Why is Your Apple Pencil Connected but Not Working?

By John Adebimitan

Released in 2015, the Apple Pencil was first designed to work with Apple’s iPad and has since become a pretty handy tool for sketching and note taking. It works like a replacement for your fingers. The Apple Pencil will take care of navigation, writing, art creation, and anything you would do with your fingers.

Now, the Apple Pencil is a relatively easy tool to use. You get it out of the box, connect and pair it with your device, and you’re good to go. However, we’ve heard some of you experience the Apple Pencil connected but not working issue.

In this article, we will list why your Apple Pencil is connected but not working and offer solutions and tips to fix the pencil.

Why is Your Apple Pencil Connected but Not Working? (Reasons)

Alright, so you just purchased your Apple Pencil, followed all the instructions on how to connect and pair it with your iPad, and you’re set. But then you try writing, and it doesn’t work. So now you’re wondering why your Apple Pencil is connected but not working. This could be due to the following reasons:

The App May Not Be Working

One common cause could be that the app you are trying to write in is lagging, buggy, or crashed. If it’s crashed, you should try closing and reopening the app. Close all your apps and try using the pencil again. If it still doesn’t work, try checking out the second reason below.

The Battery of the Apple Pencil is Low

We all know that some features get auto-limited once a device gets low on power. The same applies to the Apple Pencil. So, if your Apple Pencil is connected but not working, you should try charging it to see if that’s the problem.

You can charge your Apple Pencil in a couple of ways, depending on the generation of Apple Pencil you’re using. First, gently remove the cap to see the lightning connector, then plug that into either the charging port of your iPad or another charger for the first-generation Apple Pencil.

If it’s a second-generation Apple Pencil, attach your Apple Pencil to the magnetic connector on the right side of your iPad, just under the volume buttons.

Here’s a free tip: you can monitor the battery life of your Apple Pencil by setting up a widget right on the home screen of your iPad. This way, you can always tell when to charge it.

Bluetooth Connection

Your Apple Pencil needs Bluetooth for connections, so if there’s a problem with your Bluetooth connection, the pencil will not work.

All it takes to fix this is switching off your Bluetooth and switching it back on. To do this, go to the Settings app on your iPad, find the Bluetooth option and tap the button right next to it to turn it off. Tap it again to turn it ON, and you should see the button turn green.

Faulty or Dirty Tip

Another reason your Apple Pencil is connected but not working could be that the tip of the pencil is dirty or faulty. When the tip is covered in dust, dirt, oil, or other debris, it could cause your pencil to stop writing. The same goes for your iPad display screen, so it’s best to keep them both clean for optimal performance.

To clean both, you should use a microfiber cloth and wipe gently. Make sure the cloth isn’t wet because if the tip of your Apple Pencil comes into contact with water or wet surfaces, it could cause permanent damage.

And if a dirty tip or display isn’t the problem, it may result from a worn tip. As time progresses, the tip of your Apple Pencil starts to wear, thereby losing its efficiency.

Crashed iPad/Software Issues

So, if it’s none of the above reasons, then odds are it’s because of these. For example, when your Apple Pencil is connected but not working, it could be because the iPad itself crashed and is not responding anymore or because of a software issue.

An easy solution to either of these is to hard-reset your iPad. Doing this should fix whatever bugs the software is experiencing.

Hard resetting your iPad goes two ways. First, if your iPad is without a home button, then for a hard reset, you press and release both volume buttons separately and then quickly hold the Top button till the screen goes black.

But if your iPad does have a home button, all you need to do is press and hold the Home and Power buttonssimultaneously till the screen goes black.

Zoom Accessibility is On

In some cases, if the zoom accessibility setting is turned ON, the Apple Pencil does not work. If this is your case, you should turn off the Zoom accessibility setting.

To do this, go to your settings on your iPad and scroll to the Accessibility option. Then, tap the switch next to Zoom to turn it off.

Removal from Paired Devices

You may have accidentally tapped the Forget This Device option in your Bluetooth settings. Unfortunately, this causes the Apple Pencil to be unrecognized by your iPad. To fix this, you must reconnect your Apple Pencil to your iPad via Bluetooth.

Network Settings

One last reason why your Apple Pencil is connected but not working may be because you tampered with the network settings of your iPad. For example, settings regarding your Bluetooth, VPN, and cellular connection could affect the functionality of your Apple Pencil.

You must Network reset your iPad to fix this issue. First, go to the Settings app on your iPad and tap on Reset iPhone under the General option. Next, tap on Reset Network Settings.

If your Apple Pencil still doesn’t work, then it’s time you call Apple Support and pass along your complaints.

How to Correctly Connect Apple Pencil to iPad

Here’s how to properly connect your Apple Pencil to your iPad. Note that this is if your Apple Pencil is the first generation.

  1. First, remove the Apple Pencil cap to reveal the lightning port.
  2. Plug the said lightning port into the charging port of your iPad.
  3. Switch on the Bluetooth of your iPad as it is required to connect with the Apple Pencil.
  4. Wait until you see the Bluetooth pairing request pop up on your screen.
  5. Tap Pair.

And voilà! Your Apple Pencil is successfully connected to your iPad. This connection can only be turned OFF when you switch Bluetooth or put ON Airplane mode.

You should follow these steps if you are using a second-generation Apple Pencil. Note that your Bluetooth must be turned ON.

  1. Place and hold your iPad in portrait mode
  2. Attach the Apple Pencil to the right side of your iPad with the magnet connector.
  3. Wait for the Bluetooth connection request to pop up
  4. Tap Pair to finish.

There you have it. Connecting your Apple Pencil to your iPad is easy for anybody.

How to Turn ON Apple Pencil

Charging your Apple Pencil before connecting to your iPad device is advisable. To turn on your Apple Pencil, you must properly connect it with your iPad via Bluetooth. After pairing with your device, the Apple Pencil is turned on and ready for use.

How to Check Apple Pencil Compatibility

Here is a list of devices compatible with first-generation and second-generation Apple Pencils

First Generation Apple Pencil

Below is a list of iPad models that are compatible with the Apple Pencil in the first generation:

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

Second Generation Apple Pencil

The second generation of Apple Pencils is more compatible with the later models and versions of iPads. Here’s the list:

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

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