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With the growing popularity of tablets, technology users are able to have a screen that is larger than a typical smartphone with them wherever they go. Further, tablets like Apple’s iPad tend to be somewhat lighter than laptops and some notebooks, making them a great choice for portability and convenience. While touchscreen tablets can function in many of the same ways that a computer or phone can, companies are always looking to expand the number of features that their products can offer.

Apple is no exception to this rule, and the business has crafted the Apple Pencil as a way to get even more fun out of the iPad. With this stylus, users can write or draw in ways that offer more precision than the designs they might make just by touching the screen.

Some new or prospective owners of the Apple Pencil might wonder about its sensitivity. Because they may have only used light finger touches to access the iPad up to this point, they might be concerned about pressing too much on the front panel of the tablet when they’re using the stylus. We can offer some insights and answers to this conundrum in our article below.

Additionally, we’ll talk about the general pressure sensitivity options for both the tablet and the Apple Pencil. We can also try to determine the precise amount of pressure you might need in order to get the stylus to activate. As we wrap up, we’ll troubleshoot some of the reasons why your Apple Pencil might only seem to work when you press hard with it.

Can You Press Too Hard With an Apple Pencil on an iPad?

In theory, there is always a possibility that you could damage electronics through unintentional misuse of some kind. However, we should consider the likelihood that you can do this with the Apple Pencil. The stylus itself is relatively lightweight, and its tip seems to be the most fragile part of the design.

There is a special plate in the tip part of the Apple Pencil that is able to send signals through the replaceable part of the covering. In turn, these signals sync up with the touch membrane in the Apple iPad’s screen. Once done, these signals can communicate the motions you make with the stylus to the tablet itself. In short, this is how you can write words or draw images using the stylus.

On a related note, the glass Apple puts on the front panel of its tablets is very hard. It is a pane that developers treat with chemicals to improve its hardness rating, and the manufacturing process makes it quite resistant to scratches, cracks, and other types of damage. With enough force, it is still possible for you to cause damage to this screen.

However, although the tip of the Apple Pencil might appear hard or sharp, it is much softer than the hardness rating of the iPad’s screen. Therefore, it would take an undue amount of pressure from the user to cause damage just by using the Apple Pencil normally.

Although you need to apply some pressure in order to get the tablet to recognize the Apple Pencil, you should not need to apply any sort of tremendous force in order to achieve this. If you have managed to scratch, crack, or otherwise break your iPad’s screen through this pressing action, you have applied far too much force.

Should you find that you have scratched the screen of your tablet when you pressed on it lightly, it is possible that there was something amiss with your screen during its manufacturing. The screen of an iPad should be able to take quite a bit of pressure in any particular spot without breaking. In fact, it is probably more likely that the tip on your stylus will break before anything happens to the screen of your tablet.

Does the iPad Have Pressure Sensitivity?

Typically, the iPad does not have a feature to sense pressure. If you are using your iPad in conjunction with your Apple Pencil, it is the stylus that will detect the pressure. However, you may be able to adjust these settings from within the iPad itself after you pair it with the Apple Pencil of your choice.

If you find that your stylus is not responsive, it could be that the accessory is not compatible with the iPad model you own. Before you get your own Apple Pencil, make sure that it will match with your iPad.

As of 2022, the company has produced two generations of the Apple Pencil. Each one is compatible only with specific models or versions of the iPad. You can check details on Apple’s website to make sure that you get the stylus that is supposed to work with whatever iPad generation you have.

When we talk about pressure sensitivity, we could reference a few things. One might be how sensitive the tip of the writing instrument could be. We have touched on screen sensitivity or robustness for the tablet already, and the tip of the stylus is relatively delicate.

Apple has designed this part of the Pencil to detect pressure quite easily with only light touches. If you feel as though nothing is happening when you try to write or draw with the implement, you may be able to adjust these settings.

Making tweaks to the settings for the stylus can have a few effects, too. There should be specific app support that you can download and use for whatever version of the pencil you have. Once you do, you can adjust things like pressure and angle sensitivity for the device.

If you alter the angle from within the app, it will change how you need to hold the tip of the pen to the screen in order to get the results you desire. Similarly, you can change how light or hard you need to press with the tip in order to get the stylus to respond to your movements. If you are not getting anything when you try to draw with the Apple Pencil, you may need to adjust the level of the tip’s sensitivity.

Once you make any of the adjustments above, it can also change what the pencil does when you press down. Depending on the kinds of features you have enabled, the Apple Pencil should change how colors display based on the amount of pressure you apply. If you are working with colors, a hard press should create a darker hue of whatever shade you are using. Conversely, a more delicate touch should produce a lighter shade of the same color.

How Hard Should You Press Using an Apple Pencil?

The answer to this question may depend on the kind of drawing you are doing. Further, the settings for the stylus itself can also impact how much pressure you might need to apply.

In general, you should mostly need light to moderate pressure to achieve the results that you want. However, you can adjust the pressure curve settings in order to make sure that you can still draw what you want using only the lightest of touches.

Some artists or Apple Pencil users may wish to use harder pressure on some lines or contours that they draw. During initial sketching or shading, they may prefer light touches in order to achieve the effects that they want. In any case, your iPad’s screen should be safe from damage.

Why Does My Apple Pencil Only Work When I Press Hard?

Some Apple Pencil users have noticed that, over time, they seem to have to press quite hard in order to get any results from the device. If your Apple Pencil was working fine with only light pressure until recently, there could be a few possible causes here.

1. The tip is delicate, and it can be prone to damage if you drop the stylus. Even if you don’t remember doing anything like this, it is best to check the tip for any deformation or damage. If you notice anything, replace the tip as soon as you can.

2. Similarly, the tip needs to be quite tight in order to sense pressure. Check to see if you need to screw your tip on tighter.

3. Even if you haven’t changed any settings in the app that governs the Apple Pencil, it is worth checking things out to see if minor adjustments can solve the problem. The pressure curve options may be of particular interest to some users here.

Does the Apple Pencil Lose Pressure Sensitivity?

Under normal circumstances, the Apple Pencil should not lose pressure sensitivity. If it does, you may be dealing with a faulty stylus. If you suspect this to be the case, you can contact Apple to see about your next steps. Before you do this, you should check out the Apple Pencil itself. If the tip has wear marks or is loose, this can have a temporary impact on the device’s ability to sense pressure.


Technology companies are coming up with new ways for users to get the most out of their devices. A stylus that you could use with a touchscreen was a logical next step, and Apple delivered one that they developed specifically for their own tablets.

This helps to ensure compatibility between the devices, but any new accessory can experience some issues. If you notice any problems with the pressure you have to apply to your Apple Pencil, you can try some of our advice above.