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How to fix an iPhone that won't update

Woman holding iPhone that won't update

Updating your iPhone® with the latest iOS® release is crucial—it's how you get the most recent version of software, which includes security fixes and exciting new features like Focus mode. But what if updates on your iPhone keep getting interrupted or won't load at all?

At Asurion, we help you get the most out of your tech—whether you want to reset your AirPods® or increase your iPhone storage capacity. Here's our guide to why your iPhone is not updating and how to fix the issue.

Why won't my iPhone update?

  • Your iPhone model isn't eligible for an update.
  • It's not charged to at least 50%.
  • You don't have enough storage space.
  • You have a poor internet connection.
  • You can't reach the servers at Apple®.
  • The update didn't fully download.

Check whether your iPhone is eligible for an update

Some older iPhone models may not support the latest iOS updates. For example, iOS 15 is only compatible with iPhone 6 or newer models. A new version of iOS should only be downloaded with a compatible device, or your iPhone may slow down and apps may not work. To check if your device is eligible, visit the Apple support page.

Charge your iPhone

To successfully download an update, your iPhone battery needs to be charged to at least 50%, so remember to charge your device before you start. You can also approve automatic updates when you get a notification that one is available. Your phone will update automatically at night when it's plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi.

Restart your iPhone

If your iPhone won't update, try restarting your device by following our step-by-step guide to forcing an iPhone restart. After restarting, try to update again.

Make sure you have enough space

Updates may not load if you have limited storage space. Unused apps, cached data, photos, videos, and even old text messages take up a lot of room. Check out our guide to freeing up storage space on your phone.

Check your internet connection

If your iPhone isn't updating or if it's downloading slowly, check your internet connection. Some larger updates require more time, and the faster your internet, the better. To speed up the update, avoid downloading other content at the same time and make sure you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Make sure you can reach the Apple servers

If your update can't download properly, your iPhone will display an error message that includes a number or a note. Apple Support has a page that lists what errors mean and how to resolve them. If you receive a message that says, “Unable to Check for Update" or “Unable to Verify Update," it could be because of a problem with the Apple servers. You can check their servers to make sure they're operating normally.

Delete and download the update again

Still can't install the latest version of iOS? Try deleting the update and downloading it again:

  1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  2. Find the update in the list of apps.
  3. Tap the update, then tap Delete Update.
  4. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and download the latest update.

Use your computer to update your iPhone

If you don't see the update in the list of apps or if the problem persists, try updating your iPhone with your Mac® or PC. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a Lightning® cable and follow these steps:

On a Mac running macOS® Mojave or earlier or on a PC:

  1. Open iTunes®.
  2. Click the device button in the iTunes toolbar.
  3. In the Summary tab, click Check for Update.
  4. Click Download and Update.
  5. Follow onscreen instructions. (You may need to enter your passcode).

On a Mac running macOS Catalina or later:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Select your device in the left sidebar of the Finder window.
  3. Click General, then click Check for Update.
  4. Click Download and Update.
  5. Follow onscreen instructions. (You may need to enter your passcode).

Perform a factory reset

A factory reset may fix the problem you're having with updating your iPhone, but this should be your last resort. Before you reset your device, make sure you back it up, since everything except for the original software and apps will be erased. See our guide for how to reset your iPhone to factory settings.

If you've tried these steps and still need a little help, we're right around the corner. Schedule a repair at the nearest uBreakiFix® by Asurion or Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions™ store and our certified experts can get your device back up and running as soon as the same day.

Protect your phone

For more than 25 years, Asurion has helped 300 million customers protect, connect, and enjoy the tech they love most. And smartphones are no exception. Your life is on your device, make sure it’s protected. Learn more about Asurion phone insurance plans today.


*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*

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