Out of the box, people who don’t read instructions may struggle to figure out how to connect their Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro. It’s a Bluetooth device, so you should go into the Bluetooth settings, right? Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Instead we’ll show you how to pair the Apple Pencil with the either the 12.9-inch iPad Pro or the smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro introduced half a year after the larger iPad Pro. We also show user how to charge it using either the iPad Pro or your iPad Pro charging cable.
How to Pair Apple Pencil to iPad Pro
- Open Settings
- Tap on Bluetooth
- Tap on the switch next to Bluetooth on the Bluetooth settings screen so that it turns green and the switch moves to the right, if it’s not already turned on
Next, pull the cap off the top of the Apple Pencil at the end with the aluminum band around it. Be careful to place it in a safe place. That thing is going to get lost for a lot of users if they’re not careful. The cap covers the Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector. Plug the connector into the iPad Pro’s Lightning connector. A button pops up on the iPad Pro screen. It reads “Bluetooth Pairing Request” and asks the user if they would like to pair with the iPad. Tap Pair and this pairs the Pencil with the iPad.
To check the pairing process, open the Settings app and tap on Bluetooth. You will see the Apple Pencil listed below the Bluetooth On/Off switch.
You will need to plug the Pencil into the iPad Pro again each time you turn off Bluetooth. It reconnects instantly, so plug it in again and it will pair in seconds. Leave it plugged in to top off the battery, which brings us to charging the Pencil.
How to Charge the Apple Pencil
The Apple Pencil includes a rechargeable battery built-in. It usually comes out of the box with enough power to use it for a while. After the battery drains and the Pencil starts behaving erratically, you’ll need to charge it. It doesn’t take long to charge it when it’s dead, thanks to the fast charging ability. Apple gives users two ways to charge it.
First, connect the Apple Pencil to the iPad Pro’s Lightning port like you would if you’re pairing the Apple Pencil. Leave it plugged in for a while to make sure you’ve got enough juice to use it uninterrupted for as long as you plan. Apple promises that 15 seconds of charging will give you half an hour of use. Leave it in for a few minutes to get hours of use. Thanks to the fast charging feature we get when connected to the iPad Pro’s Lightning port, it charged my Apple Pencil from about 75% to 100% in a few minutes. It will go from dead to 100% in less than 10 minutes.
To see how much battery power the Apple Pencil has, plug it into the Lightning port on the iPad and swipe down from the top of the iPad Pro’s screen to see the Today screen in iOS Notifications. Tap the Widgets tab as seen in the screen shot above. The Batteries section shows the iPad’s battery power level and the Pencil’s battery power level by percentage.
The second way to charge involves using the tiny Lightning-to-Lightning adapter included in the Apple Pencil retail box (see the white object close to the tip in the image below). It’s another tiny thing to lose, so keep it somewhere safe, like plugged into a Lightning sync/charging cable.
Plug the adapter to the Apple Pencil’s Lightning connector. Plug the other end of the adapter into a Lightning cable. Plug the Lightning cable’s USB connector into a USB port on a computer, AC adapter, battery backup device or a USB car charger. Unless these support fast charging, it will take the Pencil a lot longer to charge to 100%.
Charge Apple Pencil with Moxiware Pencil Charging Dock
A third way to charge the Apple Pencil comes from Moxiware, makers of some really great accessories for Apple products. Their Pencil Charging Dock ($29.95) looks like a simple Pencil holder, but it incorporates a user provided Apple Lightning cable and the charging adapter mentioned above. The dock gives instructions for setting it up.
After the user sets up their Pencil Charging Dock, they can slide the Apple Pencil into the dock and place the Pencil cap in a hole in the top of the dock. This holds the Apple Pencil and charges it.
Bonus Tip: Replace the Apple Pencil Tip
The Pencil tip screws off so that the user can replace it. One spare tip comes with the Apple Pencil. It will likely wear out over time, so save that tip in a safe place where you won’t lose it. I suggest leaving both the tip and the charging adapter in the box the Pencil came in. Put the box in a safe place or carry it in your computer bag. Hopefully, someone will create an inventive solution for carrying the adapter, extra tip and the Pencil all attached to the iPad Pro.