Apple Pencil won’t pair or connect to iPad? How to fix it

By Moses Johnson - Editor
3 Min Read

If you’re having trouble getting your Apple Pencil to connect to an iPad, follow the troubleshooting steps below to fix the issue.

iPad Pro in silver with a white Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, and space gray with a black Magic Keyboard.  

  • To fix an Apple Pencil that won’t connect to an iPad, make sure you’ve charged it first.
  • You can also check that the iPad you’re connecting to has Bluetooth on and is updated.
  • If that doesn’t work, forget the Apple Pencil and connect it again.

Your Apple Pencil is designed to seamlessly and effortlessly connect to your iPad, so it’s unusual (and annoying) when things go awry.

Sometimes, you may experience issues with using your Apple Pencil. A common issue is that the Apple Pencil stops interacting with an iPad. To fix this issue, you may need to re-pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad. However, your Apple Pencil may refuse to pair.

Apple Pencil can let you transform your iPad into an essential creative tool and can significantly improve your experience. You may want to use it for note taking, sketching, annotating, journaling, and more. There are three Apple Pencils. The $99 Apple Pencil (1st Generation) was introduced in 2015 and updated in 2018. The $129 Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) was released in 2021. Finally, the $79 Apple Pencil (USB-C) was released in October 2023. Apple Pencil compatibility with iPad varies among iPad models.

Several factors may be preventing your Apple Pencil from connecting to your iPad. It’s possible that the Apple Pencil is out of charge or that Bluetooth was inadvertently disabled. If you’ve already followed all the steps to try to connect your Apple Pencil to your iPad, here’s what you can do to try to get it working again when it won’t connect.

Steps to fix Apple Pencil connection issues

There are a few simple steps you can try that will get your Apple Pencil working properly most of the time.

  1. Make sure the Apple Pencil is compatible with your iPad.
  2. Make sure your Apple Pencil is charged.
  3. Restart your iPad and try using or pairing your Apple Pencil again. How you restart your iPad differs based on whether your iPad has a Home button or not:
    • iPad without a Home button: Press and hold one of the volume buttons and the top buttons together until the power-off slider appears. Drag the slider and wait about 30 seconds so that your iPad turns off fully. Then, press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.
    • iPad with a Home button: Press and hold the top button until you see the power-off slider. Drag the slider and wait for your iPad to turn off. Then, press and hold the top button again until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Make sure that your iPad is running the latest version of iPadOS. You can check if you have the latest version of iPadOS by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If an update is available, tap Update Now.
  5. On the iPad you want to connect to, make sure Bluetooth is turned on. You can check this from the Bluetooth menu in your Settings app.
  6. Forget your Apple Pencil and pair it with your iPad again. On your iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth and find your Apple Pencil. Tap the info (i) button next to it and then tap Forget This Device. Then connect the Apple Pencil to the iPad, and the Pair button will appear. Tap it. If the Pair option does not appear, wait a few minutes. As your Apple Pencil charges, the Pair button may appear a little later.

Force restart your iPad

If none of those steps worked, force restart your iPad and try to pair again. Follow the steps below based on your iPad model:

If your iPad has Face ID or Touch ID in the top button:

  1. Press and release the volume button nearest to the top button.
  2. Press and release the other volume button.
  3. Press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo. If you see the power-off slider, ignore it.

If your iPad has a Home button:

  1. Press and hold the top button and the Home button together.
  2. Keep holding them until you see the Apple logo. Release them when you see the Apple logo. If you see the power-off slider, ignore it.
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By Moses Johnson Editor
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Moses Johnson is the Editorial Director of GeeksChalk.com, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. Moses is commonly referred to online as The Professor, with decades of experience in tech under his belt.
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