How to Fix a Floating Keyboard on an iPad

Zoom, merge, or drag the untethered keyboard away

Under normal circumstances, a full keyboard will appear at the bottom of your iPad’s screen whenever it’s needed, and it will go away when it isn’t needed. In addition to this full keyboard, it’s possible for an iPad to display a floating keyboard, which is easier to type on with one hand. You can move the iPad keyboard around, and you can also split it.

If you prefer a full keyboard, you can fix a floating keyboard on an iPad by docking it, merging it, switching it back to the default settings, or disabling it.

What Is the Floating Keyboard on an iPad?

The floating keyboard is an iPad feature which makes the default virtual keyboard smaller. It floats over the active app, which is why it’s called a floating keyboard. You can drag and position it, and it’s designed to make it easier to type with one hand. In addition to the floating keyboard, iPadOS also has a split floating keyboard, which divides the virtual keyboard into the floating halves you can reposition freely.

How Do I Fix the Floating Keyboard on an iPad?

If your iPad has a floating keyboard, and you prefer the static virtual keyboard to appear along the bottom of the screen, there are a few ways to switch keyboard versions or disable the floating keyboard altogether.

Here’s how to fix the floating keyboard on an iPad:

  1. Use pinch to zoom. If you see a small keyboard floating over your app, you can switch it back to the regular keyboard immediately by using pinch to zoom. This works just like zooming in on a photo on your iPad. Place two fingers firmly on the floating keyboard, and spread the fingers apart just like you would if you were using the pinch to zoom feature. The floating keyboard will expand into a normal keyboard.

  2. Drag the floating keyboard into place. Tap and hold the bottom of the floating keyboard, and drag it to the bottom of the iPad screen. When you remove your finger, the keyboard will stop floating and snap into place.

  3. Merge your split keyboard. If you see two small keyboards floating over your app, you need to merge them. Tap a text field to make the keyboards appear, then touch and hold the keyboard button on the lower right of one of the floating keyboards. If you select Dock and Merge, the keyboards will join together and stop floating.

  4. Turn off shortcuts. In some cases, the floating keyboard may appear even when you have connected a Bluetooth keyboard. To fix this, try turning off keyboard shortcuts. Navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard > All Keyboards, and turn off the Shortcuts and Predictive toggles.

    This will also turn off the predictive text function even when your Bluetooth keyboard is disconnected.

  5. Reboot your iPad. If you're still having trouble with your floating keyboard, or it's unresponsive, then try rebooting your iPad. Press the Sleep/Wake button until the slide to power down message appears, then slide to power down.

    If the keyboard is still split after rebooting, try the previous fixes again.

  • How do I get rid of the floating keyboard on my iPad?

    There’s no way to fully disable the floating keyboard on an iPad. However, you can get rid of the floating keyboard when a physical keyboard is connected to your iPad. Navigate to Settings > General > Keyboards > All Keyboards, and turn off the Shortcuts and Predictive toggles. If you only turn off the Shortcuts toggle, that will prevent the full floating keyboard from appearing when using a physical keyboard. The floating predictive text portion of the floating keyboard will still appear at the bottom of your screen unless you also disable the Predictive toggle.

  • How do I make the keyboard bigger on the iPad?

    If your keyboard is too small, you can get it back to normal size by putting two fingers on it and spreading them apart. Apple doesn't include a way to make the entire keyboard bigger, but you can use the Zoom feature to get a better look at it by going to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom. You can also use a third-party app to have a larger than normal keyboard, but you should ensure that it comes from a reputable developer.

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