It would be an understatement if we said that iPad users love their devices. These gadgets are trustworthy, incredibly fast, convenient to work/browse the Web on, and now have more computing power than the machines that sent a rocket to the moon! But this raises another question — how long do iPads last? As impressive as these devices are, they do come with a life expectancy. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect, what signs to look out for, and common issues with the iPad.
So how long do iPads last? On average, your iPad can last around 3–5 years. However, it is not uncommon for an iPad to last much longer. Though it seems newer iPads last much longer, thanks to improved technology and optimized software. With proper care, you can even expect your iPad to last over six years.
How Long do iPads Last
iPads are so well designed, and so much research goes into the software development that an iPad can seem fast and responsive several years after you buy it. But the truth is, most users find that they need a replacement in 3 to 5 years. Since the decline is progressive and because your iPad may struggle to keep up with how everything else is speeding up, you may need a newer model.
After all, there is a reason we see more powerful chipsets every year and improvements in battery tech. The pace at which internet infrastructure is evolving is a big reason that iPads are also exponentially getting more powerful. If you’re still wondering how long do iPads last, let’s look at some telltale signs that it may be time to purchase a newer, more spec-heavy unit.
Is it Time to Replace my iPad: Common Issues
There is hardly any competing device to the Apple iPad for smoothness and responsiveness. That said, these are the indicators that your iPad may not be as energetic as it once was.
Apps crashing on iPad
Apps crashing on iPadOS and iOS are rare. But if you observe apps crashing regularly, it might just be your hardware struggling to keep them running. Make sure your apps are up to date, and keep an eye out for how periodically these apps crash. After all, losing your data while editing a document or being forcefully kicked out of a game while you’re winning can be pretty annoying. In fact, some apps won’t even let you update if your device is too old.
iPad low storage warnings
This is a common one. As we mentioned earlier, apps are evolving quickly, and so are the file sizes of photos, videos, and music. As downloading speeds increase, app developers and websites push a lot more data to make their products more immersive. This can take a toll on your poor iPad, packing it with more memory than it can afford. So if you’re frequently seeing warnings for low storage, it’s best to start looking for a new iPad.
iPadOS compatibility issues
While Apple is much better than its competitors in rolling out software updates and security patches for its range of devices, the Cupertino firm does draw a line as well. The reason is usually that the testers are not satisfied with the performance that older iPads offer and feel that they cannot release good software anymore. There is also a business perspective to it, but the fact remains that your iPad may just not be compatible anymore.
Let’s take a look at which iPads are still getting updates for iPadOS 15, the latest version of Apple’s tablet operating system.
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
- iPad Pro 10.5-inch
- iPad Pro 9.7-inch iPad (9th generation)
- iPad (8th generation)
- iPad (7th generation)
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (6th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (4th generation)
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Additionally, you can always take a look at this year’s iPads on Apple’s website.
Issues with iPad accessories
This is a dead giveaway that you might need a new iPad ASAP. iPad accessories make the experience of owning an iPad more fun, but what can you do if you’re having trouble finding a scratch guard for your display or even a new case? Even worse, you might struggle to replace parts such as chargers or internal components because of how old your iPad model is. At times like these, it might be a lot simpler to cut your losses and spring for a new iPad.
Reduced battery life on iPad
Apple’s devices are not particularly well known for battery life, but thankfully, the company has been addressing these issues in the last few years. If you’ve been struggling to get your iPad to function without plugging it in multiple times for charging, you’ll love how long the newer iPads last.
Also, here’s a great article on checking your iPad’s battery health! Do take a look as it’s a great way to know if the cell powering your gadget is deteriorating.
iPad unresponsive or too slow
A tablet frequently freezing when you’re trying to get work done can really grind your gears. It’s a known issue among older iPads that they tend to freeze up or just respond too slowly. This is a sign that your iPad can no longer serve you as well as it did over the last few years, and you should start hunting for a replacement.
Issues with the display
If there is one thing iPads are known for, it’s user experience. From the UI to design to the touch response, this device is simply stunning and leaves a lasting impression. And if the touch response starts to suffer, suddenly the iPad can feel like a budget tablet. So if you find the screen lackluster and not registering touch like it used to, or if the screen is looking beat up, do yourself a favor and get a new iPad.
And if you want to go crazy, you could increase your budget and look at the Pro models, which come with 120Hz Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED screens. Trust us when we say it’s worth every cent you pay for it.
Common Issues That Reduce iPad Lifespan
You might believe that your iPad is indestructible, but even if you don’t explicitly damage it, there are a few things that you should avoid doing to prolong the life of your dear tablet. Let’s take a look at the top ways we mistreat the iPad.
The iPad is delicate, and you should treat it as such. So try not to toss it on your bed or couch when you’re done or stuff it into bags or cases where it could face physical duress. Also, be careful with the charger and cable, and put it away carefully when you’re done charging. A good practice would be to have a fixed place for charging your tablet.
Not using a case/scratch guard
Kind of related to our earlier point, but a case can do wonders to extend the life of your iPad. Not only will it protect the tablet from drops, but it can also absorb most of the tiny bumps your iPad will face over the years, which tend to add up. You can also keep your display from getting dulled by scratches by using protective screens and replacing them when they look old.
No longer compatible with iPadOS
If your iPad is no longer receiving software updates from Apple, it is pretty much a matter of time before you start seeing serious issues. Not only is it a security issue, but lots of apps and websites that previously worked well will start to perform poorly. At this point, it’s best to simply use the iPad for very basic tasks.
Exposing iPad to high and low temperature
This is a common problem as many users tend to leave their iPads in extreme environments. There is a high and low-temperature threshold for all iPads, and leaving them in very hot or very cold environments can cause lasting damage. For example, leaving them on the dash of your car or inside your car on a snowy night can seriously mess it up. So try your best to keep your iPad near you and safe from extreme heat and cold.
Not maximizing battery life
While there is no hard and fast rule about charging your iPad, Apple does tell us about best practices. For example, try to keep your iPad charged between 20 to 80 percent and avoid it hitting rock bottom every day when you use it. Also, once you’re done charging, disconnect it from the charger instead of leaving it connected for several hours.
Not keeping the iPad clean
This goes without saying, but frequent liquid spills or a dusty environment can kill your iPad real quick. A lot of people mistakenly assume that iPads will not be harmed by liquids, so we had to write an article to tell our readers how the iPad is NOT waterproof! But water aside, make sure you wipe down the display frequently and keep the ports free of lint as often as possible. This will ensure more life from your tablet.
Here’s a cool video guide on keeping your iPad screen clean:
Not backing up to the cloud
Backing up data to your cloud is another good way of keeping your hard drive from being overloaded with photos or videos you rarely check. Another benefit is that if your iPad suddenly conks out, you won’t lose any data as the cloud has a copy of your files. Keeping spare disk space is a good way of making sure your iPad remains responsive as a full disk often slows down devices.
So now we know what activities to avoid as an iPad user. But what can you do to extend the life of your iPad? Keep reading!
Tips to make iPad last longer
iPads last longer than most tablets that you can buy, and with some of the suggestions below, you can extend the life a bit more. Let’s dive straight into it.
Delete unused apps
This would be our number one tip for extending the life of your iPad. Do you really need all those apps you downloaded once and never opened again? Go ahead and delete them! After all, you can always download them from the App Store if you suddenly need them. Chances are, you use the same apps over and over, and most apps just take up space and slow down your iPad. So do yourself (and the iPad) a favor and toss those apps in the bin!
Use a Keyboard + Trackpad with your iPad
Most of the wear and tear your iPad faces is when you’re handling it. And if you use a keyboard and trackpad with your iPad, your tablet could sit there peacefully while you hammer it out on the peripherals instead. This way, not only does your screen avoid being overused, but your iPad stays in one place most of the time.
Keep your iPad and apps updated
Keeping your iPad updated means that any issues that the operating system has, get ironed out, plus security risks you face while browsing the internet, get neutralized regularly, extending your tablet’s life. Keeping your apps updated is also a good way of ensuring that the apps are behaving as best as possible, without memory leaks and unnecessarily draining your battery.
Best new iPads
So maybe this article made you realize you need a new iPad? We’ve lined up our top suggestions below!
Apple iPad 10.2 (2021)
Affordable and powerful, this tablet packs a 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD screen, an 8557mAh battery, and is powered by the A13 chip.
iPad Mini (2021)
Ideal for users who want something more compact, this tablet is a firecracker in a small form. Powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chipset, the iPad Mini has a rich 8.3-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD.
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
This is a tablet for power users. With the mighty M1 processor under the hood, this tablet has all the bells and whistles you could ask for, with a huge battery, rich Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD screen, FaceID, and some very capable cameras.
Apple iPad Pro 11 (2021)
The younger brother of the Apple iPad Pro 12.9, this iPad model is almost an exact copy except for a smaller 11-inch display and a marginally smaller battery. It’s perfect for you if the 12.9-inch display is too unwieldy.
And for the record, we wrote a piece about every iPad from 2010 to 2021, and we recommend you read it! You could also wait for this year’s line-up to launch.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do iPads need to be replaced?
iPads only need to be replaced when they show signs of aging or when Apple stops releasing updates for your model. Typically, iPads last about 3-5 years, depending on how you handle them.
What are the signs your iPad is dying?
Some of the signs your iPad is dying include being slow or unresponsive, freezing often, apps keep crashing, or if the battery life is unsatisfactory.
Can an iPad last 4 years?
An iPad can easily last 4 years, given that you take adequate care of the tablets and handle them with care.
We covered the top issues that cause iPads to slow down or die and all the ways that you can extend the life of your iPads, in addition to answering how long do iPads last. And while the simple answer may be 3 to 5 years, it boils down to how well you take care of your iPad. We’d love to answer any specific questions you have about your iPad, and if you leave them in the comments section, we will surely get back to you.