How to Force Pair (Connect) an Apple bluetooth keyboard to an iPad (iOS device)

The Problem:‌‌Apple devices are common place in my home, and occasionally we like to connect a single shared Apple bluetooth keyboard to one of the iPads. If the bluetooth keyboard was last connected to another device that is within range and turned on, the normal steps to pair a bluetooth keyboard to an iPad will typically not work. The problem is because the keyboard immediately exits pairing mode as it connects to the other, unintended device. This can make the activity of pairing the keyboard to the intended device a bit frustrating.

The Solution:‌‌Simply continue to hold the power button down on the bluetooth keyboard after the power LED light begins to flash. This will keep the keyboard in pairing mode and prevent it from automatically connecting to the last device it was paired/connected to.

General steps to pair an Apple keyboard to an iPad:

  1. Turn off the Apple keyboard by pressing the power button for three seconds.
  2. Ensure bluetooth is enabled on the iPad/iOS device you wish to connect: Settings > Bluetooth.
  3. On the Apple bluetooth keyboard, press and hold the power button. After about 5 seconds the keyboard power indicator (LED) will begin to flash indicating the keyboard is in pairing mode.
  4. To force pairing: Keep pressing the power button on the keyboard as you continue.
  5. On your desired iOS device, when the desired “Apple Wireless Keyboard” device appears in the list of discovered bluetooth devices on your iPad/iDevice, tap/select it to connect.
  6. The iPad will then prompt you with a 4-digit code to enter on the keyboard. You can now stop pressing the power button on the keyboard.
  7. On the keyboard, enter the 4-digit code and press the enter/return key. Your iPad should now be connected to the iPad.

I hope this has been helpful. Below are a few articles I found interesting and useful on using an Apple keyboard with your iPad.