I can't get my wireless keyboard to pair with my Apple iPad?
I'm a bit baffled: I already paired my Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard with my new iPad 3G [ed: see pair a bluetooth keyboard with an iPad] but for some reason when I try to hook it up a second time the iPad sees the keyboard but can't pair to it. What's going on and how do I fix it??
I bumped into the very same problem and it's a weird one. There's something about the range of Bluetooth or the mechanism by which things pair, because what I did was pair my Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard (which I love!) to my my Mac Mini, then to my wi-fi iPad. It worked fine, but when I went back to pair it with my iPad a second time, instead of just turning on and being recognized, the iPad got cranky and didn't want to pair it as it saw the keyboard was already hooked up to a device.
Now figuring that out took quite a bit of work and a fair amount of time on Google, searching for "problems pairing bluetooth keyboard ipad", for which there are a lot of questions, but not a lot of answers. So I experimented and figured it out! :-)
I encountered what I believe were two problems. First off, that bluetooth keyboard has a pretty astonishing range, so even two rooms away when I turned it on, it automatically paired with my Mac Mini. I thought Bluetooth was supposed to work for about 7-10 feet, so I was pretty amazed. The second issue was that the keyboard was marked as already paired to another device. Why that didn't affect things when I first paired them, I don't understand, but unpairing it from the Mac Mini certainly solved the problem.
Here's what I was seeing, to start out. This is on the iPad:
It would spin and spin and spin. Sometimes it'd show the keyboard info for long enough to confirm that the keyboard wasn't completely dead:
Try as I might, I couldn't get past this point. Back and forth, frustrating as heck! Why this can't show "keyboard (paired to another device)" is beyond me, but it doesn't.
To solve the problem, I switched to my Mac Mini, the device that already had paired with the keyboard. There I went to System Preferences and choose "Bluetooth". Here's what I saw:
Yup, even two offices away it could pair and connect. Incredible! But it was blocking me progressing with the iPad. So I needed to decouple the two. At first I thought I could just disconnect the keyboard from the computer:
Experimentation demonstrated that was insufficient, so instead I needed to click on the "Paired" status on the screen, then click on the "-" sign:
Am I sure? Ayup, I am:
Not more than a second or two later, this popped up on the iPad (not the Mac):
That's more like it! I type in the numeric sequence, press Return on the Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard and almost instantly I see:
Phew! That solved it for me. Try this sequence, let us know if it works for you too.
And while you're at it, don't forget to check out the extensive iPad help we have on this site too. Got a question about the Apple iPad (or iPad 3G) that we haven't answered? Then let us know!
More Useful Apple iPad Help Articles:
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Apple iPad Help
Mac OS X Help
Written by Dave Taylor
apple ipad, apple ipad 3g, apple wireless bluetooth keyboard, bluetooth pairing, ipad bluetooth
Previous: How do I pair my Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard with my iPad?
Next: Why don't new apps show up on my Apple iPhone 3GS?
Reader Comments To Date: 53
Regrettably, your tip didn't work. You're on the right track, but something else is amiss. I had the same symptoms as you describe. I unpaired in the way you described (via the minus sign). The not-connected blurb appeared. I then went into the other room and tried to connect to the iPad. No luck; just the searching indicator. When I gave up and brought the keyboard back to my iMac, it connected immediately.
laup, did you unpair the bluetooth keyboard from your iMac explicitly? It seems to remember state so if you don't do that and just pull it into a different room, it won't work.
I have the same problem. However, I doubt it's because my keyboard paired with another device. I just bought it and my iPad 3G is the only machine I've ever paired it with. It connected beautifully the first time I used it. The second time, I got the searching icon pictured above. Any thoughts Dave?
thank you i couldn't figure out y it wouldn't work turns out my friend turned off the bluetooth
Thanks for that!
If you follow Dave's carefully layed out steps, it works like a charm.
Yippeee! It worked the third time around. I also had to disconnect and remove it from the iMac, then on the third attempt it recognized it.
Thank you very much for this information. I had trouble finding a solution to the problem of pairing my wireless keyboard to my iPad, but your instructions were clear and right on the button.
Stan, an American living in France
Excellent solution to how to get or pair wireless keyboard to Apple iPad, thanks
I followed the instructions above and successfully "forgot" my wireless keyboard on my iMac, but the iPad still could not see it. Now I have an additional problem, the iMac can no longer detect my wireless keyboard either......any thoughts ?
You are the DUDE!!!
Had the EXACT same problem.
Your instructions ROCK Dude!
Thanks a ton!
My keyboard is new, has nothing else to pair with and the iPad is simply searching for the Apple Wireless Keyboard it knows exists but will not pair with... Just searching endlessly. Tuned it all on, off, sideways etc. Comments appreciated.
okay here's my incredibly low tech solution to the above...I'm now typing my reply on my keyboard, instead of typing on the iPad as I typed the above entry 10 minutes ago. While the iPad was looking for the BT keyboard it new existed, I tapped repeatedly on the bar that said "Apple Wireless Keyboard" just below the searching icon, in the Bluetooth section of the settings. Boom, up came the pairing screen with the passkey.
I followed this to the letter and my results are not any better. Any other suggestions?
Tried the process with no luck. Even tried shutting the Mac down. iPad sees the keyboard, wheel spins, but there is no request for entry of the code.
If I hit Ret, however, the request is flashed and then disappears.
Any thoughts ?
Not sure what to suggest to you chaps. Bluetooth is flakey. One thought: do you have any other bluetooth devices in the area? Headsets, speakers, other phones? I'd turn them all off or put them in another area of the house so that the keyboard and computer are the ONLY two devices nearby. And does the computer *see* the keyboard but just not pair with it, or does it not even see it?
Lol, OMG I love the heck out of you for this article. I wanted to pull my hair out and almost was going to pack up and head for the apple store. Love you!! Muah! It's working. :D
The MINUS sign...who'da thought it? I did exactly what you said and WOOHOO, it worked. As an Apple newbie, I am thankful for people like you who share these little details! Thanks a bunch!
Thank you so much for this! Your instructions allowed me to pair the bluetooth keyboard with my iPad.
Not only did I have to disconnect the desktop bluetooth, and I had to disconnect my wife's iphone, then it worked. Thanks for a detailed, helpful description.
I was in the same boat as Dave G, no other bluetooth devices around, but my ipad was not detecting the keyboard. Repeatedly tapping on the "Apple Wireless Keyboard" bar on the Ipad's Bluetooth page worked (not the > symbol on the right).
Dave, thanks for hosting this site. Do you have a .5 chai option?
Thanks Dave. It worked for me too. But, if I understand, unless you go through this process each time (unpairing, etc.), you cannot use a single keyboard for both devices? Is the only answer to avoid unpairing buying another wireless keyboard to have one for the desktop and one for the ipad?
Another tip I found is holding down the power button on your wireless keyboard. Once the keyboard powers down turn it back on and your ipad should see the keyboard.
Hello, I have the same problem, but my first connection with bluetooth keyboard was wit Iphone4, now I pressed forget this device and turn off bluetooth on Iphone, but I can not see keyboard on Ipad.
Please any solution.
Same problem as others , ipad2 wouldnt connect so i clicked on forget this device turn keyboard off then on again. went back to bluetooth and paired it up again. it works now.
thank you so much!!!! i kept detaching as well, but i couldn't get the two devices to divorce each other. i hadn't even noticed the "paired" line until i saw it here. divorce and remarriage are now complete. woot!
My Apple wireless keyboard was originally paired with a with now-dead iMac.
How do I disassociate the keyboard from the original iMac if I can start the iMac any more?
As is,the iPad discovers the keyboard but does not pair with it.........
THANKS!! This was wicked easy and solved the problem immediately. Thank you so much for taking the time, not only to figure it out, but to post it for the rest of us!
Amy & Ross
IPad can see the keyboard and keyboard is on with bluetooth flashing.
Tap connect and I get the passcode.
I type in the passcode and get the following message
Make sure "Bluetooth keyboard for iPad2" is turned on, in range and ready to pair.
It is on, it is underneath the iPad and it is ready to pair.
I have tried turning everything off and on again, reset the ipad.
Tried the keyboard with my iphone and exactly the same problem. Forgot device from both Iphone and Ipad and tried again, same problem.
I would think that it is a hardware problem but the keyboard is clearly communicating enough for the iPAD/phone to know that the return key has been hit.
I have even checked each key to make sure that there is not one being held down and entering the incorrect code.
This is very frustrating as it was working one minute and not it is not.
Any help would be appreciated.
I have a similar problem. BT keyboard has only ever been paired with the iPad.
Everytime I go to reconnect it, it won't. The Bluetooth Devices simply clocks on the keyboard. Normally it finds all the BT phones in the office.
Clicking on the keyboard just clocks as well.
I have to turn off BT, wait for it to shut down, which takes a while, then turn it back on.
Then the keyboard will connect.
Thanks Dave! After trying to find the conflicting Blue Tooth device, I finally went into a room that has virtually no wi-fi reception and my Bluetooth Keyboard finally synced to my MacBook Pro. Between the iPhones, old iPhones, iPads, I just couldn't find the conflicting device.
Worked for me exactly as you said, except I had to attempt to pair it twice. The second time it worked like a hot damn!
well, your tips did not work for me at all. I did exactly what you said and I still have the "searching...." screen and spinning wheel.....sigh
Thanks, Dave. You're a genius. And a very generous one for sharing this with others. What would idiots like me do without people like you? :-)
Thank you, it was very useful now I can use the keyboard with my iPad 3. :-)
Once again, you saved me lots of frustration, trying to figure out why my iPhone (not my iPad) wasn't pairing with my keyboard. Great insights. Appreciate the post! I can now travel light and still take notes at meetup groups!
Oh joy of joys!! I had no idea the iMac in my office was connected to my Bluetooth keyboard, since I prefer using a full-size, USB keyboard in there. Nor did I have any idea Bluetooth had a range that far. How I connected my iPad2 last month, I don't know, but it wouldn't work later on. I tossed what were probably perfectly good batteries, stuffed a piece of foil down the battery slot, and was about ready to pry off the back of the keyboard in a last ditch effort.
Dave's scenario just played out at my house. My iMac had the keyboard pairing. BTW, I had no idea there is only one allowed, but it makes sense when you think about it. Now all's well, and really, the solution is way too obvious. Thanks, man!!
After an hour of trying to figure out how to connect my iPad to the wireless keyboard you came to my rescue!
Really appreciate it. Thanks.
Yep, that worked. Thanks!
i had the same problem ... and thanks to google pointing to your post i got into the right direction ...
But for me it was even easier: JUST TURN OFF BLUETOOTH ON THE MAC until u paired with the keyboard to iPad.
I had been using my Apple Bluetoth keyboard for some time with both my iPad and my iPodT for somee time. Then 3-4 weeks ago they got confused and my iPad would no longer pair with the keyboard. I knew the keyboard worked, cause it worked with the iPodT. Never dreamed it was unable to pair with both. Thanks for your post, I figured it out. I ended up making the iPod forget the keyboard, but I need it more with my iPad anyway. Thanks so much!
PROBLEM WAS WHERE A KEYBOARD, PREVIOUSLY PAIRED WITH AN IPAD2 THAT WAS NO LONGER AVAILABLE, WOULD NOT PAIR WITH A NEW IPAD3. RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:
My wife's keyboard was paired with an iPad 2 that became faulty & had to go back unfortunately BEFORE unpairing the keyboard. She got a new iPad3 that would consequently not pair with her keyboard. ALL advice on how to get round the problem failed. As she had an apparently useless keyboard I decided on some possibly "drastic" action but with little to lose! I reasoned that as the keyboard had no reset button (why is a mystery) I would try to reset the keyboard by simply disconnecting the battery to kill the keyboard's memory - AND IT WORKED! How did I achieve this?
I carefully separated the two halves of the keyboard - no problem, there are no screws. The little "on" switch & the "connect" switch will fall out of their little recesses so don't lose them. The only problem apparent was that the two red & black wires to the battery are quite thin & very short to work with. The battery was lightly stuck to the casing with some adhesive. Undeterred, I cut both wires about three eigths of an inch away from the battery. I then, VERY VERY carefully removed a quarter inch of the insulation from each end of the cut wires. Rejoining them was tricky as they are so short. There may be very small connectors available that could be used but I didn't have any. I decided to solder some additional short lengths of wire between the cut ends rather than try to rejoin the short cut wires by either twisting them together or using connectors. I am no kind of expert but I managed this despite the fact that the finished soldering was by no means neat! I then placed the on switch in its recess and slid it sideways. THE KEYBOARD CAME BACK TO LIFE!!! I put the battery back in position & then replaced the connect switch in its recess & carefully pressed the two halves of the keyboard together again. The two switches kept trying to fall out as I did this & I found the trick was to have them facing upward & to start the process from the corner where the switches & charging point is situated. I also put some small spots of adhesive around the rim of the keyboard - at the opposite side from the switches (to stop them falling out again). I simply partially prised away that end of the casing, applied the glue spots & pressed it all back together.
All this said, if on separating the two halves of the keyboard, you are not confident enough to cut the wires & rejoin them, an electrician can do the whole job in a couple of minutes.
What I rather importantly omitted to mention above was that, not only did the keyboard come back to life, it then paired at once with the new ipad3.
Dave Taylor, you are the best! I love Apple, but golly, how come this answer isn't on their website? Thanks to you I am now typing this message on my wireless keyboard. YOU ROCK!
I ran into the issue of the keyboard not fully 'disconnecting' from the Mac. So I just removed the batteries for a few seconds to see if it would help reset the memory. (The reason I thought this would work was because in the past I noticed that I would have to reset the connection between the Mac and my keyboard whenever I added fresh batteries to the keyboard.) Sure enough, it worked. The keyboard finally showed up in my discoverable devices list on my iPad.
Thanks for the above detailed post by the way with the screenshots. It was very helpful.
Maybe I missed the resolution but my keyboard is brandnew (I charged it for 12 hours and it is on and I have pressed the almost invisible to the naked eye, Bluetooth button). Myipad will not even discover the keyboard. It just sits and spins. ???? The only other device I have is a net gain wireless adapter on my iPhone and it does the same thing on that.
thanks, this was very helpful. my keyboard was connected with my Apple tv and therefor not wanted to connect with my ipad...
If you are pairing a bluetooth keyboard, hold the V A and R keys on the keyboard when powering up the keyboard. (as mentioned in the keyboard guide)
Pair the keyboard using your iPad. Then you'll get a prompt to enter in a 4 digit passcode and enter on the keyboard. (it wont flash by like before) Presto!
Nothing worked for me until I clicked on my keyboard in Bluetooth,then clicked on the button that said "forget this device".
Switched off Bluetooth and back on again and it rediscovered my keyboard. When I selected this time it connected nearly immediately.
Hope this helps others as I was getting really p'xxed off with ipad seeing the keyboard but not pairing. Don't know why no one else suggesting this fix as it worked for me big time.
Worked great, thanks helping.
BIG Thank you. YES, All you have written is correct and it worked almost exactly. I had to take ONE extra step and that was to click on the newly discovered device on the IPAD, and only THEN was I prompted to enter the code on the IPAD.
Mate, your advice helped me a few months ago with the non connection issue. An issue I have been unable to work out is how to chack on the battery level of the keyboard. I never received any information or instruction manual when i bought my keyboard and case last year, so am continually frustrated.
So, again thanks for the help so far, but can you advise on this minor point?
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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