The Apple Pencil is a useful tool for taking notes and working creatively on the iPad. It enriches the iPad experience. It can be very frustrating when the Apple Pencil suddenly stops working. There can be many reasons for this. The most common reasons include connectivity issues, compatibility issues, software bugs, battery issues, and more.

apple pencil not working on ipad

This guide will show you different ways to fix the problem of your Apple Pencil not working. Please keep in mind that most of these methods work for both first and second-generation Apple Pencils. So, let us start to fix this problem.

How to Fix Apple Pencil Not Working Issue

Check the Compatibility

Like any other accessory, the Apple Pencil has certain compatibility requirements. Based on the generation of Apple Pencil, it is designed to work with certain iPad models. If you are having issues, there is a chance that your iPad is not compatible with the Apple Pencil you brought with you. You can check the full list on Apple’s support page. To save you some time, we have compiled a list for you here.

apple pencil compatibilty

Apple Pencil (2nd generation) compatibility iPads:

Apple Pencil 2 can be used with the 6th generation iPad mini, the 4th generation iPad Air and later, the 3rd generation iPad Pro and later, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the 1st generation iPad Pro.

Apple Pencil (1st generation) compatibility iPads:

This version is compatible with the 5th generation iPad mini, 6th to 9th generation iPad, 10th generation iPad (but you will need a USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter), 3rd generation iPad Air, 1st and 2nd generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and later 12.9-inch iPad Pro and iPad Pro.

Pair Apple Pencil With Your iPad

pair apple pencil to the ipad

Make sure your Apple Pencil is connected to your iPad. You must pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad for it to work. The Apple Pencil can work without Bluetooth, but it won’t be as smart. It can still write and you can touch things on the screen with it, but sometimes it stops working. To fix the problem, make sure the Apple Pencil is connected to the iPad.

How to pair Apple Pencil with the iPad:

First-Generation Apple Pencil:

  • Take off the cap on the top of the Pencil.
  • Connect the Pencil to your iPad.
  • A message appears on your iPad. Tap it to pair the Pencil.

Second-Generation Apple Pencil:

  • Unlock your iPad.
  • Find the side of your iPad with the magnetic strip.
  • Place your Pencil on that strip.
  • A message will appear on your iPad. Tap it to pair your Pencil.

Tighten the Nib

apple pencil tighten nib

The Apple Pencil comes with replaceable nibs, and you can replace the tip of the Apple Pencil (nib) with a new one. The nib is designed to be removable over time and can become loose. If the nib is loose, the iPad may no longer work with the Apple Pencil. To fix this, simply tighten the spring by turning it to the right. Be sure to do this gently, as excessive force can cause breakage.

Change the Nib

replace apple pencil nib

As mentioned earlier, the tip of the apple pencil is designed to be replaced. With regular use, the tip may loosen or wear out over time. If the tip of your Apple Pencil looks rough, or you can see metal under the smooth part, or it sometimes does not respond, it’s time to replace the Apple Pencil tip. Apple includes an extra tip in the box if you use the first-generation Apple Pencil. For the second-generation Apple Pencil, there is no extra tip included in the box, you have to buy it separately. Apple sells replacement tips in packs of four for $19. Alternatively, you can find third-party Apple Pencil tips available on Amazon for under $10.

apple pencil broken nib

Charge Your Apple Pencil

charge your apple pencil

Make sure the Apple Pencil battery is sufficient to function. You can check the Apple Pencil’s battery life in the Batteries section on the Home screen of your iPad. If you are using a second-generation Pencil, you can also plug it into your iPad and a pop-up window will show the battery level. If the battery is low, charge the Apple Pencil for a while, and hopefully, it will work again. If you are using the first-generation Apple Pencil, you can plug it into your iPhone or iPad to charge it. If you are using the second generation, you can attach it to the side of your iPad. It will then stick magnetically and start charging.

Turn On Scribble Mode

scribble ipad

With the iPad OS 14, Apple introduced a new Scribble feature on the iPad that lets you write with the Apple Pencil instead of typing on a keyboard. If you have trouble filling in text boxes with the Apple Pencil, make sure you enable the Scribble feature on your iPad.

How to Turn on Scribble Feature on the iPad

  • Open the settings on your iPad
  • Tap on “Apple Pencil” and then turn on the switch for “Scribble.”
  • Once Scribble is enabled, you can use the Apple Pencil to write in any text field on your iPad.

Restart Your iPad

restart your ipad

If the problem persists, try restarting your iPad. This is known to be the easiest and most effective way to fix temporary problems. To reboot your iPad, long press and hold the power button until the reboot slider appears >. Now slide the reboot slider and wait for some time until the device reboots. Now you can unlock your iPhone and connect your Apple Pencil. This should solve the problem.

Factory Reset Your iPad

factory reset your ipad

If none of the steps worked for you, try resetting your iPad to factory settings. Make sure to back up your important data before proceeding with these steps, as resetting your iPad will remove everything from your iPad and give you a fresh start. When you factory reset your iPad, go to Settings > General > Erase All Content. This method will remove everything. You can set up your iPad as if it were new. After setting up, pair your Apple Pencil with your iPad again and check if the problem persists.

Contact Apple support

apple support

If none of the steps help you fix the Apple Pencil issue on your iPad, contact Apple Support. It may be a hardware failure or a rare issue that is causing the problem. You can contact Apple Support through the Website or book an Apple Genius Bar appointment to resolve the issue.

Quick and Easy Apple Pencil Fixes

The Apple Pencil is the best accessory you can use with your iPad. It provides the easiest and most convenient way to take notes, draw, and do other things with the Apple Pencil. It can be very frustrating when your Apple Pencil suddenly stops working. I hope these steps will help you fix the problem.

Prevent Apple Pencil issues in the Future

  • Keep your Pencil charged: Make sure your Apple Pencil has enough battery power. Charge it when it is running low or not in use. If you are using the second-generation Apple Pencil, you can lay the Pencil on its side, and it will charge automatically.
  • No dirt on the tip: Keep the tip of the Apple Pencil and the screen of your iPad clean. Use a soft cloth or a suitable cleaning solution to remove dirt. Dust particles can affect the writing on your iPad.
  • Update software: Keep the software for your iPad and Apple Pencil up to date. Check for and install updates regularly. Updates often improve performance and fix software bugs. If you have problems after updating, contact Apple support or downgrade from the OS update if you have sufficient knowledge.
  • Use compatible apps: Make sure you use apps that work well with the Apple Pencil. Choose apps that support the Apple Pencil and do not experience lags or shutters when you use them.
  • Handle it with care: Handle the Apple Pencil with care to avoid damage. Avoid dropping it or putting too much pressure on it. Accidentally dropping it can break the Pencil or cause physical damage.
  • Do not use hard screen protectors: Do not use hard screen protectors or paper-like protectors, as the tip of the Apple Pencil may wear down over time due to the hard case or rough surface.

FAQs about Fixing Apple Pencil Issues

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It all depends on the individual use cases. Based on internet data and what most users say, the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation can last about 12 hours of continuous use on a full charge, while the Apple Pencil 1st Generation can last about 9 hours of continuous use on a full charge.

Yes, the Apple Pencil is battery-powered and requires minimal juice to function. Most of the time, the newly packaged Apple Pencil comes with a minimum charge to pair and use it, but it is always recommended to charge it before use.

  1. Look for the Model number by going to Settings > General > About
  2. Visit the Apple Support website to look up the compatibility of that specific iPad model with the Apple Pencil.
  3. Find the official Apple Pencil compatibility list or check for the specific iPad model's technical specifications on Apple's website to see if it supports the Apple Pencil.

If your Apple Pencil lags when drawing, there may be several reasons. First, make sure your Apple Pencil is charged and properly connected to your iPad. A low battery or loose connection can cause a delay. Secondly, check if there is any dirt on the tip of the Apple Pencil or on the screen of your iPad, as this can play a role in the pen's usage. Finally, check for app issues. Certain apps may have issues when using the Apple Pencil, causing the entire experience to lag. To fix this, make sure your Apple Pencil has enough battery life and that there is no debris or dirt on the tip of the Apple Pencil and that the tip is not damaged or worn out.

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