stream Video or Music from Youtube, Netflix, & Other Apps

Smartly Managing Streaming Frees Up More Than Battery Life

You can save battery life and bandwidth by not streaming movie content from the apps like Youtube or Netflix. This isn't a system, it's just a way of using your device.

Hook up the iPad and download video and music directly to your device, rather than streaming it over the internet.

The added bonus of managing video and music media directly also means you'll save bandwidth, if you're paying a monthly contract for 3G or for Wireless.

ipad has 10 hour battery life
ipad has 10 hour battery life

Battery Life: iPad Is Still The Best

The iPad Is Bar-None for Performance & Battery Life

The iPad comes packin' pretty much out of the box - out of the box, with all default capabilities enabled, it still boasts a pretty solid battery life and very good overall performance.

These tips will help you get the most out of your iPad as you use it day in and day out. They can especially make a difference as your iPad starts to age a bit, and the Out Of The Box battery life starts to fade a bit. Batteries do have a life, and eventually if you have it long enough you may end up replacing the battery (or trading in the iPad for a newer model). But in the meantime, with iPad prices at several hundred dollars and the economy still sluggish, these tips will keep you happy for some time to come.

What do you do to improve your iPad or tablet battery life? Leave a comment with any feedback!

Do You Have Tips or Ideas for Improving Battery Life?

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    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 4 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great tips for saving battery time. Some of them apply to any mobile device, some of them, like Ping, are specific ti iPad.

    • zetteharbour profile image

      zetteharbour 4 years ago

      I had no idea all this was possible on my iPad. Thanks for the great info. I use my iPad every day, every where I go and extending battery life is a good investment.

    • ChuckDickens profile image
      Author

      ChuckDickens 4 years ago

      While I was researching this article, I found a bunch of tips I didn't know.... and I think of myself as tech savvy!

      Thanks!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Super tips here! I didn't know about turning off Ping, for example. Thanks!