How to Switch between Your Software & Hardware iPad Keyboard (iPadOS 15 Update)

Easily move between your iPad external keyboard and your on-screen keyboard for different tasks.

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

If you have an external keyboard or iPad keyboard case, you know how convenient this type of iPad accessory can be. Still, there are times where you may want to change from the external keyboard back to your Apple iPad on-screen keyboard. Let's go over how to switch between the keyboards for your iPad. 

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

We've already written about how to connect a keyboard to your iPad, including the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and iPad, and how to turn the floating iPad keyboard off and on. 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 to External Keyboard

Let's go over how to quickly switch between the on-screen iPad keyboard and an external hardware keyboard. 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.

  3. To get back to your on-screen keyboard, tap the 'A' icon

  4. Select Show Keyboard and your on-screen keyboard will appear.

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. 

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Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and 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.