How to update iOS on your iPhone

iPhones get one major OS update every year and in between several smaller updates. These minor updates are usually minor features or bug fixes. Each major iOS update also takes one year off the iPhone’s life, ie how long Apple will support.

Generally, iOS updates are optional, but in most cases iPhone users always install the latest update. This is the best thing to do, as updates also include security solutions.

Update iOS on iPhone

iOS updates are free and easy to do. There are two ways to update iOS on an iPhone.

  • via iTunes
  • Instant update on your phone, also known as the air (OTA)

1. Update iOS via iTunes

To update iOS via iTunes, you need;

  • iTunes is installed on your Windows 10 computer. Mac users will use Finder.
  • A genuine or Apple-authorized data cable.
  • The iPhone.

Follow these steps to install the update.

  1. Connect your iPhone on your computer / Mac.
  2. Open up iTunes / Finder.
  3. Select your iPhone and synchronize it with your system.
  4. Click on ‘Check for update’.
  5. iTunes will automatically detect an available update.
  6. Click on the ‘Download update’ button.
  7. Once the update is downloaded, click the ‘Update’ button.
  8. Do not disconnect or interact with your iPhone till update is complete.

Note: You may need to sign in with your Apple ID to download the update. You may also need to enter the password for your iPhone.

2. Update iOS OTA

To update your iPhone over the air, you only need two things;

  • Your iPhone
  • Your iPhone must be at least 50% charged.
  • If your iPhone does not charge 50%, you can connect it to a power source and then update it.

Follow these steps to update iOS.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to General> Software Update.
  3. iOS will check for updates, and show the available update.
  4. Tap on Download and install.
  5. Wait for the download to complete. You will see an instruction confirming the installation.
  6. Allow the update to install.

Things to know

There are a few things to keep in mind when running an iPhone update to prevent issues.

  • Making a backup of your iPhone before an update is always a good idea.
  • After an iPhone is updated, it can not be downgraded to the older version because Apple no longer signs the older versions.
  • Your iPhone will restart during the update.
  • You’ll see the Apple logo and a progress bar below it to indicate that an update is in progress. This is normal.
  • The Apple logo may remain on your screen for some time to come. Do not worry.
  • Never disconnect the iPhone from your system before switching it on again, ie the update is complete.
  • Never disconnect the iPhone from a power source if your battery was below 50% when you started the update and you did an OTA update.
  • iPhones are really very hard to brick. You may have heard that Android phones melted during an update, but this is also rare and happens in special circumstances.
  • If an update fails, your iPhone will turn on and you will still be on the old iOS version. Your iPhone can be used.
  • No update method is better than the other. Choose everything that suits you best.

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