How to Fix iPad Smart Keyboard Not Working

Can’t figure out why your iPad smart keyboard is not working?

Recently, Apple has been marketing its iPads as a viable MacBook alternative. One of the most obvious signs of this is the added support for third-party keyboards and the new iPadOS. 

Third-party smart keyboards can be connected to any iPad via Bluetooth or Apple’s smart connector. While connecting smart keyboards on iPads is seamless, some users encounter problems connecting their iPad to wireless keyboards. 

If you are here, we can assume that your iPad’s smarty keyboard is not working properly. To be specific, you’re probably seeing an ‘Accessory Not Supported’ prompt. 

There are a variety of reasons why this error message occurs. The most common reasons behind this are outdated software, unsupported keyboard, and improper configurations. 

To help you out, we’ve decided to make a guide on what to do if your iPad’s smart keyboard is not working. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Device. 

As a common practice, we always suggest readers restart their devices whenever something isn’t working properly. This way, they can rule out any temporary bugs or glitches that may have occurred during use. 

For iPads without a home button: 

  1. First, press and hold either the Volume button + Top button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right until your display shuts off. 
  3. Lastly, wait for at least 30 seconds before turning on your iPad. 
ipad smart keyboard not working

For iPads with a home button: 

  1. On your device, press and hold the Top button until the power slider appears. 
  2. Drag the slider to the right until your display turns black. 
  3. Finally, wait for at least 30 seconds before restarting your iPad.
Restart iPad Home button

Once done, try using your smart keyboard to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Reconnect Your Keyboard. 

If you are using a wireless keyboard, refreshing the connection between your iPad and the keyboard can be effective in solving this issue. Simply forget the device from your iPad and try reconnecting it. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your iPad, go to the home screen and launch the Settings app. 
  2. Now, access the Bluetooth tab and locate your keyboard. 
  3. Tap on it and choose Forget This Device
  4. Finally, reconnect your smart keyboard. 
ipad smart keyboard not working

Try using your keyboard for a few minutes to see if any issues would occur. 

3. Try A Different Keyboard. 

If you have another keyboard lying around or someone you know owns one, we suggest borrowing it and seeing if the same issue occurs. Possibly, the smart keyboard you’re using is damaged. 

There’s also a chance that the smart keyboard you’re using is not supported by Apple. To avoid problems, we recommend buying from reputable brands like Logitech, Belkin, and Apple’s Magic Keyboard. 

If other keyboards work fine with your iPad, the problem is with your smart keyboard.

4. Update Your Software. 

The version of iPadOS you’re using might have an underlying issue that is related to Bluetooth connectivity and third-party keyboards. To rule this out, we suggest updating your iPad to the latest version to patch bugs and errors. 

See the steps below to update your iPad: 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad
  2. After that, go to General > Software Update
  3. Finally, go to Automatic Updates and enable all the options under it. Head back to the previous page and tap on Download and Install.
Download and Install iPad

Reconnect your smart keyboard afterward and check if the problem is solved. 

5. Force Restart Your iPad. 

Force restarting your iPad might also be able to resolve the ‘Accessory Not Supported’ error on your device. Force restart is similar to removing the battery on older phones, which resets caches and temporary data. 

Here’s how you can force restart your iPad: 

  1. First, press and release the Volume button nearest to the Top button
  2. After that, press and release the other Volume button and hold the Top button
  3. Once the Apple logo appears, release the Top button.
ipad smart keyboard not working

Connect your iPad smart keyboard afterward to see if it’s working. 

6. Disconnect Other Bluetooth Devices. 

While iPads and iPhones support multiple Bluetooth connections, there’s a chance that your third-party devices are interfering with one another. If your iPad smart keyboard is not working, try disconnecting other Bluetooth devices you have. 

See the steps below to manage your Bluetooth devices: 

  1. On your iPad, launch the Settings app and tap on Bluetooth
  2. Next, identify the devices that are currently connected to your iPad
  3. Finally, tap on one and choose Disconnect. Repeat the process until your smart keyboard is the only one left. 
Forget This Device

Launch any app to test your keyboard and see if it works. 

7. Reset Your iPad Settings. 

You can also try resetting your iPad settings if your smart keyboard still doesn’t work. This should roll back any changes on your iPad’s configurations that could be causing your keyboard to malfunction. 

Here’s how you can reset your iPad: 

  1. First, go to your home screen and launch the Settings app. 
  2. After that, tap on General and access the Transfer or Reset iPhone tab. 
  3. Now, choose Reset and tap on Reset All Settings
ipad smart keyboard not working

Use your smart keyboard afterward and see if the problem is solved. 

8. Update Your Apps. 

If your smart keyboard is not working for a specific app, you might want to try updating that application. Possibly, the version of the app you’re using has an issue with external keyboards or is incompatible. 

Follow the guide below to update your apps: 

  1. Launch the App Store on your device. 
  2. Now, go to your Profile and locate the app you wish to update. 
  3. Finally, tap the Update button beside the app. 

Once done, try using your smart keyboard to check if the problem is solved. 

9. Contact Apple Support. 

If none of the solutions above worked, the last thing you can do is report the issue to Apple’s team. Head to Apple’s support page and get in touch with a representative to ask for assistance regarding your iPad and smart keyboard. 

ipad smart keyboard not working

When asking for help, make sure to provide all the important details like the model of your iPad, the brand of your smart keyboard, and the app you’re using it with. 

You can also browse the other guides on their page and see if you can find other solutions. 

That sums up our guide for fixing your iPad smart keyboard if it’s not working correctly. If you have questions, please drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

  1. THANK YOUUU. Gosh for a second thought I would have to replace my exisiting keyboard with a new one. You’re a life saver. 🙂

  2. Hello. I complained to an Apple Tech at my local Jump+ (a official Canadian apple reseller and repair shop) and he told me there was a recall for the older iPad Pro smart keyboards especially because of this problem, as long as your keyboard is less than 3 years old. Mine was (barely) and I got a new Smart Keyboard for free. Definitely worth asking your official Apple retailer and repair shop about. Just make sure you can either read the serial # or have the original box with the serial number.

  3. THANK YOU! Originally had no idea why I was getting the “not supported” message. My keyboard was working with only intermittent problems. – honestly did not even consider the keyboard as the problem. Then the keyboard stopped working altogether – so, then DUH – the keyboard. I tried your #1 & #2 with no luck. Jumped to #5 and Viola – back in business. So again, thanks.

  4. These suggestions are not great. Its clear the poster is just picking random things that might work, but doesn’t really know how to fix this bug.

    1. I have to tell you, that the force reset as my IPad has a home button worked for me, saved me 160 bucks is what quote i received from apple, and 25 minutes talking with Tech Support

  5. Thanks, you are amazing! Using the keyboard to type this review. #5 was the suggestion that worked. Thanks again, I am very happy to have the keyboard working again, I thought it was a goner.

  6. Restoring the magnetic link – I’ve come across this before. A diagram of WHERE the magnet might lay in the keyboard head would be useful, or will a magnetic stick to the relevant spot?

    1. Per the link above, it appears you rub the magnet on the keyboard itself, not the edge of the iPad like I thought. Still didn’t work for me, as did none of the above suggestions.

      Apr 6, 2017 11:26 AM in response to mugsymallone

      I had all all this nonsense with my iPad Pro and its keyboard after about a years use. Seems the thing that activates the keyboard is a small reed switch (I am guessing) in the guttering just above the keyboard. When you snap the keyboard together ready for typing a magnet on the oposing face triggers the switch. Try it out! With the keyboard attached but not in the support guttering get a small magnet and rub it just above the 1 and 2 keys on the keyboard. If you are in an application that is waiting for input the onscreen keyboard will dissapear meaning that the physical keyboard is ready for typing.

      What is clearly happening is that the magnetic strength of the top part which fits in the guttering has lost flux. Get that magnet which you were playing about with just a moment ago and rub it on the top part of the keyboard which mates with the guttering. Magnet flux is restored and the final act of snapping the keyboard to typing position should activate the switch. Works for me! I used a neodymium magnet, BTW.

      1. I was about to go bluetooth when I found this suggestion. I used a magnet that we used to hold a souvenir from my sister’s graduation – not sure if it’s neodymium but it worked amazingly well anyway. Thanks very much for this. Save me some bucks!

  7. Where did you find the information that they repair these for 3 years? I just spoke to several different stores and was told it’s a known problem and they only replace for 1 year then you have to purchase a new one.

    1. Yeah, no doubt true. I bought a used ipad pro first gen with smart keyboard. Ater about a year i had to replace the keyboard. Apple took the old one and gave me i think a refurbished one. Now, less that year later it is on the blink. It only had a 90 day warrantey,. Right now, after using the magnet thing, it seems to be working so maybe that was the problem. I hope so as i am not going to buy another one of these keyboards. Will try some other kind for this ipad.

  8. Thank you for your post! I did the magnet trick (#3) and the clear the debris from the smart connector using compressed air (#4) and am no longer getting the error!! Grateful to be able to use my ipad smart keyboard again!

  9. I tried the reboots & ‘rubbing’ the magnets, but didn’t yield any benefit. So I left the magnet sit in the galley on my keyboard and walked away for a little bit. Came back, tried to reconnect the iPad to the keyboard, and voila … no “dingdingdingdingdingding” noise and the keyboard works! Thanks so much for whomever posted this!

  10. I recently had this same problem and none of these fixes worked for me. I eventually noticed that the place on the keyboard where the metal connectors are that attach to the smart-connectors (for data and power) on the iPad was bent ever so slightly inwards. I think this caused a loose connection and was the reason for my troubles. What I did was, I bent the middle portion of the magnetic band on the keyboard so that it bulges ever so slightly outward towards the iPad. I think this has made the connectors fit more tightly and has solved my connection issue completely.

    Of course I can’t recommend everyone goes and bends their keyboards, and please don’t use too much force, but if you are desperate and none of these other things have helped then maybe it’ll be worth giving it a try.

    Ok thanks and good luck to everyone.

  11. Thanks for your help! Not sure, but either the magnet or the reset took care of it (so far, so good.) So happy!!!

  12. I went to Accessibility…..Keyboards…..and enabled full keyboard access after trying everything else and it worked! Thanks to all the posters

    1. Thank you! Who knew that existed? And how did it ever get turned off?? Anyway, either full function keyboard switch and/or the magnet worked for me!! So happy!!

  13. Woohoo!! Tried everything and was ready to trash the keyboard, then I found the suggestion about bending. It worked!!

  14. Thank you!! I think we are all super grateful and happy to not have to replace our $150+ keyboards. There’s 18 other comments here besides mine, so that’s at least $2850 saved thanks to your post!!

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