How to Fix iPhone Unable to Install Update? (Troubleshooting Guide)

  1. Published on Sep 17, 2021
  2. Updated on Sep 17, 2021
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Updating to the latest iOS version is always the recommended thing to do. It contains fixes to the most common issues along with other enhancements that allow for optimum hardware usage.

However, there are times where you run into complications trying to install the latest version of iPhone update. If that is the case, here are a couple of things to try and implement.

Backup first

The most basic thing to do before you tinker with your iPhone will be to back it up. That way, if things go wrong, you can be rest assured you still have the backup to fall back on.

Before you start, ensure your iPhone is on Wi-Fi and is plugged into the mains. Here are the steps from Apple.

Backup first

Check if your iPhone is compatible

Incompatibility is a common reason for your iPhone to be unable to download the latest iOS update. The oldest iPhone version that is going to be compatible with iOS 15 is the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Any iPhone version prior to that will have to contend with iOS 12 at the most. Check whether your iPhone is compatible with the iOS version you wish to install.

Check if your iPhone is compatible

Restart Wi-Fi

Errors with the Wi-Fi connection can also be the reason your iPhone isn't able to download the latest update. This can be remedied by restarting the wireless feature.

It’s a simple process and can be done in various ways. Read on to find out the steps for each.

From Settings

  • 1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi
  • 2. Tap on the Wi-Fi toggle button to turn it off.
  • 3. Wait for a few seconds and tap on the button to turn it back on again.

Restart Wi-Fi from settings

From Control Center

  • 1. Pull up the Control Center and tap on the WiFi icon to turn it off or on.

You can also use the Airplane Mode trick to restart the WiFi connection

  • 1. Tap on the Airplane Mode toggle switch to turn it on. This acts to disable the wireless functionality of your iPhone.
  • 2. Tap on the Airplane Mode toggle switch again to turn the feature off.

Restart Wi-Fi From Control Center

This gives a fresh start to the Wi-Fi functionality of your iPhone. Wait for the Wi-Fi connection to be back on and enable Wi-Fi again. Connect to your Wi-Fi network and try downloading the update.

Make sure your iPhone has over 50% battery charge

A prerequisite for your iPhone to be able to install an iOS update is over 50 percent of battery charge. Plug into the mains if your iPhone is running less than that before attempting an update.

If this has been the sole reason that has been preventing your iPhone to update, putting it on charge should be enough to begin the installation process.

over 50 percent of battery charge

Manage your iPhone storage

Your iPhone simply can't download and install a new update if it does not have the space for the same. Naturally, you will have to allocate at least the minimum space needed for the update to be successfully installed.

This can also be the best time to weed out old and unused apps and files. Another option could be to shift your data to your iCloud or iTunes account.

After you are done freeing up additional space, reboot your iPhone to clear the cache and try updating again.

Meanwhile, here is how you can reach the storage section.

  • Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Manage your iPhone storage

Force quit the Settings app

Force quitting the Settings app is another way to ensure your iPhone does not miss out on the next available update. Here are the steps.

  • 1. For iPhone X or later models, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold. For earlier iPhone models, do a quick double-press of the Home button.
  • 2. Drag the Settings app card all the way to the top of the display to force quit the app.
  • 3. Wait for a few seconds before launching Setting app again.
  • 4. Trying to download the update now: Settings > General > Software Update.

Force quit the Settings app

Wait and try again later

Sometimes the reason your iPhone isn't updating is beyond your control. It could be an issue with your home internet connection or there could be a server error at Apple.

There is little you can do in such a scenario, except waiting for some time till things clear up a bit. It can be just about a few minutes but can stretch to several hours too.

So, have patience and try after some time.

Wait and try again later

Force restart your iPhone

Sometimes, a forced reboot is all it takes to solve many an issue with the iPhone, including its inability to install an update.

This is because the reboot process can solve minor software issues as it re-establishes the underlying links afresh and hence resolves internal clashes.

Here is how you do it.

For iPhone X or later models.

  • 1. Press and hold either of the Volume buttons and the side Power button. Keep holding until the power off slider appears.
  • 2. Drag the slider and wait for 30 secs for the iPhone to turn off.
  • 3. To turn it on again, press and hold on to the side Power button until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone with Home button

  • 1. Press and hold on to the side Power button until the power off slider appears.
  • 2. As before, drag the slider and wait for 30 secs for the iPhone to turn off.
  • 3. To turn it back on, press and hold on the side Power button till the Apple logo appears.

iphone models

Delete the update, reboot the iPhone / iPad, try again

Sometimes you might come across this message while updating your iPhone or iPad device. In such a scenario, just deleting the update and rebooting the device can set things rights. Here are the steps.

  • 1. Launch Settings app and go to General > iPhone Storage.
  • 2. Search for the iOS update and tap on it.
  • 3. Select the Delete option.
  • 4. To reboot, follow the steps mentioned above.

Delete the update

Manually install the update via iTunes or Finder

Apple also allows for installing the latest iOS update via iTunes or Finder. It’s a simple process and is often the best thing to do if the update fails to install on its own.

Here are the things you need to do. Also, before proceeding, make sure you are running the latest version of iTunes or Finder on your computer.

  • 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a compatible cable.
  • 2. Launch iTunes or Finder on your computer.
  • 3. Your iPhone device should show on iTunes. Once that happens, select your iPhone and click on the Summary panel.
  • 4. Click on Check for Update.
  • 5. If there is any update available, click on Download and Update.
  • 6. You might be prompted to enter your passcode.
  • 7. Follow on-screen instructions.

Update Your iPhone via finder

iPhone still unable to install update?

Often, things might still unable to install the update after trying all the above methods. This no doubt can be a frustrating experience but fret not as there sure are ways to bring things back under control using tools such as ‘TinyFix’.

While there may not be any dearth of such iOS software repair tools, TinyFix is clearly among the best of the lot. You will know why after you have used it to set things right with your iPhone. Meanwhile, here is all that you need to do.

  • 1. Launch TinyFix. Choose iOS system repair.
  • 2. Connect your iPhone with your computer using a compatible cable.
  • 3. There are two options shown - Standard repair which essentially restores iPhone to factory settings without losing data, and Deep repair which is a process to force reset your iPhone without iTunes. We suggest choose the standard repair.
  • 4. You will next be asked to confirm your device details such as your iPhone model number, iOS version, and firmware version.
  • 5. Click on the Download button. This will start downloading the latest firmware and update available.
  • 6. Follow on-screen instructions to continue installing the firmware.
  • 7. Your iPhone should now be running.

Standard Repair Mode

Conclusion

While there are a lot of tests and other screening processes that each update goes through prior to its launch, there are always some devices that encounter issues installing the said updates.

The steps mentioned here should help you tide over in such a scenario. Then there is also the TinyFix which can be the magic wand to fix most issues with your iPhone.

Sovan Mandal

A tech enthusiast to the core, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments from the world of technology. Android and iPhone trouble-shooting is another aspect that interests me a lot, as do a few of the more recent developments such as self-driving automobiles, AI, and such.
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