How to Fix a Wacom Pen That Keeps Disconnecting

There is no denying that Wacom offers a wide range of products that can help creators bring their visions to life. However, it is equally accepted that Wacom accessories crash at a frustratingly high rate. So what do you do if your Wacom pen disconnects in the middle of an important design project?

As one of the many digital creators who use a Wacom pen, we have quite a bit of experience troubleshooting connectivity issues. Keep reading to learn the 6 things you need to know about fixing a Wacom pen that keeps disconnecting!

1. Make Sure All Wacom Pen Drivers Are Up-to-Date

Unfortunately, Wacom drivers give many creators all kinds of fits.

As such, if you have a Wacom pen that keeps disconnecting, it is likely that your driver is not updated to the latest version. 

Wacom releases updates with regularity, so even if you feel like you just updated your Wacom drivers, there may actually be a more recent version available. Be aware that Wacom products are not native to your computer or tablet, so you may have to manually initiate driver updates.

It is also worth mentioning that your Wacom drivers might not be compatible with the latest drivers installed on your device. Therefore, whether you are using macOS or Windows, you should take a look at when your device settings were last updated.

If you notice that a device update coincides with your Wacom pen starting to give you trouble, you may actually need to revert to an earlier version of your device drivers until Wacom can release an update of their own that fixes the bug. 

2. Check the Wacom Pen Settings

If you are a digital creator, it is highly likely that you use a plethora of design programs.

If this is the case, your pen settings that were ideal for one program may not be functional for the another.

Therefore, you should go into your Wacom pen settings to make sure that they are configured to function with the application you are currently trying to use. 

It is also worthwhile to check the general settings for pressure sensitivity. Even if the stylus is connected, it may not register an input if you are using too much or too little pressure based on the selected settings. 

3. Restart the Wacom Pen and Device

When you are installing driver updates on either your device or Wacom pen, you will likely be prompted to restart both to complete the update.

However, restarting your stylus and device may be a solution to your connectivity problems even if a driver update is not necessary.

There are several reasons why an up-to-date, fully functioning Wacom pen may lose its connection with its screen and need a restart or reset to get back in action:

  • The stylus got out of range – maybe you had to run outside to your car and took your Wacom pen with you (it happens!)
  • Prolonged periods of inactivity – maybe you got sidetracked by another project for a couple of hours and the pen or your tablet went to sleep and the connection was lost
  • You used the pen with another application – as mentioned, you may need to adjust your pen settings when switching between applications. However, you may also need to simply reset the connection to your device

Performing a restart is a simple way to refresh an interrupted connection, but you may also be able to manage it via the connected devices tab on your task ribbon. 

4. Check the Power

It may seem obvious, but you can never overlook insufficient power as a root cause of technological issues.

Wacom stylus devices do not require batteries. 

Depending on the type of pen you are using, you may need to hook it up to a USB port to properly charge.

However, most of the advanced Wacom pens are charged via electromagnetic resonance. If it is not coupling properly with its power source, then it is possible that lack of power is causing your pen to disconnect. 

5. Clean Your Wacom Pen and Tablet

It is critical that you regularly clean your Wacom pen and tablet.

Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate under the pen nib and on the surface of the screen, impeding the connection and preventing the stylus from working properly.

While regular cleaning is essential, you must be gentle when cleaning the delicate pen nib.  Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth and add a trace amount of soap, staying away from alcohol or other harsh cleaning chemicals. Carefully remove the pen nib and wipe away built up debris. 

For the Wacom screen, simply use the same microfiber cloth and wipe in a circular motion until the screen is clear, applying minimal pressure. 

6. Replace Your Wacom Pen Nib

Not only will a degraded pen nib lead to some connectivity issues, but it can also scratch your device screen and permanently mar image display.

Wacom recommends replacing the pen nib when it gets down to 1mm or anytime a sharp edge is revealed. However, this will vary between artists based on how much they use their stylus and the amount of pressure used during creation.

Your Wacom pen likely comes with spare nibs, but replacements can be easily purchased online. As with cleaning the pen nib, it is important to be careful when performing a nib replacement, as too much pressure can permanently damage the stylus.

If you are inexperienced in replacing your pen nibs, it is always best to use the included nib removal tool to ensure that you don’t do any damage. 

Use These 6 Steps To Keep Your Wacom Pen From Disconnecting

Although Wacom has a wide variety of styluses that can help graphic artists fulfill their visions digitally, there is no denying that the rate at which Wacom pens disconnect is a bit frustrating.

If a disconnecting Wacom pen is causing hiccups in your creation schedule, use any of the 6 troubleshooting tips listed above to remedy the situation and get back to designing today!