How To Use A Real Keyboard With An iPad

The iPad's an undeniably fun device, but you can't take great notes with it until you hook it up to a proper, full-sized keyboard. Here's how to do that.

Apple sells a keyboard dock for $79 that you simply plug into your iPad and start typing with. But you don't have to drop $80 on a unitasking keyboard if you've already got a Bluetooth keyboard on hand. All you have to do is pair your Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad. Here's how:

  1. On your iPad, open the Settings app and navigate to General > Bluetooth; make sure Bluetooth is turned on.
  2. Power on your Bluetooth keyboard. If it's already turned on, you may need to turn it off and then turn it back on to make it "discoverable" by your iPad.
  3. When you see the keyboard in the Devices section on your iPad, tap the device. You'll be prompted to enter a PIN on your keyboard to finish the pairing process. Do so, then press Enter.
  4. You're done! You should now be able to type on your iPad from the comfort of a keyboard.

If you're new to note-taking on the iPad, you may want to take a look at our previous guide to setting up the holy grail of ubiquitous plain-text capture, and since you probably still want to use your iPad as a monitor, you may want to check out one of these iPad stands that'll set you back less than six bucks.


    The Apple camera connection kit comes with two thingies, a reader for SD cards, and a USB adapter. I discovered that the USB connector works with my USB keyboard.

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