iPad not charging? Simple tips for charging the iPad via USB

iPad Battery ChargingThis past weekend my wife pointed out to me that sometimes when the iPad is sitting in the Apple iPad dock, it says “Not Charging” despite being plugged directly into the wall outlet. My setup at home is the typical USB cable connector plugged into an AC wall outlet on one end, and then the iPad dock on the other. Nothing special here, heck, it wasn’t even plugged into a PC. So I decided to undock the iPad and reconnect it, maybe the connection wasn’t good. Nope, still said not charging. So I tried again and lo and behold, it started charging. What the heck?

I didn’t think much about it, figuring maybe my cable was going bad (if that is even possible) or perhaps it was just a fluke. But when I got into the office today, I started playing around with the new Digital Trends iPad app (currently still in testing) and noticed that the battery on our work iPad was low. So I plugged it into the iPad dock connected to my Apple iMac 27-inch system to charge it and got the same dang message “iPad not charging”. A quick search of the Web turned up a ton of people reporting the same issue. Some people claim that you should make sure not to have any other USB devices plugged into a computer when you’re charging your iPad via USB. Or if you do, make sure you have very few. Others claim that you have to use the USB ports in the rear of the PC, not the front, to take advantage of charging the iPad correctly (apparently USB ports in the front do not get the same amount of power to them as the rear). Others are claiming that the iPad dock is the problem and that if you remove it from the equation and plug the cord directly into the iPad, then it will work correctly.

We decided to do some testing to see if any of these claims are true. Here are the results:

Plugged into the wall outlet with iPad dock connected:

Seven out of 10 tries it worked correctly, three times it said “not charging”

Plugged into wall outlet with cable directly connected to the iPad:

Worked 18 out of 20 times. (We kept testing until it said “not charging”)

Plugged into iMac with iPad dock:

With all USB ports full, we got “not charging” nine out of 10 times

We had a keyboard, mouse, PC gaming headset and the iPad dock connected

Is it drawing too much power?

Plugged into iMac without iPad dock (cable directly connected):

With all USB ports still full, we got “not charging” nine out of 10 times

Plugged into iMac with iPad dock and gaming headset removed:

Charged correctly nine out of 10 times

Plugged into front USB ports of Windows test PC:

Said “not charging” 10 out of 10 times

Some more digging suggested the iPad has to be plugged into a USB 2.0 port, not a 1.0 in order to charge correctly in theory, but our tests found that using a USB 2.0 port is no guarantee of a successful charge. It has more to do with power available out of the USB port in general. Also keep in mind that you should not plug it into the USB port of your Apple keyboard since it uses USB 1.0. Most Windows-based PCs have USB 2.0 ports in the back and 1.0 in the front. Dell, HP and other manufacturers typically do this to keep costs down.

It says not charging…but it really is

What we found in all of our test is that although the iPad might say “not charging” on the display, in reality, juice is still trickling to it and the iPad is in actuality still charging; albeit at a slower rate. No wonder: The iPad is designed to charge from the 10-watt wall adapter it comes bundled with, but many USB ports supply only 2.5 watts (5 volts at 500ma). As long as you are OK with it taking a while longer to charge (perhaps overnight), then this really isn’t an issue. Otherwise, try removing the dock and plugging the cord into it directly or removing other USB devices from your system so you can charge the iPad.

If you have found out some other things that would solve the iPad’s charging dilemma, please post below.


Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.

How does Microsoft’s newest Surface stack up against the Apple iPad Pro?

In an era where everyone is taking a bite at Apple’s products, we’ve stacked up the 12.9-inch iPad Pro against the latest Surface Pro 6. Check out this comparison guide to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

If you weren't already aware, USB-C is quickly becoming mainstream. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone.

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…

Preapproval for iPhone Upgrade Program now available for iPhone XR

Apple took the wraps off of its new set of iPhones, including the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the new iPhone XR. The iPhone XR is being offered as the "affordable" iPhone, and it's a little different than the more expensive models.

Upcoming iPad may lose a few millimeters, along with its headphone jack

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.

Which is best: The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme or the 15-inch MacBook Pro?

To try and help nail down the best 15-inch laptops in the world, we compared the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme vs. MacBook Pro 15 in a head to head that looked at their power, design, and portability.

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next phone, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.

Here are our favorite wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.