How to Charge an Apple Pencil (Any Generation)

First and second generation Pencils charge differently

What to Know

  • To charge a second-generation Apple Pencil: Place it on top of a supported iPad with Bluetooth turned on.
  • To charge a first-generation Apple Pencil: Remove its cap and plug it into an iPad Lighting connector port or a USB Power Adaptor.
  • Apple Pencil (1st Generation) has a silver band around its tip while Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) doesn’t.

This article covers how to charge the first and second-generation Apple Pencil, how long it takes, and what to do when an Apple Pencil doesn’t charge on an iPad. The process is completely different for each model as the second-generation Apple Pencil supports wireless charging while the first-generation model doesn’t.

How to Charge 2nd Generation Apple Pencils

After you’ve finished the initial pairing process for connecting your Apple Pencil to your iPad, all you need to do to begin charging it is to place it on top of your Apple tablet to the right of the volume and power buttons.

A second generation Apple Pencil on top of an iPad.


The charging process should begin automatically, and the battery level of your second-generation Apple Pencil should briefly display on the screen.

Make sure your iPad’s Bluetooth is turned on. If not, it won’t be able to detect your Apple Pencil.

How to Charge a 1st Generation Apple Pencil

Unlike the newer second-generation model, the first-generation Apple Pencil doesn’t support wireless charging and needs to be physically plugged into your iPad to charge.

First generation Apple Pencil with its cap being removed.


To do this, remove the cap above the silver band to reveal the Lightning connector and plug it into your iPad as you would a charging cable when charging your iPad.

An alternative method of charging a first-generation Apple Pencil is to use the small Lightning adapter included with the Apple Pencil.

Apple Pencil and lightning adapter with USB charging cable.


Just plug the Apple Pencil into one end of the adapter, your Lightning charging cable into the other, and plug it into a power source.

Can I Charge My Apple Pencil Without a Charger?

Fortunately, neither the first nor second-generation Apple Pencils require a charger to recharge their batteries.

As shown above, you can wirelessly charge the second-generation Apple Pencil by placing it on top of a compatible iPad. The original Apple Pencil can be plugged directly into an iPad’s Lightning port to get more power.

Does Apple Pencil Really Need to Charge?

Yes. Unlike other styluses that use replaceable batteries, both the first and second-generation Apple Pencils feature built-in rechargeable batteries.

The good news is the Apple Pencil carries around 12 hours of battery life once fully charged, so you won’t have to charge it often.

Make a habit of placing the second-generation Apple Pencil on top of your iPad when not in use, and it’ll be charged whenever you need it.

How Long Does It Take to Charge an Apple Pencil?

Charging an Apple Pencil can take around 30 minutes though you don’t need to wait for it to get to 100 percent before using it. Just 15 seconds of charging will give you approximately 30 minutes of power. You can stop the charging process at any time.

You can check the charge level of your Apple Pencil by using the Batteries widget on your iPad.

Why Won't My Apple Pencil Charge On My iPad?

Only the second-generation Apple Pencil supports wireless charging when attached to the top of an iPad, and only the following models of iPad support this wireless charging functionality.

  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation)

Placing the second-generation Apple Pencil on top of an iPad not included in the above list will not begin the charging process.

Trying to wirelessly charge a first-generation Apple Pencil with one of the above iPad models won’t work either, as the first Apple Pencil model doesn’t support wireless charging.

If you’re still having trouble charging your second-generation Apple Pencil, check you’re placing it on the top of your iPad, next to the power and volume buttons, and Bluetooth turned on. Also, make sure your iPad is turned on and is itself charged or plugged into a power source. An Apple Pencil won’t charge if the iPad has no power.

  • How do you connect Apple Pencil to iPad?

    To connect Apple Pencil to iPad, plug your Apple Pencil into your iPad's Lightning port and tap Pair, or connect the Pencil to the side of your iPad and tap Connect.

  • What iPads are compatible with Apple Pencil?

    Depending on the generation of Apple Pencil you have, different iPads will be compatible with it. Consult Apple's official Apple Pencil compatibility page to see which Pencils work with which iPads.

Was this page helpful?