iPad Not Charging Over USB? You Need a New Computer

iPad Not Charging Over USB? You Need a New Computer

The iPad won't charge using the USB 2.0 ports of some older machines, like my $2,500 Mac Pro from 2006.

Lots of people are complaining that their iPads aren’t charging when plugged into their computer’s USB port. The battery indicator in the upper right corner says “Not Charging.” The iPad still syncs, however.

Don’t worry, it’s not a glitch. The iPad needs a high-power USB 2.0 port to charge, which are less common on older computers. Many USB hubs and keyboards with USB ports won’t work either.

The complaints seem to be coming from users of older Macs and some Windows laptop users. The front-facing USB ports on a 2006 Mac Pro, for example, don’t put out enough power to charge the iPad, but the ports on a 2009 MacBook Pro (13-inch) do.

Apple has published a support document that advises charging the iPad using the included power brick.

Better get a new Mac to work with your new iPad.

iPad Not Charging Over USB? You Need a New Computer

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  • Wiuomj

    It is really not good that we can’t charge ipad using normal usb. If I know that advance, I may not buy it.

  • John Shue

    If I had known I couldn’t charge my ipad through USB I wouldn’t have bought it either.

  • Marcintosh

    A little clarification: iPads charge through USB on a computer, just not as fast. USB on a computer only has to provide 5 watts of power to meet spec. iPads need 10 watts, provided by the included power adapter. Even though the iPad says “Not Charging” when it’s in use, it will charge slowly if it’s in sleep mode. The power adapter is the best way to charge your iPad.

  • Christopher

    It wont work with aftermarket USB cards from Belkin either…

  • anthony909

    Install this program to make your computer charge through USB. You’ll thank me later :)

    http://event.asus.com/mb/2010/

  • Kostik

    Thank you!! it’s working with my iPad…of course it’s very slow, but at least it’s working.

  • anthony909

    Yes I know its a bit slower, but its better than nothing. I think it charges at 60% of the speed of plugging it in the power outlet. The motherboard of older computers usually only output about 6 volts.

  • Joe Mommie

    ah man, shut up..not a big deal…

  • Spartyon2015

    thnx man it works now…using it temporarily till my new charger ships in appriciate it

  • anthony909

    No worries, enjoy!

  • Rainbowaphrodite2000

    thanks so much for posting that link :-)

  • Gregg Suter

    Works for me too. My motherboard isn’t even that old (Asus P6TSE). Synched fine but wouldn’t charge. Also had to bypass a usb 2.0 hub (powered); iPad2 wouldn’t charge through it either until I installed that program, but then still had to bypass the hub. iTunes hung when the ipad was docked with it plugged into the hub.

  • anthony909

    No problem :)

  • anthony909

    Read my post just above yours. I have found a solution.

  • Cliffbarbara

    do NOT use the program in the next post-it messed up my ipad really badly, and the ipad people won’t help u bc it’s not their program-which u can’t blame them.

  • duncancreamer

    No, you didn’t. That link is for PCs.

  • anthony909

    If you plug in your iPad to your Mac even though it says not charging it is, but you have to put it to sleep in order for it to charge. It will take twice as long because your older Mac only outputs 5 watts as oppose to the 10 that is needed.

    And as for your comment YES, I did post a solution. He did not clarify that he had a Mac so stop being a smart ass.

  • anthony909

    Are you referring to the link that I posted??? That is straight gibberish, the program installs on your computer so how can it affect your iPad?

  • Ellen C Wild

    I have a brand new laptop with USB 3.0, is this too advanced for the iPad, because it is not charging

  • Roentgenster

    Obviously it tweaks the firmware settings on the PC so that it puts out more power on its USB.

  • Roentgenster

    If the particular PC ends up putting too much power through its USB, that will damage the iPad.

  • anthony909

    Not true, the iPad regulates the voltage before it is charged.

    Im not sure how Cliffbarbara’s iPad became damaged.  
    He did not have to tell the Apple reps how it was damaged, he just had to say that the iPad is not charging.  Mine is working just fine thank you.

  • anthony909

    Try installing the program I linked up above.

  • The Werewolf

    That’s not how electricity works, amigo.

    If you provide more current source at the same voltage, the device still only takes what it needs. If it didn’t work that way, everything you plugged into a wall socket (which typically provides 15A) would fry instantly if it used less than 15A.

    It’s the *voltage* that’s relevent here - if that’s different (say 12V vs 5V) – THAT would fry your device (but only when MORE – less, it just won’t work). All USB 2 ports provide 5V at 500mA – it’s the standard for USB. It’s also part of the standard that the port downshifts to 100mA if you plug in a USB 1.1 device.

    Now.. forcing your motherboard to provide an amp on its USB ports could damage the motherboard – or the USB controller at the very least – because the device will try to draw more current than the hardware is designed to handle, but USB has overpower protection… which is probably what this software is shutting down, or it’s overriding the port USB level detection forcing the port to USB 2 @ 500mA rather tan USB 1.1 @ 100mA.

    So this patch cannot damage your iPad – but it might damage your motherboard. I’m assuming not, though, since Asus is a major company who makes motherboards and they’d be kind of suicidal to release a utility that’s going to fry motherboards….

  • The Werewolf

    My Mac mini can’t charge the iPad either. To be fair, my Viewpad 7 Android tablet can’t be charged by my Mac or my PCs for much the same reason. I’m going to give the app Anthony999 points to a try – but another solution is to use a dual USB cable which essentially uses two USB ports to double the available power… alas, these typically only come in mini-B USB which works for the Viewpad (since it uses a standard connector) but not the iPad (which uses a proprietary connector). There might be a similar cable, or a dual B to USB A cable that can be used with the iPad’s cable.

  • The Werewolf

    It’s worse that that, actually.

    USB 2 is 5V @ .5 A = 2.5W

    The fact that the charger is 10W doesn’t actually mean the iPad *needs* 10W – they make these for several different products and it makes sense to overdesign so you can use one for many uses.

  • The Werewolf

    You need one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Apricorn

    It will let you use two USB ports for power and lets you plug your iPad cable into it.

  • Chas Briggs

    wont charge on the usb port of my 2011 KIA Soul or my Toshiba laptop

  • Michael McDonald

    This worked for me.  Thank you :)

  • anthony909

    Yea I have had issues using a hub as well, even when its powered.

  • anthony909

    Not a problem glad I could help out a fellow iPader. :)

  • anthony909

    Thank you for that coherent response :)

  • Miss M

    Apple finds new ways to screw people over, every year :)
    I like how every time some new gadget comes out, oops you’ll have to buy a new laptop or oops you’ll have to upgrade cuz you’re getting screwed over and over again!!! Thanks Apple,Sincerely From-One of your many faithful idiots using ALL of your electronic devices!

  • Cailean Babcock

     I don’t think Apple’s inability to predict the future is rooted in their inherent desire to screw us over. I think our deep faith in Apple to be able to design products that always work together may be a little unrealistic at times. :)

  • Erin Ebben Neufeld

    It’s working for my Toshiba laptop and ipad 2…thanks for the link!!

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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