New iPad doesn't charge while in use..? (help?!)


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2010
I've been browsing the forums for the past hour on my new iPad while is has been plugged in and the battery indicator has gone from 6% to 7%.

Is this normal?

I know the battery in the new iPad is larger and takes longer to charge but something seems a little wonky when my iPad has been plugged in for over an hour and it's only gone up 1% in battery life charge.

I did a little research on the forums and read that it might be a faulty charger? Apparently sometimes the iPod/iPad/MacBook get stuck in a slow trickle mode and users have taken them into Apple and had them replaced and resolved any slow charging issues.. But before I track all the way into an Apple store I was wondering if maybe it's just the way it is with the new iPad.

Anyone out there have any similar experience? Or, alternatively, does anyone have any experience with the new iPad charging quickly while in use that might definitely point to the probability that it's something funky with my charger?

As always - any help or advice is always appreciated!!


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
USB or wall? It's not going to charge on USB unless it's asleep and even then it will be very slow.


macrumors 68040
Apr 30, 2010
The new iPad 3 uses more power than the 2 and yet Apple included the same size charger. If you are using your 3 and charging at the same time you will see little progress on charging the battery. If watching movies or playing games you might even see the battery charge decrease. :eek:

Tom G.

macrumors 68020
Jun 16, 2009
Champaign/Urbana Illinois
What you saw is the same as what I saw. It does charge but at a slower rate. It also helps to use the new charger cable that came with it. I tried to use the old old cable and it doesn't work as well.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2009
If all you're doing is browsing the forums, it should be charging if you have it plugged into the wall. However, if you're gaming or watching a video it will not charge very quickly at all. You could try all the standard troubleshooting tips like unplugging it and plugging it back in, trying a different charger, reboot the iPad, try charging it with the screen off, run down the battery all the way and try charging it, etc.


macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
I've been browsing the forums for the past hour on my new iPad while is has been plugged in and the battery indicator has gone from 6% to 7%.

Is this normal?
These puppies take about 5-6 hours for a full charge, on sleep.

Lets try some ballpark maths: we know that the 42 Watt-hour battery is supposed to be good for 8-10 hours - which puts the average power consumption at roughly 4-5 Watts.

So, lets say half the power of the charger goes on running the iPad and the other half goes in to the battery. That would increase charge time to 10-12 hours

So you should get 1/12 of a charge in an hour ~ 8% so your result does seem a bit low.

Of course, that's making a shedload of simplifying assumptions, but a factor of 8 is curious.

On the other hand, if you plug the iPad into a USB hub that can't supply 10W, and hence can't charge while the iPads in use, the iPad does actually display "Not Charging" in place of the % charge - so it doesn't sound like its mis-identifying your charger.

Possibly it uses a lower charge rate by design when the iPad is running - to leave enough power for spikes in demand without continually adjusting with the charging current.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 10, 2010
A bit of a follow-up and a few observations.. Quite an interesting conversation going on so I am eager to get more feedback and thoughts from other people that are more qualified than I am or have more experience.

First I should have mentioned that I am using an iPad charger plugged into the wall. It's not plugged in using a third-party iPad charger nor is it plugged into a computer or other USB charging source but rather the official iPad charger. However, I am using the charger that I have from my iPad 2 and the dock USB connector is some random one I had laying around. I think it definitely makes sense to try using the new iPad charger and cable that came with the iPad.

I should also mention that my new iPad is brand-new and I have literally only gone through a charge cycle or two. I have read in other threads that the battery needs to be "condition" and then it is and after you charge it for maybe five or maybe 10 times that the iPad has an accurate sense of battery recharge and maximum charge and discharge, etc.

Finally, I can confirm some of the observations others have made and say that when I lowered the "power demands" of my iPad I did seem to have the battery charge at a faster rate. The super slow charge (although I never saw my battery actively reduce in charge wall plugged in) was only a while I was streaming videos or watching downloaded movies. Wall spending some time doing simple web browsing and reading through forum posts it appeared as though my battery was charging a little more quickly - still quite slow. Additionally, I lowered my screen brightness down to a still reasonable (at night) level of about 50% and also seemed to notice my battery creeping up more quickly. So I suspect the screen is also a large consumer of whatever electricity is coming into the charger.

I think for me the next steps will be to take out the new charger that came with my new iPad and see if it is measurably faster than my old iPad charger in case it's an issue with the charger. But from reading a few other threads and everyone's helpful comments here I suspect this puppy he just loves, loves, loves electricity.


macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
I've been experimenting with this myself after I noticed that, when plugged into the wall with the charger that came with it, my new iPad was losing battery % when just browsing online in Safari, nothing in the background. Screen brightness was around 80%. I lowered the screen brightness to around 50%, and it stopped draining (even when plugged in) and stayed roughly even. Lowering the brightness further got me a % or two over quite a bit of time. (Unscientific, I know.) So, it seems like the charger can't really supply enough juice to the iPad if you're using it really bright, or probably any extensive gaming, but if you turn down the brightness and do less intensive stuff, it can break even or charge slightly.