How to Turn on iPad Palm Rejection Without Apple Pencil

One of the most convenient features for stylus pen users is palm rejection, which allows you to rest your hand on your device’s screen without triggering any unwanted input. This is an especially useful feature when writing or drawing with the iPad. The Apple Pencil is the default stylus for iPads, as well as being one of the highest quality stylus pens on the market. However, because they come at a premium cost, iPad users are curious how they can turn palm rejection on without this tool.

In this article, we will explain how you can reap the benefits of palm rejection on your iPad without needing to purchase an Apple Pencil 1st or 2nd generation. As you read, you’ll learn some common misconceptions about the palm rejection feature, the obstacles you face when you opt not to use an Apple Pencil with your iPad, and if having palm rejection without one is even possible.

Understand How Palm Rejection Works

You were probably hoping that this guide would be a simple step-by-step process telling you to open your iPad’s settings and toggle a magical “palm rejection” option on, and that’d be it. Unfortunately, that isn’t how this feature works.

While many iPads are designed with palm rejection support, the feature isn’t necessarily inherent to the device itself. In reality, palm rejection is a function of the apps you use with your iPad, and only works when all involved electronics are compatible and support this feature, including your stylus pen.

What happens is that once your iPad connects with your compatible stylus pen, it sends a signal to the app you’re using telling it to ignore any input from your palm or fingers. So, in order to take advantage of palm rejection, you’ll need to have all the right hardware and software working together.

This makes palm rejection a bit more complicated than most people realize. Instead of simply turning an iPad setting on, you’ll need an iPad, stylus, and app that are all compatible and support the feature. A combination that is harder to achieve than you might think, especially when you are opting not to use the stylus tool that iPads are specifically designed to recognize.

It is also important to note that not every iPad is designed to support palm rejection, particularly older models, so your first step of this process is likely to determine whether yours falls into this category.

Find a Compatible Apple Pencil Alternative

Once you’re certain that your iPad supports palm rejection, the next step to “turning it on” is to make sure you have a stylus pen that is compatible with both your iPad and the apps you tend to use.

And before you ask, yes, you need a stylus to enable palm rejection. Using your finger isn’t an option because your iPad and apps won’t be able to distinguish your fingertip from your palm.

The trickiest part of having palm rejection on an iPad without using an Apple Pencil is finding an alternative stylus that supports palm rejection and is compatible with both your iPad and its applications. Luckily, we’ve listed some options for you below to save you some research time.

The best Apple Pencil alternatives that support palm rejection include:

Unfortunately, the technology required to support palm rejection often means that compatible stylus alternatives will cost nearly as much as an Apple Pencil, but there are cheaper options. Just remember to confirm that whichever stylus you choose meets the compatibility requirements discussed previously.

Check Palm Rejection Settings in Your Apps

Many of the apps that come with your iPad often have palm rejection on as a default setting (if this is a feature it supports), but this is not always the case.

To ensure palm rejection is enabled in your applications, you’ll need to first, confirm the application supports palm rejection (this is something you could look up as well), and if it does, you’ll want to confirm that this feature’s setting is on by:

  1. Opening your iPad’s General Settings
  2. Finding the application you’re looking for
  3. Clicking on the application
  4. Choosing the “Palm Support level” option
  5. Select either “Palm Support Fine Mode” or “Palm Support Standard,” depending on your preference

Alternatively, you might find that you need to open the application’s settings and enable palm rejection there. You will sometimes find this under “touch” or “tool” settings.

If you are trying to enable palm rejection for a specific application and can’t seem to get it to work, you might want to look up a guide for that app or contact their customer support to see if they can help you. Sometimes, your iPads settings will conflict with your app’s settings, inhibiting the palm rejection feature from functioning properly.

Make Sure Finger Drawing Settings Are Off

Another obstacle you might encounter with turning on palm rejection is a confliction with your finger drawing settings. This isn’t a setting found in every application, but some of the most popular options, like Procreate, have them.

If you somehow how palm rejection on in addition to some sort of finger touch/draw setting, then you’ll quickly find your iPad misinterpreting your input, resulting erratic or random lines and other mistakes.

To turn this setting off, you’ll typically need to enter the application’s settings, not your iPads, and see if you find a setting that looks something like “Touch Actions.” Usually, when you have palm rejection enabled, this setting will disable automatically, but on the rare occasion, both will be on at the same time, so simply confirm that any setting relating to finger touches is disabled.

Final Thoughts

As much as we would have loved to give you a quick, two step process to turn on palm rejection on your iPad without an Apple Pencil, the process of this feature is a little more involved than that. Once you have a compatible iPad, stylus, and app that all support palm rejection, the enablement process becomes much easier, and you simply have to check your iPad and application settings.