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Which Apple Pencil works with your iPad? (Compatibility Chart)

Which Apple Pencil works with your iPad? (Compatibility Chart)

Have you ever found yourself puzzled Apple Pencil compatibility with different iPad models? Let’s solve for that.

This will help artists, students, and professionals who use iPads and are interested in acquiring an Apple Pencil or are just simply unsure of the compatibility amongst Apple Pencil models 1 and 2 with different iPad models…

Also see: Apple Pencil 1 vs 2- Key Differences Explained

We will explore the compatibility of the 1st and 2nd generation Apple Pencils with various iPad models. By the end of this post, you’ll gain clarity about which Apple Pencil model (1 or 2) works on which iPad model.

Related: Apple Pencil vs Stylus: Worth Paying An Extra $70?

Key Takeaways

Compatibility Table of the Apple Pencil 1 & 2 with different iPad models
Compatibility Table of the Apple Pencil 1 & 2 with different iPad models

Also see: What Stylus Pen Do Artists Use To Draw On IPad?

the differences between Apple Pencil 1 and 2, which is useful to understand since compatibility may mean different features.
See the differences between the Apple Pencil 1 and 2

Different iPad models require specific Apple Pencil generations due to unique pairing, charging methods, and features. Always check compatibility lists before purchasing to ensure the Apple Pencil works with your iPad model.

Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with the following iPads models:

1 Apple Pencil 2 compatibility for various iPad models
iPad ModelApple Pencil Compatibility
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st to 4th)Apple Pencil 2
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd to 6th)Apple Pencil 2
iPad Air (4th and 5th)Apple Pencil 2
iPad Mini (6th generation)Apple Pencil 2
  1. iPad Pro 11-inch (1st to 4th generation): Ranging from 2018 to the present, all four generations of the 11-inch iPad Pro can take full advantage of the Apple Pencil 2’s functionalities.
  2. iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd to 6th generation): Similarly, all four generations of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, from 2018 onwards, are compatible with Apple Pencil 2.
  3. iPad Air (4th and 5th generation): Released in 2020 and 2022, the iPad Air 4th and 5th generation bring compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2.
  4. iPad Mini (6th generation): The iPad Mini 6, launched in 2021, is also compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, providing optimal note-taking and drawing capabilities.

The Apple Pencil 2, which launched in 2018, offers several improvements over its predecessor in terms of design and functionality. This advanced stylus features a sleek, more modern look and includes wireless charging, as well as additional touch functions. To benefit from these features, it’s vital to verify that your iPad is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2. Here are the iPad models that’ll support this accessory:

Keep in mind, the Apple Pencil isn’t the only stylus you can use for your iPad, see our post on: Zagg Pro vs Apple Pencil vs Adonit Note+ vs Adonit Pixel

Apple Pencil 1 is compatible with the following iPad models:

3 iPad models incompatible with any Apple Pencil
iPad ModelApple Pencil Compatibility
iPad (6th to 10th generation)Apple Pencil 1
iPad Air (3rd generation)Apple Pencil 1
iPad Mini (5th generation)Apple Pencil 1
iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inchApple Pencil 1
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd gen)Apple Pencil 1
  1. iPad (6th to 10th generation): Spanning from 2018 to 2022, these five models support the original Apple Pencil.
  2. iPad Air (3rd generation): Users with a 3rd generation iPad Air (2019) can also benefit from the first-generation Apple Pencil.
  3. iPad Mini (5th generation): With its 2019 release, the iPad Mini 5 brought Apple Pencil 1 compatibility to a smaller form-factor iPad.
  4. iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch: Owners of the 2016, 9.7-inch model and 2017, 10.5-inch iPad Pro can also utilize Apple Pencil 1.
  5. iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation): Those with 2015 or 2017 iPad Pro 12.9-inch models can take advantage of the original Apple Pencil features.

The first-generation Apple Pencil, released in 2015, introduced a groundbreaking level of precision to using an iPad. While not as advanced as the Apple Pencil 2, it remains an excellent choice for those with iPads compatible with this version (source)

These iPad models won’t work with the Apple Pencil at all:

Certain iPad models, particularly older versions, do not support Apple Pencil compatibility. If you own one of the following iPad models, note that neither the Apple Pencil 1 nor Apple Pencil 2 will function with your device:

  1. iPad (1st to 5th generation)
  2. iPad Air (1st and 2nd generation)
  3. iPad Mini (1st to 4th generation)
  4. iPad Pro 9.7 (2016) – Apple Pencil 2 specifically
  5. iPad Pro 10.5 (2017) – Apple Pencil 2 specifically

How to check which iPad model you have so you can determine which Apple Pencil model to get

4 Identifying your iPad model for appropriate Apple Pencil selection

To determine your iPad’s specific model and find the compatible Apple Pencil version, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPad.
  2. Tap “General” and then select “About.”
  3. In the “About” section, locate the “Model Name” and “Model Number.”

Once you have this information, you can refer back to the compatibility lists provided earlier in this article to select the appropriate Apple Pencil for your iPad model.

What features am I missing out on if the Apple Pencil 2 doesn’t work with my iPad model?

5 Features unavailable when Apple Pencil 2 is incompatible with your iPad

If your iPad model is only compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, you may be curious about the features you’re missing due to Apple Pencil 2 incompatibility. Some of these features include:

  1. Wireless charging: Apple Pencil 2 offers a hassle-free experience by charging wirelessly when magnetically attached to the side of your iPad.
  2. Double-tap switch: The Apple Pencil 2 includes a double-tap gesture on the side, allowing you to switch between tools with ease.
  3. Advanced design: Apple Pencil 2 sports a more refined design with a flat edge, ensuring a better grip and preventing it from rolling off surfaces.

While these additional features are undoubtedly appealing, the first-generation Apple Pencil still provides a fantastic drawing and note-taking experience for compatible iPad models.

Alternatives to Apple Pencil

6 Alternative stylus options for iPads

While the Apple Pencil is a popular and powerful accessory for the iPad, there are alternative styluses available in the market that can provide similar functionality. If, for some reason, the Apple Pencil is not an ideal choice for you, it is worth considering these options for a seamless iPad experience. In this section, we will explore two alternatives: the Logitech Crayon and the Adonit Note Plus.

Which model iPads does the Logitech Crayon work with?

7 Logitech Crayon compatibility across iPad models

The Logitech Crayon is a reliable and affordable alternative to the Apple Pencil. It supports a wide range of iPad models, including some that do not work with the Apple Pencil. The Crayon is compatible with the following iPad models:

  • iPad (6th gen) and later
  • iPad Air (3rd gen) and later
  • iPad Mini (5th gen) and later
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen) and later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen) and later

This compatibility list makes the Logitech Crayon an attractive choice for users who own an iPad that is not compatible with the Apple Pencil but still requires a high-quality stylus for note-taking or precision touch tasks.

Which model iPads does the Adonit Note Plus work with?

8 Adonit Note Plus compatibility across iPad models

Another alternative worth considering is the Adonit Note Plus. This stylus offers advanced features, such as tilt support, pressure sensitivity, and programmable shortcut buttons, making it a compelling choice for those seeking to enhance their iPad experience. The Adonit Note Plus is compatible with a variety of iPad models, including some that are not supported by the Apple Pencil:

  • iPad (6th gen) and later
  • iPad Air (3rd gen) and later
  • iPad Mini (5th gen) and later
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen) and later
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen) and later

Both the Logitech Crayon and the Adonit Note Plus provide diverse options for users seeking a stylus that supports their specific iPad model, while offering an enjoyable drawing and writing experience on the device.

Do you need an Adapter to use the Apple Pencil with the 10th gen iPad?

The 10th generation iPad, released in 2022, is a unique case because it features a USB-C port instead of the typical Lightning port found in most compatible iPad models. This change in design requires users to purchase an additional accessory in order to use the first-generation Apple Pencil with the 10th-gen iPad.

Yes, you do need an adapter to use the Apple Pencil with the 8th &, 10th gen iPad (basic iPad). This adapter is called the USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter and is priced at around $9.00.

It allows you to connect the first-generation Apple Pencil to the 10th generation iPad for seamless pairing and charging. Before purchasing the adapter, make sure it is explicitly labeled ‘USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter’ to ensure compatibility.

Also see: iPad vs graphics and pen tablets (drawing tablets)

This small accessory is essential for users who need the Apple Pencil’s functionality on the latest iPad model, eliminating the need to purchase a separate Apple Pencil 2 or any other compatible stylus.

Which is better for drawing digital art or graphic design: Apple Pencil 1 or 2?

When choosing between the Apple Pencil 1 and 2 for digital art or graphic design, one should consider the various features that could impact performance and ease of use.

The second-generation Apple Pencil has certain advantages over its predecessor, such as magnetic wireless charging and pairing, double-tap functionality for quick tool-switching, and a slightly improved design. This makes it more convenient to use and offers greater flexibility when working on intricate designs.

Also see: 7 Best Stylus for Procreate (iPad Air/Pro)

However, it is important to note that both the first and second-generation Apple Pencils offer an outstanding drawing experience, with precise pressure sensitivity and tilt support. While there might be slight variations in terms of latency, both perform exceptionally well and provide artists with a comfortable and smooth drawing experience.

Combining the essential features and performance, the Apple Pencil 2 is considered a better option, but one must also take into account which iPad model they are using, as compatibility varies for both styluses.

Which is best for note taking apps on iPad: The Apple Pencil 1 or 2?

10 Top apps for use with Apple Pencil 1 and 2

Similar to the assessment for drawing digital art and graphic design, choosing between the first and second-generation Apple Pencils comes down to compatible iPad models, individual preferences, and each stylus’s unique features.

Both Apple Pencil models excel at note-taking thanks to their pressure sensitivity and seamless integrations with a wide array of note-taking apps available on the App Store, such as Notability and Goodnotes.

However, the Apple Pencil 2 has a few notable advantages for note-taking convenience. The magnetic charging and pairing system eliminate the need for cables or ports, and the double-tap feature allows you to quickly switch between tools such as the pen, eraser, or highlighter, increasing productivity and efficiency.

Related: OneNote vs GoodNotes for iPad: Which is better for Note-taking, digital planning, and School

That being said, if your iPad model is only compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil, it will still serve you well for note-taking purposes.

Care and Maintenance of Your Apple Pencil

Proper care and maintenance are necessary to prolong the life and ensure optimal performance of your Apple Pencil. This includes regular cleaning of the stylus’s exterior using a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. Be cautious not to get any moisture into the charging port or other openings.

Regarding the Apple Pencil tip, it is important to inspect it for wear and tear regularly. Replace the tip when it becomes worn, as this can negatively affect the stylus’s performance and potentially harm the iPad screen.

To replace the tip, gently unscrew it in a counterclockwise direction and replace it with a new one, tightening it securely.

Also see: PaperLike vs PaperFeel: Are they Comparable? (Drawing & Note-Taking)

It is also recommended to use a screen protector on your iPad to prevent scratches from the Apple Pencil, as well as ensuring proper palm rejection settings within the note-taking or drawing app you are using.

Advanced Features of the Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil’s advanced features make it an exceptional tool for artists, professionals, and students alike. One key feature that stands out is the pressure sensitivity, which enables users to create different effects and line thicknesses simply by adjusting the pressure applied on the iPad screen.

This allows for a more natural and intuitive drawing experience, akin to using traditional pencils or brushes.

Tilt and Pressure Support

The Apple Pencil supports both tilt and pressure sensitivity, giving users a highly realistical drawing experience. The tilt sensitivity enables users to create shading effects as they would with a traditional pencil by altering the angle of the stylus on the screen.

This, combined with the pressure support, provides an impressive level of control and flexibility in creating artwork or writing notes on the iPad.


Latency refers to the slight delay that occurs between the time a user makes contact with the stylus on the screen and the time it takes for the corresponding action to be visible on the screen. Apple Pencils are designed with low latency in mind to ensure a smooth, responsive, and natural experience.

While the Apple Pencil 2 has marginally improved latency compared to its predecessor, both models generally perform with minimal noticeable lag, allowing users to focus on their work without any disruptions.

What should I do if my Apple Pencil isn’t compatible with my iPad?

If you discover that your Apple Pencil isn’t compatible with your iPad, don’t worry; there are several alternatives and solutions available. Firstly, verify your iPad and Apple Pencil model to ensure compatibility. If you find that they are indeed incompatible, you can explore alternative stylus options, sell or trade-in your current devices, or purchase a new iPad and Apple Pencil that match.

One advantage of looking into alternative stylus options is that there are plenty of third-party products designed for iPad compatibility.

Brands such as Logitech and Adonit offer styluses that cater to various features and price ranges. For instance, the Logitech Crayon is a popular alternative, offering solid performance and compatibility with a wide range of iPad models.

Keep in mind that if you choose to sell or trade-in your current devices, you could use the proceeds to cover part or all of the cost for a new, compatible iPad and Apple Pencil. Upgrading your tablet may not only solve your compatibility issue but also provide additional features and improved performance.

See: Apple Pencil 2 vs Surface Pen: Which is Better for Drawing & Note Taking?

Side note: Make sure to research device trade-in and sales platforms like Gazelle, Swappa, or even Apple’s official trade-in program for the best deals.

Lastly, if you decide to buy a new iPad, ensure that you match the correct Apple Pencil generation to your tablet model. Not only will this make certain that you have a seamless experience, but it will also guarantee that you maximize the potential of both devices for note-taking, illustrating, or other creative tasks. Remember to refer to compatibility lists and guides we provided in this post to confirm that your new iPad and Apple Pencil will work together.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ