How to Pair a Bluetooth Trackpad, Mouse, & Keyboard with iPad
Until somewhat recently the idea of pairing a Bluetooth trackpad, mouse, or keyboard with an iPad is something that would have had people looking very confused indeed. But we live in exciting times, and all modern iPad devices running modern iPadOS versions have proper pointer support for trackpad and mouse, and full support for keyboards, complete with many keyboard shortcuts and handy tricks.
You can even create a budget iPad desk workstation setup if you’re so inclined.
As ever, there are some caveats to consider here. But fear not – we’re going to run through what you need to get up and running, and then the most important part; what you actually need to do to start using a pointing device other than your finger, and to use a physical keyboard instead of the onscreen virtual keyboard, all with your iPad.
If you’re already familiar with using a mouse with iPad, or a keyboard with the iPad, then this won’t be new to you, this is for the users who are yet to have connect a Bluetooth keyboard, trackpad or mouse to their iPad and enjoy that experience.
What You Need to Get Started Using iPad with Keyboard, Mouse, Trackpad
Keyboard: Basically every version of iPadOS and iPad support Bluetooth keyboards, so that won’t be any issue for any model. Nonetheless you will still need a Bluetooth keyboard. The Apple Magic Keyboard is fantastic for this purpose.
Mouse and/or Trackpad: Apple added mouse and trackpad support to the iPad with the arrival of iPadOS 13.4, so as long as your iPad is running newer than that, you’ll be good to go. Obviously enough, you’re going to need an iPad that supports that update. You will of course need a Bluetooth mouse for this, the Logitech M535 is well supported by the iPad and is one option, as is the Apple Magic Mouse. If you prefer a trackpad, the Apple Magic Trackpad is as good as it gets.
iPad models that support the ability to use a mouse include:
- All models of iPad Pro
- iPad Air 2 or later
- iPad (5th generation) or later
- iPad mini 4 or later
Basically any modern iPad will work.
Assuming you have that squared away, and all software updates are installed, let’s move on to the fun part.
How to Pair a Mouse, Trackpad, & Keyboard with an iPad
Make sure your Bluetooth devices are charged up with sufficient battery so they can pair properly.
- Open the Settings app on the iPad
- Tap “Bluetooth” and ensure that it is turned on.
- Put your mouse, keyboard, or trackpad into pairing or discovery mode. That method will differ depending on the accessory you are using. Usually this is a button on the bottom of the device that you hold for a second or so. Check its manual for instructions if you aren’t sure.
- Move the iPad and accessory near to each other and tap the name of the latter when it appears in the “Other Devices” section.
- If you’re pairing an Apple accessory, you’re done. Otherwise, you might be prompted to enter a passcode, which is usually also included in the accessory manual. If you’re unsure what code to use, try 0000.
- If you are connecting additional devices (keyboard, mouse, trackpad), repeat the process to connect those Bluetooth devices
That’s all there is to it. You’re now all set up and ready to use your mouse, keyboard or trackpad with your iPad.
The addition of both keyboard and mouse or trackpad really improves the iPad experience, transforming it into a desktop class workstation. One of my personal favorite setups utilizes an iPad stand, keyboard, and mouse, to make a discussed here and you can achieve that setup for a nice low budget if it interests you.
Another option of course is to use the iPad Magic Keyboard case with Trackpad available for iPad Pro 11″ and 12.9″ models, and the latest iPad Air 11″, which is a fantastic case for iPad that transforms the device into a laptop of sorts, but also a perfectly great desktop computer. Setup with that keyboard case is even easier, just lay the iPad on the magnetic case and both the keyboard and trackpad instantly connect, no manual Bluetooth connections necessary.
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