The Magic Keyboard is a must-have accessory for iPad Pro owners, offering a truly transformative experience that allows the iPad Pro to directly compete with likes of the Surface Pro 7 alongside conventional laptops and MacBooks. But despite the £299/$299 price tag (for the 11in variant - it’s £50/$50 more for the 12.9in) the Magic Keyboard is missing one vital element - an Escape key.

The fact that you’ve landed on this page means you’ve likely experienced the same issue of hitting the § key when trying to close a window on your iPad. But while there’s not a dedicated Escape key available by default, there is a way to add an Escape key to the Magic Keyboard. Here’s how. 

Add an Escape key to the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

Thankfully, the solution isn’t taking apart your £299/$299 iPad Pro Magic Keyboard and adding a new physical button - that would be a bit extreme, wouldn’t it? Instead, there’s actually a way to reprogram certain keys on your keyboard via your iPad’s Settings menu.

Before we get started, it’s worth pointing out that your iPad will have to be connected to the Magic Keyboard in order to access the settings for the device, so make sure you do that first. When you’re ready:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.
  2. Tap General > Keyboard > Hardware Keyboard > Modifier Keys. 

From here, you’ll be able to select one of a number of keys on your keyboard and repurpose it as an Escape key. You’ve got the option of reprogramming either the Caps Lock, Globe, Command, Option or Control keys, although frustratingly, the § key in the top-left where you’d usually expect the Escape key to live isn’t an option. 

Let’s hope that changes in a future update as it seems odd to not use such an underused key (for this journalist anyway!).

  1. Tap the key you’d like to repurpose. Unless you frequently need to access Emoji when using the Magic Keyboard, we’d recommend repurposing the Globe key. 
  2. Tap Escape to map Escape functionality to the Globe key. 

You should then be able to use the remapped key as an Escape key - but what about if you frequently use all the remappable keys and can’t sacrifice one to be repurposed?

The good news is that you can press Command (⌘) and full stop (.) together to recreate the same effect. Handy, right?

For more handy tips, here’s how to use an iPad as a second display and how to use WhatsApp on an iPad too.