Will My iPad Run iPadOS 16?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 06/21/22 •  4 min read

iPadOS 16 will run on a lot of iPads, but Apple is dropping support for some older models.


Wondering “will my iPad run iPadOS 16?” Read on…

Apple has officially announced iPadOS 16, the next generation of the operating system that runs on the company’s tablets. iPadOS 16 has some great new features, including a new multitasking management feature Stage Manager, an official Weather app, the ability to unsend and edit sent messages, the ability to schedule emails to send for later, new Photos sharing improvements, improvements to Live Text, and much more.

Apple first previewed iPadOS 16 at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June 2022. That same day, Apple released the first developer beta of iPadOS 16. It also announced a public beta of iPadOS 16 will be available sometime in July 2022.

The final version of iPadOS 16 that will ship to all consumers, known as the gold master, will likely be released in September 2022, which is when Apple typically releases its major software updates for the year.

iPadOS 16 will run on most of the iPads that run iPadOS 15, however, a few models are being dropped. Here’s what you need to know…

Will My iPad Run iPadOS 16?
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Which iPads Will Run iPadOS 16?

Apple has announced which iPads will run iPadOS 16. Unfortunately, a few models of iPad that could run iPadOS 15 will not be able to run iPadOS 16. Apple is dropping support for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4 with the rollout of iPadOS 16.

Here are the iPads that Apple says WILL run iPadOS 16:

As you can see, Apple is supporting iPads that were made as far back as 2015 with the first-generation iPad Pro. That’s pretty staggering support as the first-generation iPad Pro is now seven years old. 

However, Apple is dropping support for two iPads with the release of iPadOS 16 – and one of those iPads was released in 2015, too…

Why Won’t The iPad mini 4 & iPad Air 2 Run iPadOS 16?

With the launch of iPadOS 16, Apple is dropping support for two iPads – the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4. Both iPads supported iPadOS 15 and will continue to do so, however, they’ll never be upgradable to iPadOS 16.

The iPad Air 2 was first introduced all the way back in 2014 – and frankly, it’s amazing Apple has supported it all the way up to iPadOS 15. The iPad mini 4 was released a year after the iPad Air 2, in 2015. It too runs iPadOS 15, but it won’t receive iPadOS 16 upgrades going forwards.

So why is Apple dropping support for the iPad mini 4 & iPad Air 2 in iPadOS 16? It’s likely down to the fact that not only do both iPads use pretty old CPUs, which makes it hard for them to have the processes that iPadOS 16 requires, but each iPad also has pretty weak RAM. This combination means Apple probably feels the iPadOS 16 experience on those iPads, if supported, would be a pretty poor experience for the consumer.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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