How to fix Scribble not working on iPad

If you use Apple Pencil, you can take advantage of iPadOS’s Scribble function to “write” instead of typing inside any text area on your iPad. Not only does it do an incredible job at transcribing your handwriting in real time, but it also allows you to completely skip using the virtual keyboard.

However, you may experience instances where Scribble fails to enter the device whenever you start writing with your Apple Pencil. Below you can find some troubleshooting tips and fixes that can help fix Scribble errors on iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

Upgrade to iPadOS 14 or later

Both the 1st Gen Apple Pencil and the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil support Scribble, so hardware compatibility isn’t something you need to worry about. However, Scribble is only available in iPadOS 14 and later versions of the iPad’s system software.

If you haven’t upgraded your iPad to iPadOS 14 yet, open Setting app, go to Shared > Software updatesand choose Download settings. All iPad models that support first and second generation Apple Pencils are fully compatible with iPadOS 14.

Download and Install button in Software Update

Even if you’re already using the latest version of iPadOS, you may want to continue applying any incremental updates as soon as they become available. For example, if you still have the original version of iPadOS 14 installed on your iPad, that should eliminate any known software-related issues that resulted in the Scribble app not working properly.

Turn on scribbles

Check if Scribble is enabled on your iPad. It works by default, but you may have turned it off and forgot to turn it back on. Pass Setting > Apple Pencil and make sure the switch next to it Bad hand-writing be activated.

Scribble in Apple Pencil

If this is your first time using Scribble, don’t forget to press Try scribbling (located in the same screen) to see all the ways you can use functionality on your iPad.

Add English to Keyboard Settings

At the time of writing, Scribble only supports English and Chinese. If you can’t use

Scribble or enable it via the Apple Pencil’s settings screen even though the latest version of iPadOS is installed, you might not be able to add those languages ​​to your iPad’s keyboard.

Pass Setting > Shared > These keyboards. Then choose Add new keyboard and select any available English keyboard. If you want to use Scribble in Chinese, you must choose a simplified or traditional Chinese keyboard.

English in Keyboard

You can then start using Scribble right away — you don’t have to actively select an English or Chinese keyboard on the virtual keyboard.

If Scribble continues to not work, make sure it is turned on for Setting > Apple Pencil.

Switch to Scribble in Notes

In addition to text fields, Scribble also works on the Notes app. However, it won’t convert your handwriting unless you actively expand the Apple Pencil toolbar (usually located in the lower-left corner of the screen) and select Handwriting tool (pencil marked with the letter One).

Handwriting tool

You can then start writing on the Notes app and your handwriting will automatically translate into text. To stop using Scribble, simply switch to a different tool from within the Apple Pencil toolbar.

Force restart iPad

Sometimes, Scribble may not work due to a random technical glitch in iPadOS. Force restarting the iPad can often help fix that.

If your iPad has a physical Home button, just press and hold both buttons Top and Home for a few seconds to force restart your iPad.

Apple logo

If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, press and release the button Volume up Press the button Turn down the volume then press and hold the . button Edge until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Update app

If you’re only having problems with a specific app, it’s best to update that app. Scribble is a relatively new function, and it may have trouble decoding your handwriting on apps that aren’t optimized for iPadOS 14 or later. Running the latest version of the app can help fix that.

Start by pressing and holding App Store icons and options Update. Then swipe down Account screen to scan for the latest updates. If there is an update listed for the app in question, tap Update.

Updates in the pop-up menu

You may also want to update all your apps to make sure you have the best Scribble experience possible — to do that, tap Update all.

Reset all settings

If you still can’t use Scribble, try resetting the settings on your iPad. That should help fix any corrupted/damaged settings that are keeping it from working properly.

Note: A settings reset will end up reverting all system-related settings on your iPad, including all network settings, to their defaults. Be prepared to spend some time reconfiguring the device afterwards.

To reset your iPad settings, go to Setting > Shared > Reset and choose Reset all settings.

Reset all settings in Reset

Apple Pencil tip replacement

If you have a mixed experience with Scribble (for example, where it converts your text well before you’ve finished writing), you may have an Apple Pencil with a worn tip. Try replacing it.

The first-generation Apple Pencil case must contain a spare tip. However, if you use the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, you must purchase additional tips from Apple.

Someone is using Apple Pencil

Remove the worn tip by turning counter-clockwise. Then place the new tip on the Apple Pencil and start rotating it clockwise. Don’t squeeze the tip too tight — that could damage your Apple Pencil.

Start scribbling

Scribble is a great feature that greatly enhances the power of the Apple Pencil as a navigation device for the iPad. However, if you continue to have problems, confirm that there aren’t any problems with the Apple Pencil itself. Or else, consider making an appointment at your nearest Apple Store or Genius Bar.

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