9 Best Fixes for Apple Pencil Not Working Properly

Apple Pencil Not Pairing Or Connecting

Apple Pencil is a useful accessory for your iPad, as you can use it to take handwritten notes, draw or sketch, and even navigate on certain models of iPad. But for all that, Apple Pencil must first be paired or connected to the iPad. If you are unable to pair or connect an Apple Pencil to an iPad or experience any other issue, check out the solutions below to fix your pencil woes.

1. Check Compatibility

There are currently two generations of Apple Pencils, and each is not compatible with all iPad versions. Before you try the below-mentioned fixes, you must check the compatibility of the Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil In Action

The following are the iPads that are compatible with the 1st generation of Apple Pencil:

  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (9th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Similarly, the 2nd generation is compatible with the following iPads:

  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)

2. Restart iPad

You must begin the troubleshooting process to fix Apple Pencil pairing issues by restarting your iPad. Any minor issue or bug that could be conflicting with Apple Pencil would be fixed by a reboot. To restart the iPad, switch it off and turn it on again.

However, after you restart the iPad, you must re-pair the Apple Pencil to the iPad, otherwise it will not work directly.

Pro Tip: you should also try to restart the iPad with the Apple Pencil connected to it i.e., by plugging the Apple Pencil into the lightning connector (1st gen) or attaching magnetically to the side (2nd gen).

3. Confirm Bluetooth Is On

Whenever you face an issue with an Apple Pencil, Bluetooth is the first setting to check.

To start with, Bluetooth must be enabled on the iPad to use Apple Pencil.

  1. Go to “Settings → Bluetooth.”
  2. Enable the toggle next to Bluetooth to enable it. Once Bluetooth is active, try using the Apple Pencil on your iPad.
Apple Pencil Bluetooth Enable

If Bluetooth is already on and you are still unable to pair or connect an Apple Pencil, turn Bluetooth off, then back on. This should fix issues such as your Apple Pencil being connected but not working or showing up in Bluetooth.

With Bluetooth enabled, look in the “My devices” list to see whether your Apple Pencil says “Not Connected.” If it does, proceed to section 4.

Apple Pencil Bluetooth Not Connected

4. Pair Apple Pencil Correctly

You must follow the right steps to pair Apple Pencil with the iPad. The steps differ for the two generations of Apple Pencil.

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your iPad by going to “Settings → Bluetooth.”
Apple Pencil Bluetooth Enable
  1. Turn on the toggle for Bluetooth.
  1. For the 1st gen Apple Pencil, remove the cap and plug it into the lightning port of your iPad. For the 2nd gen Apple Pencil, magnetically attach it to the side of your iPad.
  2. The Bluetooth pairing dialog box will show up. Tap on “Pair” if it’s your first-time connecting this Apple Pencil to your iPad. If you are re-pairing it, it may occur automatically.
Apple Pencil Pair
  1. The paired Apple Pencil will show up in the list of Bluetooth devices in “Settings → Bluetooth.”
Apple Pencil Pair Connect

Note: you have to re-pair the Apple Pencil after you restart the iPad, turn on Airplane mode, or pair with another iPad.

5. Check Battery

Apple Pencil will not work or pair if its battery is low.

  1. To check your Apple Pencil’s battery, open the Settings app on iPad and go to “Apple Pencil.”
Apple Pencil View Battery
  1. You will see the battery percentage next to the Apple Pencil option.
  2. If the option is greyed out, hover the Apple Pencil over your iPad to see the battery percentage. If the Apple Pencil option doesn’t show up at all, it means the Pencil is disconnected from the iPad. You must re-pair it as shown above.

Tip: you can view your Apple Pencil’s battery on the home screen by adding the Battery widget.

If the battery is low, you should charge the Apple Pencil for at least 15 minutes to give it enough juice to perform.

  • To charge the 2nd gen Apple Pencil, attach it magnetically to the side of the iPad. Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on the iPad.
  • To charge the 1st gen Apple Pencil, remove the top cap from the Pencil and plug it into the lightning connector on your iPad.

Once the Apple Pencil has some battery strength, the pairing dialog box should appear on the iPad. Tap on “Agree” to pair it. When there’s sufficient charge in the Apple Pencil, remove it from charging and try to use it. Hopefully, it will connect and work.

6. Forget Apple Pencil

Forgetting Apple Pencil from the list of Bluetooth devices can also help to fix any issues that may be preventing your pencil from working properly. When you remove the Apple Pencil from Bluetooth devices, you have to re-pair it with the iPad, which is like starting afresh. Any connectivity issue could thus be taken care of.

  1. Open the Settings app on iPad and go to “Bluetooth.”
  2. Tap on the (i) icon next to Apple Pencil under the “My devices” section.
Apple Pencil Bluetooth Information

Note: if you don’t see the list of Bluetooth devices, make sure Bluetooth is on.

  1. Press the “Forget this device” option. Tap on “Forget device” when the confirmation pop-up shows up.
Apple Pencil Bluetooth Forget
  1. Re-pair the Apple Pencil with your iPad as shown above.

7. Disconnect Other Bluetooth Devices

If you have other Bluetooth devices connected to your iPad (the process is the same as forgetting your Apple Pencil), you must turn them off. Many iPad users suggest that other Bluetooth devices interfere with the Apple Pencil, and that’s why it doesn’t work properly.

8. Check Apple Pencil Tip

If your Apple Pencil isn’t working on your iPad, chances are that its tip is loose. To fix the issue, twist the Apple Pencil’s tip in until it is screwed in tightly. If that doesn’t make it work again, try taking its tip off and putting it back on. You can also try changing the tip.

9. Charge Using Regular Charger

If you aren’t getting the Pair request box after charging your Apple Pencil, or it won’t charge using an iPad, you should try charging it with your iPad’s charger by using the USB power adapter that came with your Apple Pencil.

10. Reset Network Settings

If nothing works, try resetting the network settings on your iPad. This will not delete any personal data from your iPad, but network settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc., will be reset to default values.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to “General.”
  2. Tap on “Transfer or Reset iPad.”
Apple Pencil Reset
  1. Tap on “Reset” followed by “Reset network settings.”
Apple Pencil Reset Network Settings

Hopefully the tips we shared above will help you to pair and connect the Apple Pencil to your iPad. Once it starts working in its full glory, learn how to make the most of the Apple Pencil. In case your Apple Pencil still doesn’t work, get informed of the Apple Pencil alternatives.

Image credit: Unsplash

Mehvish Mushtaq
Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox