How to Fix an Apple Pencil Not Drawing in Procreate: 15 Solutions

Many artists like to draw in Procreate. Procreate is easy to use and an excellent app for drawing. The combination of an Apple Pencil, an iPad, and Procreate is perfect for creating digital art.

However, the Apple Pencil sometimes glitches, and you cannot draw in Procreate. Procreate refuses to respond to the input from the Apple Pencil.

There are many reasons behind this issue. In this article, I will provide step-by-step instructions to help you troubleshoot your Apple Pencil that’s not drawing in Procreate.

Identifying Why Apple Pencil is Not Drawing in Procreate

There are two main reasons why you might be unable to draw in Procreate: software issues or a problem with the Apple Pencil’s hardware.

By identifying whether other apps also fail to recognize your Apple Pencil’s input, you can narrow down whether this is a device-wide problem or simply an application-specific one.

To test this out:

  • Use some other drawing apps such as Adobe Fresco, Clip Studio Paint or Autodesk Sketchbook.
  • Write some notes in the default Notes app on the iPad. Use the Apple Pencil to write the notes.

If the Apple Pencil works appropriately in another app, it means the issue is in your software, which is caused by an issue in Procreate settings.

However, if you’re facing similar issues across multiple applications, it might be a broader problem with your device’s connectivity settings or potentially an issue with the Apple Pencil itself.

How to Fix an Apple Pencil Not Drawing in Procreate

1. Restart your iPad

Restarting your iPad will delete all apps’ temporary cache and data, including Procreate. It might fix the bugs causing issues with Apple Pencil and Procreate itself.

Restart iPad

To restart your iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Quickly press and release the upper volume button.
  2. Quickly press and release the lower volume button.
  3. Hold the top button until the Apple logo appears, then release the button.

You can also restart your iPad by opening the Settings. Tap the General menu and choose Shutdown. 

Slide the Shutdown popup that appears to confirm the restart option.

2. Fully charge your iPad and Apple Pencil

Before drawing in Procreate, ensure your iPad and Apple Pencil are fully charged. When the battery is low, they may not work as expected. This can be due to features designed to save power and prolong battery life.

After your iPad and Apple Pencil are fully charged, do a re-pairing to the Apple Pencil.

Connected bluetooth devices on iPad

Follow these steps:

  1. Detach your Apple Pencil from your iPad.
  2. Open Settings > Bluetooth.
  3. Click the information icon next to the Apple Pencil section under My Devices.
  4. Tap Forget this Device.
  5. Reconnect your Apple Pencil by attaching it to your iPad
  6. Tap the Pair option when a notification box appears.
Forgot Apple Pencil

3. Check Procreate Brush Settings

If your Apple Pencil isn’t drawing in Procreate, it might be because of the brush settings in the app. 

Each brush has its own specific settings, some of which can prevent you from drawing properly in Procreate.

Double-tapping a brush in Procreate

Follow these steps to adjust Brush Settings:

  1. Tap the Brush icon.
  2. Double-tap on the brush you’re having trouble with. This will show you all the settings for that brush.
  3. Look for the Stroke Path section.
  4. Adjust the value on spacing, jitter, and fall-off options. They can mess up how the brush draws if these are set weirdly.
  5. Tap Done to save the changes to brush settings
Procreate Brush studio settings

Other Things to Check:

  1. Make sure the opacity slider isn’t all the way down; otherwise, you won’t see your lines. This is important because sometimes I accidentally reduce the opacity to zero
  2. Check you’re not using the same color as your background; your lines will blend in. 
  3. Make sure you have the brush tool picked. If you choose something else, like an eraser tool, your Apple Pencil won’t draw lines.

4. Adjust the Flow Rate

Adjust flow rate of Apple Pencil in Procreate
  1. Open the brush studio by double-tapping a brush you’re having trouble with. 
  2. Tap the Apple Pencil menu.
  3. Adjust the flow, size and opacity value. Make sure none of them are set to zero. 
  4. The your current setting by drawing on the drawing pad with your Apple Pencil
  5. Click Done to save the changes to brush settings.

5. Disconnect Your Bluetooth Keyboard from Your iPad

Several users on the Procreate forum have reported drawing issues when their iPad is paired with a Bluetooth keyboard.

To troubleshoot, temporarily unpair or disconnect your Bluetooth keyboard from your iPad and check if the drawing issue resolves.

6. Disable AssistiveTouch and Touch Accommodations

AssistiveTouch is a feature on the iPad that increases sensitivity for users with difficulty touching the screen. Touch Accommodations adjusts how your iPad reacts to your taps, swipes and gestures action.

While both features can be helpful for certain artists with disabilities, AssistiveTouch and Touch Accommodations sometimes can be buggy and prevent you from drawing in Procreate instead.

iPad's Accessibility setting

Follow these steps to disable AssistiveTouch and Touch Accommodations:

  1. Open the iPad Settings.
  2. Navigate to Accessibility > Touch.
  3. Turn off the AssistiveTouch and Touch Accommodations options.

7. Disable Palm Rejection and Assisted Drawing in Procreate

Procreate has a palm rejection feature that prevents unwanted lines and strokes from appearing when your hand or finger accidentally touches the screen.

Sometimes, the palm rejection setting is too high and may even reject input from your Apple Pencil. For more information, refer to our guide on how to fix palm rejection issues in Procreate.

Using Assisted Drawing adds extra processing when you’re using the Apple Pencil. This could also be a potential reason for issues when drawing in Procreate.

Procreate prefs

To turn off palm rejection, follow these steps:

  1. Open Procreate
  2. Tap the Wrench icon
  3. Open Prefs > Gesture Controls
  4. Tap the General menu
  5. Toggle on the Enable Painting with finger option
  6. Tap the Assisted Drawing menu
  7. Toggle off the Apple Pencil option
  8. Tap Done to save the change
Assisted Drawing Procreate

8. Temporary Disable Pen Pressure in Procreate 

If there is any hardware defect on your Apple Pencil, having pen pressure enabled will reduce the input of your Apple Pencil to your iPad

So, we need to turn off the pen pressure sensitivity in Procreate temporarily. 

Disable pen pressure sensitivity in Procreate

Tap the Action menu (wrench icon) > Select Prefs > Pressure and Smoothing.

Move the top right point to the top left on the App Pressure Sensitivity curve graph.

This action sets the x value of the graph to zero, resulting in zero pen pressure in Procreate.

For more information, refer to our guide on How to Adjust Pen Pressure Curve in Procreate.

9. Free Up Storage on Your iPad

Procreate utilizes your iPad memory and storage to save your art project’s temporary cache and data before it’s saved. 

If your iPad has low storage, it can impact the app’s performance, leading to problems such as you can’t create a new brush stroke or unexpected crashes in Procreate.

To free up storage on your iPad, consider using an App Cleaner. You can download App Cleaner from the App Store. Search for “app cleaner” and select the app with the highest ratings.

The alternative solution is manually deleting large, unused files on your iPad.

Don’t forget to backup your files to iCloud before deleting them on your iPad.

10. Update Procreate and iPadOS

Update Procreate and iPadOS to the latest version to eliminate issues that prevent you from drawing in Procreate. 

Keeping Procreate updated ensures your app is more stable and includes features that can help create digital art.

Sometimes, Savage Interactive, the developer behind Procreate, releases an update just to fix a recent bug that plagues many artists.

Update Procreate

To update Procreate to the latest version:

  1. Open the App Store
  2. In the search bar, type “Procreate“
  3. Open the Procreate page and tap the update button
  4. Wait until Procreate finishes updating, then restart your iPad

As Procreate receives updates, it may rely on features available only in newer versions of iPadOS. The latest version of iPadOS is often more compatible with the more recent version of Procreate.

To check for updates for iPadOS:

  1. Open the iPad Settings
  2. Navigate to General > Software update
  3. If an update is available, tap Download and Install

Enabling the Automatic Updates to both iPadOS and apps option will make sure your device always stays updated.

11. Reset Procreate settings

Resetting procreate settings can help solve misconfigured settings that affect drawing.

Beware that resetting the setting will revert all settings you created in Procreate to the default settings.

Reset to defaults

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Procreate
  2. Tap Action menu (wrench icon) > Select Prefs > Gesture Control
  3. Tap General > Reset to default
  4. Tap Done to save the changes

12. Reinstall Procreate

If the problem persists, consider reinstalling Procreate. Doing so can resolve issues that occurred during the app’s initial installation. To reinstall:

  1. Long press/tap on the Procreate app icon until a menu appears.
  2. Select the Remove App option to delete Procreate from your iPad.
  3. Restart your iPad.
  4. Download and install Procreate again from the App Store

13. Clean Your iPad’s Screen 

If your iPad surface is too dirty, it may prevent the Apple Pencil from directly touching it while drawing.

Clean the surface of the iPad by using a microfiber cloth or a soft, lint-free cloth. Try to clean it dry without any liquid before using rubbing alcohol to clean your iPad surface.

For more information on how to clean your iPad, refer to our guide on How to Clean Your Drawing Tablet.

If you’re using a screen protector on your iPad, consider switching to a new matte screen protector. Alternatively, you can try drawing on your iPad without any screen protector.

14. Check Your Apple Pencil Tip

When you buy an Apple Pencil, Apple only gives you one tip. So, many artists end up using the same tip for a long time. 

This can cause wear and tear, especially if you’re drawing a lot on your iPad. 

This tip can also become slightly unscrewed or collect dust without you noticing.

Checking Apple Pencil tip

Follow these steps:

  1. Detach your Apple Pencil from your iPad.
  2. Unscrew the Apple Pencil’s tip.
  3. Clean the tip with a microfiber cloth
  4. Inspect if there is any leftover dust on the tip.
  5. Assess the tip’s condition. Look closely at the tip for signs of damage like cracks or dents.
  6. Feel the tip with your fingers. Ideally, it should feel smooth to the touch.
  7. Re-tighten the tip securely.
  8. Connect it to your iPad and do a test drawing in Procreate.

If you can’t secure the Apple Pencil tip tightly or if there’s a noticeable defect, such as a crack or dent, consider replacing it with a new one.

New tips for your Apple Pencil are readily available on Amazon or the official Apple store. To replace the tip, unscrew the old one by turning it counterclockwise, then screw on the new tip.

15. Get a new Apple Pencil

If you’ve tried everything and the issue persists, the sensor in your Apple Pencil might be the problem. You might need a replacement if a warranty like AppleCare or AppleCare+ doesn’t cover your Apple Pencil.

However, before buying a new Apple Pencil, see if you can borrow one from an artist friend. 

Test it out in Procreate. If the borrowed Apple Pencil works, the issue is likely with your own pencil. If not, the problem might be with Procreate or your iPad itself.

Photo of author
Author
Kenny Houle
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

Leave a Comment