The "Occasional iPad" Shortcut

I have two iPads - a Mini and a 12.9" Pro. I definitely use them, but I use them more infrequently - and the batteries go dead pretty quickly (a couple of days or so) even when they’re not being used.

So I went through and configured them for reduced battery usage. Set notifications to a daily digest, disabled fitness tracking, etc. But then I stumbled upon a neat automation / shortcut.

I went in and created a stack of automations. Basically, if the power drops below any given 5% mark (100%, 95%, 90%, etc. - yes, that’s 20 separate automations down to 5%) it fires off a shortcut - unattended - which sets low-power mode and turns on airplane mode.

This worked great, until I was using it one day and the shortcut fired while I was using it. Sigh. And then I discovered a cool addition.

You can have Shortcuts test for your display brightness. So I put all of my “turn things off to save power” into an “if/then” loop that tests if the brightness is less than .1. Now it automatically goes into low-power mode when it’s not being used, but NOT when I’m using it.

If I don’t pick up the iPad to use it, the battery takes a solid week to discharge now. And if I do pick it up to use it, I just have to click wi-fi back on and disable low power mode.

Don’t know if this helps anybody, but just wanted to throw it out there in case there’s anybody else in my boat. :slight_smile:


Genius. Pure genius.

This is a different level of cleverness… can you please share the shortcut or a screenshot of how it looks


This is the Automation screen. Like I said, about 20 different automations - one for each 5% battery level.

Each of those automations is configured like this. The “When” is whatever battery level you’re targeting, and the “Do” is always “Run Shortcut”. Make sure “Ask Before Running” is off, along with “Notify When Run”.

And the shortcut they run is this:

It’s really, really simple. These screenshots are from my iPad Pro, which was charged to “full” 24 hours ago, mostly spent a day in my backpack, and hasn’t been charged during that day. Power is at 95%, which is pretty good for over 24 hours in standby mode.

Again, this is with notifications set to summary mode, Fitness Tracking disabled, etc.

The only downside is that when you pull it out of your bag, you need to pop on the Internet and such - and anything that requires Internet will need to do an update. But for somebody who uses their iPad primarily for things like reading, notetaking, and occasional email checking, I’ve found this is perfectly fine.

Before I had this shortcut my iPad would be completely dead after a few days of standby - now it has a pretty solid 80% or so and is still ready for use. :slight_smile:


I love this idea, but I cannot believe that there’s no better way to implement a periodic automation than to use 19 battery status checks.

It’s true, though, there’s really no alternative!

Yeah. Ideally there would be a “if the battery status changes” hook, which could fire the automation. And for that matter, ideally it would be able to fire for numbers other than 5% increments.

But this is what we have, as far as I can tell. :slight_smile:


This is what I come to this forum for! Thank you; your shortcut idea is very helpful. This will solve the same problem I have. I am going to try 7 x 10% increments and see how that works.


I only had the patience to set an automation for every 10% change, lol, but I do use mine for work sometimes, so has a little more opportunity to stay up to date.

Great idea, thanks!

@webwalrus Thanks for sharing this. I have similar problems with my iPad. Getting more battery health conscious lately as well and checked my iPad’s capacity with the coconut battery app on my Mac. According to it, my iPad’s battery capacity is down to 83% even though it only has 216 charging cycles. Maybe this shortcut will help with that as well as not getting caught off guard when I go to grab my iPad and see I’m down to 5% charge.