How to Check the Apple Pencil Battery

See how much juice you have and when you need to charge

What to Know

  • The second-generation Apple Pencil's battery status will appear as a notification when it's attached to your iPad.
  • You can check any Apple Pencil's battery with the Batteries widget.

This article provides instructions for how to check the battery level of the Apple Pencil.

How to Check the Apple Pencil Battery

Apple's Pencil is powered by a small built-in battery that must be charged for it to work.

Owners of the second-generation Apple Pencil have it easy. To check the battery, magnetically attach the Apple Pencil to the side of your iPad. A pop-up notification indicating battery status will appear at the top of the iPad's display once the second-generation Apple Pencil is attached.

The status only appears briefly, though, and doesn't help owners of the first-generation Apple Pencil. If you want to check the battery on the first generation or check the second generation's battery while it's detached, you'll need to use the Battery widget.

This method requires iPadOS 13 or newer.

  1. Swipe right from the Home screen to open Today View.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of Today View and tap the Edit button.

    An iPad home screen with the Today View displayed and the Edit button highlighted
  3. Tap the + button at the top of Today View.

    The iPad Today View with the Add Widget button highlighted
  4. A menu with a selection of widgets will appear. Find and tap the Batteries widget.

    The Today View widgets menu with the 'Batteries' widget highlighted
  5. The next menu will give you several options for the widget. Choose the one you'd like to use and then tap Add Widget.

    The Today View's Batteries Widget screen. 'Add Widget' is highlighted.
  6. The widget will now appear in Today View. You can reference it whenever you want to check your Apple Pencil's battery.

    An iPad home page with the Today View displayed and the Batteries widget highlighted.

On iPadOS, widgets that appear at the top of Today View will also appear on the Home Screen when an iPad is used in landscape orientation. You can keep a (nearly) constant eye on your Apple Pencil's battery by moving the Batteries widget to the top of Today View.

Is There a Battery in the Apple Pencil?

Yes, there is a battery in the Apple Pencil. To be more specific, the Apple Pencil has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It's no different from your phone or laptop, but much smaller.

This is a bit different from the Apple Pencil's competitors, like the Microsoft Surface Pen. Many have a replaceable, disposable battery, such as a AAAA battery or a watch battery. These disposable batteries last longer than the Apple Pencil's built-in battery (for several months up to a year), but replacing them can be a hassle.

It's not possible to replace the Apple Pencil's battery. The Pencil must be replaced if the battery fails.

  • How long does the Apple Pencil battery last?

    A fully charged Apple Pencil should last you about 12 hours. If your battery is dead, charging for about 15 seconds can get you around 30 minutes of use. While there's no official word on exactly how long an Apple Pencil lasts before it completely drains, you can probably get at least a few years out of it as long as you take care of the battery (keep it charged and don't let it go unused for very long periods of time).

  • How do you pair the Apple Pencil with an iPad?

    First, connect the Pencil to your iPad using the magnetic connector (2nd Generation) or the Lightning connector (1st Generation). A Pair button should pop up. Tap on it. If the Pencil won't pair this way, go into Settings > Bluetooth and make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Tap on the Pencil, then tap the info button > Forget. Connect your Pencil to the iPad again and tap on the Pair button.

  • Which iPads work with the Apple Pencil?

    The 2nd Generation Apple Pencil is compatible with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation), the iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation), and the iPad Air (4th generation). The 1st Generation Apple Pencil is compatible with the iPad (6th, 7th, and 8th generation), the iPad Air (3rd generation), the iPad mini (5th generation), the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation), the iPad Pro 10.5-inch, and the iPad Pro 9.7-inch.

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