Using your iPad plugged in to power -- harmful?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by robertfrancis70, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. robertfrancis70 macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    [Warning: this question is coming from someone super OCD about his devices... insanely so...]

    Enjoying my new 11 Pro, with pencil and SFK, and I've been using it on my desk, alongside my 13" tbMBP, with the iPP often plugged in to power.

    I'm wondering what effect, if any, using the iPP plugged in to power -- at length -- has on the iPad's battery.

    About a year ago, an Apple Store sales person explained that iPads don't work like Macs do -- they don't stop charging once they reach full and circumvent the battery, drawing power directly from the wired source.

    Instead, they draw power exclusively from the battery. So if you use an iPad (at length) while plugged in and topped up, it continuously draws down the battery and recharges, rather than circumventing the charged battery.

    If this is correct, maybe it makes no difference. Maybe the recharging that goes on here is so minimal, it won't be causing any real harm -- even if you use your iPad plugged in much of the time.

    But maybe it is harmful to the battery. (O.k., I know, that sounds incredibly OCD!...)

    Anyhow, can anyone point me to a credible source that explains how the iPad works in this regard and/or whether it's harmful?

    (And yes, I know that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. I'll probably replace this in a year or so with something else... But I'm curious all the same. And OCD.)
  2. Lobwedgephil macrumors 601


    Apr 7, 2012
    Your best bet is to not use the device to preserve your battery. In all honesty, I don't know, but I wouldn't worry about it despite how OCD you are, use the device however you want it. It won't be an issue either way.
  3. Starship67 Suspended


    Oct 28, 2017
    Stopped reading after the OCD remark. I find it amazing that people in here take a serious condition and make light of it throwing around the term so loosely and inconsiderate. Just put the iPad back in the box and move on.
  4. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    If you are near power, plug it in while using. Will not hurt anything.

    Other than that you need to just use it and charge whenever. If you worry too much you are going to ruin the happy experience of ownership!

    Merry Christmas
  5. Ambulater macrumors member


    Dec 14, 2012
    For what it’s worth, I do have OCD and you’re right, it’s not an easy condition to live with. As someone who does have OCD, I really don’t think the OP is making light of it, I think he is describing real symptoms of it and is asking for some feedback here which may help in alleviating the triggers of the symptoms. I too get fixated on relatively insignificant things like this, even knowing it’s not rationale, and it really helps if someone is able to just say, “No, that’s not a problem”. Occasionally that then allows me to move on to be obessessed about something else. :)
  6. Starship67 Suspended


    Oct 28, 2017
    Well I may have overreacted to this particular case. But you have to admit the term is thrown around on here very loosely for everything.
  7. techno-Zen macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    Oh give me a freaking break

    Outrage culture about everything these days, and I'm a liberal type of person.
  8. ericwn macrumors 68030

    Apr 24, 2016
    I can clearly see where the comments are coming from. The term OCD is widely misused here. It’s a condition and as such I wouldn’t wish anybody had it.

    Equally annoying are folks who use the word love for objects they like.

    Or using the phrase “ I was like” each time one doesn’t know a phrase to describe themselves.
  9. ericwn macrumors 68030

    Apr 24, 2016
    I don’t think for a minute that charging the device all the time will have a significant impact on the battery within the expected lifetime of 3-5 years for a tablet.
  10. sparksd macrumors 68020

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    I have to agree, having an immediate family member afflicted with OCD. It can be so debilitating as to destroy a life.
  11. Superrenz macrumors member


    Dec 2, 2018
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    It#s alright. After the battery is charged the device switches and draws power directly from the charger. This is made to protect the battery. Don’t worry about it.
    By the way: Don’t let yourself get freaked out by the ignorant comments of some people here. It’s always ok to ask. There are no stupid questions- just stupid answers.
  12. worldvga macrumors member


    Nov 21, 2018
    It is pretty much safe to use any modern device while it is charging. Depending on the device, it will probably take longer to charge up and it may decrease battery life a little over the long haul, but it is entirely safe, with one provision: Only use original chargers or officially licensed chargers
  13. VineRider macrumors regular

    May 24, 2018
    iOS 11.3 addressed this concern. From the release notes via Wikipedia

    • iPad charge management
      • Maintains battery health when iPad is connected to power for prolonged periods of time, such as when it is used in kiosks, point of sale systems, or stored in charging carts
    --- Post Merged, Dec 14, 2018 ---
  14. spacebro Suspended

    Oct 1, 2015
    I played pubg everyday on a 2017 iPad Pro. It would get real warm and usually would have to be plugged in. It took about 1 hour to drain the battery and 3-4 hours of being plugged in to charge it. After 8 months the battery had expanded and the iPad basically self-destructed. With AppleCare plus, they swapped it out for a brand new one.
  15. MisterSavage macrumors 65816


    Nov 10, 2018
    I'm extremely skeptical of what that person told you. Plenty of stores use iPads as their point of sale and they're always connected to power. There's also no mention of it on the Apple site:
  16. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    East of Eden
    This. ^^^ I just traded in a four year old iPad Air 2. The battery was in great condition. The batteries in an iPad will outlast the device for 98% of users.
  17. Kal-037 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2015
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    As an adult and person diagnosed with OCD 20 years ago, I learned people use the term to describe extreme feelings, yeah it’s inaccurate but not always inconsiderate. Get over it.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 14, 2018 ---
    No it doesn’t affect it in a negative way at all and will not damage it. It’s recommended to keep the battery healthy by unplugging it occasionally to allow the atoms inside the battery to move around so it’s lifespan can be maintained.
  18. andyw715 macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2013
    This thread is just full of M.D.s

    Let me be the guinea pig, at work I use mine as a second display for my laptop (Duet) 8+ hours a day connected via usb-c.

    I'll let you know in 6-8 months if there is any adverse effect of charging to 100% and running plugged in.
  19. sparksd macrumors 68020

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Sorry to have put you off but this disease exacted a terrible toll on my immediate family this year and I am probably over-sensitized.
  20. digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2015
    I have kept iPads a 2&4&now my 2017 iPadPro plunged in 24/7 and have never had a problem, I check them now and then on just batteries and have not seen a big drop in voltage.
    After many years all Li battles degrade some but keeping always being charged has not shown any fast loss of power.
  21. mightyjabba macrumors 65816


    Sep 25, 2014
    Yep, that guy didn't know what he was talking about. I do think that literally never using an iPad on battery power will be bad for the battery, but otherwise do yourself a favor and just don't worry about it.
  22. digitalcuriosity, Dec 15, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018

    digitalcuriosity macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2015
    I have my old iPad2 and iPad4 that I have kept on charger 24/7 since new as i never take them out of home,today i took them both off charger for 4 hours the 2 had 70% the 4 had 65% left these are old iPads so I feel the batteries have not been harmed being on charge 24/7.
  23. robertfrancis70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks so much for this link -- this is just what I was looking for.

    Searching for more about 11.3, I came across this page at Apple, with further details:

    iPad and iPhone are portable devices that are designed to be used all day on a single battery charge. There are times, however, when iPad or iPhone is connected to power for prolonged periods of time, such as when it is used in kiosks, point of sale systems, or stored in charging carts. iPad and iPhone use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are designed to be charged and then discharged over their lifespan. When they remain at full charge for prolonged periods of time, battery health can be affected.

    iPad with iOS 11.3 or later and iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR with iOS 12 or later include a charge management feature to help maintain battery health, which monitors these devices for use in these charging situations and, as required, reduces the maximum capacity of the battery. The battery indicator will display the charge percentage based on this adjusted maximum capacity. The maximum capacity will revert back to the nonadjusted level when iPad or iPhone is no longer connected to power for prolonged periods and as conditions and battery health allow.

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22 December 14, 2018