- To connect a Magic Keyboard to your iPad, you can pair it through the Bluetooth menu.
- If you have the specialized Magic Keyboard for iPad, it can connect using a simple magnetic strip.
- You can also connect keyboards to your iPad using the charging port.
Touchscreens can be great, but sometimes you just want the comfort of a physical keyboard. For Apple users, that usually means using a Magic Keyboard with your iPad.
The Magic Keyboard is a keyboard made by Apple that’s portable and easy to connect. But there are also two versions of it: The regular Magic Keyboard which is made for Macs, iPads, and iPhones; and the Magic Keyboard for iPad which is only compatible with certain iPad models.
Here’s how to connect both versions of the Magic Keyboard to your iPad, some more options if you want a different keyboard, and tips on what to do if the keyboard doesn’t work.
How to connect a regular Magic Keyboard to your iPad
There are two ways to use the standard Magic Keyboard with your iPad: Using Bluetooth, and using the charging cable.
To pair it wirelessly using Bluetooth:
1. Open your iPad’s Settings app and tap the Bluetooth option.
2. Make sure the Bluetooth switch on the iPad’s screen is turned on, and the Bluetooth switch on the back of the Magic Keyboard is switched on too.
3. When it appears under Other Devices on your iPad’s screen, select the Magic Keyboard option.
If your keyboard is already paired with a different device, you’ll have to unpair it before you can start this process. You can disconnect by turning the keyboard off, or by disconnecting to it via the Bluetooth section on your iPad.
Alternatively, if you have an iPad with a USB-C charging port, you can simply plug the Magic Keyboard in using a Lightning to USB-C charging cable. It should pair right away.
How to connect the Magic Keyboard for iPad to your iPad
If you have the Magic Keyboard specifically made for the iPad, the process is quick.
Quick note: Despite the name, the Magic Keyboard for iPad actually only works with a select few iPad models. You’ll need an iPad Pro 11-inch or an iPad Air (fourth and fifth generations) to use it.
1. Open the keyboard and fold it into place.
2. Attach the iPad to the magnetic area.
Keep in mind that if you close your keyboard over the iPad during a phone or video call, the call will remain active.
How to connect other keyboards to your iPad
The iPad supports plenty of keyboards, not just official Apple ones.
If the keyboard is wireless, chances are that you can pair it using the same method as a regular Magic Keyboard. Just put the keyboard into pairing mode and open your iPad’s Settings app.
And if your keyboard has a wired USB connection, you can plug it into your iPad through the charging port. Just note that depending on the keyboard and what iPad you have, you might need an adapter to make the USB wire a Lightning cable or USB-C cable.
What to do if your iPad keyboard isn’t working
If you’ve followed all the instructions but your iPad won’t respond or recognize the new keyboard, don’t panic. There are a few quick troubleshooting steps you should walk through before assuming something’s broken.
- Restart the iPad and try pairing again. Your iPad might just need a quick software refresh.
- If you’re using a wireless keyboard, make sure that it’s charged up or has new batteries.
- Check that Bluetooth is turned on for both the iPad and keyboard.
- If you’re using the magnetic Magic Keyboard for iPad, take the iPad off for a few seconds and then re-attach it.
- Make sure your iPad is fully updated.
And if you’re using a Magic Keyboard, you’ll also want to make sure that your iPad is actually compatible. The regular Magic Keyboard is compatible with pretty much every iPad released in the last five years, but the Magic Keyboard for iPad only works with the iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Air (fourth and fifth generations).
Devon Delfino contributed to a previous version of this article.