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7 Ways to Fix Apple Pencil Not Working

Apple's first efforts to build an easier way to draw and write on the iPad have paid off tremendously. The Apple Pencil keeps that from happening. It writes (or removes) as a real pencil would, and it is great for taking handwritten notes.

The pressure sensitivity on the Apple Pencil is superb, meaning that if you were to apply more or less pressure onto the stylus, your writing will change in size as it would when writing with a pencil.

However, sometimes things can unexpectedly happen, and your favorite stylus can stop working without warning signs. Read on from this post to find out how to fix Apple Pencil not working.

1. Tighten the Nib

Apple iphone Tighten the Nib

The nib, or tip, of the Apple Pencil, is supposed to fit tightly into the screw-like piece that is visible when you remove the cap on the back end of the Pencil. If this isn't screwed down tightly enough, it may prevent Bluetooth connectivity and charging.

Unscrewing and re-screwing this piece in place may solve your problem—it helps if you put some pressure on the top of the Pencil while screwing it back together (a technique I learned from a helpful employee at my local Apple Store).

2. Recharge

One of the most common problems with the Apple Pencil is that it's a battery-powered device and can only be used while it has power. The pencil charges via the lightning port on your iPad, so to charge it, plug it in. You don't need to turn the iPad off – plug it in and go.

Apple Pencil Recharge

The battery icon should take around 15 seconds to show up at the top of your screen (the battery icon will be next to your Wi-Fi strength icon). Once you see that icon, you can unplug and start using your Apple Pencil. It should last for about 12 hours on a single charge, so if you're using it for more than that each day, you may need to invest in a portable power bank to use it throughout an entire day of classes or work.

3. Reboot

Reboot Apple Pencil

If you have an iPad or iPhone, try simply restarting it. Hold down the sleep/wake button (the one on top) and slide it to power off on an iPhone. Wait a few seconds, and then hold down the sleep/wake button again until you see “slide to power off” appear on the screen. Then, drag the slider to power off and wait for your device to turn off entirely before attempting to use it again.

If you're using an iPad, press and hold both the volume up and down buttons simultaneously until the screen goes dark, then release both buttons at once. Wait a moment while your iPad reboots.

4. Re-pair

The best way to fix this issue is by repairing your Apple Pencil.

Follow these steps to repair the device:

Step 1: Turn off Bluetooth on your iPad by going into Settings -> Bluetooth and tapping on the switch at the top of the screen.


Step 2: Remove the cap from the end of your Apple Pencil. You may need to run a toothpick under its edge or use tweezers.

Step 3: Hold down on the flat side of your Pencil for 2 seconds until you see a flashing white light. Stop holding down and try again if you don't see this light.



Step 4: After 30 seconds, turn Bluetooth back on in your iPad settings. Your pen should now be paired with your iPad!


4. Pencil Tip Is Worn

The Apple Pencil tip is made of a rigid material, which can withstand a lot of friction. However, you may have worn down the tip from too much use. If this is the case, you will need to replace it by following these steps:

Step 1: Take off the cap by turning it counterclockwise with your fingers.

Step 2: Remove the rubber tip from the cap by pulling on it gently with your fingers.

Step 3: Slide the tip out of its slot in the body of the Pencil and discard it (or store it for future use).

Step 4: Insert a new rubber tip into its holder in the Pencil's body until it securely clicks into place.

Step 5: Slide the cap back onto its slot in the body of your Apple Pencil and screw it clockwise until it locks firmly into place again

5. Contact Apple Support


The first step is to contact Apple Support. If you have warranty coverage, they will likely replace it for free. If you don't have a warranty, this is an ideal time to buy AppleCare+ or make sure your device is covered under another protection plan.

6. Check Your Software Updates

If your Apple Pencil isn't working, it could be because of an outdated operating system or software update. It would help if you always kept your iPhone updated with the latest version of iOS, so it works properly with accessories like the Apple Pencil.

Apple Software Updates

7. Ensure Your Apps Are Updated Too

Apps Updated ios

If your apps aren't up-to-date on your iPhone, there's a chance that some of them may not be compatible with the latest operating systems. Please make sure all of them are up-to-date by going into the App Store and checking for updates manually from within each app (usually in Settings).

Wrap Up

The current list of everything the Apple Pencil is not working on is quite long. If you're experiencing issues, these steps should be enough to minimize the problem if you can't fix it. The side button might take some extra action on your end, but it's worth trying these actions first before paying a trip to an Apple Store (unless, of course, your Pencil isn't charging).