Which iPad models support Apple Pencil? Here’s the full list

Learn if your iPad is compatible with Apple Pencil and what to do if your iPad doesn't support it

By Stacey Butler - Senior Staff Writer
4 Min Read

You may want to buy an Apple Pencil, and you may wonder if it can work with your iPad Pro, iPad Air or iPad mini. You may also want to know which Apple Pencil models are compatible with which iPad models.

iPad Pro in silver with a white Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, and space gray with a black Magic Keyboard.  

You may want to buy a new Apple Pencil for a variety of reasons. An Apple Pencil can let you transform your iPad into an essential creative tool and can significantly improve your experience. You may want to use it for note taking, sketching, annotating, journaling, and more. There are four Apple Pencils. The $99 Apple Pencil (1st Generation) was introduced in 2015 and updated in 2018. The $129 Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) was released in 2021. The $79 Apple Pencil (USB-C) was released in October 2023. Finally, the $129 Apple Pencil Pro was released on May 7, 2024.

Not all iPad models are compatible with Apple Pencil because some of them lack the screen hardware that is required for Apple Pencil to interact with the iPad. Thus, you should do your research before deciding to get an Apple Pencil.

Which iPads Work With the Apple Pencil?

iPad models that support Apple Pencil 1st generation

Apple Pencil 1 was released on September 9, 2015. You can use Apple Pencil 1 with these iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch: 2nd generation and 1st generation
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air: 3rd generation
  • iPad: 9th generation, 8th generation, 7th generation, 6th generation
  • iPad mini: 5th generation

iPad models that support Apple Pencil 2nd generation

Apple Pencil 2 was released on October 30, 2018. You can use Apple Pencil 2 with the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch: 6th generation, 5th generation, 4th generation, 3rd generation
  • iPad Pro 11-inch: 4th generation, 3rd generation, 2nd generation, 1st generation
  • iPad Air: 5th generation, 4th generation
  • iPad mini: 6th generation

iPad models that support Apple Pencil USV-C

Apple Pencil USB-C was released on October 17, 2023. You can use Apple Pencil USB-C with the following iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 13-inch (M4)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (M4)
  • iPad Air 13-inch (M2)
  • iPad Air 11-inch (M2)
  • iPad: 10th generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch: 6th generation, 5th generation, 4th generation, 3rd generation
  • iPad Pro 11-inch: 3rd generation, 2nd generation, 1st generation
  • iPad Air: 5th generation, 4th generation
  • iPad mini: 6th generation

iPad models that support Apple Pencil Pro

The Apple Pencil Pro was announced alongside the iPad Pro (7th generation) and iPad Air (6th generation) on May 7, 2024. You can use Apple Pencil Pro with these iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 13-inch (M4)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (M4)
  • iPad Air 13-inch (M2)
  • iPad Air 11-inch (M2)

What’s the Difference Between Apple Pencils?

As long as you choose the Apple Pencil compatible with your iPad, you’ll probably be satisfied. Here’s a brief breakdown of their technical specifications:

Apple Pencil (1st Gen) Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) Apple Pencil (USB-C) Apple Pencil Pro
Price $99/£109/€119 $129/£139/€149 $79/£79/€95 $129/£139/€149
Low Latency Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tilt Sensitivity Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pressure Sensitivity Yes Yes No Yes
Attaches Magnetically to iPad No Yes Yes Yes
Charging and Pairing Lightning Wireless USB-C Wireless
Hover on iPad Pro or iPad Air No Yes Yes Yes
Double-tap feature No Yes Yes Yes
Roll to change orientation No No No Yes
Squeeze gesture No No No Yes
Haptic Feedback No No No Yes
Find My support No No No Yes
Dimensions (Length x Diameter) 176mm x 8.9mm 166mm x 8.9mm 155mm x 7.4mm 166mm x 8.9mm

Apple has constantly been refining the balance and handling of its Pencil range, as evident from the fact that with each generation the length of the stylus has slowly been shortened. Here’s how they measure up:

  • Apple Pencil (1st Gen): 6.92in/176mm (Length); 0.35in/8.9mm (Diameter)
  • Apple Pencil (2nd Gen): 6.53in/166mm (Length); 0.35in/8.9mm (Diameter)
  • Apple Pencil (USB-C): 6.10in/155mm (Length); 0.29in/7.4mm (Diameter)
  • Apple Pencil Pro: 6.53in/166mm (Length); 0.35in/8.9mm (Diameter)

Both the 1st-Gen and USB-C Pencils have a lid at the top end that can be taken off to charge the device. On the 1st-Gen, removing the cap reveals a Lightning connector, while the USB-C slides up to reveal a USB-C port. The 2nd-Gen and Pro models charge wirelessly and don’t have a port or connector.

At the business end of the Pencil, you’ll find the replaceable rubber tips that make the Apple Pencil such a comfortable experience. Some of the models have more functionality built into their slender frames.

Do Apple Pencils Work on All iPads?

The four Apple Pencil models are each compatible with different devices, so it’s important to choose the one that works with your device. While most iPads on the market are compatible with one of the Apple Pencils, some older devices are not.

Which iPads Are Not Compatible With the Apple Pencil?

The following iPads are not compatible with non of the Apple Pencils: iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, the iPad (5th generation), the iPad Air (1st generation), and iPad Air 2.

Why some iPads do not support Apple Pencil

As already mentioned, older iPad models will not support an Apple Pencil because they lack the crucial and necessary hardware needed for a Pencil to be recognized by an iPad’s screen. If they lack the internal screen elements, Apple Pencil won’t properly function and interact with an iPad’s screen. A lot of iPad models were introduced before the introduction of the Pencil. When they were designed and produced, there were no design concerns about making them compatible with the future, yet-to-be-released stylus. However, Apple is now making sure that new iPads contain the required technological power to support the different models of Apple Pencil.

How Can I Tell Which iPad I Have?

Before you buy an Apple Pencil, make sure to check which model your iPad is. If you are not sure which model iPad you have, go to Settings > General > About> Model Name to find out.

What Is the Cheapest iPad That Works With Apple Pencil?

If you want to switch to digital note-taking this semester, there’s no need to spend a fortune on an iPad Pro. You’ll be well-served by the 8th-generation iPad. This iPad, as of publication, costs $329 for the base model, and it has a 10.2-inch display which provides enough space for writing or drawing. It’s compatible with the 1st-generation Apple Pencil, which costs $99.

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By Stacey Butler Senior Staff Writer
Stacey is a senior staff writer at GeeksChalk and has been writing about Apple for nearly a decade. She covers all things Apple for GeeksChalk, including iPhones, iPads and Mac. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, Stacey is often found hiking precarious landscapes or tinkering with a camera.
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