Apple Pencil Not Working On iPad? Here’s The Fix!

You took out your Apple Pencil to notes or start drawing, but something didn’t work right. No matter what you do, your Apple Pencil won’t work on your iPad! In this article, I’ll explain what to do when your Apple Pencil is not working on your iPad.

Apple Pencil on top of an iPad with a leather case.

Make Sure Your Device Is Compatible

There are two different versions of the Apple Pencil, and both aren’t compatible with every iPad model. Check out Apple’s guide to make sure your Apple Pencil is compatible with your iPad!

Make Sure The Tip Is On All The Way

A loose tip is another common reason why Apple Pencils stop working. It’s possible the tip is loose, making it more difficult for your iPad to tell you’re using an Apple Pencil.

Trying readjusting the tip of your Apple Pencil. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to get a new tip. You can purchase a four-pack of replacement tips for less than $20.

Close The App You’re Using

There’s a chance this issue could be coming from the iPad app you’re trying to use rather than the Apple Pencil. Apps aren’t perfect — sometimes they crash and become unresponsive. Closing and reopening the app can sometimes fix minor software problems. We recommend closing all the apps on your iPad, as its possible a different app running in the background caused the software problem.

If your iPad has a Home button, double-press it to open the app switcher. If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, swipe up from the very bottom to the center of the screen and hold your finger there until the app switcher opens. Once the app switcher is open, use your finger to swipe your apps up and off the top of the screen to close them.

close out of apps on ipad

Hard Reset Your iPad

Hard resetting your iPad forces it to turn off and back on again. We recommend a hard reset instead of a soft reset as it has the potential to fix two different issues:

  1. A minor software problem.
  2. A frozen or unresponsive iPad.

If your iPad has a Home button, simultaneously press and hold it and the power button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears. If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, quickly press and release the volume up button, then quickly press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the Top button. Keep holding both buttons until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears.

You may need to hold the Home and power button or the Top button for 25–30 seconds before the Apple logo appears. Be patient and don’t give up!

Charge Your Apple Pencil

Another reason why your Apple Pencil might not be working is because it’s out of battery. Try charging your Apple Pencil to see if that fixes the problem. Check out our other article if you find that your Apple Pencil won’t charge.

We recommend setting up a battery widget on your iPad so you can keep an eye on how much battery life your Apple Pencil has at all times!

Turn Bluetooth Off And Back On

The Apple Pencil uses Bluetooth to connect to your iPad. It’s possible something interrupted that connection, causing the problem. Turning Bluetooth off and back on is a quick way to reset the connection and hopefully fix the software problem.

Open Settings and tap Bluetooth. Tap the switch at the top of the screen next to Bluetooth to turn it off. Wait a few seconds, then tap the switch again to turn Bluetooth back on. You’ll know Bluetooth is on when the switch is green.

turn on bluetooth ipad

Forget Your Apple Pencil As A Bluetooth Device

Forgetting your Apple Pencil as a Bluetooth device allows you to set it up like new. When you connect a Bluetooth device to your iPad for the first time, it saves data on how to connect to that Bluetooth device. If any part of that process has changed, your Apple Pencil might not work on your iPad.

Open Settings and tap Bluetooth. Tap the Information button (look for the blue i) next to your Apple Pencil under My Devices. Finally, tap Forget This Device.

forget bluetooth device on ipad

Reset Network Settings On Your iPad

Reset Network Settings erases all Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, VPN, and Cellular settings on your iPad and restores them to factory defaults. This step can potentially fix a deeper Bluetooth connectivity issue preventing your Apple Pencil from working on your iPad. It’s important to write down your Wi-Fi passwords before completing this step, as you’ll have to reenter them after the reset is complete.

Open Settings and tap General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted, then tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm your decision.

reset ipad network settings

Apple Pencil Not Working? Not Anymore!

You’ve fixed the problem and your Apple Pencil is working again! Make sure to share this article to teach your family and friends what to do when their Apple Pencil is not working. Leave any other questions you have down below in the comments section.

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