Readers often ask us how to work out which iPad they have. Apple tends to downplay the version numbers of its tablets, and the device you own may have been advertised as just 'iPad' or some other generic term in the shop.

Finding out which iPad you've got can be useful when trying to work out if an app is compatible with it, or if you'll be able to run the next version of iOS. You will also want to know which model it is if you're thinking of selling your iPad. (If you're in the market for a new iPad, check our iPad buying guide 2017 and our roundup of the best iPad deals in the UK.)

There have been a total of 15 iPad models: the iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad 9.7in (2017); the iPad Air and iPad Air 2; the iPad mini, iPad mini 2 with Retina display, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4; and the iPad Pro 12.9in (2015), iPad Pro 9.7in (2016), iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) and iPad Pro 12.9in (2017). In this article we'll help you work out which one you've got.

iPad model numbers

Apple doesn't mark the generation and model name on the back of each iPad, because that would be far too easy. But you will find a model number marked there, and you can use this to work out the rest.

The number you're looking for is labelled, sensibly enough, 'Model'. On the iPad below, for example, the model number (shown in the zoomed-in inset at the top right) is A1490, which tells us it's an iPad mini 2.

Which iPad do I have: iPad mini rear with model number inset

Once you've found your device's model number, you can easily tell which iPad it is by checking it against the following table. We've included other clues which may help if you can't find the model number.

iPad model Version number Notes
iPad (aka iPad 1) A1219 (Wi-Fi version)
A1337 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Old 30-pin port at the bottom. No camera apertures. Only available with black front (back is silver). Introduced April 2010.
iPad 2 A1395 (Wi-Fi)
A1397 or A1396 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Old 30-pin port. Available with black or white front (back is silver). Introduced March 2011.
iPad 3 (aka iPad third generation or 'New iPad') A1416 (Wi-Fi)
A1430 or A1403 (Wi-Fi + cellular)

Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Old 30-pin port. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced March 2012.

iPad 4 (aka iPad fourth generation) A1458 (Wi-Fi)
A1459 or A1460 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Lightning port at the bottom. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2012.
iPad 9.7in (2017) (aka iPad, iPad 2017 or iPad fifth generation) A1822 (Wi-Fi)
A1823 (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Lightning port at the bottom. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey. Retina display. Introduced March 2017.
iPad Air (aka iPad Air 1) A1474 (Wi-Fi)
A1475 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Lightning port. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2013.
iPad Air 2 A1566 (Wi-Fi version)
A1567 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Lightning port. Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Home button. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Introduced October 2014.
iPad mini (aka iPad mini 1) A1432 (Wi-Fi)
A1454 or A1455 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches - about the size of a paperback). Lightning port. Available in black or white. Introduced October 2012.
iPad mini 2 (aka iPad mini with Retina display) A1489 (Wi-Fi)
A1490 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches). Lightning port. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2013.
iPad mini 3 A1599 (Wi-Fi)
A1600 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches). Lightning port. Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Home button. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Introduced October 2014.
iPad mini 4 A1538 (Wi-Fi)
A1550 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches). Lightning port. Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Home button. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Introduced September 2015.
iPad Pro 12.9in (2015) A1584 (Wi-Fi)
A1652 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Large screen (12.9 inches). Lightning port. There's a smart connector for the Smart Keyboard on the lefthand side. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Four speakers (two at the top, two at the bottom). Introduced September 2015.
iPad Pro 9.7in (2016) A1673 (Wi-Fi)
A1674 or A1675 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches). Lightning port. Smart connector for the Smart Keyboard on the left. Available in silver, gold, Space Grey (black) or Rose Gold (pink). Retina display. Four speakers. Introduced March 2016.
iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) (aka iPad Pro second generation) A1701 (Wi-Fi)
A1709 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Mid-size screen (10.5 inches). Lightning port. Smart connector on the lefthand side. Available in silver, gold, Space Grey (black) or Rose Gold (pink). Retina display. Four speakers. Introduced June 2017.
iPad Pro 12.9in (2017) (aka iPad Pro 12.9in second generation) A1670 (Wi-Fi)
A1671 (Wi-Fi + cellular)
Large screen (12.9 inches). Lightning port. Smart connector on the lefthand side. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Four speakers. Introduced June 2017.

Lightning or 30-pin dock

A simple way of telling apart certain iPads - particularly the iPad 3 and iPad 4, which are otherwise pretty much identical - is whether they have a Lightning or old 30-pin dock connector at the bottom.

Here's what the Lightning port looks like:

Which iPad do I have: iPad Lightning connector

And here's the old 30-pin dock, which is noticeably wider:

How to identify which iPad you have: 30-pin dock

The Lightning port was launched in September 2012, so if your iPad has an older 30-pin connector it's a bit of a golden oldie.

Speaker setup

A real giveaway for the iPad Pro range is four-speaker audio.

All other iPad models are limited to twin-speaker audio, with these two speakers arranged either side of the Lightning (or on older models 30-pin) dock at the bottom. But the four iPad Pro models each have four speakers, with two at the bottom and another two at the top.

If your iPad has speaker grills at the opposite end to the Home button then it's definitely a Pro.

How to identify which iPad you have: Four speaker audio

Retina display

If your iPad comes with a Retina display the resolution of the screen will be much better than an iPad that doesn't have a Retina display. However, if you aren't comparing two iPads side by side it's unlikely you will be able to tell whether you have one or not.

The Retina display became standard on the iPad after it was introduced on the third-generation iPad in March 2012. This model was quickly replaced later that year because although it offered LTE 4G in the US, the type of LTE didn't work in many other territories including the UK. Read more: What is a Retina display?

3G, 4G or just WiFi

Some iPads are WiFi only, and some also offer mobile connectivity, as long as you have a SIM. You can quickly tell if your iPad is capable of mobile connectivity by looking for the SIM card slot on the side. If you see one then it's a WiFi and cellular model. If not, then it's WiFi-only.

As we just mentioned, the third-generation iPad offered LTE 4G but only in the US. If you wanted 4G here in the UK you had to wait for the iPad 4 which came out later in 2012. If you bought your WiFi & cellular iPad at the end of 2012 or after 2013 then chances are you have 4G - even if it's not offered in your area.

Storage

You'll be able to tell how much storage your iPad has by looking on the back of the device; it will be written just below the word iPad. Most iPads offer 32GB, 64GB or 128GB.

Alternatively you can go to Settings > General > About and check beside where it says capacity.

The storage value does give you some clues about which iPad you've got, but there have been such a wide range of storage offerings over the year (with certain offerings discontinued after a while) that it's much easier to use the model number.

The only one we will mention is the highest of all, 512GB. If your iPad has 512GB of storage, it must be from the newest generation of iPad Pro models, since this has only just been introduced - so you just have to measure the screen and find out if it's the 10.5in or the 12.9in version.