iPad OnScreen Keyboard: How To Make It Bigger & Smaller

Ernests Embutnieks
Published in
5 min readJun 5, 2024


The onscreen keyboard on an iPad is a virtual keyboard that appears on the device’s screen, allowing you to input text and interact with the device without needing a physical keyboard.

It is a touchscreen-based interface that appears when text input is required, such as when typing in a document, sending a message, or entering a search query.

The onscreen keyboard comes with adjustable settings, allowing users to customize its size, create shortcuts, enable predictive text, utilize autocorrect, and switch between keyboard languages. In this article, I will show you how you can do this.

How To Make iPad Onscreen Keyboard Smaller

You can make your iPad keyboard smaller with simple gestures. You can’t do that in settings.

  1. Open the ‘Onscreen Keyboard’ on iPad e.g. with Notes
  2. Place two fingers on the keyboard and pinch them together. This gesture will minimize the keyboard.
  3. You can hold on to the ‘Gray Line’ below the keyboard to reposition it.

How To Make iPad Onscreen Keyboard Normal (Bigger)

  • To return to the full-sized keyboard, use a two-finger spreading gesture (reverse pinch) by placing two fingers close together and spreading them apart on the keyboard.

iPad users often make their keyboards small by accident.

This is the iPad’s Floating Keyboard feature, which is used when you want to type with one hand or in portrait mode. It’s useful when you need it, but it can be disorienting when it appears by accident.

Here’s a video on how to make your iPad keyboard bigger.

How To Make Keyboard Split on iPad

You can split the iPad keyboard into a few specific iPads, and they are not the newest ones.

iPad models that support keyboard split:

  • iPad Mini 5th gen
  • iPad 5th gen to 9th gen
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch

Unfortunately, this feature is not available for latest/newest iPads.

How To Hide iPad Onscreen Keyboard

If the onscreen keyboard is currently visible, you can hide it by tapping anywhere outside of the keyboard area on the screen.

If that doesn’t help you can tap on the keyboard ‘dismiss button’ that is located at the keyboard bottom right corner.

How To Display Onscreen Keyboard with external keyboard on iPad

If you have an external keyboard attached to an iPad, the onscreen keyboard by default won’t show up. This is what you need to do:

  • Open ‘Settings’
  • Tap on ‘Accessibility’
  • Tap on ‘Touch’
  • Then tap on ‘AssistiveTouch’
  • Turn it on and toggle on ‘Show Onscreen Keyboard’

Now whenever you have an external keyboard like Magic Keyboard connected with your iPad your onscreen keyboard will show up as well.

iPad Onscreen Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Open ‘Settings’
  • Tap on ‘General’
  • Tap on ‘Keyboards
  • Make sure ‘Shortcut’ is toggled on
  • Tap on ‘Text Replacement’
  • Then tap on ‘+’ and add your keyboard shortcut.

For example, I created a shortcut. When I type “@@” it will replace it with my email.

These shortcuts will also work on your MacBook and iPhone if you have them in the same iCloud.

How To Make iPad Keyboard Bigger Than The Original One

If you’re coming from an Android ecosystem you might be familiar with adjusting keyboard height. It’s a feature that allows you to customize the keyboard.

Unfortunately, Apple does not allow users to adjust the stock keyboard.

This means there is no way to adjust the keyboard to be taller, bigger or smaller with the Apple on-screen keyboard. But you can get an app that will make your original keyboard bigger on iPad.

XL Keyboard

But there’s one app we’ve found that might be what you’re looking for — XL Keyboard. It costs $0.99 it app store.

The app has many custom adjustments you can make to increase/decrease the keyboard size, change the layout, and several language options.

If you need to make your keyboard a bit bigger for a senior citizen or you have bad eyesight, this will help you solve your problem.

iPad Onscreen Keyboard Not Showing Up — How To Fix It

Sometime the onscreen keyboard doesn’t show up and here’s the things you can do to fix it:

  • Reset the app.
  • Reset the iPad.
  • Disconnect the external keyboard (iPad might be connected to a Bluetooth keyboard)
  • Reste keyboard settings (‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Reset’ > ‘Reset Keyboard Settings.’)
  • Check for Software updates.

What Are The Best Bluetooth Keyboards For Tablets?

Tablets typically don't come with keyboards; that's an accessory you need to buy separately. iPad Magic Keyboard is the most popular option for iPads, but there are alternatives. The best Bluetooth keyboards for tablets are:

Arteck Universal Bluetooth Keyboard
Nuphy Air 75 (Mechanical Keyboard)
Logitech K480


How To Disable iPads Onscreen Keyboard When There is an External Keyboard

If you have an external keyboard connected to iPad the onscreen keyboard should not appear, but if it does try restarting your iPad. Then go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > AssistiveTouch and turn it off.