Fix Magic Keyboard Not Working on iPad Pro / Air

Nov 2, 2022 - 1 Comment

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.


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

One Comment

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  1. 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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