A friend of mine has an iPad that she uses only once a day for about a half hour.

I told her to turn it off completely in between uses to conserve energy - no point having the device run in standby for 23.5 hours a day. (So no standby, but a real "swipe to turn off" shutdown.)

I'm not completely sure whether this is correct, though. Is this the optimal way to go in terms of optimal battery lifespan? Battery life (i.e. the time until she has to recharge it again) is secondary, we just want to preserve the battery for as long as possible.

Apple's iPad battery tips don't give any hints, nor does what appears to be the reference question here on Apple.SE.

  • One downside would be that you'd have to wait for it to turn back on every time you wanted to use it, rather than the almost instantaneous wake from "sleep" when it's not shut off.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 21:29
  • My iPhone looses about 5% every hour when completely powered off. I strongly believe there is issue with battery. Is there anyone having this kind of issue?
    – user46878
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 22:06
  • @user that sounds really wrong. Does it still have warranty?
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 22:31

5 Answers 5


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. But the battery will still be draining when the device is "powered off" as there's circuitry enabled to detect you pressing the power button to turn it back on.

I'm not sure how long an iPad that's off will hold its charge vs. one that is simply sitting in standby mode. I can't imagine the marginal gain in battery life is worth the hassle of waiting for it to power up every time you want to use it.

  • 1
    fairly significant, as you don't have any of the background tasks running, and a persistent network connection. When you buy a new iPad, it is usually around half charge, and has been sitting there for weeks, if not months.
    – Siriss
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 0:40

I haven't seen anything that would qualify as scientific study on this, so reader beware, but my own anecdotal observations suggest that an iPad in standby consumes very minimal amounts of power.

I typically use my iPad every day, but I've never noticed it losing any charge overnight (based on the percentage remaining), which can be around 10 hours or so from last use in a day to first use the next. More to the point, I've had stretches where I haven't used it for 3-4 days in a row, and I don't ever recall seeing it loose more than a few percentage points of battery in that span.

Again, this is all anecdotal, I may have a good (or bad) battery, my usage patterns may condition the battery better, the meter may not be very accurate, etc. But I would say don't worry about shutting it off. For one thing, the major power draw in the iPad is the screen. Secondly, one of the nice things about it (for me anyway) is that I can pick it up, quickly look something up and put it back to sleep, with virtually no lag (entering my password takes far longer than waking from sleep).

  • More anecdotes: I left my iPad mini 2 wifi ON and unused for a while: it shows "31 days of standby" and "33 hours of (minimal) usage" since the last charge. Not connected to wifi so it was probably looking for a network for the whole time… but no notifications either. It's still at 12%. I'd say to keep it on or in airplane mode if it's the cellular version.
    – fregante
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 9:01

iPads on iOS7 rapidly drains the battery fast when not turned off. Since your friend uses his iPad quite sometime in a day, it's better that his iPad should be turned off to conserve more battery.

  • Do you have a source for your statements?
    – grg
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 17:23
  • I have an iPad too and rarely use it! I only use it once a week. I usually turn it off when I'm not using it. Since the moment I updated my software to iOS7 last September 2013, I noticed that every time I turn on my iPad, battery decreases by only 3%-5% every week. :)
    – Yen
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 17:29

Not sure if this helps but I have an iPad Air 2 9 inch but I bought an iPad Pro 12 inch. I didn't use the iPad Air 2 for about 40 days so it sat in standby. It had about 95% charge when I stopped using it but had a 60% charge after 40 days in standby. That 60% did drop quickly once I used it though. I did have the wifi on and it is set to automatically check for updates and mail.


I have actually noticed that my iPad 2 consumes less power while in standby than it does if it is completely shutdown. I can leave it in standby for several days, and the battery will slowly lose its charge over that time. However, if I completely shutdown the iPad and do not use it for a few days, the battery will be completely drained and I have to plug it in to power it back on. It seems like a very poor electronic design to me. Why would anything lose more power while it is supposedly turned off?

  • This makes no sense as you describe. Have you considered having a look at the logs on the iPad? (Or having a technician look at them) One thing that could cause this would be if the iPad hung and didn't shut down completely. If the device hangs on shutdown I could see it draining the battery in a day or two like you are observing.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 14:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .