How to update iOS iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

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Have you just purchased your first iPhone or your first iPad and, in view of the release of the new version of iOS, would you like to understand a little better how the Apple operating system update mechanism works? Would you like to know if there are any differences between downloading iOS updates directly from iPhone or iPad and from your computer?

How to update iOS iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
How to update iPhone

I will explain to you how to update iOS trying to explore the topic as much as possible. First, I’ll give you some essential information to prepare you for updating your device’s operating system. Then I will tell you the procedures you will need to perform to install updates from iPhone and iPad and from your computer. Finally, I’ll give you some tips on how to get the beta versions of iOS upfront and how to upgrade the operating system to older versions.

in the end, you will have all the information you need to be able to update the operating system of your iPhone or iPad. There is nothing left for me to do but wish you good reading and a good update!

Preliminary information

Before explaining how to update iOS on your iPhone or iPad, I would like to talk to you better about the two procedures that allow you to achieve this goal: the one that allows you to download iOS update files directly from the device in use (OTA system) and the one which, instead, provides for the download and installation of the new version of the operating system from the PC, through the iTunes software.

Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

You can use the procedure you prefer most, but know that the installation times of the iOS update via iTunes are longer than those via OTA, as iTunes will download the entire latest version of the operating system, rather than just taking files he really needs.

Also, before making an update, make sure you have at least 50% charge in your iPhone or iPad battery and that you have enough space (at least 1GB) in your memory to download the necessary data via OTA. If you do not meet this last requirement, a warning on the device screen will suggest that you free up space before proceeding. In this regard, I advise you to read carefully the advice I gave you in this guide of mine dedicated to the subject.

In addition to this, I also advise you to make a backup of all your data. In general, this is not a necessary procedure, as these are not deleted during the iOS update. The fact is that, as a precaution, you can still create a backup copy of your personal data and avoid any errors. My suggestion is to read all the suggestions I gave you in my guide on how to backup iPhone and iPad.

Finally, if you’ve heard about the release of a new version of iOS, like iOS 13, you can know in advance if your Apple device can install it, especially if it’s dated: not all new versions of iOS can be installed on iPhone or iPad dated.

For this reason, my advice is to reach the official Apple website and read all the information that is provided to you about the upcoming iOS update. If your device is among those listed, at the date of its distribution (or in the following days) you will be able to verify the presence of the update.

If your iPhone or iPad is not in the list of devices compatible with the new version of iOS, you may want to think about buying a new one.

How to update iOS on iPhone and iPad

To update iOS on iPhone and iPad, what you need to do is carefully read the procedures that I will show you in the next chapters, in which I will explain how to update the operating system via OTA, using both the Wi-Fi network and the network SIM data.

Update iOS with WiFi

How to update iOS on iPhone and iPad
How to update iOS on iPhone and iPad

The first step to take, before starting an iOS device update, is to connect it to the Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately it is not possible to update iOS directly via the SIM data network, as the installation packages are of considerable size to be downloaded with this kind of Internet connection.

In this regard, although you can still check for any iOS updates with the SIM data network, you will still need to connect to a wireless network to download them. To do this, presses on the gear icon (Settings), which you find on the home screen, and select the Wi-Fi item. At this point, choose the wireless network you want to connect to and enter the password associated with it. If you would like more information on this procedure, you can read this guide of mine dedicated to the subject.

Once this is done, it is time to check for updates on the iPhone or iPad: presses on the gear icon located on the home screen, to go to the Settings menu; then select the item General from the screen that displays and go to Software Update.

At this point, if a new version of iOS is available, presses the Download and Install buttons and confirms the download and installation of the software, entering the device unlock code. At the end of the download, the latter will restart and display a progress bar that will indicate the status of the update.

After this procedure is complete, iOS will ask you to retype the device unlock code and possibly the password for your Apple ID.

You can also have iOS updates installed automatically as soon as they are available. In this case, in the Software Update section of the iOS Settings, tap on the Automatic Updates item and move the only lever that is shown to ON.

If new versions of iOS are available, your iPhone or iPad will notify you of this and allow you to schedule the automatic update installation at night, always upon confirmation and entering the device unlock code. Comfortable, right?

Update iOS with cellular data

Update iOS with cellular data
Update iOS with cellular data

As I already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, unfortunately it is not possible to update iOS via the cellular data network, as it requires the use of Wi-Fi to download large packages.

The only way to bypass this limitation is to use the data network of another device’s SIM and create a Wi-Fi hotspot on the latter, through which then connect the iPhone or iPad to the Internet.

To create a hotspot with a smartphone or tablet, you must first activate the SIM data network and then enable the hotspot functionality. In this regard, if you don’t know how to proceed.

After that, take your iPhone or iPad to upgrade and connect to the newly created Wi-Fi network, so you can check for a new version of iOS and then proceed with its installation. For this procedure, you can refer to what I have already explained to you in the previous chapter of the tutorial.

How to update iOS from PC and Mac

If you can’t update via OTA on the iPhone or iPad, as I explained to you in the previous chapter, or if you don’t have enough space on the device, you can act through iTunes: in this way, the installation files of the update will be downloaded to your computer and not to your device.

How to update iOS from PC and Mac
How to update iOS from PC and Mac

The procedure to follow is very simple: connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and wait for iTunes to start automatically. Should this not happen, open iTunes via its quick start icon. If you want more information on how to connect your iOS device to the PC, I suggest you read this guide of mine dedicated to the topic.

How to update iOS from PC and Mac
How to update iOS from PC and Mac

After doing this, you will be shown a warning that will notify you of the availability of a new version of iOS. Then click on the Download and update, Next and Accept buttons so that iTunes can download and install the iOS update.

If, when you connect your Apple device to your computer you do not see any warning about the availability of updates for iOS, after starting iTunes, click on the device icon located at the top left and presses the Update button in the Summary section of the program.

How to update iOS Beta

Apple gives access to public beta testing of iOS: this means that, even if they are not developers, it is possible to download the preliminary versions of iOS and try them on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, without resorting to unauthorized downloads.

To join the beta testing program for macOS and iOS, you must register with this website: you will receive an email from Apple when you are authorized to download updates. Eye however, places are limited and it could take months to receive the coveted confirmation.

How to update iOS not to the latest version

The downgrade of iOS, that is the procedure to install a version of the operating system previous to the one currently in use, is not possible with any of the tools officially offered by Apple.

How to update iOS not to the latest version
How to update iOS not to the latest version

You must, in fact, know that iOS updates are essential to ensure that system flaws are not exploited by malicious parties, which could undermine the security of the devices and, more generally, of their personal data.

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