How to update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 7

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Apple will be releasing iOS 7 shortly and you likely are itching to move beyond iOS 6 and get your hands on this latest iOS release. Here is a guide to help the install process go smoothly so you get up and running quickly on iOS 7 when it is released. If you are on the fence about iOS 7, then take a few minutes to find out why you should install the update and a few reasons why you shouldn’t. Read on once you’ve decided to take the plunge.

Before you get started, you should refer back to our earlier tips on preparing your device for iOS 7. Take the time to make sure you’ve got your bases covered in case something goes wrong.  There are two ways to upgrade your iOS device — over-the-air via your device’s wireless connection or by connecting your iOS device to your computer and letting iTunes do most of the work.

Updating your device wirelessly

Before you start the download, plug in your device so the battery doesn’t drain during the update process. It can take anywhere from 15 mins to an hour for the update to download and install, depending on how Apple’s servers are handling the load and your internet connection. You may also want to connect your iPhone to your local WiFi network, so you don’t get charged for downloading the update over your cellular connection.

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Once you are plugged in and connected via WiFi, open the Settings app and tap on General > Software Update. iOS will automatically check for available updates and will prompt you if one is available. If you know that iOS 7 has been released, you may have to refresh this screen a few times to get it to connect. Be patient as millions of other people are trying to update at the same time as you.

If the update is available, then tap Download to download the update. Wait for the download to complete and then tap Install to apply the update. If you get tired of waiting for the download to finish (it could take a while) then go do something else. Your iPhone or iPad will continue to download the update and will send you a notification when the update is ready.  Go back to Settings > General > Software Update and then tap Install Now to install the now downloaded iOS update file.

A note to Jailbreakers: if you’ve used evasi0n, OTA updates will be disabled, which is convenient if you plan to delay updating. If do want to upgrade, you’ll have to restore your device via iTunes as described below.

Updating to iOS 7 via iTunes

Some folks prefer to physically connect their iPhone to a computer via a USB cable and update their phone via iTunes. Since you are not dealing with WiFI signal, there is less chance of an error occurring during the download and install process.  Before you plug in your iOS device. take a moment to make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes. Click on iTunes in the menu bar and then click  on “Check for updates.” You can also go directly to Apple’s iTunes download page, which is now allowing you to download iTunes 11.1, the most recent version of the media manager.

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Once iTunes is all squared away, it’s time to turn your attention to your phone. Connect your iOS device to your computer using an USB cable. Wait for iTunes to open and connect to your device. Click on your device in iTunes and then click the “Check for Update” button in the Summary pane. If an update is available, iTunes will prompt you to download and install the update. Wait patiently and do not disconnect your device until the update has finished.

When you have iOS 7 installed, do a jig and then take a few minutes and let us know what you think about it in the comments.

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Categories: How To, iOS 7

  • Carlozz Sanchezz Fuentezz

    oye me dice q el ios 6.1.3 es la vercion actual, y no se si sea un problema del itunes o algo ayudame, ya cheque la vercion y es la acutual y mi iphone es un 4s

    • Rob

      Si es la version actual para iphone 4, espera a las 10 am tiempo de cupertino california y estara listo el ios7 !

  • Michael Ramirez

    Can i do ota if i have ios 7 gm installed.

  • Dan

    iOS 7 won’t download on my iPad

  • Kathy

    Thanks for the detailed info…I’m getting “try again” messages when I try via iPhone settings and “up to date” when I try to execute via iTunes….sigh….must be busy servers out in Cupertino!

  • Yee

    Hi, I have iOS7 Beta, is there anything I need to do differently? My phone just tells me that my iOS is up tp date. Do I need to downgrade to iOS 6.1.3 in order to get the public release?

  • james

    do i have to have ios 6.1.3 or can i upgrade with ios 6.1.2?

    • Gautam

      You can go straight from iOS 6.1.2 to iOS 7.

      • james

        ok thanks!!

  • Hi.

    Can a IPod Touch 4th Generation with IOS 6.1.3 be updated to IOS 7 in anyway, jailbroken or not?

    • anon

      i think it’s only for ipod 5th gen and higher, sorry!

  • bootch

    I JUST WANTED TO KNOW HOW TO GET THE UPDATE WHEN MY IPOD SAYS NO UPDATE AVAILABLE!!!

  • Lalal

    I have 5th gen iPod and I can’t get it what should I do?

  • Savannah

    I have a iPhone 4 with iOS 6.1.3, is there anyway I can go straight to iOS 7 ?

  • Buddy

    If my iPad 2 is on iOS 6 can I still update to iOS 7? It only gives me the option to update to iOS 6.1.3.

  • K

    My iPad is saying I need network connection, I am connected to wifi, anything else I should know?

  • 2cents

    hi, my iphone 5 was an AT&T phone but i’ve unlocked it to use it with another carrier will i lose my unlock if i try to update to the 7.0??

  • Saidy

    someone please reply. It says on my phone that the most recent update is 6.1.3 do I have to update it to that before I download this ios 7 or can I just skip cause its not giving me the option to upgrade to the ios 7

    • Cynth

      Refresh it like 5 times then should appear use I’ve wifi setting and plug in wall charger

  • Isabel

    Why does the iPod 4 does get iOS 7

  • Ankit

    For a Jailbreak user how should he update to iOS 7. Any special instruction or normal restore using itunes.

  • IboNawIbonek

    If I select the “Download Only” option, will I be able to disconnect my phone from my PC while the software is downloading without screwing up the update? My connection is pretty slow and I need to be able to use my phone in the 4 hours it’s going to take to download.

  • Funk

    can anyone help me. im unable to update to ios7 from my current(6.0.1)

  • brett

    how do i get ios7 for ipod4 and when does it come out for ipod4

  • Anna

    Can the iPod 4th Generation get iOS 7?

  • Ajus Ady

    hi.. I have iphone 5 GSM ios ver 6.1.4. I want to upgrade my iPhone to iOS 7 by this step, but, when I choose iPhone 5 IPSW (iPhone5,1_7.0_11A465_Restore.ipsw) an error occurs “The iPhone could not be updated because the firmware file is not compatible”
    any suggestion to solve this problem ?

    thank you