Connecting a Bluetooth Keyboard to an iPad

  Matt Cone       May 8, 2012      Tutorials iPad

As someone who writes for a living, I need to be able to type fast and accurately. That’s just not possible with the iPad’s Qwerty keyboard. I initially thought the built-in keyboard would work, and that it was just a matter of training myself to use it. But as time went on, I realized that the keyboard was only large enough to fool me into thinking I could type with two hands. For me, using the iPad’s virtual keyboard will never be as easy as using a physical one.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Anyone can connect an external Bluetooth keyboard to the iPad and use it to type. This tutorial explains how to find a bluetooth keyboard and connect it to your iPad.

Choosing a Bluetooth Keyboard for Your iPad

There are lots of Bluetooth keyboards available for use with your iPad. Some are integrated with iPad cases, others are sold as stand-alone devices. Even Apple makes one, as shown below. If you decide to use Apple’s keyboard, we recommend that you use it with the Incase Origami Workstation, a lightweight case for Apple’s keyboard that folds into a stand for your iPad.

Apple Bluetooth keyboard

A keyboard like this is what you’ll need to type effectively on your iPad. Of course, if you already have a Bluetooth keyboard that you use with your Mac, you can use it with your iPad.

How to Connect a Bluetooth Keyboard to an iPad

Connecting a Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad takes only a couple of minutes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn on the Bluetooth keyboard and place it near your iPad.

  2. From the iPad’s home screen, tap Settings.

  3. Tap General on the sidebar. The screen shown below appears.

    iPad Bluetooth settings

  4. Tap Bluetooth. The screen shown below appears.

    List of Bluetooth devices connected to iPad

  5. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on.

  6. A list of available Bluetooth devices appears. Tap the keyboard to connect. The screen shown below appears.

    Pairing a Bluetooth keyboard with an iPad

  7. Type the code on your keyboard. The iPad will connect to the keyboard.

The keyboard is now connected to the iPad - feel free to start typing away!

Unpairing a Bluetooth Keyboard

When you’re finished using the Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad, it’s a good idea to unpair it, or disconnect it from the iPad. This will help conserve the battery power of both the iPad and keyboard. Here’s how to unpair a Bluetooth keyboard from an iPad:

  1. From the iPad’s home screen, tap Settings.

  2. Tap General on the sidebar.

  3. Tap Bluetooth. The screen shown below appears.

    iPad Bluetooth devices

  4. Tap the keyboard. The screen shown below appears.

    Forgetting a Bluetooth device connected to iPad

  5. Tap Forget this Device.

You have successfully unpaired the Bluetooth keyboard from the iPad.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth Keyboard Connection Problems

If you’re having trouble connecting a Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad, there are a couple things you should try.

First, if the keyboard is already paired and being used by another device, like your Mac, be sure to unpair it with that device before you try connecting it to your iPad. If that doesn’t work, try taking the batteries out of the keyboard and putting them back in. When the keyboard turns back on, your iPad should be able to see it.

Still need help? Take a look at Apple’s Troubleshooting Tips for more information.

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