iPhone Unable to Check for Update? Try the Effective Fixes

  1. Published on Jul 19, 2021
  2. Updated on Jul 19, 2021
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Some iOS device users have reported that when they try to update their device via Settings > General > Software Update (also known as an over-the -air update) they keep getting an error message saying “Unable to Check for Update. An Error occurred while checking for a software update.”

As much as you would like to think that it is only happening to you, this issue is far more common than you think.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to get your update moving along again.

Here, we will share with you the most effective solutions to try when you’re unable to update your device.

Check Apple Servers

One of the most common reasons why this error can occur is when the Apple Servers are down. You can go to Apple's system status page to check if there are any services affected.

On this page, you should see various Apple services including iCloud, App Stores, iTunes, Software Updates, Apple Pay, Siri, Maps and many more.

Each service will have a status marker and when this marker is green, you will know that that particular service is working properly.

If any of the services has a yellow status marker, you can click on it to find out more information about the status.

Apple will let you know the date, time along with a short description of the problem and the number of users impacted as well as when the issue will be resolved.

You should also see a message along the lines of “Users are experiencing a problem with the service listed above.

We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.”

If all status markers are green:

  • This often means that the problem is on your end, perhaps with your device or the iOS system, in which case the solutions below will prove very useful.
  • It can also indicate that there is a small problem on Apple’s end that doesn’t show up on the system status page. Therefore, if you try all the solutions, we will outline here and nothing works, check the internet for news about the specific problem.

If some status markers are yellow:

  • This means that there is a problem with Apple’s current servers and services. Check if your problem has a yellow marker. If it is, there is not much you can do other than wait.
  • You can however stay on top of the situation by following the news related to the problem. This way you will know when the issue has been resolved and you can try again.

Check Apple Servers

Check the Wi-Fi Connection

If Apple Servers are not the problem, then it is likely an issue with the Wi-Fi network that you are using.

If your device is experiencing problems connecting to the internet, you will not be able to update it.

It is therefore worth checking the status of the connection, which you can do very easily by turning Wi-Fi of and then back on again.

To do this, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and simply toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn it off. Wait a few seconds and toggle the switch again to turn it on again.

You can restart and refresh the Wi-Fi connection is to turn on Airplane Mode and then turn it off.

To do that, go to Settings > Airplane Mode and toggle the switch to turn it on. This will disable all connections including Wi-Fi.

Wait a few seconds and then turn it off again to enable all connections.

Once the device reconnects to the Wi-Fi network, try updating the device again.

Check the Wi-Fi Connection

Forget the Wi-Fi Network and Reconnect

If simply turning Wi-Fi off and on doesn’t seem to solve the problem, there is another way that you can refresh the Wi-Fi connection.

You can delete or forget the Wi-Fi network and then reconnect to it again. This is a good solution for when your network is corrupted and no longer works properly.

Follow these simple steps to forget a Wi-Fi network and then reconnect to it:

Step 1: From the device’s home screen, open Settings.

Step 2: Tap “Wi-Fi” and then locate the Wi-Fi network that you would like to forget.

Step 3: Tap on the “I” icon next to it.

Step 4: Tap “Forget”.

Step 5: Restart the iPhone to refresh the memory and then go back to Settings > Wi-Fi to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network.

If you have other Wi-Fi networks, you can try to connect to a different one.

Forget the Wi-Fi Network

Free Up Some Storage on iPhone

You will encounter problems updating the device when there isn’t enough storage space for the update.

If you think that you don’t have enough storage space for the update, we recommend moving or deleting some of the apps and data on the device to make rom for the update.

After the update process is complete, you can re-download all the apos and move the data back on to the device.

Free Up Some Storage

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone is also a good way to refresh the device’s memory and may help when you’re having trouble getting the device to update.

To restart the iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds or until the “Slide to Power Off” slider appears.

Drag the slider to the right to turn off the device. Then, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until the device powers back on.

Restart Your iPhone

Force Restart Your iPhone

If a restart doesn’t work, then we recommend taking it a step further by force restarting the device.

Unlike a simpler restart that will only clear the memory, a forced restart will shut down the device, clear the cache and close any apps that may be running in the background.

Here’s how to force restart your iPhone:

iPhone 8 or Later: Press the Volume Up button and then quickly release it. Do the same with the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Power (Side) button until the Apple Logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone 12

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Press the Power button and the Volume Down button at the same time. Continue to hold both buttons for at least 10 seconds or until you see the Apple Logo.

Force Restart iPhone 7

iPhone 6 and earlier: Press the Home and the Power buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds or until you see the Apple Logo.

Force Restart iPhone 6S

Reset the Network Settings on iPhone

Resetting the network settings on your iPhone is a great way to deal with any network issues that the device may be experiencing as it will remove any network related system errors.

But please note that resetting the network settings will delete all your saved networks including Wi-Fi, APNs and server settings.

Therefore, take note of your Wi-Fi passwords as you will need to re-enter them and then follow these simple steps to reset the network settings:

Step 1: From the Home Screen, open Settings

Step 2: Tap on “General” and then scroll down to tap “Reset.”

Step 3: Tap “Reset Network Settings” from the options presented.

Step 4: Enter your device’s passcode when prompted and then tap “Reset Network Settings” again to confirm the action.

Your device will restart and you can then reconnect to your networks and try to update the device again.

Reset the Network Settings on iPhon

Remove and Download the Update Again

If this error persists, then there could be a partial update that is blocking the process from continuing.

In this case, you should check for the partial update and remove it. Once it has been removed, you can then try to download the update again.

Follow these simple steps to check for a partial update:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Step 2: Find the iOS or iPadOS update in the list of apps.

Step 3: Once you find it, tap on it and then select “Delete Update.”

Step 4: Now go to Settings > General > Software Update and try the update again.

Remove and Download the Update Again

Fix the Update Glitchs without Data Loss Via TinyFix

Sometimes the issue is not with the update itself, but with the iOS system. Perhaps there is an issue with the iOS system that is keeping your device from communicating with Apple Servers.

Therefore, if you have tried all the solutions above and nothing seems to work, it is time to consider repairing the iOS system.

A good way to repair the iOS system without losing any data on your device is to use TinyFix.

This is a iOS system repair tool that will restore your device’s system to its original state in a matter of minutes.

Just install the program on to your computer and then follow these simple steps to use it:

Step 1: Open the program and then connect the iOS device to the computer. In the program’s main window, select “iOS System Repair.”

 main screen of TinyFix

Step 2: In the next window, click on the “Start” button and then choose the “Standard Repair Mode” mode to attempt to fix the device without causing data loss.

Standard Repair Mode

Step 3: The program will prompt you to download the latest firmware package for the device. Just choose a path for the download and click “Download.”

get the appropriate firmware

Step 4: When the download is complete, click on “Fix Now” to begin fixing the device. The whole process should take only a few minutes and your device will restart in normal mode.

repairing the device


A software update will not just bring cool new features to your device, but it will also come with important security improvements aimed at protecting your device.

So, it can be very frustrating when you’re unable to update the device.

The solutions we have outlined above will help you fix any issues you may be having with software updates.

Post any questions you may have on any of the solutions outlined here and we’ll try our best to clarify.

Aaron Roussey

Aaron is tech-savvy and enjoys writing technical articles about phones, computers, games, and the internet!
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