The best way to make everything works perfectly on your iPhone is to keep it always up-to-date to the latest firmware so that your device could work without a hitch. But, there have been a lot of reports from iPhone who said that their iPhones failed to update without any reason.
Installing an OTA update on the iPhone is easy as pie when you just need to make a few taps. But due to unknown factors, this simple process gets complicated. If you are encountering the difficulty, follow this post to know why your phone won’t update and solutions to fix the issue.
How to troubleshoot an iPhone that won’t update
Before proceeding, you should first check your phone memory status. One of the reasons that cause your iPhone to fail to update is due to the shortage of memory space for storing the update file.
- So, you should check your phone storage by heading to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage and check how much the amount of storage space left on your phone.
If necessary, you should remove old and unused files such as messages, apps, photos, videos that you no longer use. In case your iPhone has ample of storage space, your device still won’t update, then check the Internet connection. An unstable Internet connection is also the main factor, causing the problem. To check your Internet connection, launch a browser like Safari or Chrome and visit a website. If it loads properly, the problem isn’t with your Internet connection.
Solution 1: Reboot your iPhone
Minor glitches on your iPhone are usually the main factor that causes the iOS update to fail. A few functions can act up so your iPhone cannot access Apple’s update server. To eliminate the random glitches, you should perform a soft reset on the phone.
If you are using iPhone X or later models, follow these steps below:
- Press and hold the Power button along with one of two Volume buttons until you see the Power off
- Drag the slider to switch it off completely.
- After 1 minute, press the Power button again to power your iPhone back on.
If you’re using an iPhone 8 Plus, or older variants, follow these steps below to reboot your phone:
- Press and hold the Power buttonuntil the Power off slider shows up.
- Drag the slider to turn it off completely.
- After 1 minute, press and hold the Power buttonagain to power your phone back on.
Wait for your phone to boot up completely. Then, check your Internet connection by visiting any website. If the Internet is working well, you can then retry the iOS update.
Solution 2: Close all background apps
Apps running in the background can also be the main cause if they get crashed. To get rid of them from the triggers, you should close all background apps and then try downloading the update again
If you are using iPhone 8 Plus or older models, you can force close an app by following these steps:
- Double tab the physical Home button to see the recently opened apps on your phone.
- Swipe left or right to scroll through the apps previews.
- Swipe up on the app’s preview to quit an individual app.
If you are using iPhone X or later models, force close background apps with these steps below:
- From the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom and pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
- To close the app, swipe up on an app’s preview.
Closing all background apps is also a good way to optimize your phone memory.
Solution 3: Forget Wi-Fi network and connect it again
A corrupted Wi-Fi network can cause random Internet drops, slow browsing, no Internet connection. If these symptoms are occurring on your iPhone, there are chances that the online services are getting unstable. So, that’s the reason why your iPhone won’t update to the latest iOS version. Simply follow these steps:
- Open Settings app from your Home screen.
- Tap on Wi-Fi and make sure it’s ON so that you can see all Wi-Fi networks currently available.
- Tap on the (i) icon next to the name of each Wi-Fi network you want to forget.
- Once you forget the saved Wi-Fi networks, turn Wi-Fi off and reboot your iPhone.
- After it boots up, return to Settings-> Wi-Fi and then enable Wi-Fi back ON.
- Choose the Wi-Fi network that you want to use.
- Tap on Join or Connect to it again.
Wait for your iPhone to set up the connection again and once it’s done, you can retry updating iOS software.
Solution 4: Reset network settings on your iPhone
The network-related errors can give you trouble with installing updates through OTA, so a network settings reset is a potential solution. The process will wipe out all customized network settings and then restore them to the default value. Errors inflicted by invalid network options will also be deleted. Here’s how to do so:
- Open Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap on General > Reset.
- Choose Reset network settings option
- Enter your phone passcode when asked to continue.
- Tap on the popup to confirm a network settings reset.
Your phone will reboot itself when the reset is done. After it starts up, you need to re-enable Wi-Fi and reconnect to a Wi-Fi network as if it’s the first time.
Solution 5: Reset all settings on your iPhone
If none of the previous methods helped you to fix the problem, you should then go for a settings reset. The process will remove all customized settings including invalid configurations. Resetting all settings is necessary if your iPhone acts up after apps firmware update installation. Unlike a factory reset, it will not affect your data saved on the internal storage. To get it done:
- Launch Settings from the Home screen
- Tap on General > Reset.
- Select Reset all settings option
- Enter your pass when prompted to continue.
- Tap on the popup to confirm resetting all settings.
Wait for your phone to complete resetting and it will restart automatically when done. As soon as booting up, re-enable the features that you want to use on your phone. Original values will be restored after the reset. Then you need to re-enable features that are already disabled by default.
Solution 6: Delete and download the update again.
If you have already downloaded a portion of the iOS update, but it suddenly failed without any reason, there is a chance that a fragment of that update might get corrupted. As a result, you cannot update your phone in the next attempt. To solve the problem, you should delete that iOS fragment from your phone first. To get it done:
- Launch Settings from the Home screen.
- Tap on General > iPhone Storage and you will see a list of apps and files showing up on the next screen.
- Note your iOS update file from the list and choose it.
- When the update is chosen, tap on Delete Update option and the update file will be erased.
- Once you delete the update, return to
- Tap on General > Software Update and choose the option to download the latest iOS firmware.
After that, check whether the update download is successful.
Still can’t update iPhone through OTA?
If your iPhone still won’t update wirelessly even when you tried all the methods above, you can update your iPhone using iTunes instead. To do so, you first need a computer that has the latest iTunes version installed. Additionally, make sure that your computer is connected to stable Internet access, your iPhone has sufficient storage and ample of battery life. After you have met all these requisites, plug your iPhone into the computer and then follow these steps:
- Launch iTunes software on your computer.
- Once you see your iPhone in iTunes, click on it
- Move on to Summary tab and click on Check for Update option.If there is a new iOS update available, you will see an update notification.
- Simply click on Download and Update to proceed.
- Enter your passcode when asked to continue.
- Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to complete downloading and installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone.
When the update is done, restart your iPhone to apply the recent changes. If your iPhone still won’t be able to update even after trying all prior solutions, you should contact Apple Support to report the issue.