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How to use an original Apple Pencil with a new iPad

With a little work, the original Apple Pencil can be used on a USB-C iPad Pro

Despite all that Apple says, you can in fact use an original Apple Pencil with the company's latest iPad Pro and iPad Air — it just takes some work. Here's what to do.

Apple Pencil Pro may be the latest and definitely the best of the Apple Pencil range, but each model is good. If only you didn't have to be so careful, making certain that the Apple Pencil model you buy will work with the iPad you've got.

You still should make certain what you need, and for the most part, each generation of Apple Pencil is better than the last. But even the original Apple Pencil from 2015 can work with the latest iPads.

To clear, it is only the discontinued original model that can be made to work with the new iPads and against Apple's claims. The second generation Apple Pencil will not work with the latest iPads.

What you need to make an original Apple Pencil work with a USB-C iPad

You can't just pick up an original Apple Pencil and start using it on a new iPad Pro or iPad Air. As well as that Apple Pencil and that new iPad, you require:

  • The old iPad this Apple Pencil was paired with
  • The Lightning female-to-female adapter that came with the original Apple Pencil
  • A Lightning to USB-C cable
  • The LightBlue app

LightBlue is an iPad app made for connecting Bluetooth Low Energy devices. It's free on the App Store.

Bluetooth scanning app showing nearby peripherals, highlighting an Apple Pencil being interrogated. Various devices listed with connect buttons, including unnamed devices, TV, and iPhone.
Use the free LightBlue app to find and initially connect the old Apple Pencil

How to connect an original Apple Pencil to a new iPad

  1. Plug the Apple Pencil into the old iPad
  2. Then remove it again
  3. Open Settings, Bluetooth
  4. Tap on the i button next to the Apple Pencil's name
  5. Tap to forget the device, and confirm
  6. On the new iPad, open the LightBlue app
  7. Connect the Apple Pencil (use the USB-C to Lightning and female-to-female adapters)
  8. In the LightBlue app, tap Connect next to the Apple Pencil
  9. Enter the Bluetooth pairing passcode, which is 1234
  10. Unplug the Apple Pencil

You may have to refresh or restart the LightBlue app before it will recognize the original Apple Pencil. It's common to also get timeout errors, in which case you have to go back through the above steps.

There is still a small catch in that you'll have to remember to keep the Apple Pencil charged using the USB-C to Lightning adapter. From time to time, especially when the Apple Pencil's battery has run down, you may have to go through this process again.

Once you have done all this, though, you have a fully-functioning original Apple Pencil working on your new iPad. It obviously won't have the new features like the squeeze control on the Apple Pencil Pro.

But it will let you draw and write, plus it will let you control the iPad by tapping on buttons or swiping to drag. Plus it will also roll off your desk because, unlike its successors, the original Apple Pencil is a perfect cylinder.