How to Connect Every Magic Keyboard to Your iPad


Apple makes a range of different Magic Keyboards, including several versions of the regular Bluetooth Magic Keyboard that works with Macs, iPads, and iPhones, as well as specialized ones that are only compatible with certain iPads.

Depending on the Magic Keyboard you have and the iPad model you own, the steps you need to follow may vary. So, follow along to learn how to connect these Magic Keyboards to your iPad and avoid common mistakes. We’ll also discuss a few troubleshooting tips to follow when pairing fails.

How to Connect the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro or iPad Air

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and iPad Air attaches magnetically and has an integrated trackpad. It doesn’t have a battery because it gets power from the connected iPad via the Smart Connector.

White Magic Keyboard on iPad Pro
Image Credit: Apple

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Place the keyboard on a flat surface.
  2. Open the lid and snap your iPad onto it; the keyboard pairs right away. The iPad’s rear camera module should go through the cutout in the top left corner of the lid.
  3. Gently tilt the lid to adjust the viewing angle.

Apple clarifies that the first Magic Keyboard (A1998) “may not precisely fit” the fifth-generation or later iPad Pro when closed. Despite the imprecise fit, we can confirm that the keyboard functions as expected. To disconnect the keyboard, separate it from the iPad. For those wondering, closing the cover during a call won’t automatically hang up the call.

You can charge your iPad by plugging a power cable into the USB‑C port on the keyboard hinge, which frees up the iPad’s charging port for peripherals. The USB-C port on the keyboard is for pass-through charging only and doesn’t transmit data, meaning you cannot use it for things such as USB-C thumb drives, mice, and similar.

In case you’ve been wondering, you shouldn’t attempt to connect the iPad and the keyboard through their USB-C ports because it doesn’t work.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad works with the 11-inch iPad Pro, the third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro and newer, and the fourth-generation iPad Air and later.

How to Connect a Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad

The Magic Keyboard Folio only works with the 10th-generation iPad. It’s equipped with a trackpad, an adjustable stand, a detachable keyboard, and a protective back panel.

A white Magic Keyboard Folio on an iPad
Image Credit: Apple

Follow these simple instructions to start using it:

  1. Attach your iPad magnetically to the microfiber-lined side of the keyboard back panel.
  2. Magnetically attach the keyboard to the Smart Connector on the iPad’s edge.
  3. Adjust the stand on the back to change the viewing angle.

To disconnect your Magic Keyboard Folio, separate it from the iPad.

How to Connect a Bluetooth Magic Keyboard for Mac to an iPad

The Magic Keyboard for the Mac packs a rechargeable battery and supports wireless and wired modes. This keyboard has distinct editions; you can buy one with or without a numeric keypad. Apple also sells a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which requires an Apple silicon Mac for biometric features.

Back view of Apple's Magic Keyboard for Mac
Image Credit: Apple

The Magic Keyboard for Mac works with any iPhone or iPad as long as it runs at least iOS/iPadOS 10.3. Follow the steps below to connect the keyboard wirelessly:

  1. Make the keyboard discoverable by flipping the switch on its back off and then back on.
  2. Open the Settings app and tap on Bluetooth.
  3. Select your Magic Keyboard when it shows up under Other Devices.

If the keyboard doesn’t appear, check that Bluetooth is enabled on your iPad first. If it’s already paired with a Mac, you’ll need to unpair it before connecting it to your iPad or another device.

To disconnect your Bluetooth Magic Keyboard and revert to the virtual one, open Settings > Bluetooth, and touch the i (Info) button to the right of the Magic Keyboard entry, then choose Disconnect. You’ll need to reconnect later to use the keyboard again.

Alternatively, you can connect and use the Magic Keyboard in wired mode. To do this, plug one end of a Lightning to USB-C charging cable into the Lightning port on the back of the keyboard and the other end into the iPad’s USB-C port. The keyboard automatically pairs in wired mode. And to disconnect it, either flip the power switch on the back or unplug the cable.

Potential Fixes When Your Magic Keyboard Isn’t Connecting

If you experience issues when trying to connect a Magic Keyboard, follow these troubleshooting steps one by one until it works as intended:

  • Check the battery percentage of the Magic Keyboard for the Mac. Magic Keyboard for the iPad doesn’t have a battery.
  • Remove the keyboard from your iPad, wait a few seconds, and then re-attach it.
  • Check the connection alignment.
  • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your device. If that doesn’t help, try the common fixes for Bluetooth issues on your iPad.
  • Check that the Magic Keyboard for the Mac is turned on.
  • Check that your charging cable works for a wired connection.
  • Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard in the Bluetooth settings.
  • If the keyboard is already paired with a different device, unpair it on that device first.
  • If your iPad has a case or cover, remove it before using a Magic Keyboard.
  • Update your iPad to the latest iPadOS software.
  • Restart your iPad.
  • If you see an “Accessory not supported” alert, clean the debris or plastic that might be covering the Smart Connector pins on both the keyboard and the iPad.

Hopefully, you still don’t have issues connecting the Magic Keyboard to your iPad.

Elevate Your Typing Experience on the iPad

Apple’s Magic Keyboard lineup has become essential to get the ideal iPad experience. Besides, physical keys give you tactile feedback that no touchscreen can simulate.

If you’ve never used a Magic Keyboard, we encourage you to try it. Connecting and pairing one with your iPad will instantly elevate your tablet typing experience.


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