How To Change The Double-Tap Function on Your Apple Pencil

If there is one Apple product that I bought not expecting to use it much, it was my Apple Pencil for my M1 iPad Pro. I bought it thinking I would use it some but the reality is, I am constantly using both in creative apps as well as in Notes much more than I ever expected. Like many aspects of iPadOS, the default settings for the Apple Pencil will likely do exactly what most users need it to do. However, for some of us, being able to change the behavior of the Pencil when you double-tap it, can be a game changer. In this how to, I will show you where in iPadOS to go and change the double-tap settings for your Pencil, making it more useful for you in your day-to-day.

First, this how to assumes that you have a 2nd generation Apple Pencil configured to work with your iPad. If you have a 1st generation Apple Pencil, the tip I am going to show you will not work as that generation of pencil does not have the double-tap feature. With that said, open up Settings on your iPad and navigate your way to the Apple Pencil settings. There you will find that you have four settings available to you:

  • Switch Between Current Tool and Eraser
  • Switch Between Current Tool and Last Used
  • Show Color Palette
  • Off
Apple Pencil Double-Tap Settings in iPadOS 15
Apple Pencil Double-Tap Settings in iPadOS 15

By default, the setting is set to Show Color Palette which will bring up the palette each time you double-tap on. your Pencil. This, for most users, will be what is needed day in and day out. However, if you are doing a lot of note taking for example in Notes, having it set to Current Tool and Eraser may be more functional for you. That is how I have my iPad and Pencil setup to work.

There is one other setting here that may be useful for readers which is the Only Draw with Apple Pencil setting, just below the Double-Tap settings. This effectively disables the ability for you to draw with your finger and use it instead to scroll while still using your Pencil. This can be particularly handing in drawing apps as well as Notes.

For more tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Apple devices, check out the How To’s section here on the site.

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