iPad mini

Apple’s iPad has already gone through four revisions, with a fifth iPad likely to be launched soon. As well as its superb design and easy-to-use software, it also lasts longer than most tablets, with Apple claiming 10 hours of battery life, even for the newer models with Retina screens.

Compared to an iPhone, the iPad needs more power to charge it, which is why Apple includes a beefier power supply in the box. The iPhone charger produces 1A, but the iPad version kicks out 2.1A.

An iPad charger

You can still use an iPhone charger (shown below) to charge your iPad, but it will take around twice as long compared to using the 2.1A charger.

An iPhone charger

If this isn’t the reason your iPad is charging slowly, bear in mind that it does take a long time to fully charge an iPad from 0% to 100%. The iPad 2 takes around 4 hours using the official Apple charger, which is a fair amount of time, but since the iPad 3 and 4 have roughly 70% more capacity in their batteries, they take around 7 hours to charge.

If you only have an iPhone charger to hand, expect to wait around 14 hours to fully charge an iPad with Retina screen.

Plus, don’t forget that charging will take even longer if you’re using your iPad at the same time. It’s best to avoid using it if you want it to charge quickly, and you can even turn it off completely by holding down the power button until the red slider appears, to charge a little faster still.

Turn off your iPad

Note that you can only charge an iPad from a computer’s USB port if it provides enough power. Most recent Macs have high-powered ports that will allow and iPad to charge, but it will still take a lot longer than using the charger that came with your iPad.

You won’t be able to charge an iPad from a low-powered USB port, as found on most PCs and laptops, though. Your iPad will show a ‘Not charging’ message, but will  charge extremely slowly if you put it in sleep mode.

It’s possible to charge the iPad using non-Apple chargers, but it’s worth making sure it’s on Apple’s approved list, or is one that Apple sells. These include wall chargers and car chargers, but if you’re choosing outside of these options, make sure you buy something that produces 2.1A or 12W.