How to Switch between the Touchscreen & Hardware Keyboard on Your iPad (iPadOS 16)

Move between keyboards on your iPad; switch from an external keyboard to the on-screen keyboard and back!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Bluetooth keyboards and iPad keyboard cases are super convenient, but you'll want to change from the external keyboard back to your Apple iPad on-screen keyboard from time to time. Here's how to switch keyboards from the touchscreen to the external keyboard and back on your iPad. 

Related: iPad Multitasking: The Complete Guide to Split Screen, Slide Over & Picture in Picture

Why You’ll Love This Tip

  • Switch from touchscreen to keyboard on your iPad in a few easy steps.
  • Hide the on-screen keyboard on your iPad when using your Bluetooth or other external keyboards. 

Before you use this tip, you'll need to know how to connect a keyboard to your iPad, including the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and iPad, so that you can switch between your connected keyboard and the on-screen keyboard. For more tutorials on how to navigate your iPad, check out our free Tip of the Day

How to Switch between Your iPad On-Screen Keyboard & External Keyboard

Let's go over how to hide the on-screen keyboard on an iPad when using a Bluetooth or other external keyboard. We'll also cover how to switch from the external keyboard back to the on-screen one! First, make sure your external keyboard is turned on, then follow the steps below.

  1. Select the text field in any app where you use your iPad's keyboard and begin typing on-screen as usual. 
  2. Tap the Keyboard icon to hide your on-screen keyboard and begin typing on your external keyboard.

    tap the keyboard icon to switch from touchscreen to keyboard on ipad
  3. To get back to your on-screen keyboard, tap the Keyboard icon once again.

    tap the keyboard icon again to switch keyboards on ipad
  4. Select Show Keyboard, and your on-screen keyboard will appear.

    tap show keyboard to switch to onscreen keyboard on ipad

That's all there is to it! Now you'll be able to easily move between your iPad software keyboard and your external keyboard as needed. If you enjoyed this tip, you might also want to learn how to turn the floating iPad keyboard off and on.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.