Apple Pencil won’t charge? – 7 Solutions for both (1st and 2nd Gen)

Apple pencil won’t be able to indicate that it’s charging if the battery is drained out. If that’s the case, you should keep charging it for a prolonged period of time. If you have tried charging with your iPad already and your Apple pencil is still unresponsive then you can try charging it from a wall outlet.

Apple Pencil Not Charging Issue
Apple Pencil Not Charging Issue

iPad uses wireless module to charge Apple pencil and if there is any interference between these two modules then your Apple pencil won’t charge through iPad. Charing it through wall outlet will confirm if there is something wrong with Apple pencil or not.

We have seen the issue occur with different generations of Apple Pencils and iPads. In some cases, the pencil widget shows full charge but as soon as the pencil is removed from the iPad, the charge disappears.

Before starting out, remove any stickers or cases from the Apple Pencil. These interfere with the magnetic charging capability of the pencil. Make sure your iPad is compatible with the Apple Pencil. Not every Apple Pencil can be charged with every iPad.

Before Troubleshooting Check Compatibility & Charging methods

Check which Apple Pencil is compatible with which iPad

Apple Pencil 1st Generation

Apple Pencil 1st Generation

The 1st generation is compatible with the following:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th generation)

It can be charged:

  • Via your iPad’s lightening connector directly
  • Via USB-C to Apple Pencil connected to a device or wall outlet

Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

The 2nd generation is compatible with:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and later)

It can only be charged via the magnetic strip at the side of your iPad

1. Force Restart the iPad

Your iPad can fail to charge the Apple Pencil due to a communication problem in the charging modules. Force restarting the iPad can solve this issue. 

  1. Disconnect the Pencil from the iPad and restart the iPad to check if the problem is solved.
  2. If not, connect the pencil to the iPad and quickly tap on the iPad’s volume-up button.
  3. Now press the iPad’s volume-down button and then press & hold the power button.
    Force Restart An iPad With a Top Button
    Force Restart An iPad With a Top Button
  4. Keep holding the power button until you see the Apple logo
  5. Now, wait for the boot-up to complete and check if the Apple pencil is being charged. 

If the issue persists, check if the Apple Pencil can be charged by using another charging device or another method, such as a wall charger or a power bank.

2. Remove the Apple Pencil from Bluetooth Devices

Each Apple pencil has a data profile that stores connectivity information. This can become invalid if there is a problem when the two devices are connecting. In this case, removing the Apple Pencil from the iPad’s Bluetooth settings and then re-adding it can resolve the issue.

A point to remember is that you will not be able to re-add the pencil if its battery is completely drained. You would have to wait till it charges a little bit before you are prompted to add the pencil.

  1. Disconnect the Apple Pencil from the iPad. Navigate to Settings > Bluetooth.
  2. Remove Apple Pencil from Bluetooth devices.
    Open the Apple Pencil in the iPad's Bluetooth Settings
    Open the Apple Pencil in the iPad’s Bluetooth Settings
  3. Then force restart the iPad as discussed earlier.
    Forget the Apple Pencil in the iPad's Bluetooth Settings
    Forget the Apple Pencil in the iPad’s Bluetooth Settings
  4. Now unlock the iPad and plug the Apple Pencil back into the iPad.
  5. Wait for the message prompting you to connect both devices. 
  6. After pairing, wait for 15 minutes and then check if the pencil is charging properly.
  7. If pairing fails, leave the pencil charging for a couple of hours and then retry the above steps.

3. Charge the Apple Pencil while Charging the iPad

A bug in the power modules of the iPad may prevent it from charging the pencil. Here, charging the pencil while charging the iPad simultaneously will do the trick.

  1. Disconnect the Apple Pencil from the iPad and charge the iPad completely.
  2. Connect the Apple Pencil and check if it can be charged.
  3. If not, remove the Apple Pencil from the paired list of Bluetooth devices and disconnect the Apple Pencil from the iPad.
  4. Now insert the charger’s power cable into the iPad and immediately remove the power cable.
    Remove the iPad's Charging Cable
    Remove the iPad’s Charging Cable
  5. Then quickly connect the Pencil to the iPad and if pairing dialogue is shown, pair the devices.

4. Update the OS of the iPad (Especially for Beta users)

If you are using a Beta software version, we recommend installing the newer update as soon as it is available. Beta versions are known for their bugs and glitches since the operating system is in a testing phase. It’s likely that the issue you are facing was fixed in the latest release.

  1. Launch the iPad Settings. 
  2. Navigate to General Software Update Install the update if it is available. 
    Open Software Update in the General Tab of the iPad
    Open Software Update in the General Tab of the iPad’s Settings
  3. Restart your iPad once the update process is complete. 
    Download and Install the Latest iPadOS Update
    Download and Install the Latest iPad Update
  4. Upon restart, check if your iPad is charging the pencil.
  5. If that didn’t work, you can opt to leave the beta program and revert to the stable builds available. 

5. Enable USB Accessories in the iPad Settings

Apple pencil will not charge if the “USB Accessories” option is disabled in the iPad settings. This generally happens with older generations of Apple Pencils since they can only be charged with the iPad’s port. If this option is disabled, your pencil will not charge until you unlock the device.

  1. Open iPad Settings
  2. Navigate to Touch ID & Passcode Allow Access when Locked tab > USB Accessories
    Enable USB Accessories in the iPad's Settings
    Enable USB Accessories in the iPad’s Settings
  3. Enable the option and restart the iPad. Connect your Apple Pencil and check if it is charging as expected. 

6. Warm and Clean the Apple Pencil

Charging issues with Apple pencils can also occur if the charging pins are dirty or the pencil is too cold. Here, warming and cleaning the Apple Pencil can solve the problem. If the pencil’s battery is too low, warming it may kick start the cells and the battery will start charging.

Warning: Proceed at your own risk as exposure to water may make the pencil useless. If your pencil is under warranty, it would be better to get a replacement. Also, beware of the hot water and the overheated pencil.
  1. Grab a lint-free cloth and check if cleaning the pins of the Apple Pencil solves the problem. Be mindful to get rid of the dirt particles. 
    Clean the Charging Pins of the Apple Pencil
    Clean the Charging Pins of the Apple Pencil
  2. If that doesn’t work, get a large zip-lock bag and fill 30% of its capacity with hot water.
    The water’s temperature should be around 85°C. Make sure the water is not leaking from the bag. You can double the zip-lock bag to be on the safe side. 
  3. After sealing the bag, put the Apple Pencil beneath the bag for 30 seconds. Do not put the pencil inside the bag. 
  4. Then charge the pencil through a pencil adapter for a minute.
  5. Now check if the iPad is charging the pencil.

If that didn’t work, repeat the above steps but keep the pencil under the hot bag for about a minute so the pencil gets warmer.

7. Reset the iPad to the Factory Defaults

An incomplete installation of the iPad’s OS can cause invalid system entries, leading it not to charge the pencil properly. Here, you can reset the device to its factory defaults. 

Before going ahead, make sure to back up and fully charge the iPad. A way to check if your OS is having problems is to charge the pencil with another iPad or through the wall adapter. If it is charging properly there, it means that your OS is having problems. 

Note: Make sure to back up your data as everything will be erased in this step. You can back up using iCloud for its convenience when restoring the backup. 
  1. Launch iPad’s Settings
  2. Navigate to General Reset Erase all content & Settings.
    Open Reset in the General iPad Settings
    Open Reset in the General iPad Settings
  3. If asked, enter your passcode and then confirm to reset the iPad.
    Reset the iPad to the Factory Defaults
    Reset the iPad to the Factory Defaults
  4. After the process completes, set up the iPad as a new device and try charging the pencil. 
  5. If everything is working fine, you can restore from your existing backup. 

If the issue persists, then you may need to get a new pencil or get the faulty one repaired through the Apple Store. 

It is recommended to keep the pencil charged to some extent even if it is not being used to prevent it from being powerless. This is recommended by Apple Support Specialists as well. 


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.