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What to Do When Your iPad Keyboard Does Not Work

ipad keyboard does not work

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Experiencing issues with your iPad keyboard can be frustrating, especially when it disrupts your workflow or daily activities. If your iPad keyboard does not work. Look no further.

Whether you’re using the built-in on-screen keyboard, a Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard, or Smart Keyboard Folio, problems can arise from various sources. 

This guide will help you fix iPad keyboard common causes, such as software glitches, Bluetooth connectivity issues, physical damage, and incorrect settings. 

By understanding these key areas, you can quickly diagnose and fix issues to get your iPad keyboard—whether on an iPad Air or another model—back to working order efficiently.

An original image of the iPad keyboard for the IPad

Common Causes of iPad Keyboard Issues: Troubleshooting and Fixes

Software glitches are a frequent cause of iPad keyboard malfunctions. These issues can arise from outdated iOS versions or conflicts introduced by new updates. 

Software Glitches: Keeping Your System Updated

Frequent iPad keyboard malfunctions can stem from software glitches. These might be due to outdated iOS versions or conflicts after new updates.

Symptoms: Smart Keyboard unresponsiveness, freezing, or erratic behavior.


  • Regular Updates: To minimize glitches, ensure your iPad, whether an iPad Air or another model, is always running the latest iOS.
  • Post-Update Checks: If your iPad keyboard does not work post-update, visit Apple’s support site or online forums for potential fixes.

Bluetooth Connectivity Problems: Ensuring Reliable Connections (for Magic Keyboard and other Bluetooth keyboards)

Users of the Magic Keyboard or other Bluetooth-enabled smart keyboard might experience connectivity issues.

Common Cause

  • Interference from other devices.
  • Weak batteries in the keyboard.
  • Physical obstructions between the iPad and the keyboard.


  • Battery Check: Ensure the smart keyboard is fully charged.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity Settings: Toggle the Bluetooth setting off and on, and reconnect the device.
  • Reset Connections: Forget the device in your Bluetooth’s settings and pair it again.

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Physical Damage: Addressing Hardware Issues

Drops, spills, and impacts can lead to physical damage and your smart keyboard not working.

What to Look For: Cracks, loose components, or moisture under the keys.


  • Visual Inspection: Check both the iPad and the smart keyboard for visible signs of damage.
  • Professional Repair: For severe damage, consider seeking professional help to restore iPad functionality.

Settings and Configurations: Correct Configuration for Optimal Performance

Misconfigurations in iPad settings can disable the Smart Keyboard or affect its operations.

Common Config Issues:

Accidental adjustments in accessibility settings.

Modifications in the smart keyboard-specific settings.


  • Settings Review: Navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard on your iPad and check for correct configuration.
  • Reset to Default: Reset the keyboard’s settings to default if configurations seem altered.
  • Third-Party Keyboards: Ensure any third-party keyboards are properly installed and enabled.

Tips and Further Assistance

If problems persist after following these troubleshooting steps, consider contacting Apple Customer Support for further assistance.

You can also Engage with other users through forums or community support pages. Here you can share solutions and get additional tips on how to fix iPad keyboard problems effectively.

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An iPad with a detached white keyboard positioned horizontally in front of it, displaying a colorful graphic on its screen. The iPad is propped up by its case, which doubles as a stand.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide to When iPad Keyboard Does Not Work

A man focused on fixing an Apple iPad keyboard, seated at a wooden desk with various tools and disassembled parts spread around. A desk lamp illuminates his workspace.

1. Restart iPad

Restarting your iPad can clear minor software glitches that may cause the smart keyboard to not work.


  1. For iPad with Home Button: Press & hold the top button until a power off slider appears. Swipe the slider to turn off your iPad. After the device turns off, press and hold the top button again until the Apple logo appears
  2. For iPad without Home Button (such as iPad Pro): Quickly press and release the volume up button, then the volume down button. Press and hold the top button until the device restarts and the Apple logo shows.
  3. Wait: After the Apple logo appears, wait for the device to finish restarting. This can resolve many temporary issues related to the iPad keyboard.

2. Check Bluetooth and Wireless Connections (for external keyboards)

Ensuring stable Bluetooth connections is essential for external keyboards like the Smart Keyboard to function correctly.


  1. Access Settings: Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPad.
  2. Check Connections: Ensure that the Bluetooth is turned on and the external keyboard is listed as “Connected”. If not, attempt to reconnect.
  3. Forget Device: If problems persist, select the keyboard from the list and choose “Forget This Device.” Then, restart your iPad and pair the smart keyboard again.

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3. Update iOS

Keeping your iOS up-to-date ensures compatibility and functionality, especially for devices like the iPad Mini and iPad Pro.


  1. Open Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. Download and Install: If an update is available, download and install it. This can fix issues where the keyboard not working due to outdated software.

4. Reset Keyboard Settings

Purpose: Resetting keyboard’s settings can restore iPad functionality if the smart keyboard not working correctly.


  1. Go to Settings: Navigate to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Reset Keyboard’s Settings: Select “Reset Keyboard Dictionary” to reset keyboard settings to their default state. This does not erase other device data but can fix keyboard-specific issues.

Preventive Maintenance Tips to Make Sure iPad Keyboard Works

Proper care and maintenance of your iPad and keyboard can significantly reduce the occurrence of issues such as the keyboard not working. 

Ensuring that these devices are well-maintained not only keeps them functioning optimally but also extends their service life. 

Consider using a protective case, particularly if you frequently travel with your iPad. 

A robust case helps protect both the device and any attached keyboard from physical damage, which can cause the keyboard to not work properly. 

When selecting a case, make sure it doesn’t block the connector, which is essential for external keyboards to function correctly.

Regular cleaning is crucial in maintaining your iPad and keyboard

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate and may cause connectivity issues, particularly if they interfere with the connector. 

To avoid problems where the keyboard might not work correctly, gently wipe the surfaces and connections with a soft, lint-free cloth. 

Pay special attention to keeping the connector clean, as a clear connection is vital for ensuring your keyboard functions without interruption.

Always keep your software up to date. Many iPad users overlook this simple step, but it is vital for preventing issues where the keyboard may not work as expected. Software updates frequently include bug fixes and enhancements that improve device compatibility and performance. 

When to Seek Professional Help If iPad Keyboard Does Not Work

While many iPad keyboard issues can be resolved through troubleshooting steps such as restarting your iPad Pro, adjusting Bluetooth’s settings, or restoring iPad Pro settings to factory defaults, there are times when professional assistance is necessary. 

Here’s how to recognize when it’s time to contact an expert and how to go about it.

Side view of an iPad in a white keyboard case, displayed semi-open with the screen showing colorful abstract lines. The keyboard appears detached and inactive, emphasizing potential connectivity issues.

Indicators That Professional Help is Needed

1. Persistent Keyboard Malfunctions

If your keyboard-not-working issue persists despite your trying all standard solutions—like restarting your iPad, checking Bluetooth’s settings, and restoring the iPad Pro to factory settings—it may indicate a deeper underlying problem that requires professional diagnosis.

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2. Significant Physical Damage

If the new keyboard or iPad Pro has visible signs of damage, such as cracks or significant wear that might affect the keyboard’s functionality or the integrity of the connector, professional repair is advisable.

Physical damage can often lead to persistent issues where the keyboard not working properly, and such situations typically require technical expertise.

A man visibly frustrated, pulling his hair in exasperation while looking at an iPad with a detached keyboard on a wooden desk cluttered with tools and parts. A desk lamp and a cup of coffee are also on the desk.

3. Recurring Connectivity Issues

Problems with maintaining a stable Bluetooth connection that are not resolved by adjusting your Bluetooth’s settings or checking your internet connection might suggest hardware issues with the Bluetooth module itself.

4. Failure After Update or Restore

If your keyboard stops working after you update or restore iPad Pro, and you cannot fix the issue with a simple force restart or internet connection check, this might indicate a more serious software or hardware compatibility issue.

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How to Contact Apple Customer Support

When your keyboard not working, if you decide that professional help is necessary:

Visit Apple’s official support website. Here, you can start by checking their troubleshooting guides or contacting customer service via chat or email. This is a good first step if your keyboard not working and you have internet access.

You can call Apple Customer Support directly. This is useful if you need step-by-step guidance through certain procedures like restoring your iPad Pro or adjusting your factory settings.

For hands-on support, make an appointment at your local Apple Store’s Genius Bar. The technicians there can diagnose the issue, especially if it relates to physical damage or complex software problems. 

You can schedule this through the Apple Customer Support website or the Apple Support app.


Dealing with a keyboard not working on your iPad can be frustrating, disrupting your tasks. 

This guide equips you to tackle common issues like software glitches, connectivity problems, and physical damage. 

By following simple troubleshooting steps, such as restarting your device or checking Bluetooth connectivity settings, you can often resolve the keyboard not working issue swiftly. 

Remember to keep your iPad and keyboard clean and updated to prevent future issues. If problems persist, seek assistance from Apple Support or visit an Apple Store’s Genius Bar for expert help in restoring your keyboard’s functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my keyboard not working on my iPad?

There are several reasons why your iPad’s keyboard may not be working. 

Common issues include software glitches, problems with Bluetooth connectivity (especially if using a Smart Keyboard), or physical damage. 

iPad users should first try to force restart their iPad Pro as this can often resolve minor software issues that may be causing the keyboard to malfunction.

If you’re using an iPad with a Smart Keyboard, ensure the Smart Connector is clean and properly connected.

How do I get my iPad keyboard to work?

To fix an iPad keyboard that is not working, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your iPad: This can fix many basic issues with your device.
  2. Check Connections: If you’re using a Smart Keyboard, ensure that the Smart Connector is clean and properly aligned.
  3. Bluetooth Settings: For Bluetooth keyboards, go into the iPad’s settings and make sure Bluetooth is turned on and the keyboard is connected. If issues persist, forget the device in your Bluetooth connectivity settings and reconnect it.
  4. Update Software: Ensure your iPad’s operating system is up-to-date, as this can resolve any known bugs that may affect keyboard functionality.

Why is my Apple keyboard not working?

If your Apple keyboard not working with your iPad, consider the following steps:

Ensure the keyboard is selected and active under your iPad’s Bluetooth connection settings.

If the keyboard issue persists, a restore iPad might be necessary. Back up your iPad, then go to Settings, select “General,” tap on “Reset,” and choose “Erase All Content and Settings.” 

This will return your iPad to its factory settings, so be sure to back up any important data first.

For the Smart Keyboard, check for any physical damage or debris on the Smart Connector, as these can prevent the keyboard from functioning properly.

How do I reset my iPad smart keyboard Folio?

Resetting your iPad keyboard can resolve issues like keys not responding or unexpected behavior. Here’s how to reset your iPad keyboard:

  1. Go to Settings: Open the Settings app, tap on “General,” then scroll down and tap on “Reset.”
  2. Reset Keyboard Dictionary: Select “Reset Keyboard Dictionary.” This will erase all custom words you have typed on your iPad’s keyboard but will not affect other data or settings.
  3. Restart iPad: After resetting, restart your iPad to apply the changes.

We hope this fixed your keyboard not working problem.

Marko Georgiev

Marko Georgiev

Marko is an ambitious and disciplined individual with a passion for technology, computers, and the internet. He finds joy in exploring the latest advancements in these fields and are always eager to learn. Outside of their tech interests, he also prioritizes exercise and has a love for good food, enjoying the balance between staying active and indulging in delicious meals.

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