Not all iPads can use the Apple Pencil — here’s a breakdown of which iPads are compatible with which version of the Pencil

Depending on which iPad model you own, you’ll need to use one or the other version of the Apple Pencil. Bebeto Matthews/AP
  • Not all iPads are compatible with the Apple Pencil, an iPad accessory that lets you write, draw, and control your iPad with a stylus.
  • There are currently two versions of the Apple Pencil – the older version is compatible with more than half a dozen iPad models, while the newer version works with only three.
  • The newer Apple Pencil has a flat side and attaches to the iPad magnetically, while the older Pencil is round and has a Lightning charging port in the back.
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The Apple Pencil is a stylus you can use with certain iPad models to draw and take notes.

When used with the right apps, you can use the Apple Pencil like a real pencil — you can even angle it to add shading to sketches and drawings. You don’t have to put the stylus down to operate the iPad, either — you can tap it on the screen to start apps, and drag things around with the tip of the stylus.

Not all iPads work with the Apple Pencil, however, and in fact there are two different pencil models — the original round stylus, and the newer Apple Pencil that has a flat edge.

This can be confusing, especially since some of the latest iPad models only work with the older Pencil. It’s important to make sure you’re choosing the correct Pencil for your iPad.

Here’s a rundown of which Apple Pencil works with which iPad.

Which iPads are compatible with the original Apple Pencil

The first-generation Apple Pencil is a glossy white, round stylus with a silver ring at the back, with a cap that covers the Lightning charging port.

Apple Pencil 1st gen
The first generation Apple Pencil is easy to identify by its perfectly round shape and Lightning connector in the back. Apple

The original Apple Pencil works with these iPads:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generations, released in 2015 and 2017)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch (released in 2017)
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch (released in 2016)
  • iPad (6th generation, released in 2018)
  • iPad (7th generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation, released in 2019)
  • iPad mini (5th generation, released in 2019)

Which iPads are compatible with Apple Pencil (second generation)

Apple calls the new Apple Pencil by the exact same name as the original stylus — just “Apple Pencil.” But the second generation Pencil is a very different device, and isn’t compatible with the same iPads.

It looks quite different: It’s finished in a matte white, and has a flat side so it won’t roll around as much as the original Pencil. It’s also magnetic, so it snaps onto the side of the iPad when it’s not in use. Instead of a Lightning port, it charges wirelessly when it magnetically connects to the iPad.

Apple Pencil 2nd gen
The new Apple Pencil has a more ergonomic design and attaches to the iPad magnetically. Apple

The new Apple Pencil works with these iPads:

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