How to fix an Apple Pencil that’s not working

Ipad pro 28cm apple pencil
If your Apple Pencil isn’t working, it’s probably easy to fix. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
  • If your Apple Pencil isn’t working, it might just need to charge.
  • If your Apple Pencil still isn’t working after a charge, reset its connection to your iPad and then pair it again.
  • You should also make sure that your Apple Pencil and iPad are compatible.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Apple prides itself on making accessories that “just work,” no fiddling with settings or complicated button layouts required.

That’s why it can be immensely frustrating when one of those accessories – like your Apple Pencil – stops working. Luckily, these issues usually have easy fixes.

How to fix an Apple Pencil that’s not working

Charge it

It sounds too simple to be true, but your Apple Pencil’s batteries might just be dead.

Related Article Module: How to charge either Apple Pencil model with your iPad, and what to do if it won’t chargeConnect your Apple Pencil to its charger and leave it there for at least an hour. Once you’ve done that, try using it again. If this doesn’t work, try charging it with another charging source, like a different iPad.

Pencil 1
Charge your Apple Pencil using the iPad or charging adapter. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Reset its connection

An Apple Pencil won’t work with an iPad that it’s not properly paired with. An Apple Pencil that’s stopped working might be having issues with that connection.

First, unpair it from your iPad.

1. Open your iPad’s Settings app and tap Bluetooth in the left sidebar.

2. If you see Apple Pencil as an option underneath My Devices, tap the “i” icon to the right of its name. If you don’t see your Apple Pencil here, move onto the pairing process.

An iPad's Bluetooth menu, with the information icon next to an Apple Pencil highlighted.
Open your Apple Pencil’s connection information screen. William Antonelli/Insider

3. Tap Forget This Device.

Now, let’s pair it to the iPad again.

  • To connect a 1st Generation Apple Pencil, plug it into your iPad’s charging port and then tap Pair when it appears on the screen.
  • To connect a 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, latch it onto the side of your iPad and then tap Pair if it appears on the screen.

Now try using your Apple Pencil again.

Make sure your Pencil and iPad are compatible

Not all Apple Pencils work with all iPads. You need to make sure that you have compatible devices, or they’ll never work together.

The 1st Generation Apple Pencil works with:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (first and second generations, released in 2015 and 2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch (released in 2016)
  • iPad Pro 28cm (released in 2017)
  • iPad (sixth generation, released in 2018)
  • iPad (seventh generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad Air (third generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad mini (fifth generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad (eighth generation, released in 2020)

The 2nd Generation Apple Pencil works with:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (first, second, and third generations; released in 2018, 2020, and 2021)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third, fourth, and fifth generations; released in 2018, 2020, and 2021)
  • iPad Air (fourth generation, released in 2020)

If you’re not sure which iPad you have, check out our article on finding and identifying your iPad’s model number.

Contact Apple

If all else fails, there might be an issue with your Apple Pencil’s internal hardware. In this case, you’ll need to go to a professional.

Contact Apple by phone, or bring your devices into an Apple Store. They should be able to help you there.

Retail workers on the sales floor at the Tower Theater Apple Store
Most retail stores also act as service centers, where you can bring in your defective devices. Apple

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