iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and charging problems

Dented

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
942
621
So for the past month or two my iPad Pro 10.5, which is about a year old (and of course just outside of warranty) developed a strange issue where it was refusing to charge properly. It would get to around 91% and then display a “Not charging” message and go no further, at least not without some coaxing and plugging/unplugging/rebooting etc.

Googling this, I found a few mentions in self-help articles about disconnecting the Smart Keyboard. True enough, I do have the Smart Keyboard and use it as a cover - it’s been attached for probably six months or so. I took it off and hey presto, charging is completely back to normal and battery life generally seems better too.

So my question is.. why? Has anyone gotten to the bottom of what the issue is here? Why would a Smart Keyboard affect the iPads ability to charge, why did the issue only appear over time, and does this mean I’ll never be able to leave the keyboard attached when charging again?

I just don’t understand the connection, although clearly there is one and I’m not the first to make it. Is the problem with the keyboard, or the iPad, or both?
 

AutomaticApple

macrumors 601
Nov 28, 2018
4,013
1,381
Massachusetts
So for the past month or two my iPad Pro 10.5, which is about a year old (and of course just outside of warranty) developed a strange issue where it was refusing to charge properly. It would get to around 91% and then display a “Not charging” message and go no further, at least not without some coaxing and plugging/unplugging/rebooting etc.

Googling this, I found a few mentions in self-help articles about disconnecting the Smart Keyboard. True enough, I do have the Smart Keyboard and use it as a cover - it’s been attached for probably six months or so. I took it off and hey presto, charging is completely back to normal and battery life generally seems better too.

So my question is.. why? Has anyone gotten to the bottom of what the issue is here? Why would a Smart Keyboard affect the iPads ability to charge, why did the issue only appear over time, and does this mean I’ll never be able to leave the keyboard attached when charging again?

I just don’t understand the connection, although clearly there is one and I’m not the first to make it. Is the problem with the keyboard, or the iPad, or both?
Is the Smart Keyboard physically broken in some way?
 

Dented

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
942
621
Is the Smart Keyboard physically broken in some way?
Not that I’m aware of, no. Appears fine and works perfectly as a keyboard when it’s attached. I do get annoying “unlock to use USB accessory” messages sometimes when it’s attached and the iPad is locked, which I found a bit odd, but put that down to an iOS bug. Which of course is most probably behind all this.
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,705
1,274
Fort Worth, Texas
I have the same iPad as you have and keep my Apple Smart Keyboard attached at all times. The iPad fully charges to 100% with the keyboard attached. I have had my iPad for well over a year now. I suspect that your Smart Keyboard is at fault. However, I'm not impressed with the Apple Smart Keyboard and regret that I did not buy the Logitech version with built in backlight.
 

ericwn

macrumors 601
Apr 24, 2016
4,590
2,848
Not that I’m aware of, no. Appears fine and works perfectly as a keyboard when it’s attached. I do get annoying “unlock to use USB accessory” messages sometimes when it’s attached and the iPad is locked, which I found a bit odd, but put that down to an iOS bug. Which of course is most probably behind all this.
Are you using the original charger?

With regards to the keyboard can you check the contacts where it connects with the iPad - maybe some dirt causes a short circuit that confuses the charging. Just a guess.
 

ericwn

macrumors 601
Apr 24, 2016
4,590
2,848
I have the same iPad as you have and keep my Apple Smart Keyboard attached at all times. The iPad fully charges to 100% with the keyboard attached. I have had my iPad for well over a year now. I suspect that your Smart Keyboard is at fault. However, I'm not impressed with the Apple Smart Keyboard and regret that I did not buy the Logitech version with built in backlight.
I hear you, however the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I had three Logi keyboard cases break in the last two years - all different models - so I’m staying away from their stuff for now. Besides, the customer service is terrible.
 

Dented

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
942
621
Are you using the original charger?

With regards to the keyboard can you check the contacts where it connects with the iPad - maybe some dirt causes a short circuit that confuses the charging. Just a guess.
Always original charger. The keyboard really seems fine in every other regard and there’s no visible issue with the contacts on either.

I find it interesting that when you search for help on this there are a few published articles which mention disconnecting the Smart Keyboard as just one of those things to do, as if it’s an obvious step and addressing a known issue. Are there really that many “broken” keyboards out there causing these issues, or is something else going on?
 
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KittyKatta

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
658
403
SoCal
The Smart Keyboard doesn’t seem to be built for long term use and when it falls apart then it seems to take the whole iPad down with it. I went through 3 of them Over 4 years with my 9.7”.

And to make matters worse, Apple doesn’t cover Smart Keyboard with AppleCare+. They do cover the pencil though.
 
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Dented

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 16, 2009
942
621
Well I’m posting this for posterity and in case anyone else comes googling over similar issues - turns out in my case the Smart Keyboard is not the problem.

After a week or so of using the iPad without it, and just a plain Smart Cover attached, the exact same issue is back and the iPad is struggling to charge past 91% again.

Still no idea if it’s a hardware or iOS issue, but it’s not related to the keyboard, which I assume was never faulty at all.
 
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