Will my iPad work with iPadOS 17?

person holding turned-on black iPad
iPad no or go? Find out if you'll get iPadOS 17

Apple has announced a new version of the iPad operating system, as it does around this time every year. And, unfortunately, that means a new set of iPads will be added to the Apple scrapheap, unable to receive the latest software update because Apple considers them too old to handle it. If you’re wondering whether your iPad will work with iPadOS 17, read on. 

Which iPads are compatible with iPadOS 17?

According to Apple’s iPadOS 17 preview site, the following devices will be compatible with the new software:

  • iPad Pro (2nd generation and later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

That means the first generation of the iPad Pro and the 5th generation of the iPad are this year’s additions to the scrapheap. That doesn’t mean those devices will stop working or stop receiving security updates, but they won’t get any of the new features announced with iPadOS 17 or any future feature updates. 

(Update: It seems the cut-off is not as clear cut as Apple’s own website suggests. Apple’s press release states that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later) will get the new software. Albeit with limited features.)

How do I find out which model of iPad I own?

First, open the Settings app on your iPad. Now click General from the left-hand menu and then About. You should see a screen like this:

iPad settings menu

Tap the Model Number entry and it should reveal a five-character model number, starting with A, as you can now see below:

iPad settings menu

Now click here to open Apple’s iPad identification page. The site will open in a new browser tab, so you can continue reading here for a moment.

You can either scroll down and find your model number or (to get the info more quickly) use the browser’s find facility, which you can open with Ctrl + F on a Windows PC or Command + F on a Mac. Enter your model number in the find field and it should jump straight to the section containing your model number.

As you can see from the image below, my A1980 model is identified as a first generation iPad Pro (2nd generation or later models have the generation stated in the product name):

Apple iPad website

That means my iPad won’t get the iPadOS 17 update, even though it was purchased as recently as early 2020. Bugger. 

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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