You purchased an Apple Pencil to takes notes on your iPad. But as class starts, you notice that your Apple Pencil is not writing! In this article, I’ll explain how to fix the problem when your Apple Pencil won’t write!
Close The App That’s Not Working
It’s possible that your Apple Pencil won’t write because the app you’re trying to write in has crashed. Closing and reopening the app on your iPad can fix the problem when a crash occurs. If you think an iPad app has crashed, it’s a good idea to close all of your apps at the same time. An app you left open may have crashed in the background, which can cause all sorts of problems.
Closing Apps On iPads With Face ID
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the center of the screen and hold your finger there for until the app switcher opens. Then, use one finger to swipe an app up and off the top of the screen.
Closing Apps On iPads Without Face ID
Double-press the Home button to open the app switcher. Use a finger to swipe your apps up and off the top of the screen.
After closing all the apps on your iPad, tap in any corner of the display to exit the app switcher. Then, open the app you were trying to write in. Does Apple Pencil work now? If not, move onto the next step!
Make Sure Your Apple Pencil Is Charged
Your Apple Pencil won’t write if it doesn’t have any battery life. Try charging your Apple Pencil to see if that fixes the problem. Check out our other article if your Apple Pencil won’t charge!
How To Charge A First Generation Apple Pencil
Remove the cap on your Apple Pencil to expose the Lightning connector. Plug the Lightning connector into the charging port on your iPad or a separate charger.
How To Charge A Second Generation Apple Pencil
Attach your Apple Pencil to the magnetic connector on the right side of your iPad underneath the volume buttons.
Pro tip: You can keep an eye on your Apple Pencil’s battery life by setting up a battery widget on your iPad’s Home screen.
Turn Bluetooth Off And Back On
Your Apple Pencil uses Bluetooth to connect to your iPad. A Bluetooth problem could be interrupting that connection, preventing your Apple Pencil from writing. Turning Bluetooth off and back on again may be all you need to do to resolve a minor software glitch.
Open Settings on your iPad and tap Bluetooth. Tap the switch next to Bluetooth to turn it off. Tap the switch again to turn Bluetooth back on. You’ll know Bluetooth is on when the switch is green and a list of your Bluetooth devices appear underneath My Devices.
Clean Off Your iPad & Apple Pencil
Dirt, gunk, oil, or other debris could be preventing your Apple Pencil from writing on your iPad. It’s a good idea to regularly clean both so they continue working as they’re designed to.
First, grab a microfiber cloth and wipe off both your iPad’s display and the tip of your Apple Pencil. Avoid cleaning your Apple Pencil with a wet cloth or cleaning product. If water gets inside the tip, it can permanently damage your Apple Pencil.
It also might be time to replace the tip of your Apple Pencil. Over time, these tips can wear down, and it can become difficult to write using them. Four-packs of new tips are available on Amazon for less than $20.
Hard Reset Your iPad
A hard reset has the potential to fix two separate issues that could be preventing your Apple Pencil from writing:
- Your iPad has crashed and is now totally unresponsive.
- Your iPad is experiencing a minor software problem.
A hard reset forces your iPad to abruptly turn off and back on. If your iPad is frozen and unresponsive, a hard reset will get it working normally again.
If your iPad isn’t frozen, a hard reset can still fix a minor software bug. The programs running on your iPad will get a fresh start as soon as your iPad turns back on.
How To Hard Reset An iPad Without 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 until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears. You may need to hold the Top button for 25–30 seconds, so be patient! Your iPad will turn on again shortly after the Apple logo appears on the screen.
How To Hard Reset An iPad With A Home Button
Simultaneously press and hold the Home button and the power button until the screen goes black. Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears on the center of your iPad’s display. Your iPad will turn on again shortly after. You may need to press and hold both buttons for 25–30 seconds, so be patient and don’t give up!
Turn Off Zoom On Your iPad
Some users have reported that their Apple Pencil wouldn’t write when the Zoom Accessibility setting was turned on. It’s a good idea to make sure this setting isn’t on, as it could be causing the problem you’re experiencing.
Open Settings and tap Accessibility -> Zoom. Tap the switch next to Zoom to turn it off. You’ll know Zoom is off when the switch is white and positioned to the left.
Forget Your Apple Pencil As A Bluetooth Device
Forgetting your Apple Pencil as a Bluetooth device allows you to reset the connection and pair it back to your iPad like new. When your iPad connects to a Bluetooth device for the first time, it saves data about how to connect to that device. If any part of that process has changed, your Apple Pencil might not pair to your iPad, preventing your from being able to write with it.
Open Settings and tap Bluetooth. Tap the Information button (look for the blue i) to the right of your Apple Pencil. Finally, tap Forget This Device.
Now, it’s time to pair your iPad and Apple Pencil again.
Pair A First Generation Apple Pencil To Your iPad
Remove the Apple Pencil cap. Plug the Apple Pencil Lightning connector into the Lightning port of your iPad to your devices.
Pair A Second Generation Apple Pencil To Your iPad
Place your Apple Pencil on the magnetic connector located on the right side of your iPad below the volume buttons.
Reset Network Settings
Resetting the network settings on your iPad is the last software fix you can try at home before reaching out to Apple. This step erases all Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Cellular, and VPN settings on your iPad and restores them to factory defaults. You’ll have to reconnect all of your Bluetooth devices and reenter all of your Wi-Fi passwords after the reset is complete.
Open Settings and tap General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted, then tap Reset Network Settings when the confirmation pop-up appears on the screen.
Contact Apple Support
It’s time to contact Apple support if your Apple Pencil still isn’t writing. Visit Apple’s website to get support over the phone, online, or through the mail. We recommend scheduling an appointment if you plan on heading into your local Genius Bar!
Write Back To It
You’ve fixed the problem and your Apple Pencil is writing again. Next time your Apple Pencil won’t write, you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem! Leave a comment below if you have any other questions about your iPad or Apple Pencil.