iPad Pro connectivity issue with Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil


I’m trying to troubleshoot a REALLY annoying situation that has popped up. I have an iPad Pro with Apple’s Smart Keyboard and an Apple Pencil.

The past week or the Keyboard has been really bad at connecting, and I haven’t been sure if it’s the Keyboard or the iPad having an issue, but then it seems that I also have an issue with the Apple Pencil connecting.

With the Keyboard I sometimes get the “Accessory Not Supported”-error, but mostly it just doesn’t register as connected so that the screen keyboard pops up. If I disconnect and reconnect the keyboard it will typically register after anything from 1 to 15 attempts.

The Apple Pencil just doesn’t connect automatically, but if I connect it to the lightning port on the iPad it connects immediately and I can start using it normally.

This last issue (the one with the Apple Pencil) kind of leads me to believe that it’s some kind of iPad issue, and not the Keyboard being broken.

I went to the local Apple Service Provider, but their suggestion (other than sending it in for a week for testing) was to reinstall the iPad without restoring from a backup to test.

Any other suggestions on some way to try to do some kind of diagnostics or fix to attempt for this?

I had a similar issue with the Smart Keyboard - intermittent failure to connect, error messages “Accessory Not Supported”. A visit to the Apple Store Genius Bar resulted in replacement of the Smart Keyboard. There have been no further problems over several months. It is my understanding that there have been a number of failures of the Smart Keyboard, requiring replacement.

Regarding the Apple Pencil, I have seen that issue in the past - occasional failure to connect, especially after a long period of not using the Pencil or placing the Pencil a distance away from the iPad. After inserting the Pencil briefly into the lightning port of the iPad Pro, the bluetooth connection is re-established and the Pencil works properly. I have not had the issue recently - I assume that a software update may have resolved the issue. You might try “deleting” the Apple Pencil (Settings - Bluetooth - Apple Pencil - “Forget this Device”) then re-pairing the Pencil to the iPad Pro.


I would be surprised if the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard issues are related. The mechanisms for the two are very different.

I’ve heard that some folks have had luck with cleaning the Smart Connector’s contacts on the keyboard and iPad to solve similar problems. Otherwise, as Arthur said this is probably an issue with Apple Support.


I’ve had the exact same experiences as Arthur with same resolution.


So, I tried «forgetting» the Pencil again, but this time I’ve been testing without having the Smart Keyboard connected. And the Pencil is now working fine.

So I’m crossing my fingers that this is related to the Smart Keyboard being completely messed up and causing some sort of issue. Will get to a store somewhere with a Keyboard I can try.

Thanks for the pointers!

If the Smart Keyboard problem persists, I strongly recommend that you bring the problem to Apple (you don’t have to go to a store; use the Apple support app to chat with them). Last year I had a client with the exact same problems and after I finally convinced her to talk to Apple, they gave her a new one and told her that it’s a well-known (if somewhat rare) problem. You may ultimately need to go to an Apple store, but contact Apple tech support first.


When I first got my Apple pencil I had connection issues, but it has been rock solid ever since (a couple years). As for the iPad Pro, the odd issue I have periodically is that one or two of the keys will stop working (all the other keys work fine). The problem resolves if I disconnect the smart keyboard and reboot the iPad.

So, I popped by a store and tested with a new Smart Keyboard. Worked like a charm, not only that, it seems that something in the design has been changed because this one is better to type at than my original ever was.

Anyway, bought a new one and haven’t experienced any issues with my Pencil either since the new one is in place.

Thanks for all the feedback!

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I started running into this problem late last week, and today my Smart Keyboard was absolutely unusable at work. So I made a Genius Bar appointment.

Most unfortunately, there’s no replacement program for the 10.5" as there is for the 9.7" and 12.9". And I’m seven months out of warranty.

Sigh. They did give me a discount, but I still left with a lighter wallet.

I had this same exact issue with my old iPad Pro and keyboard. Apple immediately replaced the keyboard and it solved the problem.

I’ve just started having this issue with my 10.5" too, hoping to upgrade to the 11" soon and pass the 10.5" on to my daughter.
Looks like it’s just become a more expensive upgrade - it’s nearly 2 years old so well out of warranty.

My late 2018 Smart Keyboard has developed connectivity issues with my iPad 11. Of course this product only has a 1 year warranty so any repair is likely to cost the same as a new keyboard. I do have the magic keyboard ordered but shipping is backlogged until the end of the month. I contacted Apple re: expediting shipping but they are not able to do that with a new product. I have not seen the warranty on the new keyboard but I think we are seeing that this product has a 2 year life cycle and will plan accordingly.