(Answered) How Long Does iPhone Update Take

by J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young Basic iPhone Tips Ideal for Newbies Published On Jul 22, 2022 Updated On Sep 8, 2022
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The iOS updates that Apple releases are important, not only because they bring new features to your iPhone, but also because sometimes they come with bug fixes and security patches meant to improve the performance of the device.

So, you don't want to miss an update. But if past experiences are anything to go by, sometimes the update process can take longer than necessary or get stuck at a certain stage in the process.

If you are worried about the amount of time it will take to update your device, keep reading to find out how long the process will take.

How Long the iOS Update Takes

Although the whole update process is designed to run smoothly and take as little time as possible, sometimes, for several reasons an iOS update can take longer than expected.

For example, if you are updating the device to a new version such as from iOS 15 to iOS 16, then you can expect the update to take longer than if you were updating to a point like iOS 15 to iOS 15.1.

During the update process, the only thing you see on your screen is a progress bar.

This can be problematic because you never know when the update stalls or if there is something wrong with the update process itself.

You have no choice but to wait for the update process to complete.

Also read:

How to Get Ready for the New iOS 16

The following are some of the steps that you can take to make sure that the iOS 16 update process goes smoothly;

Can My iPhone Run iOS 16?

It is important to note that not all iPhone models will be compatible with iOS 16. If you have one of the following devices, you can safely install iOS 16 on your iPhone;

  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd Gen)
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8

Make Sure You Have Enough Storage Space

An iOS update will often take up about 3.25 GB of storage space, but you will need a little bit more than that to make sure that your update doesn't fail.

To be on the safe side, we recommend that you have about 5GB of storage space on your iPhone before attempting to update it to iOS 16.

To check the amount of storage space that is freely available on your device, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

If you don't have enough storage space to accommodate the update, you can remove some of the apps and data on the device to create more room.

Connect to Wi-Fi and Charge Your Device

You can also help the update process by making sure that the device is connected to a strong and reliable Wi-Fi network.

You can only update your device using Wi-Fi, cellular data connections will simply not work.

Your iPhone will also need to have at least 50% of battery life to ensure that the update process will not stall when the battery dies.

To avoid any problems with the update, choose to update your device at home or in the office where you can be sure the Wi-Fi network is stable and always connect the iPhone to a charger before starting the update.

Be Patient

Above all, allow the process to continue uninterrupted until it is complete.

Keep in mind that the device has to download the update files from Apple servers and then install them on your device, a process that can take quite a while.

Apple says the update process, depending on several factors such as the Wi-Fi connection can take up to an hour or sometimes even longer.

So, be patient and give the process the time it needs to complete.


An iOS update is worth the inconvenience of waiting an hour or two to update the device.

So, plan accordingly to make sure that you have adequate time to update the device, connect your device to Wi-Fi and a charger, and simply wait.

J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical freelance writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.

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