Top 9 Ways to Fix Apple Pencil Not Working on iPad

Your iPadOS experience is arguably incomplete without an Apple Pencil. Over the years, Apple has improved both the hardware (remember that hilarious charging mechanism from the first-generation Apple Pencil?) and implemented neat software tricks to utilize Pencil’s capabilities. But what if the Apple Pencil stops responding in the first place? Here’s how you can fix Apple Pencil not working on iPad.

1. Check Apple Pencil Compatibility

The latest iPad models aren’t compatible with the first-gen Apple Pencil and similarly, you shouldn’t try to pair the second-gen Apple Pencil with an old iPad model. The combo simply won’t work.

Apple Pencil (1st generation)

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

Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

  • 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. Make Sure Bluetooth Is Enabled on iPad

Apple Pencil requires an active Bluetooth connection on the iPad to work as expected. Let’s enable Bluetooth on the iPad and try again.

Step 1: Open Settings on iPad.

Step 2: Go to the Bluetooth menu and enable the toggle.

3. Pair Apple Pencil Again

You need to unpair Apple Pencil from the iPad and pair it again. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Settings menu and go to Bluetooth.

Step 2: Tap on the info button beside Apple Pencil. Select Forget This Device from the following menu.

Step 3: Once you confirm your decision. Attach the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) to the iPad or connect Apple Pencil (1st gen) to the lightning port of the iPad.

iPadOS will ask you to pair the Apple Pencil again. Once it’s paired, try using the Apple Pencil.

4. Check Pencil Tip

Your Apple Pencil’s nib might wear out after extensive usage over time. You’ll need to replace it with another nib that came with the box.

While replacing the nib, make sure to tighten it properly, and only then it would work with the iPad.

5. Recharge Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil requires enough battery juice to work properly. You can use the battery widget on iPadOS 15 to check the remaining battery life on your Apple Pencil.

If you have the first-generation Apple Pencil, plug it with the lightning port of the iPad. Those using the 2nd generation Apple Pencil can magnetically attach the Pencil on the iPad side to charge it.

If your Apple Pencil is no longer charging, you need to replace it with a new one. There is no way to swap old Apple Pencil batteries with new ones.

6. Switch to Draw Mode

Apps like OneNote come with a dedicated Draw mode to utilize Apple Pencil. When you are in the Home or Insert tab, your inputs simply won’t work in the app.

Switch to the Draw mode and use the drawing tools at the top to start writing and making doodles in the app.

7. Enable Only Draw with Apple Pencil Toggle

Your iPad works with any regular stylus. However, for drawing, we would advise sticking with the official Apple Pencil as it comes with pressure sensitivity. If Apple Pencil isn’t working as expected, you need to enable the ‘Only Draw with Apple Pencil’ toggle from the Settings menu.

Open iPad Settings and go to Apple Pencil and enable the option.

8. Set Pencil Gestures

iPadOS 15 update brings Pencil gestures to the OS. You can quickly take screenshots and quick notes using Pencil gestures. If the option is disabled, the OS won’t detect the gesture. Let’s enable it from the Settings menu.

Step 1: Launch Settings on iPad.

Step 2: Go to Apple Pencil and select Pencil gestures.

Step 3: Set Left Corner Swipe and Right Corner Swipe to perform the action and close the app.

From now on, whenever you hover the Apple Pencil to the left or right corner, it will perform the set action.

9. Update iPadOS

With each iPadOS update, Apple adds new functions to make Apple Pencil more useful. You’ll need to update iPadOS to the latest version to enable and enjoy those features on your iPad.

Head to Settings and open the General menu. Select software update and wait for your iPad to fetch new updates. When you see one, install the latest iPadOS build.

Master Apple Pencil on iPad

We love the quick note gesture in Apple Pencil. It’s easy and nifty to take notes on the go. Which trick worked for you to make Apple Pencil run on iPad? Share your findings with our readers in the comments section below.


Last updated on 03 March, 2022

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