Apple’s iPad Magic Keyboard is a great keyboard to optimize your workflow. It changes how you use an iPad. I often get asked: Does iPad magic keyboard drain battery?
iPad Magic Keyboard doesn’t have a battery: it relies on your iPad for power source, so yes, it will slightly drain your iPad’s battery life.
How Does The iPad Magic Keyboard Work? Does It Drain Battery?
Unlike other 3rd party keyboards that use Bluetooth with an in-built battery, the iPad Magic Keyboard does not have a built-in battery. It connects directly to your iPad via the Smart Connector on the back of the iPad.
The iPad magnetically connects to the keyboard and can be used instantly.
Since the iPad Magic Keyboard doesn’t have its own battery, it relies on your iPad battery. Your iPad charge will gradually decline since it has to power the keyboard. This is one way the iPad Magic Keyboard affects battery life.
But in most cases, the drain from simply connecting the keyboard is minimal. You wouldn’t normally notice the battery drain from the keyboard itself.
With the Magic Keyboard connected, it would take roughly 0.5% – 1% battery more than using an iPad without the keyboard.
iPad Magic Keyboard Issues
There have been some users who say their Magic Keyboard is draining the iPad battery. We’ll go over a list of known issues and potential fixes.
Draining Battery When Not in Use
There have been a few cases where people noticed the Magic Keyboard draining their battery. It was a known issue back in 2020. Here’s an example from u/SteveJobsOfficial on Reddit.
The problem seemed to be with the Magic Keyboard’s backlighting.
He noticed that the Magic Keyboard’s backlight wasn’t calibrated properly and would often be ‘on’ when it didn’t need to. The ambient sensors did not accurately detect the surrounding light and kept the backlight on, which drained the iPad battery.
Another issue some people have had is the iPad Magic Keyboard backlight staying on even when closed/left idle. This is another potential battery drainer that you may have noticed.
In these cases, your keyboard might have a manufacturing defect, or your iPad is running an old iOS. I recommend always keeping your iPad updated with the latest iPad OS.
Faster Battery Drain
People have also noticed a significant power drain when using the iPad Magic Keyboard. Sureshpathirana8 posted on the Apple Community forums about the issue. He noticed a substantial drain when using the iPad Magic Keyboard.
However, he then mentioned that the latest iPad OS software update had fixed the issue for him. Again, the root cause is uncertain, but with this post, we can assume that it was a software issue.
In some cases, updating to the latest iPad OS version will fix any bugs you’ve noticed. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Most users face these issues because of manufacturing defects and faulty software.
The only real way to fix it is to get it replaced or hope a future iPad OS update fixes the problem.
iPad Charging Time with Magic Keyboard
When charging the iPad with the Magic Keyboard attached, there isn’t a significant difference in 0 – 100% charge speeds.
But charging the iPad via the Magic Keyboard USB-C port is another story. This will undoubtedly make charging much slower than connecting it directly to the iPad.
In some cases, it takes an extra hour to charge an iPad if you are charging it through the Magic Keyboard USB-C port or even more.
Since the Magic Keyboard USB-C port connects to an iPad with the Smart Connector, the charge will be very slow. The charger isn’t outputting its maximum wattage since it’s not directly charging the iPad.
Let’s check iPad charging time through Magic Keyboard.
|Method of Charging||Charge Time|
|iPad Pro (M2) w/o Magic Keyboard Attached||~2 hours 40 minutes|
|iPad Pro (M2) USB-C Port + Magic Keyboard Attached||~2 hours 41 minutes|
|iPad Pro (M2) + Magic Keyboard Through USB-C Port||~3 hours 59 minutes|
I’d recommend charging your iPad directly via the cable. That’s the most optimal charging method. As you can see from the table.
If it’s not charging fast enough, we recommend getting 30W+ charger for your iPad. iPads can’t handle more than 30W, but you can use a high-wattage charger that won’t damage your device.
While yes there are small differences in battery drainage with the iPad Magic Keyboard on, in most cases you won’t notice it. There should be no noticeable battery drain when using the Magic Keyboard.
But there are a few things you can try if you’re experiencing any battery issues –
- Restart the iPad – Sometimes, a simple restart is the fix your iPad needs for many different issues.
- Update iPad OS to the Latest Version – New updates address bugs and fixes problems with earlier builds.
- Switch the Backlight Off – Keyboard backlighting seems to be a prevalent cause of battery drain. Try switching it off and see if that helps.
- Get it Checked with Apple – Your last resort is to bring it to Apple to check the problem. You could potentially get a refund or replacement if there’s a manufacturing defect.
That’s about all the things you can do to fix the iPad Magic Keyboard battery drain.
When the iPad Magic Keyboard was released back in 2020, these issues were especially prevalent. But you don’t see the issue as much in 2023. We hope that the ‘fear’ of battery drain doesn’t keep you away from the excellent iPad Magic Keyboard.
I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.