XDA Basics: How to Check and Update the iOS Version on your iPhone

XDA Basics: How to Check and Update the iOS Version on your iPhone

Whether you love Apple or hate it, it’s hard to deny that Apple has the best update policy in the smartphone ecosystem. Users not only buy a good iPhone, but they also buy into years of software update support without needing to think about it. And that is exactly what happens, as many users simply do not know (or care) what version of iOS their iPhone is running, or whether they are on the latest version or not. However, sometimes, that information becomes crucial, such as when app developers drop support for older iOS versions. In this XDA Basics tutorial, we will show you how to check the iOS version of your iPhone, and how to receive an update on your iPhone, if one is available, and how to set your iPhone to always be on the latest update officially available.


Navigate this article:

How to check the iOS version of your iPhone

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Click on General.
  • Tap on About.
  • In About, you’ll get to view all information related to your iPhone’s identity, such as Model and Serial Numbers, in addition to the iOS version number it’s running.

How to update your iPhone to the latest iOS (Over The Air update)

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Click on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Give your iPhone a few seconds to check with Apple servers.
  • Your iPhone will either state it’s up to date, or it’ll give you the option to download the latest update, if you’re on an outdated version.
  • In the latter case, click Download and Install.
  • Agree to the Terms of Service once they pop up.
  • Make sure you have a full backup on iCloud, in case the update fails to install and bricks your iPhone (fear not — that’s very rare, but better safe than sorry).
  • Once it finishes downloading and preparing the update, connect your iPhone to a charger. Make sure it stays plugged in the whole time, until the update finishes getting installed.
  • Once it reboots, you can follow the previous steps to make sure it has successfully installed the update and that you’re running the latest version available.

How to update your iPhone to the latest iOS (through macOS or Windows)

While OTA updates are simpler to carry out, updating your device through a wired connection to a desktop computer is also an option. It could be because your iPhone is low on storage or you have personal reasons for doing that.

  • Connect your iPhone to a Mac or a Windows PC with iTunes installed.
  • Head to Finder on newer versions of macOS or to iTunes on an older Mac or Windows computer.screenshot of update iPhone on macOS settings
  • Click on the iPhone icon you’ll find in the Finder sidebar or near the top left corner of iTunes.
  • There you’ll find a summary of your device, including its current OS version, available storage, etc.
  • Hit Check For Update, and wait a few seconds.screenshot of your iPhone is up to date pop-up on macOS
  • If an update is available, it’ll start downloading — and eventually install. If not, you’ll get a pop-up stating your iPhone is up to date.
  • Make sure you keep your iPhone connected to your PC if an update is being downloaded or installed. Only unplug after your iPhone reboots and the update is fully completed.

If the Software Update section shows your iPhone as up to date, even though you’re aware of a newer iOS version, then your iPhone model probably doesn’t support it. In this case, you can either stick to the older iOS, upgrade to a newer iPhone, or switch to Android if you want to try out a totally different operating system.

How to get your iPhone to install future iOS updates automatically

  • In the Software Update section, you’ll find an option called Automatic Updates.
  • Click on that section, and toggle Download iOS Updates and Install iOS Updates, if you wish to automate the process for future updates.

Did you find the guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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