Please note iOS 8.1 is available as a free upgrade for the following iOS devices:
- iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s
- iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2
- Retina iPad mini, 1st gen iPad mini
- 5th generation iPod touch
Backup your iOS Device:
It is always a good idea to take a backup of your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch before updating it with the latest iOS software update. (Note that if you choose to encrypt your backup using iTunes, along with normal data, secure information like passwords etc. are also backed up.)
You can back up your iOS device using iTunes or iCloud.
How to install 8.1 update wirelessly Over the Air (OTA):
Before you start the download, plug in your device so the battery doesn’t drain during the update process. It can take anywhere from a few 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.
Once you are plugged in and connected via Wi-Fi, open the Settings app and tap on General > Software Update. iOS will automatically check for available updates and will inform you that iOS 8.1 software update is available.
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.
How to install iOS 8.1 update using iTunes:
If you’re not getting the OTA, then you can download the iOS 8.1 software update from the official download links provided below and use iTunes to update your iOS device.
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.”
Once iTunes is all squared away, it’s time to turn your attention to your iOS device and follow these instructions:
Step 1: Connect your iOS device to your computer using an USB cable. Wait for iTunes to open and connect to your device.
Step 2: Click on device button to the left of the iTunes Store button in the top right corner in iTunes.
Step 3: Click on the “Check for Update” directly without using holding down on the Option key or the Shift key. If the iOS 8.1 update is available it will automatically download and update your device to iOS 8.1.
Step 4: You will get a popup message informing you the new update is available. Click on Download and Update button. If it says iOS 8.0.2 is the latest version then download the appropriate firmware file using download links provided in step 5.
Step 5: Skip this step if you iOS 8.1 was available in Step 3 and 4.
Download the firmware file for your device using the download links provided below [Note the download file could be as big as 2.2 GB]:
Note: If you’re downloading the firmware file using Safari then ensure that auto unzip feature is disabled or use Chrome or Firefox.
Note: You will be able to find the model number starting with at the back of your device.
If you’re not sure which iOS firmware file to download then check our posts below:
- iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular
- iPad mini 3 (Model A1599)
- iPad mini 3 (Model A1600)
- iPad mini 3 (Model A1601)
- iPad Air (Model A1474)
- iPad Air (Model A1475)
- iPad Air (Model A1476)
- iPad mini 2 (Model A1489)
- iPad mini 2 (Model A1490)
- iPad mini 2 (Model A1491)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1458)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1459)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1460)
- iPad mini (Model A1432)
- iPad mini (Model A1454)
- iPad mini (Model A1455)
- iPad Wi-Fi 3rd generation
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for ATT)
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for Verizon)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 5s (Model A1453, A1533)
- iPhone 5s (Model A1457, A1518, A1528, A1530)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1456, A1532)
- iPhone 5c (Model A1507, A1516, A1526, A1529)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1428)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1429)
- iPhone 4s
After downloading the firmware file, hold the Option key (Mac) or the Shift key (Windows) and click on the “Check for Update”. Important: Remember to click on the Check for Update button, and not the Restore iPhone button to avoid restoring your iPhone and setting up your device all over again.
Step 6: If you get a popup message informing you that iTunes will update your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to iOS 8.1 and will verify with Apple. Click on the Update button.
Step 7: It will then show you the release notes for iOS 8.1. Click on the Next button. Then click on the Agree button for the terms and conditions.
Step 8: iTunes will now download the firmware file (which can take a long time depending on your internet connection as it can be as big as 2.2 GB). After downloading the file, it will process it, extract the software, prepare the device for software update, and install the update.
Step 9: Do not disconnect your device until the update has finished. It can take a few minutes. Your device will be updated to iOS 8.1 and reboot once or twice during the process. You will see while Hello screen after it is successfully update. Follow the on-screen instructions to start using the device.
Let us know how it goes. If you need help or have any questions, please use the iOS 8 – iOS 8.1 forums. It is the fastest way to get a response from us or someone from the community.