Apple Pencil Not Working, Fix

This article explains what you can do when your Apple Pencil is not working properly, meaning your Apple Pencil becomes unresponsive.

Apple Pencil Troubleshooting

Why is my Apple Pencil not working? There can be several reasons that can cause the Apple Pencil to stop working. It can be a hardware problem,  a problem with your Bluetooth settings or your device.

We list steps below in order of most common to cause this issue:

Try each tip until your problem is fixed.

Loose tip/nib: A common issue is that the tip/nib of your pencil can become loose and then stop working. Simply tighten the nib.

Apple Pencil tip

Restart your iPad Pro: Power off your iPad by pressing and holding the Top button or by going to Settings > General> Shut Down then power on by pressing and holding the Top button until the Apple logo appears.

Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. On your iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth and check this. Are you unable to turn on Bluetooth?

Recharge. Is your Pencil charged? Because if it is not, your Pencil may not be able to work until there is a minimum charge in the battery. When your Pencil’s battery is low, you will receive low battery warnings. To charge your Pencil, remove the cap, and then connect your Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector to your iPad or iPad Pro’s Lightning port.

Reset your iPad Pro. This is also called fore restart. Do not worry, this does not erase the content of your iPad. To do this, first click and then immediately release the Volume Up button, second, click and then immediately release the Volume Down button and then third, click and hold the Power button (on/off button) until you see the Apple logo.

Repair. Unpair and then repair your Apple Pencil from your iPad Pro. To do this, on your iPad Pro, go to Settings > Bluetooth > and tap the (i) info icon to the right of Apple Pencil (under My Devices), and tap Forget. To repair, connect your Apple Pencil to your iPad Pro by plugging into the Lightning port and then tap Pair.

Restart the app. Are your having issues with a specific app (Notes etc) when you are using your Apple Pencil. Try force closing this app and then relaunch it. To do this, from the Home screen, swipe up and this action will bring up the fast app switcher.Find the app screen you want to quit (app that you are having Apple Pencil problems with). And swipe up on the app. And then retry.

The list of steps above will likely help you resolve your issue when you are unable to get your Apple Pencil and iPad Pro working together. If not you may want to contact Apple, or leave feedback.

See also: AirPods Are Connected But There Is No Sound

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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59 thoughts on “Apple Pencil Not Working, Fix”

  1. All these people having this issue with these overly priced products…has anyone found a solution? I bought an iPad and pencil less than a month ago and the pen is not showing up under the Bluetooth settings. I have done everything on this list and more with no success. It started with the pen randomly disconnecting.

    Reply
    • Lynn, Yes so many of us are having the same issue. I have been hours on with Apple trying to resolve this issue. They eventually told me I need to go into a Apple service provider for support. They scheduled me at a Best Buy. Well, I don’t have to say much about that experience. Best Buy told me they are not able to service this device for Apple. I really feel that this situation is like the iPhone Slowgate problem. I purchased a new one, it connected right away, but I want my money back for the other one that receive a software update and stopped working. Apple knows this is an issue, but do not want to acknowledge it.

      Reply
  2. Same here. Everything started with a message saying that the I pencil needed charging at it was almost 100% charged. IPad Pro and I pencil 2

    Reply
  3. I bought a new IPad Air and a IPad Pencil. The pencil will connect for a few seconds then immediately disconnect. How do I fix this problem?

    Reply
  4. My Apple pencil 1 doesn’t connect on my ipad 6th gen, I tried to restart my ipad and all. I even charged my pencil for more than 15 mins yet it still doesn’t connect. It will connect and will disconnect within seconds, how can I fix this? I am longing to use it. Please help me with this issue.

    Reply
  5. I am also having this issue. It started after upgrading to iPadOS 14.I am working with Apple support to hopefully get it figured out.

    Reply
    • I too have the same problem. IPad Air 3 and Apple pencil Gen 1, after updating to iPadOS 14, pencil stopped working. I did all the steps advised by Apple Care but problem not resolved.

      Reply
  6. Ipad Air Gen 3 here, at first it still connected on my device but it wont function normally. I decided to unpair it only to find my pencil wont pair to my ipad, there’s no pop up for pairing, eventho i already tried all the steps above.

    Any ideas how?

    Reply
  7. My Apple Pencil 1, when connected to the iPad via the Lightning Port, shows the “Apple Pencil wants to pair” message and then instantaneously disappears. It is now not available as a device below the “More Devices” section of the Bluetooth settings. Is there any way to fix this or should a new Apple Pencil be bought?

    Reply
  8. Same here.
    First could not charge the pen.Showed 3%!!
    The unpaired, and now cannot pair any more….
    Of course no way to talk to any one at Apple…

    Reply
    • I had the exact same issue, but found somewhere online a way to fix it.

      Try connecting your charger to iPad, then disconnect it and quickly connect your Apple Pencil to a lightning port. Pairing window should pop up.

      Reply
      • I did that and I clicked pair device but it didnt work. All it did was just load then the window went back up. Do you know why this is happening??

        Reply
  9. I have an iPad Air 3rd generation and apple pencil 1st generation which I is new. I haven’t used it. At the time I get to pair the pencil with the iPad it says “Apple pencil is not connected: Plug in Apple pencil to use it with this iPad” and/or “Pairing unsuccessful: Pairing took too long. Make sure Apple Pencil is turned on”. I have done everything since charging, restarting the iPad and removing the device from Bluetooth and it haven’t worked for me.

    I need help asap.

    Reply
  10. My Apple pens tip wore down to where I could see the metal and I didn’t know I had to get a new tip and the sensor came out. I have the sensor so if I get a new tip and Put the sensor back in will it still work?

    Reply
  11. Same here. Tried all tips none works. Anyone have an solution?
    Trying to upgrade the framework. Not sure if it works.

    Reply
  12. I’m on my second pencil and the last one never even lasted two weeks, it says connected but still won’t work, I tried all the tips but no luck.

    Reply
  13. Just unpackaged new iPad 7th Gen and Pencil 1st gen. It pairs with the iPad but it does not work. Tried the notes app, a sketch app, not sure if it’s supposed to work as a stylus for example opening an app on the home screen but that doesn’t work either. It is charged. I tried the restart and forget device to reconnect. Connected from within settings. It says connected but nothing.

    Reply
  14. I am having the same issue. Disconnected blue tooth, powered down iPad, and paired the pencil once powered up. Still losses connection to iPad. Tip is securely attached. Have only had this pencil for a year. About to call apple to find out what my options are as this doesn’t seem right that it has this issue already.

    Reply
  15. My pencil discharges in seconds after charging and does not work even when charged to 100% because it discharges immediately.. What can I do?

    Reply
  16. I have an iPad generation 6 with 12.3.1 and a Apple Pencil 1. It shows ‘connected’ and I can see the battery life, however it doesn’t respond to strokes. I have tried all the previous tips with no result. I hope someone can tell me how to resolve the issue. Is it a defect?

    Reply
  17. the pencil won’t connect at all and never has connected so I have no idea what to do
    it’s never been paired before so I don’t have it under my Bluetooth

    Reply

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