How to Turn the iPad Floating Keyboard On & Off (iPadOS 16)

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

The iPad floating keyboard can be handy when you want to see more of the screen or use slide-to-type. However, it can be annoying when the floating keyboard pops out accidentally, especially if you don’t know how to return it to the bottom of the screen. Let's cover how to enable and disable the floating keyboard on your iPad. 

Related: How to Get Rid of Split Screen on iPad (iOS 16 Update)

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Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Quickly turn the iPad's floating keyboard on and off to make typing on the iPad a lot easier.
  • Learn to disable the floating keyboard feature when you want your full-size keyboard back.

How to Turn On the iPad Floating Keyboard

The small Apple floating keyboard can come in handy for quick typing and better viewing on your screen, so it's nice to know how to turn it on when you want it. If you haven't already, update your iPad software to the latest iPad OS, then follow the steps below. If you're a big fan of the iPad and are torn between purchasing the new iPad Air or the iPad Pro, read through our article that hashes out the details to help you better decide, and make sure to sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. Open any app that uses the keyboard, such as the Notes app.

  2. Tap and hold the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner of the keyboard.

  3. A menu will appear. Keep holding your finger on the screen and drag your finger to select the Floating keyboard option.

  4. You can move the floating keyboard around the screen by touching and dragging the grab bar at the bottom.

How to Fix iPad Keyboard and Turn Off Floating Keyboard on iPad

You're not alone if you're wondering, how do I get my keyboard back to normal? Even if you accidentally turned on the floating keyboard, this quick trick will turn your iPad's small keyboard back to the full-size version! Here's how to turn off the floating keyboard:

  1. To switch back to the regular keyboard, grab the bar at the bottom of the floating keyboard and drag it to the bottom center of your screen.

  2. Another method is to perform a reverse pinch gesture from the center of the iPad floating keyboard. Your fingers should start close together and then spread farther apart, maintaining contact with the iPad screen the whole time.

Sometimes when you tap into a text field with the Apple Pencil, the floating keyboard will automatically pop up. To keep this from happening, you can follow these steps:

  1. On your iPad, open Settings.

    On your iPad, open Settings.
  2. Tap Apple Pencil.

    Tap Apple Pencil.
  3. Then, turn off Scribble. It will be gray when disabled.

    Then, turn of Scribble. It will be gray when disabled.

And that should keep the mini floating keyboard from popping up! Voilà! Your keyboard is back to normal. Now you can enable or disable the iPad floating keyboard anytime you want. Happy typing!

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Author Details

Tamlin Day's picture

Author Details

Tamlin Day

Tamlin Day is a feature web writer for iPhone Life and a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine. A prolific writer of tips, reviews, and in-depth guides, Tamlin has written hundreds of articles for iPhone Life. From iPhone settings to recommendations for the best iPhone-compatible gear to the latest Apple news, Tamlin's expertise covers a broad spectrum. 

Before joining iPhone Life, Tamlin received his BFA in Media & Communications as well as a BA in Graphic Design from Maharishi International University (MIU), where he edited MIU's literary journal, Meta-fore. With a passion for teaching, Tamlin has instructed young adults, college students, and adult learners on topics ranging from spoken word poetry to taking the perfect group selfie. Tamlin's first computer, a Radioshack Color Computer III, was given to him by his father. At 13, Tamlin built his first PC from spare parts. He is proud to put his passion for teaching and tech into practice as a writer and educator at iPhone Life.