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I charge my iPad. Later, I notice that the battery is charged at 100 %.

Now, what is better to preserve the battery capacity ?

  1. Unplugging the cable.
  2. Leaving the cable plugged.

The answer may vary depending on whether I leave the iPad sleeping or whether I use the iPad.  

  • Actually, it doesn't matter if you are using it or let it sleep. See the linked questions - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/893 and apple.stackexchange.com/questions/67041 – bmike Jan 8 '15 at 16:00
  • @bmike - This question is not a duplicate. The other question is for an iPhone. I do not have any iPhone. Furthermore, the other question — and your answer — study whether leaving the device plugged can degrade things. I want to know whether leaving the device plugged can improve things. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 9 '15 at 11:07
  • Be sure to edit your post to make it very clear how your post differs from the linked ones. My reading of the two linked questions is that it makes nothing worse and nothing better. Also my read is that there is no difference in any iPhone or any iPad in charging behavior, risk, performance or benefit in terms of leaving them plugged in when full. – bmike Jan 9 '15 at 15:01
  • @bmike - I have edited the title in the other way. What interests me is whether leaving the iPad plugged is better for preserving its capacity. The other question does not ask this, and its answers do not answer this. I will ask Apple, but it would be interesting too to have answers here. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 9 '15 at 16:22
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It doesn't really matter. You're already using up some capacity when you charge past 50%.

For long term storage, Apple recommends that you only charge the device up to 50% and then power it off. Basically if you are concerned about the longest capacity of your battery, you wouldn't consume it at all and you'd just charge it to 50% and then put it in a box for 6 months as it slowly self-discharges. You would then power it on and charge it back to 50% and put it back in the drawer off.

Realistically, just use the iPad and follow the instructions Apple gives to the letter. As long as you disconnect it from charge and regularly deplete the battery you won't have meaningful problems with excess wearing. As long as you're not in a long term storage situation, disconnect the cord when it's convenient to you.

  • The drawer recommendation is interesting, but not very convenient. ;-) But, as I understand you, I could preserve the battery capacity by always staying in the lower half of the battery. Apple could even sell obsolescence-proof iPads, by programming them to use only the lower half of the battery and by tagging them "autonomy : 5 hours". – Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 14 '15 at 13:26
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I have asked Apple. The Apple tech support gives me these recommendations :

  1. When the charging is done, unplug the iPad.
  2. Once a month, do a full cycle : full discharge then full recharge.
  3. Otherwise, plug and unplug the iPad as you like, full cycles are not needed.
  • I conclude that, when I use my iPad fully charged and plugged, the iPad takes his energy from the battery and not directly from the cable. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jan 14 '15 at 13:16

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