How to Connect a Keyboard to Your iPad

by Daniel Nations Updated on April 14, 2021
This article explains the different keyboard options you have when using your iPad, including the iPad Pro models, which are as powerful as laptop or desktop PCs.

The Wireless Keyboard

The most simple and direct approach is to use a wireless keyboard. Out of the box, the iPad is compatible with most wireless keyboards. This includes those not specifically marked for the iPad, although to be safe, always check for compatibility.
The Apple wireless keyboard is a safe choice. It has all of the features you’ll want, and you can use shortcut keys for common functions like Command+C to copy and Command+V to paste. A wireless keyboard from Amazon also works well. Choosing a wireless keyboard generally won’t cost you an arm and a leg unless you want an Apple Smart Keyboard.
One advantage of using a wireless keyboard is that it’s easy to connect and use, but you have the option of leaving it behind. This can make it a better choice than a keyboard case, which turns your iPad into a quasi-laptop

Wireless keyboards for the iMac and Mac Mini work fine for the iPad. These are sturdy and relatively small but are also some of the more expensive wireless keyboards.
Most wireless keyboards require you to pair the device. The method for doing so may vary. For example, some require you to input a code that displays on the iPad screen to complete the pairing. In all cases, you’ll start in the Bluetooth settings.
To pair the devices, launch the iPad Settings app. On the left menu, find and tap Bluetooth. If Bluetooth is off, turn it on by tapping the on/off switch. It may take a few seconds for the iPad to discover the wireless keyboard. When it appears in the list, tap it. If it requires you to input a code, the iPad displays a code on the screen that you enter on the keyboard.
If the keyboard doesn’t appear on the list, make sure it’s turned on and the batteries aren’t dead. If the keyboard has a Bluetooth button to make it discoverable, tap it so that the iPad will recognize the keyboard.

The Keyboard Case

If you want to use your iPad as a laptop, turn it into a laptop with a specialized keyboard case. Several keyboard cases on the market offer different solutions to the typing problem. The keyboard case might seem a little counterintuitive, taking the tablet out of the iPad, but it isn’t much different than hooking a laptop into a docking station to make it act more like a desktop.

One advantage of a keyboard case is that it offers better mobility than carrying around both an iPad and a wireless keyboard. If you spend a lot of time typing on the on-screen keyboard when using your iPad, this can be a good choice. It’s also a two-in-one package because it protects your iPad and serves as a keyboard.

The biggest disadvantages are that keyboard cases add bulk, and they can be pricier than other solutions. And while you can remove it from the case when you want to use it as a tablet, it may be more hassle than it’s worth. Many people keep it in the case 90 percent of the time.

Did You Know There's a Touchpad on the iPad?

The latest versions of the iPad operating system include a Virtual Trackpad that is accessed when you put two fingers on the iPad on-screen keyboard at the same time. Use this method to select text or position the cursor within text quickly.

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