iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 2023-2024 Edition
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iPads cost a pretty penny, especially if you have a Wi-Fi + Cellular model. This is why you should know how to take care of your iPad, troubleshoot any problems it might have, and get Apple support for iPads.

Extend your iPad's battery life

The much-touted ten-hour battery life of the iPad is a wonderful feature, but you can do some things to extend it even further. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Use airplane mode. As its name suggests, airplane mode is designed to turn off communication features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data, which take power because they periodically check in with the network.If you’re using your iPad for purposes that don’t require communication, turn on airplane mode by tapping Settings and then tapping the Airplane Mode on/off switch.Also, Control Center lets you quickly turn airplane mode, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi on and off. Swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen to display Control Center.

    Many airlines now allow the use of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or both during flight, so airplane mode may not be as necessary as it once was, but it’s still needed (usually) during take-offs and landings.

    In addition to its aeronautical uses, airplane mode is the simplest way to conserve power (short of turning the iPad off, of course), and if you want to concentrate on something, it may be a simple tool to use.

  • Turn off Background App Refresh. You might want to turn off this setting (tap Settings→General→Background App Refresh) for some of your power-hungry apps if you don’t need them to run in the background.News, for example, routinely checks for updates. If you’re feeling stressed by too much connectivity, try turning off background refresh in some noncritical apps.
  • Keep tabs on remaining battery life. You can estimate the amount of remaining battery life by looking at the battery icon at the far-right end of the status bar, at the top of your screen. For even greater accuracy, open the Settings app and go to Battery→Battery Percentage and tap to toggle the switch on.
  • Use standard accessories to charge your iPad most effectively. The most effective way to charge your iPad is to plug it into a wall outlet by using the charging cable and power adapter that come with your iPad. The fastest way to charge the iPad is to turn it off while charging it.
  • Don’t keep your iPad connected. Your battery may lose power if you leave it connected to the USB port on an external keyboard.

Your iPad comes with a USB power adapter. With the variety of devices, Apple now has a guide to adapters here Apple.com. Your best bet is to use the adapter that came with your iPad. If you have another adapter, refer to Apple’s page cited here, but if it’s an Apple power adapter, you’ll be safe. If you use a lower-wattage power adapter than the one that came with your iPad, you’ll probably increase the charging time, but you shouldn’t do damage.

What to do with an unresponsive iPad

Sometimes your iPad refuses to respond. Before you throw it through the window and run to the Apple store, there are a few troubleshooting things you can try. If your iPad goes dead on you, try these solutions:

  • Charge the battery. The problem is most likely to be a power issue, so the first thing to do is plug the cable into the power adapter, plug the adapter into a wall outlet, plug the other end of the cable into your iPad, and charge the battery. Do be patient and afford your iPad a few minutes to get going again. Sometimes it can take a while for it to start back up after the battery has been completely drained of power.
  • Quit apps. If you believe that an app is hanging up the iPad, double-tap the home button or swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Thumbnails of every open app appear. Now swipe up on any apps you would like to quit.
  • Restart the iPad. You can always try the tried-and-true reboot procedure. Press the sleep/wake button until a red slider appears, and drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad. After a few moments, press the sleep/wake button to boot up the little guy again.
  • Reset the iPad. If the situation seems to be drastic and none of these ideas works, try to reset your iPad. To do this, press the top button and the Home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears onscreen. (This reset doesn’t interfere with the data on your iPad.)

Apple offers AppleCare+. For $99, you get two years of coverage, which protects you even if you drop your iPad or spill liquids on it. (Apple covers up to two incidents of accidental damage.) The terms and prices change over time so checkout the link here to find out the current information. See Apple support for more details.

Update your iPad's software

Apple occasionally updates the iPad system software (iPadOS) to fix problems or offer enhanced features. You can update manually or automatically. To update your software automatically, tap Settings→General→Software Update to update your software.


Apple Support for iPads

Every new iPad comes with a year’s coverage of the hardware and 90 days’ worth of free technical support. Apple is known for its helpful customer support, so if you’re stuck, I recommend that you try it. Here are a few options you can explore for getting help:

  • Apple Store
    Go to your local Apple Store (if one is handy) to see what the folks there may know about your problem. It’s best to make an appointment to avoid long lines.
  • Apple’s support website
    Visit iPad Support. You can find online manuals, discussion forums, and downloads on this site, and you can use the Apple Expert feature to contact a support person by phone.
  • iPad User Guide
    View the manual for free.


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dwight Spivey has been an Apple expert for over two decades. He's the widely-known author behind the most recent editions of iPad For Seniors For Dummies. He's also the Educational Technology Administrator at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.

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