iPad not charging? Here are 8 things to try

Apple devices are extremely reliable, until the moment they suddenly stop working! Despite its reputation for excellence, reliability, and quality, our Apple gizmos are far from perfect.

The problem is that with so little access to the device’s nuts and bolts, issues like a dead iPad can be a mystery. If your iPad won’t charge, here are some ways you can try to get the water flowing again.

If iPad says “Not Charging”

A lot of people googling “iPad not charging” are actually referring to a rather confusing message that has been around for years. You plug the iPad in and it says “not charging” next to the battery level indicator.

Understandably, seeing this message would make anyone think there’s something wrong with their precious tablet, but that’s almost certainly not the case. All these messages mean that a cable is connected to the iPad but there is not enough power flowing through it to charge the battery.

This usually happens when you connect it to your computer’s USB port, which only provides the standard amount of USB amperage. It’s not nearly enough to charge a hungry device like an iPad! The same may be true of some specialized USB chargers. Even if this message is displayed, your iPad may still be charging, albeit slowly. Also, you may find that it just stops draining the battery while plugged in but doesn’t accumulate a charge over time.

If you’re getting an “not charging” iPad message while using an original Apple charger and cable, it could mean there’s a hardware problem with its charger or cable.

Check the charger

If your iPad won’t charge at all, doesn’t ring, or has no life from the power off state, make sure the charger is working properly. Use it with another device and see if it charges. If the charger works with other devices, but not your iPad, you know the iPad itself needs some help.

Also, check the cable

If you have an iPad that uses the Lightning connector, make sure you’re using an MFi-certified cable (for iOS). iOS devices that use the Apple Lightning connection will refuse to work with cables that do not have the appropriate MFi authentication hardware.

At the time of writing, there are no USB cables with any kind of MFi type block, except for the USB-C to Lightning adapter. While work is being done to introduce something similar for USB-C cables and chargers, that hasn’t happened yet. However, if you have a USB-C iPad, test the cable with another device to make sure it’s not faulty.

Check your port!

This isn’t a common problem for iPads with Lightning ports, but in our experience, USB-C ports have a common problem of garbage accumulation and preventing proper connectivity. You can take a blunt, non-conductive object like a plastic or wooden toothpick and gently remove lint, dust, and other nasty stuff that clings to the port each time you plug it in. Using a flashlight is an easy way to see if a lot of bad things are pushed into it.

A common sign of this problem is intermittent connection where you will hear the charging chime over and over again as the connection drops intermittently. Just be very careful not to damage anything when cleaning the port.

A refuge in the storm? No.

If you’re trying to charge your iPad from anything other than the official Apple charger, try using the official charger first before throwing in the towel if your iPad won’t charge. This is especially true if you want to revive an iPad with a completely dead battery.

Some ports don’t deliver enough power, or they don’t have the right fast-charging hardware to deal with anything other than standard USB power levels. So try different power sources before you panic.

Some 12V USB power banks and car chargers offer ports with different amps. High-powered ports may be marked with a double lightning symbol or some other indication that the port has more power than standard USB can provide. Make sure you use one of these fast charging ports with your iPad to provide enough power for a single charge.

Socket Sorts

Sometimes the problem is quite obvious. So obvious you’d never think of it! If your iPad charger isn’t plugged directly into a wall outlet, try that charger first in case any other extension or outlet system fails.

Make sure the connection is strong and secure, and make sure that other devices work properly when plugged into that outlet. Check the charger itself and see if there are any damage to the prongs that could affect the connection. Always be careful when working with household electricity!

Restart

It’s almost never necessary to restart your iPad, but if your tablet doesn’t recognize that you’ve plugged it in, the least you can do is try turning it off and back on. Often when an iPad’s software crashes completely, the screen will remain black and unresponsive even when a working charger is plugged in. Performing a hard reboot usually solves this.

How to do this varies depending on whether you have an iPad with or without a physical Home button.

If you have an iPad without a Home button, here’s how to restart it:

  1. Hold top button of the internal device.
  2. While you do that, keep one of the volume button until the power off slider appears.
  3. To slide scroll bar to turn off your iPad.
  4. Wait a few seconds, it may take a while to appreciate life.
  5. Now, keep top button again until the Apple logo appears.
  6. Once it boots up, try charging your iPad again.

If you have an iPad with a Home button, here’s how to restart it:

  1. Hold top button down until you see the power off slider.
  2. Slide it to power off iPad.
  3. Wait a few seconds. So how are you these days?
  4. Now hold top button again until you see the Apple logo appear.
  5. After it boots up, plug in the charger to see if it makes a difference

If your iPad still won’t charge after restarting, it’s probably not a software bug.

Reviewed by Apple

If you’ve done everything on this page and your iPad still won’t charge and power on, you’ll probably have to go to an Apple store. If your iPad is still under warranty, you can easily replace or repair it. If it doesn’t, it’s possible in some cases to replace the battery or charging circuit, but if that doesn’t work or it’s too expensive, you may have to buy a new iPad.

That said, unless your iPad is too old or damaged by a manufacturing defect, this is probably not a permanent problem!

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