If your Apple Pencil just isn't working, here are some fixes you can try!

The Apple Pencil is an amazing digital tool that lets you write and draw on your iPad Pro with unparalleled precision and responsiveness. But if you go to use it in your favorite note-taking or art app, and nothing happens, it's beyond frustrating. Luckily, the Apple Pencil is as simple as it is elegant, and that makes it really easy to troubleshoot and get working again!


First we need to make sure your Apple Pencil's battery is charged. It's the silliest thing, but it happens. Pull down Notification Center and look for your Apple Pencil under Batteries.

If you've run out of battery, simply plug your Apple Pencil into the Lightning port on your iPad Pro to recharge it. Even a few minutes of charge will give you enough juice for short-term work. Then plug it in at night to top it off.

If you don't see your Apple Pencil there, or if you're charged and it still doesn't work, keep reading.


Sometimes the works are just stuck and you need to give them a good old-fashioned reboot to get them up and running again. You can either turn your iPad Pro on and off as normal, or you can do a hard reset if you think you need it. Either way, hopefully it'll boot back up again and your Pencil will be working fine.

If not, let's keep going...


Next we need to make sure your Apple Pencil is really connected to your iPad Pro. You can either launch Settings, go to Bluetooth, and look for your Apple Pencil under My Devices, or pull down Notification Center again and look for your Apple Pencil under Batteries.

If you don't see it, simply plug your Apple Pencil into the Lightning port on your iPad Pro to re-pair it.

If you do see it, and it still doesn't work, go on to the next step.


To see if there's any other problems, go to the Home screen and tap an icon. If the app launches, your iPad Pro is reading your Apple Pencil just fine.

Because the Apple Pencil isn't capacitive, it doesn't work like a finger. So apps need to specifically support writing or drawing with it. Make sure the app you're trying to use does (Apple's built-in Notes app is a great one to try), and that you've selected a writing or drawing tool (not just an eraser or grabber tool), and that the color is something different than the background.

If all of that is fine and it still doesn't work, there's still the last resort.

Contact Apple

AppleCare exists because sometimes the products we buy aren't perfect. If you think you got a defective Pencil, you can take it to an Apple Retail Store for further trouble shooting or exchange. If you don't live near an Apple Retail Store, you can call AppleCare at 1-800-MY-APPLE for mail-in repair or replacement.

Your fixes?

If you've had trouble with your Apple Pencil and one of the above fixes worked for you, let me know which one. If a different work fix, let me know all about it as well!