How to Get the Keyboard to Display on an iPad

by Julius Vandersteen
Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The iPad, a tablet computer with a touch-sensitive display, features a virtual keyboard with keys that you tap when you want to type something. For example, you can draft memos, type questions in a search engine using a Web browser or send someone an email. There is no physical switch on the iPad to bring up the device’s on-screen keyboard. Instead, the keyboard appears whenever you are using an app that enables typing.

Step 1

Press the “Home” button, located below the device’s touch-sensitive display.

Step 2

Tap the “Notes” icon when you want to use the iPad’s native app for composing documents. Tap the “Plus” sign to create a new note. Tap anywhere in the note to bring up the keyboard.

Step 3

Press the “Home” button and tap the “Safari” icon when you want to use Apple’s native Web browser. Tap the search bar. The on-screen keyboard will appear.

Press the “Home” button and tap icons for other apps that use the keyboard, such as the Mail app to compose email messages or the iCal app to type in details about events in your calendar. Tap in a text field in those apps and the keyboard will appear.


  • Rotate your iPad from vertical portrait orientation to horizontal landscape orientation to automatically increase the size of the keyboard.


Photo Credits

  • Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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