Which Apple Pencil works with my iPad?

With four Apple Pencils and multiple versions of the iPad, knowing which are compatible can be tough. Here's everything you need to know

Apple iPad Pro M4
(Image credit: Future)

One of the biggest creative advantages of the iPad is its touchscreen display and its ability to use a stylus. The Apple Pencil transforms the tablet into a high-resolution graphics tablet for artists and illustrators, as well as doodlers and notetakers. 

As the iPad has evolved over the years, so has the Apple Pencil and there are now four different models available. Each model has different features that will suit a different user, with options such as magnetic charging, pressure sensitivity, quick tap, and barrel roll. 

Somewhat confusingly not all Apple Pencils are compatible with all iPad models, so it's important to match the Pencil model to your iPad. There's normally a choice of models for each device, so you can choose between an advanced or basic model in most cases. 

The Apple Pencil Pro, for instance, is only compatible with the new iPad Pro M4 and the new iPad Air M2. While the entry-level Apple Pencil USB-C is also compatible with the 10th generation iPad, the 4th and 5th generation iPad Air and most generations of the iPad Pro 11 and 12.9-inch.  

Below we've listed each of the Apple Pencil models, their main features and which iPads they are compatible with. There's even a handy table for quick reference. 

Apple Pencil models

Apple Pencil Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil Pro

This is the latest Apple Pencil model and offers the most advanced of features. The main additions include a new sensor in the grip that responds to a squeeze to bring up a quick menu on the screen, allowing you to change the brush settings, among other things. There's also a gyroscope in the barrel that detects when the Pencil is rotated, allowing you to rotate the brush on screen – handy for calligraphy or other shaped brushes. This model also charges magnetically on the side of the iPad and appears in the Find My app, so you can easily locate it, if it goes astray. 

Compatible with: iPad Pro 13-inch M4, iPad Pro 11-inch (M4), iPad Air 13-inch (M2), iPad Air 11-inch (M2).  

Apple Pencil second gen

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil (second gen)

The second generation Apple Pencil was released in 2018 alongside the third gen iPad Pro. This was the first to attach magnetically to the side of the iPad Pro (and later iPad Air) and supported a double tap feature in the barrel to change tools. It also introduced the hover feature, which provided a virtual shadow of the brush on the screen to preview your brush stroke. 

Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen), iPad Air (4th and 5th gen), iPad mini (6th gen). 

Apple Pencil USB-C

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil USB-C

Originally expected to be called the Apple Pencil 3, this entry level model was introduced in 2023 to provide an affordable solution that works with the majority of iPads. As the name suggests, this Pencil charges via USB-C, with a port hidden under a sliding section at the top of the Pencil. It can still attach to the side of the iPad magnetically though, and provides the hover support to preview your stroke before you make it. 

Compatible with: iPad Pro 13-inch (M4), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gen), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and M4), iPad Air 13-inch (M2), iPad Air 11-inch (M2) iPad Air (4th and 5th gen), iPad (10th gen), iPad mini (6th gen).

Apple Pencil first gen

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil (first gen)

The original Apple Pencil was introduced in 2025 alongside the first iPad Pro. This charged via Lightning port and offered a precise writing and sketching control, with a low latency response, tilt sensitivity and pressure sensitivity. It worked across a wide range of earlier iPad models and is still available now. 

Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd gen), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Air (3rd gen), iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th gen), iPad mini (5th gen). 

Apple Pencil compatibility

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPadPencil ProPencil 2nd genPencil USB-CPencil 1st gen
iPad Pro M4 (11-inch and 13-inch)YesRow 0 - Cell 2 YesRow 0 - Cell 4
iPad Air M2 (11-inch and 13-inch)YesRow 1 - Cell 2 YesRow 1 - Cell 4
iPad (10th gen)Row 2 - Cell 1 Row 2 - Cell 2 YesYes
iPad mini (6th gen)Row 3 - Cell 1 YesYesRow 3 - Cell 4
iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th gen)Row 4 - Cell 1 Row 4 - Cell 2 Row 4 - Cell 3 Yes
iPad Pro 12.9 (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th gen)Row 5 - Cell 1 YesYesRow 5 - Cell 4
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)Row 6 - Cell 1 YesYesRow 6 - Cell 4
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd gen)Row 7 - Cell 1 Row 7 - Cell 2 Row 7 - Cell 3 Yes
iPad Pro 10.5-inch / 9.7-inchRow 8 - Cell 1 Row 8 - Cell 2 Row 8 - Cell 3 Yes
iPad Air (4th, 5th gen)Row 9 - Cell 1 Row 9 - Cell 2 YesYes
iPad Air (3rd gen)Row 10 - Cell 1 Row 10 - Cell 2 Row 10 - Cell 3 Yes
iPad mini (5th gen)Row 11 - Cell 1 Row 11 - Cell 2 Row 11 - Cell 3 Yes
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.