How to Connect Your Apple Pencil to an iPad

How to Connect Your Apple Pencil to an iPad

We have three Apple Pencils now, and all three pair with your iPad differently. This would have been confusing enough on its own. However, to add to the confusion, in some cases, the same Pencil pairs differently with different generations of the iPad. If none of this makes sense, that’s okay. This guide will help break everything down for you.

Apple Pencil Generations

There are three Apple Pencils currently available for sale. All three differ in specs, functionality, and how they pair with your iPad.

The first-gen Apple Pencil was released in 2015 and is priced at $US100. The second-gen Pencil came out in 2021 and retails for $US130. In November 2023, we got the USB-C Apple Pencil, which, priced at $US79, is the most affordable model yet.

Before you begin pairing, you might want to check that you have the Apple Pencil that works with your iPad. Refer to this Apple Support guide for help.

How to Pair Apple Pencil (1st generation) with your iPad (6th to 9th generations)

Remove the cap from the back of the Pencil, and you’ll see a Lightning connector inside. Plug that into the Lightning port on your iPad. A Pair option will appear on your iPad. Tap on it to activate pairing.

That’s all you need to do until you need to re-pair. This can happen when you restart your iPad, turn Airplane Mode on, or pair your Pencil with another iPad. If this happens, you’d need to repeat those steps to re-pair.

How to Pair Apple Pencil (1st generation) with your iPad (10th generation)

You’re going to need a dedicated USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter for this one. Remove the cap on the Pencil and plug it into one of the sides of the adapter. Plug a USB-C cable into its other side and the other end of the cable into your iPad.

When you see a Pair button show up on your iPad, tap on it to activate pairing. Once paired successfully, you can unplug your Pencil from the adapter. It will stay connected until you pair it with another iPad or restart your iPad. If you do any of those, follow these steps again.

How to Pair Apple Pencil (2nd generation) with Your iPad

This one’s probably the simplest. Just place your Pencil where you have the volume controls on your iPad. It’ll automatically attach to a magnetic connector that’s right in the middle on that side. You’ll hear a satisfying click when that happens. A pop-up on your iPad is going to notify you that your Pencil has been paired. You’re ready to pull it back out and start using it.

How to Pair Apple Pencil (USB-C) with Your iPad

For this one, make sure your iPad is updated to at least iPadOS 17.1 or later. Slide open the end of the Apple Pencil to reveal the USB-C port inside. Plug a USB-C cable into the port and its other end into your iPad. Your Pencil should be ready to use.

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