How to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to your iPad

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Q. I bought a Bluetooth wireless external keyboard to use with my iPad. It's a great little keyboard, but I cannot get it to connect with the iPad. What am I doing wrong?

A. The iPad's integrated virtual keyboard is adequate for some typing, but for any significant amount of data entry, a real keyboard can't be beat. My personal favorite is a Logitech Bluetooth iPad Keyboard ($69), but Apple makes an excellent wireless keyboard, also $69 (what a coincidence) which is available from the Apple Store. It can be a bit tricky to establish the handshake between iPad and keyboard, so let's walk through through the process, step by step, in excruciating detail:

On your iPad, go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and make sure it is set to On. Next, turn on your keyboard using its power switch.

Return to the iPad's Bluetooth settings (Settings > General > Bluetooth) and after a couple of seconds you should see the cryptic words "Not paired," and your keyboard identified by name.

Here's the crucial, little-known, often-overlooked, hyphen-laden step: In the iPad's Bluetooth settings, tap “Not paired,” and note the four- or six-digit number displayed. Type that number on your keypad, then press the Return key. Once the connection (handshake) is established, you will see the word “Connected” next to the name of your keyboard. You can then begin typing.

Once you finish using your Bluetooth device, be sure to return to Settings > General > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth off. If you leave Bluetooth on and raise the iPad to your ear, like an iConch, the sucking sound you hear will be the charge departing your battery.

The next time you use your keyboard, turn on Bluetooth, turn on your keyboard and after a few seconds the word “Connected” should appear. At that point, you're good to go.

Q. I was told I need to download updated drivers for my HP Deskjet 5150 printer. I went to the Web site and it said for me to “Create a new folder on the hard drive before downloading the printer driver. Suggestion: c:\dj5150.” Can you translate this into English for me, Mr. M? How do I create such a folder?

A. Depending on your version of Windows, double-click Computer, then double-click the Local Disk (C:) drive icon. Click File > New > Folder, and type in a name for the new folder. HP is suggesting you use the filename dj5150 which is fine, or you can call it “Louise” or “Henry,” if you prefer.

Once the folder is created, return to and follow the instructions for downloading the updated drivers. You will be asked for a download destination, which will be your newly created folder, dj5150, located on the c:\ drive.

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