Which iPad do I have? It was just called 'iPad' in the shop.

This might seem like an odd question, but Apple has almost always played down the 'version number' side of things with its iPad tablets; only the iPad 2, iPad mini 3 and 4 and the iPad Air 2 have had widely advertised numbers - the others have tended to be called just iPad, or 'iPad with Retina display', or a separate brand such as Air, mini or Pro.

There have been a total of 13 iPad models altogether: the iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4; the iPad Air and iPad Air 2; the iPad mini, iPad mini 2 with Retina display, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4; the iPad Pro 12.9in and 9.7in; and the 2017 iPad. In this article we'll help you work out which one you've got.

If you were hoping that you could tell which model of iPad you have by looking on the back of the device, you will be disapointed. Apple just embosses the device with the word iPad, regardless of which generation it is.

Finding out which generation of iPad you have can be useful information when trying to work out if an app is compatible with your tablet, or if you'll be able to run the next version of iOS, among other things.

You will also want to know what generation the iPad is if you are thinking of selling your iPad - or if you are buying a second hand iPad.

It will also be handy if you want to know how much faster a new iPad will be compared to your current experience.

If you are wondering about the next iPad model, you might also like our coverage of the latest iPad Pro 2 rumours and iPad mini 5 rumours. And if you're in the market for a new iPad, consider our iPad buying guide 2017 and our roundup of the best iPad deals in the UK.

iPad model numbers

Your iPad will have a model number marked on the back. 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 that it is 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 version)
A1397 or A1396 (Wi-Fi + cellular versions)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Old 30-pin port. Available with black or white front (back is silver). Introduced March 2011.
iPad (third generation) A1416 (Wi-Fi version)
A1430 or A1403 (Wi-Fi + cellular versions)

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

iPad (fourth generation) A1458 (Wi-Fi version)
A1459 or A1460 (Wi-Fi + cellular versions)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Lightning port at the bottom. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2012.
iPad Air A1474 (Wi-Fi version)
A1475 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Lightning port. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2013.
iPad Air 2 A1566 (Wi-Fi version)
A1567 (Wi-Fi + cellular versions)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Lightning port. Touch ID fingerprint sensor on Home button. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Introduced October 2014.
iPad mini 1 A1432 (Wi-Fi version)
A1454 or A1455 (Wi-Fi + cellular versions)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches diagonally - 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 version)
A1490 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches diagonally). Lightning port. Available in black or white. Retina display. Introduced November 2013.
iPad mini 3 A1599 (Wi-Fi version)
A1600 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches diagonally). 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 version)
A1550 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Smaller screen (7.9 inches diagonally). 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 A1584 (Wi-Fi version)
A1652 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Large screen - 12.9 inches diagonally. 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. Introduced September 2015.
iPad Pro 9.7in A1673 (Wi-Fi version)
A1674 or A1675 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Lightning port. Smart connector for the Smart Keyboard on the left. Available in silver, gold, Space Grey (black) or Rose Gold (pink). Retina display. Introduced March 2016.
iPad (fifth generation, 2017) A1822 (Wi-Fi version)
A1823 (Wi-Fi + cellular version)
Mid-size screen (9.7 inches diagonally). Lightning port. Available in silver, gold or Space Grey (black). Retina display. Introduced March 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:

Which iPad do I have: iPhone 4 30-pin dock

The Lightning port was launched in September 2012, so if your iPad has an older 30-pin connector it is likely to be a few years old now.

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.

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.

How much 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.