Should I power down my iPad at night?

Always on: the iPad doesn't need to be switched off

These days, the concept of turning anything off seems a little old fashioned. The TV stays on standby, mobile phones stay switched on around the clock, smart speakers are plugged in 24/7. But what about your iPad? Most people don’t use a tablet in the small hours. Is there anything to be gained by powering down the iPad overnight, instead of leaving it on standby? Let’s get into it.

The first thing to note is that the iPad is very efficient when left on standby. If you’ve got a case for your iPad, it more than likely switches the screen off and places itself on standby whenever you close the case. If you don’t have a case, a quick press of the power button pops it on standby. (A long press fully powers down the tablet, as I’m sure you’re aware.)

However, there are two reasons why you might want to fully power down the iPad overnight:

  1. To save battery life
  2. To stop annoying notifications pinging throughout the night

Both of these are sound reasons (literally in the case of number 2!), but here’s why both are largely unnecessary.

Does powering down the iPad at night save battery life?

In my long experience of iPad ownership, leaving the tablet on standby overnight drains very little battery. You might lose 5-10% of the battery overnight, but not much. (It might be slightly worse if you have a 3G/4G connection in your iPad.)

Now, of course, 5-10% of the battery adds up over the long run and you might save yourself one or two extra charges per month by properly powering down the iPad every night, but that’s a marginal gain. iPads don’t take much energy to recharge and 1-2 extra charges per month is going to have a negligible effect on the long-term health of the battery.

In short, it’s probably not worth the hassle of powering down the iPad overnight. Not least because that long idle period gives the tablet a chance to download app updates when you’re not using it. If the battery is near fully charged, it might even run an iOS update overnight, which means less time looking at progress bars during the day.

How to silence the iPad overnight

If you’re switching off the iPad so that you don’t hear ‘ping’ every time you get a new email or mention on Twitter, there are ways around that problem too.

Open the Settings app on your iPad, find Focus on the left-hand side and select Do Not Disturb. Here, you can set the hours during which Do Not Disturb is automatically activated, so that you’re not disturbed by blangs, pings and whistles during the night.

Personally, I have Do Not Disturb turned on permanently on my iPad, as my phone already alerts me to new emails etc, and there’s only so much pinging one fella needs.

Click here to find out if an iPad is a good choice of computer for university students

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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