How to Update iOS Firmware

The number of active iOS devices has breached the 1.3 billion mark, making it one of the most popular mobile platforms in the world. We also know that it is one of the most restrictive, with Apple not allowing us to download anything that doesn’t come from the app store , and what goes in there must pass their strict guidelines. One of the reasons for this is that they want to offer their users a high-quality, secure experience and they only way they can do that is to monitor what we download.

Image : iOS Update Tutorial

Every September, Apple releases a brand new firmware, usually bringing some top new features to the table and this is followed, throughout the next year, by regular updates to that firmware. Sometimes, these are released in response to a bug that arises, sometimes to introduce new features, and mostly to provide improvements and security fixes, their way of ensuring that the iOS is kept as secure as it can be and you and your data are safe from misuse or theft. For every update, there are three ways to install it, each detailed below.

Before Downloading iOS :

Two of the three methods need iTunes to work so you must make sure that, if you opt for one of those, iTunes is up to date. Here’s how:

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Click Help > Check for Updates 
  3. iTunes will now look for any updates
  4. If it finds one, instructions will be displayed on the screen , follow these to update iTunes

Secondly, regardless of how you download iOS , backup your date, you can use iTunes and | or iCloud to do this. 

How to Download iOS Firmware :

You can download iOS in three separate ways. Should you be pinning your hopes on a jailbreak in the near future though, avoid using Method 1, the OTA method.

Method 1: Over the Air [ OTA ]

This is the simplest and fastest way to update but is not jailbreak compatible:

  1. Launch Settings on your device
  2. Tap on General > Software Update 
  3. Wait while the update is located 
  4. Tap Download > Install on the popup window
  5. Leave your device; when the update is finished it will reboot

Method 2: iTunes App

  1. Plug your iOS device into your PC or Mac and launch iTunes
  2. If you have two or more devices registered, click the Device Summary for the one you are updating 
  3. Now click on Update > Install 
  4. Wait; iTunes will update your device to iOS and, when complete, your device will reboot

Method 3: iTunes with IPSW File

  1. Download the iOS IPSW that corresponds to your device
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and open iTunes
  3. Choose the Device Summary for the device you are updating [ if more than one registered ]
  4. Press SHIFT [ Windows ] or ALT [ Mac ] on your keyboard while simultaneously clicking on Restore in iTunes 
  5. Find the IPSW, click on it and then click Install 
  6. iTunes will now update your device
  7. When it has finished, your device will reboot 

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