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Is your Apple Pencil not charging? Here's how to fix it

Before running out to buy a replacement, try these first.
January 27, 2023

The Apple Pencil is a must-have accessory if you own an iPad. The act of writing on the iPad screen with the Pencil is sublime, and it can really change how you look at your tablet. So it really sucks when the Apple Pencil is not charging and working the way it should. Before you run out and buy a replacement, here are some troubleshooting tips to see if the problem is easily fixable or not.

Read more: What is iPadOS? Everything you need to know


If your Apple Pencil is not charging, there are some easy things you can do. First, make sure your iPad is charged and updated. Then restart the iPad, clean the Pencil, and re-pair the Pencil. Bear in mind that if the battery is fully depleted and the Pencil hasn't been used in a while, the battery will take longer than usual to charge.

Troubleshooting tips if your Apple Pencil is not charging

Let’s look at eight possible reasons why your Apple Pencil is not charging. It’s worth pointing out at the start that there are two different types of Apple Pencil — the first generation and the second generation. One of the differences between them is how they are charged.

The first-generation Pencil is charged by removing the top to reveal a Lightning socket. You can then plug that into your iPad charging socket. The second-generation Apple Pencil is charged by magnetically attaching it to the side of your iPad.

So the following troubleshooting tips may not all apply to both Pencil models. Where applicable, we’ll point that out.

How long has it been since you restarted your iPad?

Apple iPad Pro M2 2022 display 2
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

If you’re like most smart-device owners, you likely haven’t restarted your device in quite some time. Phones and tablets are designed now to last quite a while before a restart becomes necessary. So, yes, it’s the old “have you tried turning it off and back on again?”. Restart your iPad and see if the Apple Pencil now starts charging.

Is your iPad charged?

apple ipad home screen ports
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

This is a rather obvious one, but for the sake of completeness, we’re including it. Logic dictates that if the Pencil gets its charge from the iPad, then the iPad obviously needs to be charged too. So check the iPad battery level. If it’s dead or very low (below 20%), then charge your tablet first.

Make sure the Pencil is lying on a flat surface

Apple iPad 2020 with Apple Pencil
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If your iPad or the Pencil is lying on an uneven surface, then it’s possible that the Pencil does not have a proper snug connection to the power it needs. Uneven surfaces can be anything from a cushion, down the side of the sofa, perched on a pile of books, etc.

Lie your iPad and Pencil on a flat surface with nothing around it getting in the way.

It will take longer to charge if its battery is fully depleted

Like all electrical devices, if you don’t use the Apple Pencil for quite a long time, the battery will eventually deplete right down to zero. This means that when you get the Pencil out of the closet and blow the dust off it, charging it is going to take longer than usual.

If this is the situation you find yourself in, then be more patient. Leave it on the charger for a couple more hours and see how far along the charge gets. A normal charge usually takes no more than 30 minutes, so giving it a couple of hours more should tell you if this is the issue that’s bugging you.

Clean the Pencil and the iPad

apple ipad air 2022 5th gen with apple pencil
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The next step is to ensure that the Pencil and iPad charging ports are completely clean. If you’re trying to charge the first-generation pencil via the Lightning port on the iPad, then it’s essential to closely examine the iPad charging port. It’s easy for dust, dirt, skin, and various other kinds of dreck to get stuck up there. If that happens, then one of the consequences of being a mucky boy or girl is charging problems.

The principles behind cleaning the iPhone’s charging port apply equally to the iPad. Get a Q tip and a can of compressed air, and start cleaning. When it comes to the Pencil, giving it a thorough wipe with an anti-static cloth will usually do the trick.

Check for iPadOS updates

ipad update

The next step is to see if your iPad needs any updates. This is an easy one to do, and quite often, an update solves a whole lot of problems. On the iPad, go to Settings > General > Software Update. If any updates are waiting, install them right away.

Re-pair the Apple Pencil

ipad bluetooth pencil

If nothing has worked up to this point, then the last thing you can try is to unpair the Apple Pencil in the iPad Bluetooth settings, then pair it again. Sometimes, a fresh connection like this is all it takes to give the Pencil a good kick in the right direction.

Go to Settings > Bluetooth on the iPad, and tap the blue icon next to the Apple Pencil. Tap Forget this Device, and the Pencil will then be unpaired. To pair it again, bring it close to the iPad, and a pairing message will pop up on the screen. Follow the on-screen prompts.

Get it checked at the Apple Store

apple store ipad
Image Credit: AFP

If you’ve got this far, and success has so far eluded you, then it’s time to admit defeat and take the Pencil to the Apple Store. Having eliminated all the simple stuff, the problem is now likely to be a hardware issue with the Pencil battery itself. Apple can replace the battery for you and also check over your iPad to see if there are any issues there that you may have overlooked.

Obviously, Apple will charge you for all this unless you’re covered by a valid AppleCare+ policy. If nothing works here, then it’s likely time to consider buying a replacement Pencil.

Read more: The best iPad accessories you can get


Install the battery widget on your iPad. You’ll be able to see at a glance how much your Pencil has charged.

Usually, the biggest clue is when there is a lag while writing on the iPad screen. The writing experience may not be as smooth as it usually is.

Yes, Apple can replace this battery for you for $30.

That’s difficult to say precisely as it all depends on your usage. But the average is about 12 hours.

Between 20 to 30 minutes will get you to 100%.

The part that is likely to break will be the pencil nib. If it does, it is easily replaceable. Apple gives you spares when you buy the Pencil, and you can buy more from Amazon very cheaply.