Does My iPad Charge When It Is Plugged Into a Computer?


Very few computers send enough power through their USB connections to charge an iPad. An iPad requires more charging power than accessories such as cellular phones or music devices, and USB ports are not designed to put out that much power. However, there are exceptions and ways to work around this so you can charge your iPad from the computer, but charging from a wall outlet is much faster.

New Macs

  • Some newer Mac computers have high-powered USB ports capable of charging an iPad when it is plugged in. Charging your iPad from a Mac port requires a USB 2.0 port that supplies 1100 mA and 5 V of power. Standard USB ports only supply up to 500 mA and 5 V. Models with high-powered USB ports began hitting the markets in mid-2007, so if you have a Mac older than this, your USB ports will not have enough power to charge the iPad. Even later models only began to incorporate the higher power slowly. Check your particular Mac's specifications to find out which USB ports, if any, support high-powered charging.

PCs and Older Macs

  • Most PCs and many Mac computer models have USB ports that do not meet the high power requirements of iPads. Even if your computer says it has high-speed USB 2.0 ports, these do not necessarily have high power. When you plug your iPad into one of these computers, you will see the message "Not Charging" next to the battery icon on your iPad.

Sleep Charging

  • Despite the "Not Charging" message, you can charge your iPad through lower-powered Mac and PC USB ports in many cases. For this to occur, plug your iPad into the computer, but then place it into sleep mode by pressing the "Sleep/wake" button on top of the iPad. You will not be able to see the charging icon, as the iPad will stop charging as soon as it awakens. This method charges the iPad extremely slowly, so if you have the option of using the wall charger instead, use that for faster charging.


  • Whether you are using a high-powered or low-powered USB port to charge your iPad, the charging only works if your computer is fully on, not in sleep or hibernation mode. High-powered USB hubs or accessories with additional charging ports may not work to charge the iPad unless plugged into a high-powered port on your computer. As with a regular USB port, you may still be able to charge through these devices in sleep mode, but not with the iPad on.

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