Daily Tip: How to quickly charge your iPad 2

Daily Tips: How to quickly charge your iPad 2

Wondering what's the fastest way to charge iPad 2? Yes, it's true -- not all charging methods were created equal. If you've ever wanted to take your iPad out with you and only have a few minutes to spare before you have to leave this tip will help you get the most charge for of your device. Stick with us after the break to find out more!

The iPad 2 uses a lithium-polymer battery, which is also used in the iPhone, the Pod touch, and even Apple's MacBook line of laptops. In the iPad 2's case, the 25 watt hour lithium-polymer battery fills up most of the space inside, which is why it can last for 10 hours of surfing, listening to music or watching videos... provided it's charged. Here's how to get it that way as fast as possible.

10W USB Power Adapter

Apple includes a 10W USB to AC power adapter right in the iPad 2 box and this is the absolute faster way to charge your iPad 2. Just plug your 30-pin Dock cable into your iPad, plug the USB connector into the adapter, and plug the adapter into a wall socket. Apple even sells an extended adapter if you need it.

USB Port

Because iPad 2 needs a lot of power, it will only trickle-charge in a standard USB port (i.e. charge very slowly). Sometimes one port might be better than another, for example many laptops have some USB ports that are independently powered and others that share power. Try different ports until you find the one that works best.

Some laptops, like Apple's MacBook Air which was designed to power an external DVD drive over USB, or the brand new MacBook Pros, have higher power USB ports that could charge faster.If your laptop has a high power USB port, that's what you'll want to use.

Car Adapters

If your car has a USB or AC port, follow the directions above and charge away. If you have a standard car port/cigarette lighter port, you'll need a car adapter. Not all car adapters support iPad so make sure you get one that states it works with iPad 2.

Battery packs

If you're traveling a lot you might want to invest in a battery charger pack. For iPad 2, these are typically large packs that plug into the 30 pin Dock connector and transfer their charge to the iPad. Depending on the size of the battery pack, and they can offer anywhere from a partial to a full charge.

Check before you go

While iPads have up to a month of standby time that means the battery is still discharging over the course of that month. While no one here at TiPb can imagine going a few hours, much less a day or week without using our iPads, if you haven't used yours in a while you're going to want to check it well in advanced of leaving home. If it's only got a little power left, charge at home with the AC adapter before you go!

Cycle the battery monthly

To give your iPad 2 battery the longest life possible you want to make sure you completely cycle it once a month. That means charging it to 100%, draining it down to 0 (until it automatically shuts off), and then charging it all the way to 100% again.

Hopefully this helps you keep your iPad charged. If you have any other tips on battery charging, let us know!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 56 comments. Add yours.

Dan says:

Do you know if it makes much difference if the iPad is completely OFF rather than in standby mode when trying to charge as quickly as possible? Perhaps the difference is negligible?

Avenged110 says:

I thought you can't charge while off... Doesn't it turn the iPad on even if it was off?

Jose says:

You can charge it while it's off, just plug and turn it off. It's faster, and I think on Apple's website recommend this technique.

mbp1915 says:

Thanks Georgia, great info :-)
I have a 10W USB power adapter for my iPad, and have used this while away to charge my iPhone 4 also......... it charges the iPhone really quickly, but someone said that it could ruin the battery........ Do you know if that's true or not?
cheers :-)

Jose says:

Will the 10 watt USB charger work with my 3GS?

jaysinha says:

Do you really need to cycle the battery? I thought that lithium-ion batteries didn't need that. Only older battery tech (NiCad, NiMh), etc....

lanceanz says:

Good post, except my understanding is that it is a bad thing to completely discharge lithium polymer batteries. I've just had a look around the web and everything I've found says don't do it. Maybe 0 on the iPad isn't really a full discharge?

ckalli says:

why dont u run a test.. and post the results of the above mentioned methods..
e.g. in ten min. which way charges the most.. and how much %?
give us some figures

JaJaWa says:

Actually - the last point is BAD advice. Never let the battery get below 20%:

Steve W says:

"Use Your iPad Regularly
"For proper reporting of the battery’s state of charge, be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).
"Charging Tips
"The quickest way to charge your iPad is with the included 10W USB Power Adapter. iPad will also charge, although more slowly, when attached to a computer with a high-power USB port (many recent Mac computers) or with an iPhone Power Adapter. When attached to a computer via a standard USB port (most PCs or older Mac computers) iPad will charge, but only when it's in sleep mode. Make sure your computer is on while charging iPad via USB. If iPad is connected to a computer that’s turned off or is in sleep or standby mode, the iPad battery will continue to drain."

Scatabrain says:

Battery cycling not hurtful or helpful to the device. This whole article boils down to one sentence. Use the included 10 watt charger or car charger gives a faster charger then the usb. The extra tip to check your ipad isnt not needed as an ipad can not go thar long without use. I would not normally critique a post but it already has us debating needlessly about something that leeds to battery paranoia. Leave that to the android and crackheads. Cheers.

LG says:

Deep discharging LiOn cells absolutely shortens their life. Presumably Apple has the cells show 0% and shut off even when there is some charge left to help prevent this level of damage but I would definitely NOT voluntarily deep discharge anything with a LiOn cell.

slumptin says:

What about the iPhone chargers we all have 3 or 4 of? In my experience, some work better than others, but I have only tested Apple's and Griffin's.

breakmedown says:

I agree with those that said discharging the battery all the way is a bad idea. It's much better for your battery to top it off whenever you can rather than deep discharge.
Unless there's substantial evidence and some source of the information, I think that the end paragraph should be removed. Even if it isn't harmful to your battery, there's no reason for anyone to believe it's true and worthwhile to do.

KenC says:

I've heard people report that their LiOn laptop may report odd numbers for its state of charge. It's recommended to cycle your battery to correct it. As in the Apple note above, that's what they recommend. It's to reset the charge indicator.

Ron says:

Routinely discharging a lithium-ion battery will shorten its useful life, but once a month or so will serve to calibrate the gauge which becomes increasingly inaccurate with short charge/discharge cycles.
The best way to prolong the battery's life is to keep it topped up. For example, if the charge state is 80% or below and you're not using it, plug it in. These short cycles don't count against the approximately 500 full-cycle lifespan of the battery.
Some here will disagree, but I've done a great deal over research on this topic and these are the facts.

JXibalba says:

Everyone should re-read this post!
Ron is dead-on regarding using the deeper discharge only rarely for calibration purposes but to otherwise top-off your lithium-ion powered devices. I, too, have done extensive research and have am an electrical engineer. Well said Ron!

Doug says:

Is there a "quick" way to run down the battery?

SoahmZ says:

Turn your brightness to max, turn wifi and Bluetooth on even when not required. Oh, and play lots of games!

leeann says:

why does the iPad say it's not charging when it is plugged into a USB port when in actual fact it is? It does this on both my iPad 1 and 2.

SoahmZ says:

Because it's not charging when your screen is on. It's tricky because it's really charging when the screen is off, in which case you can't "see" the charging logo.

Rick Leuner says:

I have seen some report overheating iPhones on 10 watt ( or 2 amp) chargers. This. Doesn't male sense if the converter truly regulates the output voltage. Does anyone have experience about these high power chargers? Some have said that the high power will toast the lower power iPhones.

Crunch says:

I was under the impression that the "battery training" days were behind us. I'm glad to find out that my force-of-habit battery discharges have not been in vein. :)

gquiring says:

I have been using lithium poly batteries for the past few years in RC aircraft and it's a well known fact that you never want to discharge your lipo batteries. Discharging a nickel cad battery is correct but never a lipo. Lipo's don't fair well if they go below 3 volts per cell, it will actually damage them. I assume Apple's products probably auto shutdown when that voltage is reached to protect the lipo's. It's also recommended that if you are not going to use a lipo for an extended period do not leave them fully charged. The ideal storage voltage is 3.8 volts per cell.

AJ says:

Are you guys serious with this post? How to charge an iPad? This is content farm drivel and I'm embarrassed for you.

Daniel says:

What does this slow charging via the USB 2.0 port of my PC do to the battery? Remember this isn't a one time slow charge.
I prefer to leave the iPad2 connected to the PC at all times rather than to the mains (this is to keep it synced, but also because the mains are unprotected in case of power surges, but my PC is connected to a UPS with power surge protection)

Zaheer says:

my ipad 2 battery drains really quick .. im sure its doesnt stay for 5 hrs,when iam using it .pls help me with ur advise.. thanks

Jonno says:

IF your battery is draining rapidly, you may have lots of apps open in your multi tasking. Ive had to point this out to a few of my friends, double press your home screen button and then hold one of the icons that come up until it wiggles (like when you move apps on the home screen) and close all the apps down. This will help save a lot of battery. Aslo turning off wifi and bluetooth when not in use can help too.

jacqueline martindale says:

Does the i-pad2 have to be on to be charged?

Floresr says:

I doubt it. I have the first version & charge both ways. While I'm using it& after it is fully drained out. I love the iPad.

Zahralol says:

how long do i have to charge my ipad 2 for the first time?

Lynnelee says:

Could draining the battery more frequently than each month be bad?

Pauperqueen says:

Is it true that after 18-24 months the lithium battery in the iPad 2 won,t charge anymore? I just went to buy one and when they tried to sell me the service package that is what I was told. I don,t have a computer at all nor the Internet and I thought this wasva nice portable waybto have both. But the way I am interpreting this is that after about 2 years the IPad 2 doesn't,t work anymore and youbhave to buy a new one. I was told you can,t buy a new battery for these.

Khokharki says:

The minimum full charge for the battery is 1000 times. Now if you charge once in three days ,then still your device will work for about 3000 days which are approximatly eight years, if i am not wrong.

Lane says:

What they don't tell you is this: There're many different mail-in companies that will replace your battery plus many other parts for much less than a new iPad2. I recommend "IfixYouri".

Foxyshadis says:

You forgot to title the last section, "how to quickly ruin your shiny new iPad battery."
Deep cycling is for deep cycle batteries, like marine and NiCad, not Lithium Ion batteries. Crystals don't form in the lithium! Anyone who regularly deep cycles a laptop or phone battery based on bad internet advice deserves their quick device death.

Diddy says:

Correct, but I believe the reasoning for doing this is more related to resetting the software clock that since with the battery so that it may more accurately reflect the state of the battery. It's a software thing not so much hardware.

Mimi says:

Hi! I drained my iPad's battery to a complete zero last night and charged it to a wall socket. It's been charging for more than 6 hours already (on sleep), but it says the battery is only 23% charged! I think that's suuuuper slow. Can you tell me what the problem is? :(

pittcondor says:

Seems the gadgets have problems on the battery capacity marks!!In fact the battery has been charged fully!!!

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Caleb says:

My iPad 2 battery never goes up to 100%, I charge it over night and when I turn it on, it's only 30-50%.

Brandon says:

I started leaving my iPod Touch 4g plugged in all night every night to charge and now it takes 10.5 hours to charge from 0 to 100 lol and yes I actually timed it.

drizel says:

pls help im using my 2days old ipad2 when it drain and when i charged it and open icant see anything...is it normal that it takes hrs before i can open it?ty

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Richard Tay says:

My Ipad 2 take about 8 to 10 hr fully charge when reach below 20% is it normal. Before it take less that 4 hr to get fully charge. The set is less than 1 year. can anyone advice on this.

Kezza says:

Does anyone here have any idea how confused I am? Let it drain. Don't let it drain. All I know is my iPad 2 is always running down, and terribly slow to charge. It's like watching paint dry. I have been reading this thread and trying to ascertain WHAT TO DO and I honestly wish someone here would tell me. You're all smart. What do I do, to make the thing charge faster? Grateful for any help.

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Susie says:

Yes. I am not a techie. I can tell you what to do. Go to the apple store website. Purchase a new charger. It is a square looking box about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches. In tiny print for which u will need a magnifying glass it says 10 watt. You are not done. Pull the end off the square white box that is your charger. Attach the piece that is 2 0 port. Now you can plug the entire thing into the wall and you have a massively powerful charger. I forgot to mention that it comes with a thick six foot cord. Now take your standard Mac USB cord and plug it into the charger on one end and your iPad on the other end. The entire thing comes Pre packaged in one box with everything you need at the apple store. It has picture instructions inside. It will charge your iPad and iPhone quickly. Never drain the battery For faster charging, turn off the iPad screen and all games. Charge the iPad every couple days. It will charge quickly overnight or in about 5-6 hours if the battery is low. The name of the box containing everything is: 10usb charger

the rapid fat loss diet says:

What fish oils would you suggest I take while on the diet method ?

googies97 says:

I turn off all my apps (double tap home button and hold on an app, then click the "x" in the corner) and turn off my wifi so my ipad literally does nothing.... and its plugged in through a wall charger. will his help me at all or is it no different than any other methods?!