Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Do’s, Don’ts & Tips with iPad Ownership
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “Do you fix broken screens?” usually followed up with “my child dropped their iPad/phone”. Kids destroy stuff. It’s a fact. And they are going to indiscriminately destroy new stuff, used stuff, cheap stuff, expensive stuff because THEY ARE KIDS. (And, ummmm… grown ups have accidents too, or so I hear.) Why buy the kiddos new tablets when 90% of kids damage their tablets/phones in the first 4 months of use. Save some serious money, and buy a refurbished and unlocked iPad from a trusted friend or business.
Once you have your iPad in hand, educate yourself and protect your investment as best you can. There are many ways to ruin or damage your iPads and tablets, and here are three of the most common problems we see and some tips to better protect your tech, wallet and sanity.
There are MANY ways your screen can break, and it isn’t cheap to replace them. Dropping is the number one cause of broken screens, but you can also damage your tablet by setting items on top of it, sitting on it, packing it in a purse or briefcase without proper protection, etc. The BEST way to help avoid breaking your screen is using a case and screen protector. Any case is better than no case, and a good case is worth every penny so when you are shopping, please read reviews or look at the case in person. I also recommend a screen protector to help not only keep your screen scratch free, but it can also help absorb some of the impact from misuse and accidents. Accidents happen, and your kids ARE going to drop their devices at some point.
Each accident is a gamble so keep your iPad in a case with a screen protector, teach them how to use and travel with it, keep a designated spot where it “lives” when it’s not in use and do your best to help them be careful and conscientious owners of the expensive “toy” they love.
If you do break your screen, be sure to use a reputable repair professional or the Apple store. People are sometimes not satisfied with their device after the screen was replaced and feel the repair did additional damage to their iPad. While this can certainly happen, it is more likely the damage that caused the screen to break also caused internal damage. Once the original screen was removed to be replaced, this preexisting additional damage became the next apparent issue, like dominoes. The screen replacement can also cause some loss of screen sensitivity which can unfortunately be a normal result of screen replacement. Most screen replacements are pretty simple and offer excellent results, just be educated and protect your iPad to avoid the break in the first place.
NOT CHARGING OR HOLDING A CHARGE ANYMORE
Is your iPad not fully charging or suddenly not charging at all? First, if possible, try rebooting the iPad by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears.
Charge Your Tablet With the Right Stuff
It is important what you are plugging your iPad into and how you are plugging it in. Are you charging with your computer? Many USB ports on older computers do not supply enough power to the iPad.
Try plugging the iPad into a wall socket with the original power cable and adapter. If the problem still continues try getting a replacement cable and adapter. Be sure you are using the correct kind of cord and adapter, it does matter. I recommend using authorized Apple products with your iPad (likewise for other brands, the original manufacturer cord and adapter are important) and be careful when you buy replacement parts. If you are not buying Apple replacements please buy a highly rated and quality product with the necessary wattage. Avoid poorly made, and often irresistibly inexpensive, cords and adapters that can damage your devices.
Using less than a 10W adapter will damage your battery by producing a “trickle charge” draining your battery as it charges. Use 12W or 10W USB power adapters to charge your iPad. Just connect your device to the power adapter with the USB to Lightning cable, 30-pin to USB cable, or cable that came with your device.
The cable is important, do not use third party or “fake Apple” cords without the knowledge they can cause power surges to your device and damage your lightning port, internal parts and/or your battery AS WELL AS CAUSE HEALTH CONCERNS because many, if not most unofficial lightning cables, have insufficient insulation to protect users from electric shock.
Note: Using an Apple 18W, 12W, or 10W USB power adapter can charge some Apple devices and accessories faster, Apple 29W, 30W, 61W, and 87W USB-C Power Adapter and Apple USB-C to Lightning cable are fast charge compatible with some devices. Do your research before using this method for your particular model to be sure you are using the appropriate higher wattage.
Charging Port Damage
If you have rebooted your tablet, charged it untouched for at least 5 hours with the original cord and adapter and it is STILL not charging… you might have charging port damage. What’s that? It’s where the port you plug your charging cord into somehow got damaged.
This mainly happens when you drop your device while it is plugged in, force the cord into the port in the wrong direction (prevalent with the 30-pin and Micro-USB cables), or use your iPad while it is plugged in. You can also cause damage if you pull the cord to remove the charger from the port versus hold the charger head to remove the cord gently from your device.
Insert and Remove Gently
It is important that you plug your charger into the port gently and correctly. This is a problem we see frequently with 30-pin and Micro-USB chargers and ports. Inserting the cord into the port the wrong way, trying to force it into the port (because you don’t realize the correct way) will bend the pins in your port, damage your charger and make your iPad nonchargeable. If you are lucky and you only cause port damage, a port and/or cord replacement may fix this issue.
If the port and/or cord replacement does not fix the issue, you likely have internal damage and will need to have your iPad further diagnosed which increases your repair costs. The pro tip here is to make sure you know the correct way to insert your connector into the port and show your kids the right way; or tell them only a grown up can charge the device. Kids will force it in and get frustrated, and try even harder to force it in the wrong way because THEY ARE KIDS.
Please also remove your charging cord gently. If you yank on the cable below the connector, versus gently pulling on the actual connector (charger head), you can (and likely eventually will) weaken and damage your unit at its weakest point; this practice will also damage your cord. Kids, and adults in a hurry, may just rip the cable out… this is not a good practice ESPECIALLY with the 30-pin chargers and ports. Take the extra second to remove it with care to save yourself some future aggravation and expense. This kind of accidental damage is not covered under warranty so the repairs will be out of your pocket.
Don’t Use While Charging
Charging your tablet (or phone for that matter) while you are using it is not a good habit. There is a REASON the cord you receive with your device is short. Using your device while it is charging reduces your battery life. Additionally, the extra tension, bending and flexing of the cable as your unit moves around while in use damages the connectors. This bad habit will also inevitably lead to the accidental drop while charging and will cause any of the above mentioned damages and more. Teach your kids to resist the urge to lie on the couch watching their videos while their iPad or phone is charging. And you are gambling with getting a zap or worse if you are using a cheap cord.
Might Be Battery Replacement Time
As with any machine, iPads will slow over time. Batteries start to lose juice and you might need a battery replacement at some point. Visit a reputable service repair business or visit Apple. Some battery issues due to manufacturer defects, etc are covered under warranty.
If you have tried and checked all the above and your unit still does not charge, you will need to contact Apple (or your tablet manufacturer) as the iPad may have an electrical hardware issue or other defect.
IT GOT WET
Don’t Panic Yet
In most cases, water will ruin your electronics. It is one of the reasons water voids all warranties; it’s most likely irreparable. The big reason for iPad failure after being submerged in water is the battery becomes corroded, but it doesn’t happen immediately.
This is another GREAT reason to invest in a very good case that might give you extra protection to help mitigate how much water gets inside your iPad in the event of spills. The areas of most concern for water to get inside your device are the speakers, the headphone jack, the Lightning connector, the volume buttons, the sleep/wake button and the home button.
Turn iPad Off?
A big question is… should you turn your iPad off after it gets wet? If it was on and in use when it got wet then yes turn it off.
Do not simply put your device in suspend mode, power it off completely if you are able. Parts of the tablet are still running when suspended. While in suspend mode, you can still receive notifications, face time calls, etc which is why it is better to have your device powered off all the way.
The rolling the dice part is… was it in suspend mode when it got wet? It might be better to leave it in suspend mode, versus waking it up and powering it down, UNLESS you are going to get notifications, messages, etc in the next 48 hours thereby waking it up when you are trying to dry it out. You will have to be the judge in this case.
Don’t Do This
Please ignore the rice, oatmeal and cat litter remedies. These “remedies” can lead to more damage to your tablet because a single grain of rice, oatmeal, gel, litter, etc might get inside and do even more damage. I have heard that silica gel packets can be helpful because they aren't going to get stuck inside of your iPad and cause more headaches. Another “remedy” to avoid is heat (such as a hair dryer) because a high amount of heat can definitely damage your device.
Spill or Submerged?
If water simply spilled on your device and you had it in a case, the case might have given you more protection so please wipe off all the water you can see, take the case off and dry the iPad off as best you can with a clean, soft and absorbent cloth. To be extra cautious, I recommend leaving the iPad sit in an open dry space and not using it for 24-48 hours.
If you didn’t have your tablet in a case and/or if the tablet was submerged in water, assume water may have gotten in and you need to do more than simply dry it off and let it sit.
After you thoroughly dry the tablet off leave it completely alone for 48 hours sitting with the home button at the bottom; you are hoping gravity will help the moisture make its way out. If you have a Pro with four speakers, after 24 hours flip the unit so the home button is on the top and let it sit that way the second day.
After 48 hours, fingers crossed all the water has gotten out and evaporated and it is now working great. If it is not powering on, freezing or it is showing weird colors and etc on the display you will need to take it to a reputable repair professional. Sometimes a simple battery replacement can fix your problem if the battery was the only internal part corroded from the moisture. The extent of the damage will not be known until the device is opened.
All these issues are avoidable. Except... accidents happen. And kids are little accident magnets with the best intentions in the world so just do the best you can to protect it. Consider buying the kids used tablets because there are a million ways to destroy electronics. Buying a quality refurbished tablet is a wise financial decision ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS. So save yourself hundreds, protect your investment and extend the life of your device for as long as you can to enjoy your device!
If you are in the market for a new, or refurbished iPad or tablet, please visit RizTech in Medina Square at 215 S. Court St. Medina, Ohio 44256.