How to Troubleshoot Apple Pencil | Complete Guide With Fixes for 2021

The Apple Pencil is my favorite accessory for my iPad. It changes the way I use my iPad and gives me new ways to interact and work with my iPad. It allows you to write, take notes, draw, paint, and more in the best possible way. It is a joy to use and improves productivity for digital designers.

The Apple Pencil is also easy to connect and use and just works 99 times out of a 100. But that one time can still be a problem for many and this article is because of that. If you are facing any issues with your Apple Pencil not working, or not working as intended, then this article on how to troubleshoot apple Pencil is for you.

This article will explore all the possible issues and fixes for the same that you can try at home. Read on to know more about the cause and a fix for it, if you are facing trouble with your Apple Pencil.

How to Troubleshoot Apple Pencil

There are two Apple Pencil versions, the Apple Pencil First Generation (1st Gen) and the Apple Pencil Second Generation (2nd Gen) and while both share the same issues, the fixes might not be the same. So know which generation and Apple Pencil you have and follow the fixes for it respectively. Read on to know how to troubleshoot Apple Pencil for any issues.

Check the Battery

The Apple Pencil features a battery because it has pressure sensors and Bluetooth connectivity to connect to iPads. This means that the battery can run out of charge and the pencil can stop working. So there’s a chance your Apple Pencil might be out of charge and as a result of that it isn’t working.

apple pencil paired but not working

So, check if your Apple Pencil is charged, if not, charge it in the following ways,

Apple Pencil 1st Gen: Remove the cap at the end of the Apple Pencil, and connect it to your iPad’s Lightning port.

Apple Pencil 1 Connector

Your Apple Pencil should start charging and if it is paired to your iPad, it should notify you that it’s charging and how much charge is left.

Apple Pencil 2nd Gen: Running your Apple Pencil 2nd Gen out of charge can be hard as it charges magnetically when you attach it to the side of your iPad. But if you do manage to run it out of charge, just attach it to the right side of your iPad.

Apple Pencil 2 Charging

When paired to your iPad, you will be notified that it’s charging and the amount of charge left.

In case, your iPad is charged and still doesn’t work, move to the next section.

Confirm Apple Pencil Compatibility

Right now, you can choose between two Apple Pencils and these work exclusively top select models of iPads. So, this means that Apple Pencil 1st Gen will only work with certain models of iPads and the Apple Pencil 2nd Gen will with supported models only. Check below to see if your Apple Pencil and iPad are compatible with each other or not.

Apple Pencil 1st Gen is Compatible with:

Apple Pencil 1
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generations, 2015 and 2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch (2016)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2017)
  • iPad (6th gen, 2018)
  • iPad (7th gen, 2019)
  • iPad Air (3rd gen, 2019)
  • iPad mini (5th gen, 2019)
  • iPad (8th gen, released in 2020)

Apple Pencil 2nd Gen is Compatible with:

Apple Pencil 2
  • 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, 2020)

So, you need to make sure the Apple Pencil you have is compatible with the iPad you are using. If you try to use either Apple Pencils with iPads they are not compatible with, they won’t work.

Check if Bluetooth Is Turned On

As I mentioned before, Apple Pencils connect to iPads using Bluetooth, so check if your iPad has Bluetooth on. If your Apple Pencil and iPad are connected via Bluetooth, then your Apple Pencil should show up in the list of devices under the Battery Widget. If this is not the case, then turn on Bluetooth on your iPad by,

Step 1 Open the Settings app.

apple pencil 2 connected but not working

Step 2 Tap Bluetooth and toggle on the Bluetooth switch.

If your Apple Pencil and iPad are paired, your Apple Pencil should show up here. If not, restarting your iPad and trying again can help. If it still doesn’t work, read on for more possible issues and their potential fixes.

Check if the iPad and Pencil Are Paired

Your iPad and Apple Pencil must be paired over Bluetooth for them to work together. You can check if they are paired, if the Apple Pencil shows up in the Battery Widget or the Bluetooth settings, if not, you will need to pair them both again.

To Pair Apple Pencil 1st Gen to an iPad: Remove the cap at the end of your Apple Pencil and plug it into your iPad and tap on Pair when it appears on the screen.

To Pair Apple Pencil 2nd Gen to an iPad: Place your Apple Pencil to the right side of your iPad, where it magnetically attaches. Then when prompted tap on Pair on your iPad screen.

Sometimes, when your Apple Pencil and iPad are paired, there might still be issues that lead to a subpar experience. This may be due to a bug or glitch and you can resolve this by unpairing and pairing your Apple Pencil to your iPad. To unpair an Apple Pencil,

Step 1 Open the Settings app on your iPad.

Step 2 Tap on Bluetooth. Make sure, Bluetooth is toggled on.

Step 3 Under the My Devices section, look for your Apple Pencil and then tap the “i” icon beside it. If you can’t find your Apple Pencil, then your pairing process wasn’t successful, so pair again.

apple pencil not showing up in bluetoot

Step 4 Now, tap on Forget This Device. This will unpair your Apple Pencil from your iPad.

how to connect apple pencil

Once they are unpaired, you can do the pairing process again. This should eliminate any glitches and issues you had before, if not, move to the next section.

Check the Pencil Nib

The Apple Pencil’s tip/nib can be replaced in case of wear and tear over time. Apple includes a replacement nib in the box of your Apple Pencil. In case your nib is worn down a lot, you can just unscrew and screw in the replacement. Now it should be working as expected.

apple pencil 2 not working

Since the nib is replaceable, there is a chance that it has come loose over time even if it has no wear and tear, so just tighten it a little and the Pencil should work as expected.

If you don’t have a replacement nib, you can buy one from Apple.

If even this doesn’t fix your issue, then it’s possible that your Apple Pencil is not at fault but something else, read on to know more.

Check the App Support/Compatibility

Sometimes, apps can be the issue. There can be apps that don’t support the Apple Pencil or an update has introduced glitches and bugs that cause issues when using the Apple Pencil with the app. In either situation, you can use the Apple Pencil on other apps and check if it works well. The Notes app from App is a reliable way to test your Apple Pencil.

If there are still problems when using the Apple Pencil, maybe the Pencil is faulty or it can be the iPad itself that is at fault.

Restart your iPad

If the cause of the problem is the iPad, then restarting your iPad should help. The cause can be bugs or glitches but a restart should take care of this. In case a restart doesn’t help, a reset of your iPad can bring it factory settings free of bugs, but this is not recommended unless you backup your iPad. The issue should have been fixed by now if not only Apple themselves can help.

Contact Apple

I have exhausted my list of potential fixes for potential problems with the Apple Pencil. The only other option left is to visit an Apple Retail Store to get your Apple Pencil fixed because it may be faulty. You might even get an exchange, in either case, the new Pencil should work as expected with your iPad.

If your Apple Pencil is faulty and out of warranty then expect to pay $29 for a battery service. But if your Pencil is in warranty, it should be covered unless there’s physical or water damage.

If you are not located near an Apple Retail Store, you can call AppleCare using 1800-MY-APPLE and ask for a replacement or use the mail-in repair option. You can also visit Apple’s website for customer support.


The above includes all the possible problems and their fixes for Apple Pencil. The most common issue among users is that their Apple Pencil is out of charge or is not paired properly. You can fix these by charging the Pencil or unpairing and pairing it to your iPad again.

On rare occasions that nib can be worn out or loose and you can replace it or tighten it to fix it. But sometimes the Apple Pencil can be broken or faulty, and in such situations, you will have to get it fixed or replaced by Apple itself. I have explained each problem and its solution in detail above. So, I hope this article on how to troubleshoot Apple Pencil was helpful to you.

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