Fix Magic Keyboard Not Working on iPad Pro / Air

Nov 2, 2022 - 9 Comments

iPad Magic Keyboard troubleshooting

Some iPad Magic Keyboard users have discovered that the Magic Keyboard randomly stops working, or the keyboard keys will work while the Magic Keyboard trackpad stops working.

Magic Trackpad issues can happen at random, or sometimes after installing software updates to the iPad Pro or iPad Air the Magic Trackpad stops working, but fortunately troubleshooting these issues are pretty straight forward, and soon you’ll have your Magic Keyboard and trackpad working again on the iPad as expected.

First, remember the iPad Magic Keyboard has no battery so there’s no battery life to check on, nor does it need to be charged. If it’s not working with an iPad, something else is amiss.

1: Disconnect & Reconnect the iPad to Magic Keyboard

The first troubleshooting step to take is to physically disconnect the iPad Pro or iPad Air from the Magic Keyboard, then reconnect it.

When you reconnect the iPad to the Magic Keyboard, make sure the magnets align and everything clicks well into position, since an improperly attached keyboard will not work.

Usually this alone will resolve any connection issues with the Magic Keyboard, and with the Magic Keyboard trackpad not working or the keyboard not working at all.

Make sure there are no obstructions between the connecters on the iPad or the Magic Keyboard as well, whether it’s a sticker, dirt, grime, gum, or anything else, with the goopy stuff being important to look for particularly if you let children use the iPad. Any obstruction can impact the ability for the Magic Keyboard to connect and work as intended.

2: Hard Restart iPad

Next you’ll want to try and issue a forced hard restart on the iPad, which can resolve a lot of curious behaviors on iOS and iPadOS devices.

Press Volume Up, Volume Down, then press and hold Power/Lock button until you see the  Apple logo on the screen, to initiate a hard restart.

3: Enable then Disable Assistive Touch

Sometimes enabling and then disabling Assistive Touch can remedy issues with device input and the Magic Keyboard on iPad.

You can enable Assistive Touch through Settings app > Accessibility > Touch > Assistive Touch, and toggle it to the ON position. You’ll see a little virtual home screen button appear on screen indicating it is enabled. To disable it, simply flip the Settings switch off again.

You can also activate Siri and say “Hey Siri, turn on Assistive Touch” to enable and disable the feature.

4: Are You Using Universal Control with a Mac?

Some iPad and Mac users who use Universal Control to share a keyboard and mouse between their devices have noticed problems with the trackpad on the Magic Keyboard (and Mac for that matter) randomly not working. This issue started since macOS Ventura 13.0 and iPadOS 16.1, so it is possible there is a bug related to Universal Control on those system versions, since the problem did not exist prior to updating to those operating systems.

One solution to this is to disable Universal Control, but it’s a handy feature that many people will not want to turn off on their devices for understandable reasons.

5: Install iPadOS Software Updates

Keeping the iPad up to date with the latest system software is a good way to make sure things work properly, including the Magic Keyboard. While it’s rare for a software issue to cause a problem with hardware, it’s always possible that a bug or issue will be resolved by installing the latest iPadOS release onto the device.

Update iPadOS through Settings > General > Software Update.

6: Other Issues with iPad Magic Keyboard?

You may encounter other sporadic issues with the iPad Magic Keyboard, like perhaps the keyboard backlight isn’t working, which is usually related to the feature either being turned off or adjusted low, or not being in a dim enough area to activate.

Did you get your iPad working with Magic Keyboard again? Was the keyboard not working or the trackpad not working, or both? Which trick fixed the problem for you? Let us know your experiences in the comments.


Related articles:

Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in iPad, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Jose says:

    I’ve tried everything, and I have some keys that stoped working after an 17 iPadOS upgrade. The 0, -, p, \,’,Return, /, and upper are not working anymore. I’m waiting to see if it is only an beta version bug or, worst, a expensive keyboard failure.

  2. RoselynN says:

    I’ve tried each fix and nothing works! It worked beautifully when I first got it and now it only works if the charge cord is plugged into the keyboard itself, not in the ipad.

    What can I try now?

    • P says:

      Do not have any other type of case on the iPad Pro, any other protective case or enclosure can impact the connection with the Magic Keyboard case. Clean off the connectors on the back if they’re dirty.

      Disconnect and reconnect the iPad Pro to the Magic Keyboard. It should work right away. The Magic Keyboard does not need power, it draws from the iPad, so something is off there.

      If still not working, contact Apple, or go to an Apple Store, they should be able to fix it

  3. TBolt says:

    2 steps worked for me – although, maybe just the first step would have worked on its own.
    1. I unplugged the charging cable going into the Magic Keyboard.
    2. I temporarily disabled Universal Control on my Mac.

    The Magic Keyboard finally started working again.

    I then plugged in the charging cable and re-enabled Universal Control on my Mac, and the Magic Keyboard is still working.

    I’ve had this happen a few times over the last few years — it’s been a while, and I don’t remember what fix was needed back then. Just a strange bug that we have to live with.

  4. ShaBP says:

    None of these fixes worked on my iPad Air Gen 5 with Magic Keyboard and iOS 16.
    But I found a different fix!
    Whenever it happens I turn off the stage manager through the control center, and the Magic Keyboard starts working again on all apps.
    I found out that though I can switch between apps and type, if I open a new app and type on that, when switching back to another one the keyboard would stop responding. I only need to turn the stage manager off and then back on and it works again!
    I was struggling with this for SO LONG, it was really frustrating. I’m working with Microsoft Teams a lot, and it is making things so difficult. Sometimes it happened immediately after starting a Teams call, but almost always it happens when I’m sharing my screen during the call. Now this fix makes the iPad usable again!

    • PaulB says:

      I’ve been having the same problem with my Magic Keyboard (the kind that the iPad attaches to magnetically) and stumbled on something that has worked for me continually for the last few days. When in Stage Manager and the keyboard locks up, I simply turn off Bluetooth, then turn it back on. And then the keyboard is freed up and works again. I don’t understand this at all. Because of the pin connectors, I didn’t think Bluetooth was involved. Next time you have this problem, try toggling Bluetooth off then on, and see if that works. I’d love to know.

  5. Susan says:

    Thanks for the tricks! This has been a major issue for me, particularly when I use the Split View. This has almost always disabled the keyboard for both apps displayed. I don’t know about the trackpad, because I don’t use that. The Assistive Touch trick fixed the problem. Usually I have had to restart my iPad Pro.

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