How to Turn On Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is a must-have tool for artists, note-takers, and anyone who wants to get the most out of their iPad.

However, before you can start scribbling or sketching, you’ll need to properly connect and turn on your Apple Pencil. In this guide, we’ll walk through all the steps for activating your Apple Pencil and pairing it with your iPad.

But first, the way you turn your Apple Pencil on depends on the generation of pencil that you’ve got – here’s how to turn on both the 1st and 2nd generation of Apple Pencil.

Turning on the 1st Generation Apple Pencil:

  1. Remove the cap from the Pencil to expose the Lightning connector.
  2. Plug the Lightning connector end directly into the Lightning port at the bottom of your iPad. When the “Connect to get started” prompt appears, tap Connect.
  3. After a few moments, your iPad will indicate that the Apple Pencil is paired and ready to use.
  4. You can now replace the cap and start using the Pencil for drawing, writing, or navigating your iPad’s interface.

Turning on the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil:

  1. Locate the flat edge on one side of the Apple Pencil. This is where the magnetic cap connector is located.
  2. With your iPad nearby and unlocked, place the flat edge of the Pencil on the wide side of your iPad. The magnetic connector should automatically attach itself.
  3. A “Connect to get started” prompt will appear on your iPad screen. Tap Connect.
  4. After a few moments, the pairing process will complete and your Apple Pencil will be ready for use.

As you can see, its actually pretty easy to turn your Apple Pencil on. And, once you’ve paired it with your other devices, you can start taking advantage of its impressive capabilities.

Using the Apple Pencil With Notes and Other Apps

One of the primary uses for the Apple Pencil is handwriting notes or drawing sketches in the Notes app. You can open up a new note and then begin writing or doodling with your Apple Pencil, just like you would with a traditional pen or pencil.

The Apple Pencil also integrates beautifully with many other apps like Paper, Procreate, and Adobe Fresco for digital art and illustration. In these apps, you can take advantage of tilt and pressure sensitivity for incredibly natural drawing and painting.

Beyond creative apps, you can also use the Apple Pencil as a precise navigation tool. Hover over text to quickly position the cursor, or use the double-tap gesture to easily switch between Pencil and finger input.

With a few simple steps to turn it on and pair it, the Apple Pencil unlocks all kinds of creative and productive possibilities on your iPad.

Keep it charged, take care of it, and eventually the Apple Pencil will become an essential part of your iPad experience.



Full-time writer, Apple fanboy and macOS supremacist. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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