How to Install a Custom Keyboard for Your iPad

The default keyboard on the iPad can meet most of your needs, but it isn't the only one available. The App Store is full of alternatives, including keyboards that allow you to draw words by tracing your finger from letter to letter instead of tapping them individually.

Here's how to install a third-party keyboard on your iPad.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 8 and later.

Download a Keyboard From the App Store

Before you can use a third-party keyboard, you will need to download one from the App Store. Once you've downloaded and installed the new software, enable the keyboard in Settings. Then, you can switch to it whenever you're typing.

How to Set Up a Custom Keyboard on Your iPad

Here's how to install your new keyboard once you've downloaded it. You follow the same process to install different languages your iPad already has available.

  1. Open the iPad's Settings app.

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  2. Tap General.

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  3. Tap Keyboard.

    Custom keypad on iPad
  4. Tap Keyboards.

    Keyboards option in iPad settings
  5. Tap Add New Keyboard.

    Add New Keyboard on an iPad
  6. Third-party keyboards will show up under their own heading in the next menu. Below that, you can scroll down to browse other, standard options on the iPad. Tap the names of the ones you want to add.

    Custom keyboards for iPad
  7. Some keyboards ask for full access to your device. Granting it means the developer can gather what you type and analyze it, which is usually to improve word suggestions while you type. However, if you are security conscious, you may decide not to give the company full access.

    To grant the permission, tap the name of the keyboard, and then turn the switch next to Full Access to on/green and tap Allow when it asks.

    Full Access is off by default when you install a new keyboard.

    Allowing full access to a third-party keyboard on an iPad
  8. Some keyboards won't work unless you turn Full Access on.

How to Select the Custom Keyboard While Typing

After you install the keyboard, you can switch to it whenever you're typing. Here's how.

  1. Tap and hold on the Globe key.

    Add custom keyboard to iPad
  2. Tap the name of the keyboard you want to use on the menu that appears.

    Add custom keyboard to iPad
  3. You can also cycle through all of the keyboards you have installed by tapping the Globe key.

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