Your iPad has a finite lifespan. After a few years, you'll likely notice deteriorated performance, illustrated by crashed apps, unresponsive buttons, low storage and poor battery life. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, your iPad will eventually submit to time, but there are several ways to improve and maximize your tablet's lifespan and spare you from purchasing another one so soon.
In this guide we'll show you tips and tricks you can implement daily, such as monitoring software updates and removing unused apps, in order to help your iPad last longer. And if you're interested in other tips to improve your Apple devices, check out these tweaks to help clear up storage as well as how to clear up cache to help make your device faster.
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Stay current on software updates
Apple routinely releases software updates that fix bugs and improve overall performance, alongside introducing new features. Installing these updates will keep your iPad's operating system faster, smoother and more secure. You can turn on automatic updates in Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates and toggle on both the download and install options. Going forward, any time Apple releases a new update, your iPad will automatically download and install it overnight, as long as your device is charging and connected to Wi-Fi.
Clear out your unused apps on a set schedule
I think it's safe to say we've all downloaded an app, opened it once, maybe twice, and then never touched it again. Over time, the amount of space those apps take up encroaches on the device's ability to work at peak performance. Bloat doesn't stop at just apps. Your photo library or music catalog can also take up space. Or maybe you let your Apple Arcade subscription expire and now you have a folder of games you can't even play.
My suggestion? Create a reminder on your calendar to go through and get rid of all unnecessary bloat once a month. If a device, like the iPad, is running slow and sluggish, it can leave you with the impression it needs to be replaced, when in reality you just need to do a little routine maintenance.
To view the apps that are taking up the most space on your tablet, open the Settings and go toGeneral > iPad Storage.You'll see a list of installed apps and how much space they're taking up. Maybe you forgot you downloaded several podcasts in the Podcasts app -- this is where you'll find storage hogs and then you can deal with them. Go through the list and delete the apps and content you don't want. If you download files, iPadOS stores them in your iCloud Drive account -- not in your local storage. You can, however, prune your downloads by opening the Files app and looking for the Downloads folder.
Add a keyboard and trackpad combo
If your iPad's screen is cracked or starting to show signs of slowing down to touch interactions, switch to a keyboard and trackpad. As long as your iPad is running iPadOS 13.5 or newer, you'll be able to use a trackpad just like you would on a traditional computer to click on things.
Even if your iPad's display isn't giving you issues, sometimes adding an accessory -- especially one like a keyboard that fundamentally changes how you use the device -- can make it feel like you have a brand-new tablet and convince you it doesn't need to be replaced. You'll need to take some time getting used to the new trackpad gestures, but after that, you'll feel like you're using a full-fledged computer.
If you have a newer iPad Pro, the Magic Keyboard is the best keyboard-trackpad combo you can get. Otherwise, make sure to check out our running list of the best keyboard cases you can get.
Battery issues? Here are some things you can try
It's no secret -- the longer you own and use any type of gadget that has a battery inside it, the more problems you're going to have with battery life. We have several different tips and tricks, including changing your display brightness, disabling any unnecessary connections and limiting which apps refresh in the background, that you can try. If those don't work for you, here are a few more suggestions.
According to Apple, your iPad's battery will perform best if you avoid using it in extremely cold or hot environments. Specifically, anything hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) can do long-term damage to the battery. Using it in an environment with a temperature lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) will significantly, although temporarily, decrease your battery life. So, instead of reading a book on your iPad in the park on a hot summer day, maybe it's best to just enjoy the scenery or find an old-school paperback.
If you plan on storing your iPad for a few weeks or longer, don't fully charge the battery before doing so. Apple says that you should charge the iPad's battery to 50% and turn it off. You should then charge it back up to 50% every six months.
Give it some TLC
Keeping your iPad clean will not only make you feel better about using it, but it'll surely have an impact on its long-term performance by ensuring the charging port is clean and it can efficiently charge, as well as keeping debris out of the buttons so they continue to function.
You don't need any fancy equipment to clean your tablet -- a toothpick works for cleaning out ports, and disinfectant wipes or microfiber cloths will work for getting gunk and grime off the screen and speaker grill. We have a complete guide to keeping your phone clean, and all of those tips apply to the iPad.
And when you're done cleaning it, don't be afraid to put a case on it. A case will help keep it clean and protect it from an accidental drop or four. And if you're ever ready to sell it, having a case on the iPad will help keep it in pristine condition, and in turn, it should result in a higher final sales price.
Read more:Best Places to Sell Your Used Electronics in 2020
Always back up your iPad
As your iPad gets older, the odds of it randomly refusing to work one day continue to rise. This is admittedly a piece of advice I give everyone, even those with a brand-new phone or tablet, but having a current backup for an older device feels imperative.
The easiest way to keep it backed up is to turn on iCloud Backup. To do this, open the Settings app, tap on your name at the top of the screen, hitiCloud > iCloud Backup and toggle it on. Your iPad will then automatically back itself up, every night, as long as it's connected to a Wi-Fi network and charging.
If you're out of iCloud storage space make it a habit tomanually back it up using Finder on a Mac, oriTunes on a PC.
With your iPad now running in tip-top shape, take a few minutes to learn more about all of the iPad features you'll want to know about and how to turn your iPad into a second monitor for your Mac.
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How do I increase the lifespan of my iPad? ›
Optimize your settings.
There are two simple ways you can preserve battery life — no matter how you use your device: adjust your screen brightness and use Wi‑Fi. Dim the screen or turn on Auto-Brightness to extend battery life. To dim, open Control Center and drag the Brightness slider to the bottom.
As a rule of thumb, if your iPad is more than five years old, you'll probably notice slower performance. On the other hand, you could be happily using an iPad from six or seven years ago with no major problems. To get an idea of how long your iPad should last, start by identifying your iPad model.How many years should my iPad last? ›
iPads generally have a lifespan of about 5 years. Keep your software as up-to-date as possible. Plan to replace your tablet every 3 years. Reference Table 1 below to determine if your iPad is still supported.What drains iPad battery the most? ›
The reason why your iPad battery drains even when it is not in use can be background-running apps, using the internet, or listening to music. All these activities keep the processor running at all times which drains the battery faster than usual.How do I stop my iPad from dying? ›
While your iPad is charging, try switching to Low Power Mode. This feature uses less juice and will help you charge your battery more quickly. To turn on this setting, open Settings, tap Battery, and tap the switch next to Low Power Mode.How long can an iPad last at 100%? ›
When it's fully charged, the battery life of an iPad can last up to 10 hours. Whether it lasts for 4 or 10 hours, though, depends on several factors.Can I leave my iPad charging overnight? ›
There is no “memory effect” like older Nickel Cadmium batteries, so you can charge your iPad anytime you want and even leave it on a charger overnight. The battery will also charge very rapidly, to about 80% in a few hours, while the last 20% is more of a trickle charge and takes longer.What's the oldest iPad that still updates? ›
- iPad mini (5th and 6th generations)
- iPad (5th through 9th generations)
- iPad Air (3rd through 5th generations)
- iPad Pro (all models)
Two iPads will no longer get Apple software updates: the iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2.How do I keep my iPad battery healthy? ›
- Do not fully charge or fully discharge your device's battery — charge it to around 50%. ...
- Power down the device to avoid additional battery use.
- Place your device in a cool, moisture-free environment that's less than 90° F (32° C).
Should you use your iPad while charging? ›
Don't use your iPad while charging
If you want your iPad to charge faster, make sure not to use it while it's charging. Leaving it alone until it's fully charged should speed up the process.
The total life of the iPad's battery is going to be affected by the temperature you keep the battery at and the number of discharge-charge cycles it goes through. Turning off the iPad will cause the battery to drain more slowly than leaving it in standby mode.Do iPads slow down with age? ›
Your iPad has a finite lifespan. After a few years, you'll likely notice deteriorated performance, illustrated by crashed apps, unresponsive buttons, low storage and poor battery life.Will a 10 year old iPad still work? ›
An old iPad won't run the latest apps and games, but it can still be your remote control, digital photo frame, dedicated e-book reader, nightstand alarm clock, and more. If your iPad can't run the latest version of iPadOS, it's officially old.Does iPad last 10 years? ›
Technically, an iPad can last for more than 10 years, but its performance and battery life may start to degrade after 4-5 years. It depends on such factors as usage habits, software updates, and hardware conditions.What causes iPad battery damage? ›
iPad or its battery can be damaged if dropped, burned, punctured, or crushed, or if it comes in contact with liquid. If you suspect damage to iPad or the battery, discontinue use of iPad, as it may cause overheating or injury. Don't use iPad with a cracked screen, as it may cause injury.Why is my iPad dying randomly? ›
There are a few possible reasons behind it: A software glitch is causing your iPad to shut down unexpectedly. Your iPad's battery is either too hot or severely damaged and needs to be replaced. Your iPad is experiencing a hardware problem, such as with the logic board or another internal component.Can you overcharge iPad? ›
It is not possible to over charge any Apple battery powered device. Every Apple battery powered device stops charging once the battery is at full capacity, thus cannot over charge. You can leave your iPad plugged in for days if you wish to.Is it OK to leave iPad plugged in 24 7? ›
Apple says it's fine to leave an iPad plugged into the charger 24/7 and this is common, for example, for wall displays and kiosk operations. And, of course, if you want to use an Apple iPad as a HomeKit hub, you have to leave it plugged in all the time. So that's considered normal practice.How long does 80% last on iPad? ›
For example, if you only charge your iPad at 10% daily, a charge cycle will take 10 days to complete. According to Apple, an iPad battery is designed to last 1000 full charge cycles before dropping below 80% of its original capacity (that of an iPhone is 80% after 500 full charge cycles).
How often should I charge my iPad? ›
It's best to charge it when it goes below 20%, primarily to avoid the risk of it going to zero when you don't have a charger available, and to prevent unexpected shutdowns when you might need the phone.Is it OK to turn off iPad while charging? ›
If it is on and you plug it in, then turn it off, it will stay off. As far as charging the battery, it makes no difference whether the device is off or on when plugged in, or whether it is actively in use or not when plugged in.Can iPad battery be replaced? ›
AppleCare+ includes battery service coverage for your iPad or Apple Pencil, which means your battery can be replaced at no charge if we test your product and its battery retains less than 80% of its original capacity.What should I do with my old iPad? ›
For free recycling of your old iPad, a prepaid shipping label, and instructions, see the Apple Trade In website. The symbol above means that according to local laws and regulations your product and/or its battery shall be disposed of separately from household waste.Do iPads slow down as they get older? ›
iPads are not quite like their smaller sister, the iPhone. They have a longer life and don't need upgrades or trade-ins as often. Over time, your device will slow down, and when it loses the seamless touch response it's known for, you may become frustrated.