Cold and technology

Feb. 16, 2015


Can the cold damage my iPad?

Environmental Requirements

Operating ambient temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
Nonoperating temperature: -4° to 113° F (-20° to 45° C)
Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing

An iPad much like a laptop is more likely to become damaged from heat than it is cold. In fact computers will often operate much more efficiently in cooler conditions. However, taking an iPad that has been in a cold temperature, say -120F when it was left in the car overnight, to a warmer temperature can cause condensation within the computer, which can cause damage. Move your iPad into a warm building and do not power it up immediately. Wait until the iPad has warmed up some. The people at Apple say any "damage" is usually temporary except for the battery. Leaving your iPad in the very very cold will over time degrade your battery. So, be safe and bring the electronics inside when it gets to negative temperatures outside.

Can a computer get damaged by the cold.

A computer or laptop is more likely to become damaged from heat than it is cold. In fact a computer will often operate much more efficiently in cooler conditions. However, taking a computer that has been in a cold temperature to a warmer temperature can cause condensation within the computer, which can cause damage. A good example of how this may happen is leaving your laptop out in the car during winter overnight and then moving it into a warm building and powering it up immediately.

To help prevent this situation from occurring, don't leave your laptop in a car for any length of time during cold or hot weather. When working in cold conditions or transporting your computer through colder weather, keep it in its laptop carrying case. If you're working in extreme cold weather (e.g. -5°c or 23° F or lower) and moving the computer to a warmer room, we suggest letting the computer remain off for a few minutes before turning it on.

Finally, whenever working in any place with extreme weather, it's always a good idea to consult the computer documentation or manufacturer for their recommended operating temperatures. Not all laptops and computers are the same, and each component in them can react differently to temperature.

Example the temperature range for a Dell Latitude E6530 is:

Operating

    0 °C to 35 °C (32 °F to 95 °F)

Non-Operating

  –40 °C to 65 °C (–40 °F to 149 °F)