Why Won't My iPad Charge?

By Carol Finch

Learn how to troubleshoot charging problems with your iPad if it won't charge on an adapter or on a computer.

There are various reasons why an iPad won't charge. For example, your accessories may be faulty, your computer may not have enough power, or your iPad may simply have a glitch. In some cases, you may think the device isn't charging when it is, because its battery meter gets stuck and doesn't register the charge. You can try a few troubleshooting methods to try to fix the problem. If these don't work, you may need to contact Apple, as you may have a defective or worn-out battery.

Tip

If your iPad battery was extremely low or out of power when you started charging it, it may take a while to register a charge. Wait for 20 minutes or so before you start troubleshooting.

Troubleshoot Charging with an Adapter

The first thing to do if your iPad isn't charging is to troubleshoot your power outlet, adapter and cable to find out what is working and what isn't. For example, you can:

  • Check your power socket by plugging something else into it. If that doesn't work, plug the iPad in to a different socket to see if it charges.
  • Use a spare adapter to charge the iPad. If it works, your original adapter was the problem.
  • Plug a cable for another iOS device, such as an iPhone, in to the adapter and try to charge that device. If it charges, the adapter is fine, but your iPad's cable isn't.
  • Try a different iPad cable. If that works, the original cable was faulty.
  • Connect your iPad to your computer via USB port. If nothing happens, the cable may not be working.

Tip

  • Check your iPad's cable connector to make sure it isn't clogged with dust or dirt. If it is, clean it out gently, making sure not to push debris into the connector socket.
  • Make sure you're using the right iPad adapter. Use the plug that came with your iPad or one with a wattage suitable for your model.
  • If you aren't using an Apple adapter or cable, try to use those that Apple has certified with the Made for iPad label.

Troubleshoot Charging on a Computer

If you've successfully charged your iPad on your computer in the past, try connecting with a different cable. If that works, your original cable is faulty.

Charging an iPad on a computer isn't as straightforward or as quick as charging by adapter. If you have issues the first time you charge via USB, the problem may lie with the computer. You need a high-powered USB port to charge an iPad. If your computer can't provide enough power, you'll see a Not Charging message next to the battery icon, and you may need to switch to charging by adapter.

For an effective computer charge, you should put your iPad in Sleep mode by pressing the Sleep/Wake button on the top of the device. Make sure that your computer does not go to sleep, standby or hibernate mode, as this may drain your battery rather than charge it. Charging by computer can be extremely slow. If you see the lightning flash charge icon when you connect, but your battery meter doesn't change, you need to wait or switch to using an adapter if you want to speed things up.

Restart or Reset Your IPad

If you can't find a problem with your accessories or computer compatibility, try restarting or resetting your iPad. This may clear your system of any glitches that may be causing the problem.

To restart, press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button on the top of your iPad until you see the Power Off slider. Slide this button and wait for the device to shut down before pressing the Sleep/Wake button to turn it on again. If it still won't charge, try a reset by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears. Wait for the iPad to reset and try to charge it again.

Calibrate Your Battery

Sometimes, your iPad may look like it isn't charging on an adapter because its battery meter doesn't change, even though you can see the lightning charge icon. You may be able to solve this issue by calibrating the battery. Let the iPad drain all its power until it shuts down. If you have the time, wait a few hours to drain any residual power, then charge it until it gets to 100 percent.

Check Your Apple Support Options

If you can't solve your battery charging problem, you may need to contact Apple for a service or battery replacement. Your battery may have come to the end of its life -- according to Apple, iPad batteries keep up to 80 percent of capacity through 1000 charge cycles -- or it may be defective. If your iPad is in its one-year warranty or is covered by AppleCare+ or the AppleCare Protection Plan, you may qualify for a free replacement if the battery is defective. If you don't have warranty cover, Apple has a replacement battery service. As of publication, this costs $99 plus shipping.