How to connect an Apple Pencil to an iPad

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If you just picked up an Apple Pencil and want to use it with your iPad, you’ll need to connect the devices first. The method of pairing an Apple Pencil with an iPad is different depending on which pencil you own.

Once you connect Apple Pencil to your iPad, you can take advantage of the convenient features. You can annotate handwritten notes, use the Scribble feature, write inside text boxes, and much more.

Make sure your model is compatible

There are currently two models of Apple Pencil, and each only works with specific models of iPad. To make sure your devices can connect, check out this list of Apple Pencils and iPads.

Apple Pencil, 1st generation

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

Apple Pencil, 2nd generation

  • iPad Air 4th generation and later
  • iPad Mini 6th generation
  • iPad Pro 11-inch first generation and later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch 3rd generation and later

Not sure which iPad model you have? Take a look at our guide to find out.

RELATED: What model of iPad do I have?

Connect to the first generation Apple Pencil

Remove the cap from your Apple Pencil and plug it into the Lightning connector (charging port) on your iPad. It should connect automatically and you should see a message asking if you want to pair the Pencil with your iPad. Select “Pair”.

Message to pair a first generation Apple Pencil with an iPad

Connect to the second generation Apple Pencil

Pairing the second generation Apple Pencil is even easier. Attach the Pencil to the magnetic connector on the long side of the iPad. You’ll see an image of the Apple Pencil on the screen. Tap “Connect” to pair it with your iPad.

Connect second-generation Apple Pencil to iPad

Reconnect your Apple Pencil

In some cases, your Apple Pencil may become disconnected from your iPad. For example, if you restart your iPad, enter Airplane Mode, or pair the Pencil with a different iPad. If this happens, just follow the same process as above to reconnect Apple Pencil with your iPad.

RELATED: What does airplane mode do and is it really necessary?

Problem solving

If you’re having trouble connecting Apple Pencil with your iPad, here are a few things you can try.

Bluetooth settings on iPad showing an Apple Pencil in the device list

  • Confirm that you have Bluetooth enabled. Open Settings > Bluetooth and make sure the toggle is turned on.
  • In Bluetooth settings, you can see the Apple Pencil under My Devices. Tap the blue information icon, select “Forget This Device,” and then reconnect Apple Pencil using one of the methods above.
  • Make sure Apple Pencil is charged. If you connect the 1st generation Pencil to your iPad and you don’t see the option to pair the device, wait a few minutes for the Pencil to charge. Then try to pair it again.
  • For the second generation Apple Pencil, make sure the Pencil is centered on the magnetic connector.
  • Reboot your iPad and try connecting the Apple Pencil again using one of the methods above.

Apple Pencil is a great tool for both work and play on your iPad. From annotating screenshots to coloring images, take full advantage of how these devices work together. And be sure to check the battery level on the Apple Pencil from time to time so that you can continue to use it without interruption.