Everything you need to know to update your device to iOS [A Complete Guide]

iOS updates are released pretty often, and here’s how you could update, solver update errors, get direct (resumable) download links and other essentials before you update your device to the latest software. 

Apple unveiled the next big version of iOS at this year’s WWDC, and its been in the developer beta for a while, and now, it’s reaching out to the developers. iOS 6 comes with a lot of new features, and with some much needed improvements. Moreover, Apple is bringing iOS 6 to iPhone 3GS before it is put to rest, after three full years of support from both developers and the company.

But wait, you’re now excited right? So, how are you going to update your device to the latest iOS? Here’s a quick guide to safely update your device to iOS and make sure you get your hands-on with the new iOS by following the process really clean.

Downloading iOS updates (OTA / Direct Download)

There are multiple ways in which you could download the latest version of iOS. But then, its up to you to decide on which method would best suit you. Let’s now take a quick look at how you could download the iOS updates:

Direct Download:

This is probably the best method for those who does want to do a clean install on their device. In this method, you’re going to be downloading the iOS software, which comes as a IPSW file from the Apple’s servers. You can either download it via iTunes or via the direct .ipsw links that I’ve provided here. Ig you’re going to be downloading the software update via iTunes, here’s how you could do that:

How to download iOS updates via iTunes?

  1. Follow us to know if a new version of iOS is available
  2. Open iTunes on your Mac or Windows and make sure you’re connected to the internet.
  3. Now, connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to your computer
  4. You’ll instantly get a notification if a new software is available. Alternatively, you can click on the Check for updates button in your device information screen.
  5. And bingo, your download will start and the size of the download depends on the device you have.

Once the download initiates, you can follow the download process in the Downloads tab from the left sidebar. You can very well pause the download and resume later, or just leave it till the end.

What can you do when the download is in progress?

There are some important and interesting steps you could do when the download is still in progress. Here’s a checklist that would help you have a pleasant update pathway:

  • If you’re in the middle of some conversation, tell your friends that you’re going to be upgrading the OS and you’ll not be available for the next few minuted after the update starts.
  • Make sure you backup all your data to your computer. If you’ve got a iCloud backup enabled, make sure you hit the Backup Now button under Settings > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backup now.
  • Make sure you’ve completed the backup. And make sure you’ve got some good pair of cables, so that it does not ruin the hardware while the update is in progress.
  • Alternatively, you can prepare for the update, and keep reading this article and have it in your buffer memory, so that you don’t have to look at the monitor screen for every step.
  • You can also let me know that you’re in the process of updating the iOS via Twitter (@ImKarthikK) or Facebook (ImKarthikK)

How to update iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch without iTunes?

I’ve already written an article on this earlier. You can refer to this article to know how you could update your iDevice via Over-The-Air feature.

Updating the OS after download:

If your device is still connected to iTunes even after downloading, then the update should start instantly, asking you the permission if it can proceed with the update or not. And from then on, the magic happens. You’re device will go blank, and after a short while, you’ll see the Apple logo with a neat progress bar below the logo. This is just normal. Give it sometime, and don’t panic.

Just leave the device untouched, and everything is automatic from then on.

Update is done. Now what?

Now that you’re on the new OS, you can check if you’ve got all the data in the device safely. All the data will be available only if you’ve updated and not Restored the device with the Restore button that’s present in the iTunes Device information screen. Now that your data is safe, just enjoy the new OS.

How do I clean install the iOS?

This is for those who are ready to loose the data on their device, and have a new software installed on their device. Remember that this method will flush your device, and you’re going to be cooking the device with a new software that you’ve just downloaded via iTunes.

I encounter an error while upgrading my device.

Not every upgrade goes smooth. I’ve faced so many situations wherein you’ll have to fight with the device to get the update done, and this might take a lot of time if you start getting errors. If you’ve got a genuine device, which is not jailbroken or which does not use any other method to unlock, your probability of getting some errors while upgrading is going to be less.

Anyways, here are some of the tutorials I have written that would solve most of the upgrade problems:

  1. How to solve ‘This device isn’t eligible for the requested build’ problem?
  2. How to kick your device out of recovery loop during upgrade?
  3. Solve Unknown Error (3004) while updating the iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch
  4. Fix ‘Yahoo! Server unavailable” error while configuring Yahoo! Mail on iOS
  5. You can also contact me if you’re facing some errors.

I’ve done a clean install. Now, how do I get all my data back?

Happy that you’re done updating to the latest version of the OS, but then, next question might arise in your mind: “I’ve got a new phone (Kind of). Now how I sync all my data back?” So here’s how you could do that.

There are basically two ways of doing it:

  • Restore the data you backed up previously before you started the installation.
    • This can be done pretty easily: Just connect the newly restored device to iTunes. 
    • Click on Restore from existing backup and choose the date you’d wish your device to be restored from.
  • Or sync the iOS data via iCloud. You can get a bunch of tutorials on syncing your data with iCloud here.

I’m all done now. Anything to do next?

There are a lot of things that you can do next, if you have time. You can explore the new OS and there are going to be over 200 new user features with ever new release and also some hidden features across the OS.

If you think this guide helped you, just feel free to ping me anytime! Via Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus.


  • Does anyone there knows how to install Google Maps to iOS 6?

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