I often pick up my iPad and move away from its Bluetooth keyboard without turning the keyboard off. Whenever I need to type some text, I'm reminded that I can't see the virtual iOS keyboard until I either:

  • walk to the Bluetooth keyboard and turn it off,
  • turn off Bluetooth on my iPad, which disconnects the keyboard but also other devices like Bluetooth speakers or Apple Pencil.

Is there another, more convenient option?

(Sent from my Bluetooth-disabled iPad since I was too lazy to walk to my Bluetooth keyboard)


Long press the arrow in the keyboard menu bar (or whatever this thing is called) to bring up the keyboard:

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  • 2
    Commenting just to note this is apparently an iPad-only feature. There seems to be no menu bar on iPhone (not even on Plus). – Jari Keinänen Aug 14 '17 at 7:43
  • I knew there had to be a better way. Good tip! – smileBot Jul 1 '19 at 20:09

Although this is an old thread, I’m sharing this with you - just in case it’ll help somebody: If you’re using an Apple wireless keyboard, you can use the eject (top right) button to show up / hide the virtual keyboard. To switch input language, use the "Fn" (bottom left) button. Since this is very helpful and since iPad pro Smart Keyboard is probably the most expensive keyboard in the world, this key is of course missing on it.. Great, especially because as far as I know there not no other way to start dictation (microphone button)...

  • Perfect, exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. – Glenn Wark Apr 6 '19 at 14:03

Open Bluetooth settings, disconnect from the keyboard is quicker than unpairing the keyboard entirely. If that works for your specific keyboard, you can use it - if not, you’ve already got the fastest method of disabling Bluetooth entirely.

  • I found it quicker to slide up the control panel and just disable Bluetooth by clicking on the Bluetooth icon. Then you can use the on screen keyboard – Matthew Sep 10 '18 at 5:46

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