How to Connect a Wireless Keyboard to a Tablet

By David Weedmark

Wireless keyboards connect to tablets using Bluetooth, a wireless technology with a short range of only about 30 feet. In most cases, you can prepare a keyboard to connect with a tablet simply by turning the keyboard off, then turning it on again while it is close to the tablet. Read the instructions that came with the keyboard to see if it requires a passkey to connect with a device. The passkey ensures that your keyboard is not accidentally connected to another nearby device. The steps required to connect a tablet to a wireless keyboard can vary slightly depending on the tablet's operating system. Unlike docked keyboards, a wireless keyboard does not have to be designed for your specific tablet for it to be usable.

Apple iPad

Step 1

Turn on the keyboard and put it in discovery mode. Place it near the iPad.

Step 2

Tap the "Settings" icon, then tap "General." Tap "Bluetooth" if it is in the Off position. Tap the "On/Off" switch to turn it on.

Step 3

Choose the wireless keyboard when it appears on the screen. Enter a passkey for the keyboard if prompted. The keyboard name and a Bluetooth icon appear on the screen.

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet

Step 1

Turn on the Bluetooth keyboard and put it in discovery mode before placing it near the tablet.

Step 2

Tap the "Settings" icon on the tablet status bar, then tap "Bluetooth." Tap the "Bluetooth" switch to choose the "On" position. Tap "Add New Device," then select "Search."

Step 3

Wait a few seconds for the keyboard to appear. Enter the keyboard passkey if prompted.

Samsung Galaxy Tab (Android)

Step 1

Turn on the wireless keyboard and put it in discovery mode. Place it near the tablet.

Step 2

Navigate to the Home screen. Press the "Menu Key," then select "Settings." Tap "Wireless and Network," then "Bluetooth Settings."

Step 3

Tap "Bluetooth" to turn it on, then tap "Scan Devices." Select the keyboard by tapping it. Enter the passkey if prompted.

HP Slate (Windows)

Step 1

Turn on the wireless keyboard while it is near the tablet, then put it in discovery mode.

Step 2

Tap the Start button, then "All Programs." Tap "HP," then "HP Connection Manager." The device searches for nearby devices and lists them.

Step 3

Locate the keyboard in the list, then tap the "Power Button" beside the keyboard entry. Enter a passkey if prompted.

Tips & Warnings

  • Disconnect the paired keyboard from the tablet before trying to connect it to a different keyboard. You can do this by navigating to the keyboard in the Bluetooth Settings screen. Tap the keyboard and select "Delete," "Forget this Device" or "Remove" as prompted.
  • A wireless keyboard may automatically disconnect from a tablet after it has been idle for prolonged periods of time. To reconnect it, simply turn the keyboard off, then on again.
  • If you are using a wireless keyboard designed for one type of tablet, some of the specialty keys may not work with your model. For example, the Windows Start button on a keyboard designed for Windows 7 tablets will not be usable on an Android tablet or iPad.