Losing your Wacom pen is a huge inconvenience since the tablet itself only works by communicating with the pen using Electro-magnetic Resonance (EMR) technology. This means that without the pen, the tablet is essentially useless. So, what are your options once you realize this essential tool is nowhere to be found?
In this article, we will discuss the three main things you can do if you lose your Wacom pen. As you read, we’ll take you through the vital steps for each process to ensure it as quick and efficient as possible while answering commonly asked questions about Wacom tablet pens along the way.
Search High and Low for the Original
This might seem like an obvious step to take when you’ve lost your Wacom pen, but there is a reason why we recommend you be absolutely certain your pen is irretrievable before moving ahead.
When you’ve lost your Wacom pen, your options are fairly limited. Unfortunately, because Wacom pens are made with EMR technology, they do not feature Bluetooth technology that would otherwise allow you to find them using the “Find My Pen/Device” option other companies offer through their tablet settings.
As a result, there’s no way to find your pen using your Wacom tablet. Instead, you’ll have to go through the tried-and-true methods of:
- Retracing your steps
- Asking yourself the most logical place where your Wacom pen could be
- Asking others if they know of your pen’s whereabouts
- Tearing rooms apart or cleaning them up in hopes that your pen will make an appearance
If you’re lucky, you’ll find your Wacom pen during your search, and you won’t have to go through any of the options listed below. Of course, if you’ve come here, odds are you’ve exhausted this option and want to know what alternatives are left.
Use a Connected Mac, Windows, or Chromebook Device
Those of you who have newer Wacom Intuos tablet models might be able to forego using a Wacom pen completely if you already have your device connected to a compatible Mac, Windows, or Chromebook device.
In order to do this, the two devices must have been set up prior to losing your Wacom pen by:
- Plugging your Wacom tablet into your Mac, Windows, or Chromebook device using a USB cable
- Downloading and installing the appropriate driver onto your Mac, Windows, or Chromebook device
- Restarting your Windows device (if you have one)
- Following the instructions listed on your Wacom Intuos tablet (this will have required a pen)
If you had performed this process successfully before you lost your pen, you could potentially use the Wacom software downloaded on your Mac, Windows, or Chromebook device and your connected mouse instead of the Wacom tablet and a pen (which has now gone missing).
Yes, this essentially means you are not using your Wacom tablet anymore, since it requires a pen with EMR technology, but since your other options are to either find the missing pen or purchase a replacement, this might be a preferrable alternative, especially if there are files on your Wacom tablet you need to access until you find your pen or acquire a replacement.
Purchase a Compatible Replacement
This is probably the option most people would like to avoid, if possible, but the sad reality is that most people who lose their Wacom pen and can’t find it are left with no choice but to either purchase a replacement or resign themselves to never using their Wacom tablet again.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to purchase a Wacom pen replacement as long as you know what type of tablet you have, as this will allow you to purchase a compatible pen. What’s even better is if you know what model pen you lost.
If you are unsure of either, the Wacom model name is usually printed somewhere on the device, but if this is not present, you can use the pen and tablet serial numbers and models listed either on your tablet’s exterior or within it’s removeable cover.
Once you at least know your Wacom tablet model, you can find a compatible pen that suits your needs and budget. A helpful rule to keep in mind here is that most Wacom pens are forward compatible (meaning older models will worker on new tablets) and cross compatible within their respective generation (meaning you can use a pen used on a different type of Wacom tablet as long as that model was made around the same time as your own).
Wacom pen tablets are not backwards compatible, though, so if your plan was to purchase the newest pen model for your old Wacom tablet, you’ll likely find the two don’t pair properly.
Where to Purchase a New Wacom Pen
Sometimes an obstacle Wacom users face is that they aren’t sure where they can purchase a new pen or other accessories, particularly if they’re buying on a budget.
The most reliable sources for purchasing a Wacom replacement pen include:
- Wacom’s official online store
- Electronics stores, such as Best Buy
- General stores with an electronics section, such as Walmart or Target
Each of these options has its own pros and cons you should carefully consider before you purchase your replacement pen.
Of these options, purchasing from Wacom itself is the most reliable, but tends to be the most expensive and limited, as they seem to only offer the newest pen options. Purchasing from electronics stores and general stores are much more budget-friendly options, but their selections can be just as limiting as Wacom’s official website. Amazon is definitely a favored choice for their prices and selection, but buyers need to be wary of where they are purchasing their pens from on the site, as it is not uncommon to find cheap knock-offs and fakes.
While it certainly isn’t an ideal situation to be in, losing a Wacom pen usually entails finding the original or purchasing a replacement if you want to continue to use your tablet. Once you’ve solved the issue, we highly recommend taking measures to ensure you don’t lose another Wacom pen in the future by purchasing a storage case or to connect it to your Wacom tablet using an attachment, a tablet case with a pen holder, or even something as simple as tape and string.