How to Set Auto Shut Off Timer for iPad Tablet Devices

Setting an auto shut off timer for your iPad can be useful to save battery life or limit screen time. The iPad has a couple built-in ways to automatically turn off after a set period of inactivity.

Use Auto-Lock Setting

The easiest way is to use the Auto-Lock setting:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap “Display & Brightness”
  3. Under the “Auto-Lock” section, select your desired shut off time – 2, 5, 10 or 15 minutes, or never

Once enabled, your iPad will automatically lock and turn off the screen after the selected period of inactivity.


  • Simple to set up
  • Allows you to choose exact shut off time


  • Shortest duration is 2 minutes
  • Doesn’t fully power down device

Use Clock App Timer

Alternatively, you can use the Clock app’s Timer feature:

  1. Open Clock app
  2. Tap “Timer”
  3. Set timer duration
  4. Under “When Timer Ends” select “Stop Playing”
  5. Tap “Set”

When the timer expires, your iPad will stop any video/audio playing and auto-lock.


  • Can set very short durations (e.g. 1 minute)
  • Stops media playback


  • Doesn’t fully shut down device
  • Have to manually start timer each time

Fully Power Down iPad

To completely power off your iPad:

  1. Hold down the Power/Lock button
  2. When “Slide to power off” prompt appears, drag slider to right

Your iPad will fully shut down. However, this method requires manually turning it back on each time.


  • Completely powers down device to save battery


  • Have to manually restart iPad each time
  • Not automated

Set App Limits

Using Screen Time’s App Limits, you can restrict daily usage for specific apps. Once the time limit is reached, apps will be locked for the rest of the day.


  • Limits time in specific distracting apps
  • Automated shutdown at end of time period


  • Only works for certain apps, not whole device
  • Have to manually change time limits

Use Shortcuts Automation

For full customization, you can create an automation in Shortcuts that triggers your iPad to lock and stop media playback after a set duration.

This allows you to automatically lock your device no matter what you’re doing.


  • Fully automated
  • Customizable to exact needs


  • More complex to set up
  • Requires some technical knowledge

So in summary, the Auto-Lock and Clock app Timer features provide simple ways to automatically suspend your iPad’s activity after a chosen duration. For more custom options, Shortcuts automations and App Limits give greater control.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on the built-in methods to limit screen time and auto shut off your iPad! Let me know if you have any other questions.