How to Charge Your Apple Pencil

The Apple pencil allows you to more accurately draw, write or simply point on the iPad screen. There are currently two generations available: Gen 1 and Gen 2. Depending on the version of the Apple Pencil you own, and the iPad you use it with, the way you charge it varies. Here's how to properly charge both generation 1 and generation 2 of the Apple Pencil.

Finding Your Apple Pencil Generation

Upon first glance, both generations of the Apple Pencil look fairly similar, but there are differences both in how they look, what they can do, an which iPads you can use them with.

The 1st generation pencil is shaped slightly differently, being more rounded in the body of the pencil. It also has a metal band around the blunt end. This blunt end is a cap, that when pulled off, reveals the lightning adaptor for charging.

1st Generation Apple Pencil
1st Generation Apple Pencil

The 2nd generation pencil has a body that is flattened on the side, and does not have the metal band or end cap. It will also have the Apple logo and “Pencil” written on the blunt end.

You can use the 2nd gen Apple Pencil with these iPads:

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

You can use 1st gen Apple Pencil with these iPads:

iPad (8th generation)
iPad mini (5th generation)
iPad (7th generation)
iPad (6th generation)
iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
iPad Pro 9.7-inch


Charging a 1st Generation Apple Pencil

Pull the end cap off of the blunt end of the apple pencil to reveal the Lightning connector. Plug this into the Apple Pencil Charging Adaptor that came with the pencil, and then plug your Lightning cable (your normal iPad charging cable) into the other end of the adaptor. Your Pencil should now be charging.

If you no longer have the pencil charging adaptor, or if you don’t have access to an electrical outlet, you can simply plug the pencil directly into the Lighting port on your iPad. This will obviously drain your iPad battery slightly, but it won’t make too much of a dent in your battery life, and is great for charging the Apple Pencil on the go.

Charging a 2nd Generation Apple Pencil

The 2nd Gen pencil removed the option to plug in to a lightning port, instead requiring you to charge it using a magnetic strip on your iPad (this is part of the reason the 2nd Gen is only compatible with certain newer iPad models).

Looking at your iPad, you won’t see an obvious charging area, but if you hold the pencil close to the top edge (the edge with the volume buttons), it will snap to the magnetic connector. It should then immediately begin charging. If it doesn’t, make sure that you have Bluetooth enabled on the iPad and that the pencil is centred on the magnetic strip.

When the pencil attaches to the magnetic strip, the charge status should appear on screen, showing you how much battery power the pencil currently has left. If using your pencil and want to see how much charge is left without snapping it to the mag strip, you can swipe left from the home screen or lock screen to see the Today View, which will display the charge status.

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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