iPad battery charge problems: Apple iPad has charging issues

The iPad is a first generation product. And you know what that means – we’re going to see some bugs and glitches hidden throughout the tablet’s hardware and software. The first of those not-fully-ironed-out bugs seems to be related to the way the device charges. According to reports, and confirmation on our own fleet of iPads, the Apple tablet has issues when trying to top off its integrated battery. Instead of charging the battery, certain charging scenarios will result in a “Not Charging” indicator being displayed in the top-right corner of the display.

It turns out that the new Apple gadget won’t charge through USB ports on non-Apple computers. Here’s what we know so far through reports and our own tests:

  • iPad charges just fine through the wall charging brick and accompanying USB data cable
  • It charges just fine when connected to USB ports on iMac, MacBook Pro
  • It does not charge correctly when connected to a PC
  • It does not charge correctly when connected to an older MacBook Pro (pre-Unibody)
  • It does not charge through USB hubs, regardless of what the hub is connected to (PC or Mac)

What’s going on here? Well, Apple apparently designed the iPad to be charged through its own wall charger. It was designed to be charged only through high-power USB 2.0 ports, but Apple also mentions in their tech notes that some USB 2.0 ports do not provide the necessary power to charge the battery.

So, are you having iPad charging problems? Are you seeing the “Not Charging” indicator? Are you a Windows PC user that is frustrated with how your shiny new gadget isn’t getting its charge on through your computer’s USB port? Sound off in the comments below and make sure to vote in our poll!

[Via: ConsumerReports and Apple]

  • KennMSr

    When PC’s are made inexpensive, corners have to be cut somewhere so what do they expect. State of the Art is not inexpensive, so you get what you pay for.

  • Dr. Mom

    Never mind the charging issues, Apple has to get on the stick and fix the problems with iTunes 9.1 installation on PC’s, just check it out in the support forums. I haven’t seen so many issues since the 7.7 spinning beach ball of death fiasco.

  • DebM11

    Only charges thru an Apple product? So if I could afford to buy a MacBook, I might consider it – but paying $2K for a laptop … that laptop should be gold-plated.

  • Curt

    Last night I connected my iPad to my PC to sync and went to bed with the battery at 88%. This morning, although it indicated “Not Charging” while connected, it’s now at 100%. Did it really charge? Who knows?

    • Lawrence

      I’ve had a similar thing happen that happened to Curt. The charge indicator was at 86%, then I connected it to the USB port on a PC. The iPad showed “Not Charging”, but when I removed it from the USB, the iPad showed a 92% charge. So it looks like it charges (somewhat) when connected to a PC. I’m not sure how long it was charging for, but clearly it charges, albeit slowly. But then again, it charges slowly when connected to the supplied wall charger as well.

  • Inspector Gadget

    I normally do not post on forums, but I am so upset with the charging (lack of) friendly charging.

    I’ve got a new Macbook Pro and have also used the Wall Charger and this iPad takes FOREVER to get a full charge, absolutely ridiculous.

  • Patrick

    When I plugged my iPad into the USB port on my PC, it said not charging. So I found this website and plugged my iPad into the wall and charged really fast! I was at 49% a few hours ago and now it’s 100%!

  • John

    I don't seem to be getting anywhere near 10 hours of use, and have heard reports of others getting more than that… I'm wondering if there's a setting or something that i need to change.

    Also wondering how fast your iPad charges?? Mine has taken over 17 minutes to go up only 3% (it's connected to my new 27" iMac, and no, i'm not using it), and at that rate (at 13% now), that's about 8 hours or so to get to full charge, which doesn't seem right.

    Anyone else experiencing slow charging??

    • David

      my ipad, 3 weeks old, is taking 3 day s to charge from 2% to 48% … I’m using the wall charger that came with the unit … but this seems rather slow … comments

      • Jcrosso

        I’m having the same problem, clearly a bad battery or interface with the charging device

  • Matt

    Apple's online documentation specifies that the iPad will charge through standard USB ports ONLY when the iPad is in sleep mode. It does charge much more slowly this way, and the moment the iPad resumes operation from sleep mode, you see the 'not charging' indicator in the upper-right corner of the display. However; during the sleep mode (and as long as your computer is powered on and not in sleep mode itself) the iPad has been gaining charge.

  • TC10

    So, I automatically sleep my iMac all the time. I had iPad plugged in overnight and it did not charge at all. Does this mean that I now need to have my iMac on all the time when I ant to charge the iPad. That will get expensive. Sigh.

    Looks like I have to sync with iMac and recharge using wall outlet. Not very user-friendly so far. As someone said up above this is version 1. Hopefully version 2 sw will fix this as well.

  • Pedro

    “So, I automatically sleep my iMac all the time. I had iPad plugged in overnight and it did not charge at all. …. Not very user-friendly so far.”

    So let me get this straight, you click Sleep, the monitor goes dark, the hard drive spins down, the fan turns off and everything about your computer goes quiet… like it’s gone to sleep… EXCEPT that power is somehow still flowing through to your USB port?


    The fact that you think that a software “fix” on the iPad will somehow resolve this “problem” tells me that you need to put your iPad back in its original packaging, and take it back to the Apple store because you’re just too stupid to own one.


    • Roger

      Ha! Win.

    • Mike

      Genius. Absolutely spot on. My iPad charges perfectly through the wall socket and although it says "Not Charging" when plugged into my laptop, it does charge slowly. That's fine with me, the iPad is the most powerful tablet device yet. If I go travelling, I can either take the wall connector with me or charge it slowly on my laptop. At least I have the choice.

    • Ben Gross

      He is not the only one. Just read more here and try to stay calm. Haha, not possible… USB specifications don't say 10W ANYWHERE. So, in order for everyone to NOT blow up all their USB devices, I sure hope they all stay within the specification.

      Apple is stupid. They should have made it "charges only through wall unit." The software should tell you when you connect to USB, that it will ONLY charge with the wall outlet.

      Also some nice Berquist heatsink material between the batteries and case would be cheap in production but prolong total battery life (Until 80% chargeable) by at least 30%, by removing heat more effectively from the charging battieries. But then again, they want to sell batteries to us.


      Stay on top of things Apple, don't turn into a pc.

  • James

    When i use the wall charge with a non apple cable (from logitech etc) it takes about 7 hrs for the battery to fully charge…pretty insane really.

    • Ben Gross

      You, like so many others, are doing it wrong. A cable only carries current, I really doubt that is your problem.

  • mike

    I havnt brought one yet but all i here is bad problems about these ipads,i realy want one ,but im now being told by pc world that there is battery problems,also what happens after 2 years of using the ipad,and like all rechargable batterys the end up loosing there charge,meaning your stuck with a great bit of kit which u can only run for a couple of hours and having to plug in all the time to use it,im gutted ,i dont think its the right time to get one yet.(gutted for real)

  • rico

    @mike apple will replace the entire ipad for a fee of US$99 if the battery is not working properly. just go to the apple center and tell them about your problem.

    • Sizzles

      They’ll actually replace the entire ipad for a fee of just $499. ¬†Check it out.

  • Loenwind

    Ok, let’s do the math:

    The iPad has a 25Wh battery, it can run for about 10 hours, to it draws about 2.5 watts.

    The iPad charger can provide 10 watts of power, so the iPad has its 2.5 watts for running and can put 7.5 watts into the battery. If it’s sleeping it can put, I’d guess, about 9.5 watts into the battery.

    The iPhone charger and newer Macs can provide 5 watts of power. That’s 2.5 resp. 4.5 watts for the battery.

    A standard USB port as it can be found about anywhere can provide 2.5 watts. So a running iPad has what left for the battery? Um, that’s hard. What is 2.5 minus 2.5…?

    • Andrew

      Good point

  • Ryan

    I found a cable on the internet that solves the charging issues from PCs. It's called a "CSquid" – it has a GreenCharge mode and a datasync mode. It worked for my iPad – I can now charge it from my HP laptop.

  • So, the conclusion is the iPad draws more power than an iPhone or iPad (shocking!) so it can’t charge and run off most USB ports because they don’t supply enough current. But it works fine with the supplied wall charger.

    Wow, another Apple scandal exposed!

    • Jcrosso

      not for me – won’t even charge from teh wall unit

  • The Apple tablet has issues when trying to top off its integrated battery.

  • macfrustration

    totally run into the same problem .. not charging with my PC through USB…. ; (((

  • Myguel

    they just want us to buy another one ! So i will do purchase the next version , i am hooked! addicted! to Apples! that is as simple as that!

  • vraiment hot! on r√©sout nos probl√®me online!

  • Jcrosso

    Not only am I having problems with “not charging” from some chargers, but now (after a month of use…), it will say it’s charging from the wall unit, but charges so slowly it’s worthless (like 10% overnight!) Off to the store today….

  • Xtrajerry

    So it doesn’t charge through USB ports on PC’s.. lots of things dont work right on USB ports on PC’s.. Doesn’t charge on iMac when it’s sleeping.. duh.. don’t own an imac but maybe there is a setting to keep the usb ports powered in sleep mode.. I’ve seen that on my pc somewhere.. Doesn’t chage right using off brand cables and chargers.. hmm.. If all technology was backward compatable peeps would be bitching that it doesnt’ come with a floppy drive..

    maybe I’m lucky, maybe just common sence but I get way more than 10 hours,, mostly twitter, email and tracking stocks.. I don’t top off the battery let it get into the red b4 charging or at least try to.. and yes I’m using the charger and cable that came with it.. wasn’t totally surprised that usb ports didn’t work.. voltage issues have been around forever and besides if I’m sitting at my desk why use that ipad.. or better question why sit at the desk and be plugged into a 2 ft cord using the ipad when i can sit on the couch and do the same from wall outlet..

    That’s the biggest prob y’all having be happy it’s working fine,,

  • Nysalesman100

    It’s one thing if the iPad won’t charge through a PC, but it’s totally another thing when it won’t charge through the wall connector or get recognized in iTunes. After about seven months of use my iPad stopped charging through the wall socket and won’t be recognized by iTunes. I tried multiple “iPad” charging bricks (Apple products, not third party) and multiple ‘iPad” compliant cables (again Apple products) nothing works. After a few days of playing around it magically got recognized by iTunes and worked thereafter for a few weeks (both recognized by iTunes and charging through the wall outlet). Earlier this week it decided to stop being recognized and charged again. Since the problem is intermittent and the connections are secure (and the connection hardware is not to blame) I’m thinking this is a logic problem with first gen (and maybe 2nd gen) iPads. I’ll be taking it into the Apple store tomorrow to fix or replace (likely replace). BTW, I Googled this problem and there are a multitude of people that have experienced the same failure.

    • Daniel Lainez

      Nysalesman100, im also experiencing the same problem with my Ipad 1st Gen 64gb tablet. Its not being detected by itunes, nor is it charging thru the USB or wall outlet connection… as you mention, maybe its a first gen hardware problem related to the device’s internal charging system, I dont know, but im hoping for your “miracle” to happen to me as well, even though I will always consider it as unreliable working under these circumstances. I guess like you mentioned, our best bet is to take it in store and get it replaced.

    • Gsaunde

      This is the same problem I’m having on the ipad. The other problem I started having and this is with my ipad(2010), itouch(2009) , and ipod(2005) is that the batter drains to zero. The device is completely charged at 100%, I use them for 45-min to 1 hour then turn them off and when I go to use it again (maybe later that evening or next day) the charge is completely gone and they won’t even turn on. I know I have turned off the devices (maybe not the full shut down) and the battery is drained. Could any of this be because of a software update? I did notice this on the ipad after the update that changed the side button from “lock screen orientation” to”mute”. That was a bummer. Anyway still looking for an answer on line before I go to the apple store.

    • Debbie

      I am having the same thing happening to my Ipad3! It won’t charge now on ANY outlet; car, computer, wall, etc! If I plug it into my computer it says “this computer does not recognize this USB port item. If I plug into the wall, its says “charging for a few seconds, then says ‘not charging’. Same with the car. Now it’s not charging at all! It makes me sick that these things costs what they do and then do this, especially when Apple knows this is happening! Mine also gets so hot to the touch that I can’t hold it in my hand sometime! This too seems to be more than just MY problem! Apple needs to recall these things and get the ‘kinks’ out and send us new ones if this continues to be a problem. I cannot afford to go pay almost $1000 for something to use for 6 months! The closest Apple store is about 35 miles from me! So now I have to drive down there to find out what to do! This really sucks!

  • Tillzy

    I got my¬†iPad¬†2 days ago and it Charged fine through The plug in the wall and My Laptop but It suddenly stopped working?? It says in the corning when plugged in to my Laptop”Not charging” And when plugged into the wall It just¬†doesn’t¬†even show up just says the same percent it was on. ¬†I’ve¬†tried rebooting it but still nothing¬†happened¬†and i even tried Uninstalling¬†Itunes¬†and installing it again but again nothing….. !?!?!?!?!?

    • Mentallyconfused

      I bought a Brand new iPad 2, and the cable was bad , it didn’t show it was charging with the wall charger,it was charging but very slow trickle ,since I own a iPhone I tried its cable and it worked great . Charged my iPad from 54% to full in a couple of hours,with the new cable it would have taken a day to charge . Those cables are cheap, I have 3 of them and a belkin cable , 2 cables worked 2 did not

  • Jessica Lohnas

    I have often used a USB car charger or home computer to charge my iPad without problem. I did an update about 2 weeks ago and it was around that time that I started having problems charging it in my Mom’s vehicl and at home. It said that equipment is not supported by this device, or something similar to this. Anyway, I have never had a problem before this time in any vehicle or at home, and now I have had nothing but trouble with both. Seems kind of funny to me, or should I say suspicious. I can not afford to go out and spend $99 for a new battery which may or may not take care of the problem let alone trade in for a new one. I make $100 a month delivering papers. I won this I-Pad for selling Girl Scout Cookies, I worked very hard to reach the 2000 cookies require to win the I-Pad and this I-Pad has only lasted me 10 months. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed and upset I am. Is the company planning to provide any kind of patch or fix or update that can fix this problem? Please let me know my I-Pad is my connection to the web most of the time

  • Gevans5001

    My ipad 1 does not show up in ITUNES anymore on my mac book pro, also when I plug it into charger its says not charging but it actually is charging…took it to Genius bar and they said connection is bad u have to buy new ipad ¬†IPAD still works great except now cant synch to manage data, any thoughts…this seems really screwed up

  • Daniellegaines2428

    I dropped my ipad and now it won’t charge…what do I do

  • Marcio

    got my new ipad two days ago. ¬†battery drained much faster than the ipad 2. ¬†now it is charging for 12 hours (yes, 12 hours) and reached only 82%…. bad, very bad.

  • Garry

    My iPad will not charge (does not show anything, not even “not charging”). I took it to the Apple Store thinking the battery was bad.They said the battery was fine, but the connection to the power cord in the iPad was bad. Nothing they could do, but give me a replacement for $249. Anybody else had this problem?

    • katusabe acleo

      yaa mine i have connected to the wall socket en it does show anything

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