How to Connect Apple Pencil to iPad

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By Affaq

How to Connect Apple Pencil to iPad

As somebody who is passionate about digital illustrations and has spent several years learning and doing it, I know the hype of buying a brand new Apple Pencil.

It is not just a pencil; it feels as if you have unlocked the secret weapon to draw whatever you want. But an Apple Pencil has more use than that. It can help you record your signatures, take screenshots, take notes in free-style, and more.

Owning an Apple Pencil for the first time is like a dream come true, especially for artists. However, to get started, you first need to connect the Apple Pencil to your iPad.

And if you are new to using the pencil, you may not be familiar with the method of connecting it to an iPad.

But don’t worry! I’ve written this article to help you connect your shiny new Apple Pencil to your iPad so that you can take advantage of this amazing piece of technology. Let’s get started.

Ensure your Apple Pencil is Compatible

Alright, so the first thing you need to be aware of is the compatibility of an Apple Pencil with an iPad. Basically, there are two types of Apple Pencils based on generations: the 1st generation and the 2nd generation of Apple Pencils.

Based on these two generations, styluses from either generation work with different iPads. You need to check your iPad’s compatibility with the Apple Pencils before buying it, and vice versa.

To help you out, here is a table of the Apple Pencils with their compatible iPads.

Compatibility of the 1st and 2nd Gen Apple Pencils

The 1st and 2nd Gen Apple Pencils are compatible with the following iPads:

iPad models that are compatible with:
1st Gen Apple Pencil:2nd Gen Apple Pencil:
iPad 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th generationN/A
iPad Mini 5th generationiPad Mini 6th generation
iPad Air 3rd generationiPad Air 4th generation and beyond
iPad Pro 12.9-inch, 1st and 2nd generations, iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inchiPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and beyond) iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and beyond)

So, be sure to check the compatibility of your Apple device before buying a stylus.

How to Connect Apple Pencil to iPad (1st Generation)

Connecting an Apple Pencil to an iPad is pretty straightforward, whether it is a 1st generation pencil or a 2nd generation one. However, the two technologies employ different means to connect.

A 1st gen Apple Pencil uses a lightning connector featured on its back, which comes covered by a cap. Here’s how you can connect this pencil to an iPad:

  1. First, ensure the Bluetooth on your iPad is on.
  2. Grab your Apple Pencil and remove the rear cap covering the lightning connector.
  3. Gently push the pencil into the lightning connector of the iPad and plug it in.
  4. Next, you will receive a pop-up message on your iPad, asking you to pair with the device or cancel the connection.
  5. Tap on Pair to connect successfully.

Note: If you are using the iPad Gen 10, you will need a USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter and a USB-C charge cable to connect both devices.

How to Connect Apple Pencil to iPad (2nd Generation)

Thankfully, Apple’s Gen 2 Pencil is even easier to connect to an iPad. A Gen 2 Apple pencil uses magnetic means to connect to another device. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, ensure the Bluetooth on your iPad is on.
  2. Grab your Apple Pencil and place it on the side of your iPad. If you do it correctly, the pencil should be magnetized to the device and attached to it.
  3. Next, you should see a pop-up widget of the pencil with a message on your iPad.
  4. Press Connect from the pop-up message to make the connection successful.

4 Things to keep in mind when connecting an Apple Pencil to an iPad

I hope the above guidelines were helpful. But if you are still unable to link your Apple stylus with your iPad, here are four things you need to keep in check.

  1. Check that the Bluetooth is turned on

Note that the Apple Pencils use a Bluetooth connection to connect to the iPad in all circumstances. Just connecting the pencil with the iPad externally is not enough. You need to ensure that the Bluetooth on the required iPad is turned on.

Here’s how to ensure the Bluetooth on your iPad is turned on.

  1. On your iPad, go to Settings.
  2. Tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Toggle it on if it is off.

One more thing: if you want to continue using the Apple stylus, you have to keep the Bluetooth turned on. Turning it off will terminate the connection.

  1. Ensure that the Apple Pencil is charged.

Of course, your Apple Pencil needs to be charged before it can be used. Despite connecting the pencil and turning on the Bluetooth, if your Apple Pencil refuses to work, you may have forgotten to charge it.

In case you don’t know, here’s how to charge your Apple Pencil:

  • A 1st Gen Apple Pencil can be changed by plugging it into the iPad (6th–9th generation) and leaving it undisturbed. A duration of 15-20 minutes should get the work done. You don’t have to fully charge the pencil, either. Just make sure the charge is adequate.

In other cases, a 1st-generation Apple Pencil can also be charged by using a USB-power adapter with the help of an Apple Pencil Charging Adapter.

  • A 2nd Gen Apple Pencil can be changed by connecting it to the iPad wirelessly, as instructed above. Stick the stylus to the right side of the iPad and keep the Bluetooth turned on. The pencil will start charging as soon as you see the pencil widget pop up.

So, make sure your shiny new Apple Pencil is adequately charged before utilizing it.

  1. Check that the connectors are not damaged

Hopefully, this is not the case with you. But a damaged connector can also be the culprit behind your Apple Pencil not working. An older iPad is much more likely to have this issue due to the iterative use of the connector, but that doesn’t mean the newer ones can’t.

Your iPad’s connector can get damaged if it has been mistreated, such as by forcing a cable into the connector if it doesn’t fit or work. You need to make sure the connectors on both of your devices are not damaged.

Inspect the connectors of your iPad and Apple Pencil closely. Look for any dust and damage. If you find dust or debris, use a cotton bud to politely clean it and try reconnecting. But if the connector is damaged or does not connect despite not being damaged, take your devices to an Apple Store and seek professional help.

  1. Be careful not to force the Apple Pencil the wrong way in

Another thing to be mindful of is how you connect your Apple Pencil to the iPad. You don’t want to force the stylus into the iPad the wrong way, do you? A simple mistake can cause a big loss by damaging, if not both, then both devices.

So, be careful while plugging your pencil into the iPad and avoid forcing it the wrong way in.

What should you do if the Apple Pencil isn’t connecting to your iPad?

Close your apps

Some software applications may suffer from incompatibility with the Apple stylus. This can cause connectivity problems between your iPad and the pencil. Try closing your apps and pairing the stylus back with the device.

Restart your iPad

If your Apple stylus persists in not working, try restarting your iPad. This will force the tablet to reconfigure its connectivity. After the restart, re-pair your stylus with the iPad and see if it works.

Clean your iPad’s charging port

Sometimes, dust and debris accumulate inside the charging port of handheld devices. The same can happen to the connector of your 1st Gen Apple Pencil. A gentle cleanup with compressed air or cotton buds will help the charging port work.

If you don’t know how to clean, take your devices to an Apple Store and seek professional help.

Forget and re-pair your device

A faulty Bluetooth connection can prevent you from using your Apple Pencil. Forgetting the stylus and re-pairing it in the Bluetooth settings may resolve the issue.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. On your iPad, go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Locate your Apple Pencil in the list of available devices.
  4. Press on the blue (ℹ️) icon on the right side of your pencil’s name.
  5. Tap on Forget This Device. A pop-up will appear.
  6. Tap Forget Device again.
  7. Now connect your Apple Pencil again to the iPad and tap Pair when the pop-up message appears.

This should get your Apple Pencil to function normally.

Suppose you’ve tried everything and none of the methods have worked. In this case, only the executives at an Apple Store can help you connect your Apple stylus to your iPad.


Connecting an Apple Pencil to an iPad is easy but can get tricky if the pencil doesn’t connect normally. So, how to connect Apple Pencil to iPad?

First, you need to make sure you buy the right Apple Pencil for your iPad. After that, ensure the Bluetooth on your iPad is on. Now, you are ready to connect the two devices.

To connect a 1st Gen Apple Pencil, remove its rear cap and plug it into the Lightning connector of the iPad. Next, tap Pair on the pop-up message on your iPad. As for the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, place it on the side of the iPad, and a pop-up widget will appear. Tap Connect to confirm.

We also discussed four important things to keep in mind when connecting the devices, including checking the Bluetooth, charging the Apple Pencil, looking for damages, and avoiding them.

Additionally, we discussed how to troubleshoot if the Apple Pencil doesn’t connect or work as intended. It includes closing the apps, resting the iPad, cleaning the iPad’s charging port, and re-pairing the devices.

Whether it is stunning digital illustrations that you are after or looking forward to improving your work lifestyle using an Apple Pencil, this article has everything you need to know about connecting your Apple stylus to your iPad.

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