How to Update Your iPhone – iOS, Apps, and Carrier Settings

Several different problems can arise with your iPhone if you do not keep it updated with the latest versions of the software that it is designed to run. When your phone runs the most recent iOS configuration as well as the newest version of all of your apps, etc., then there is a better chance that you won’t have to do any troubleshooting. Let’s go over how you can update the various programs and operating systems that your iPhone uses.

How to Update iPhone iOS Software

iOS is the operating system that Apple uses not only for iPhones but also for other Apple devices like the iPad and iPad Touch. Updating it on your iPhone is not very difficult. Before you do it, though, make sure that you back up your phone using iTunes or iCloud. That way, you can be positive that you won’t lose any of your data.

  1. Plug your iPhone into an outlet and connect to the internet using your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings, then General.
  3. Tap where it says Software Update.
  4. Hit Download and Install. You might see a message asking you to remove apps temporarily. That happens when iOS needs more space for the update. You can tap Continue. iOS will reinstall the apps that it removed once the software update is done.
  5. To perform the update right then, tap Install one more time. You could also tap Later if you want to wait till that night to do the installation. Just remember that you’ll need to plug your phone into power before you go to bed. Your update will be complete when you get up the next morning.
  6. You might be prompted to enter your passcode to get the installation going. Go ahead and do that.

iPhone Software Update

How to Update iOS Automatically

You can set up your iPhone so that iOS updates automatically. This is a smart idea because then you won’t have to go through the process described above. You can do it if you are running iOS 12 or higher. To set it up, go to Settings, then General, and then Software Update. Go to Automatic Updates from there and indicate that is what you want. Your phone should now update to the latest version of iOS automatically when one becomes available.

How to Update iOS on Your iPhone Using iTunes

You can also update iOS manually by using a computer you trust that is running iTunes.

  1. Begin by checking to see if your computer is running the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your phone to the computer.
  3. Open up iTunes, then click where you see your device.
  4. Click Summary, then Check for Update.
  5. Hit Download and Update.
  6. Enter your passcode, and the update should start. It might take as long as a few minutes in some cases.

iTunes iOS Update

What if the iOS Update for Your iPhone is Taking a Long Time?

You might find that the iOS update for your phone is crawling along. If that’s the case, then it might be because you have an unstable internet connection. You do need a stable connection to the internet if you want a quick iOS update.

Also, the time it takes to download each update varies depending on its size. If it’s a minor tweak, then it should not take long, but if it is a significant system overhaul, then you might be looking at a few minutes.

If you want the download speed to improve, it is best if you are not doing anything else on the phone while it is happening. Hold off on downloading additional content or using the phone for other purposes until after the download is finished.That should help with the speed factor.   

How to Install Carrier Updates on Your iPhone

You should pay attention to the carrier settings and updates on your iPhone as well. That is because cellular network connectivity and performance will work better when your carrier settings are up to date. These updates also add support to features like your Wi-Fi and VoLTE.

When a new carrier setting update is available, a prompt should come up on your phone automatically. However, you can also check for them manually.

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  1. First, connect your iPhone to a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
  2. Hit Settings, then General, and then About. If there is an update available, then you’ll see the option of updating your carrier settings.
  3. Follow the prompts that you see.

iPhone Carrier Update

If you’re ever curious about the carrier settings on your iPhone, you can see them by tapping Settings, General, then About. Look next to Carrier, and you will see what version you are running. You can also tap the version number if you want to see some additional information.

Keep in mind that if you ever insert a new SIM card into your iPhone, you will have to download the carrier settings for your new carrier.

How to Update the Apps on Your iPhone

There are probably several apps on your iPhone that get a lot of use, and you’ll want to have the latest versions of them so that they function the way that they should. That means checking for updates periodically.

  1. Start at your iPhone’s home screen, and tap on the App Store
  2. Wait for the App Store to open. Once it does, tap the Updates icon that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the Update All button that you see at the top of the screen.
  4. Enter your passcode, and then wait for your various apps to update. Some apps might show an alert to which you must respond before the update will begin. Wait a few seconds in case one of these pops up, then acknowledge it.

Update iPhone Apps

In most cases, the apps on your phone will notify you when an update for one of them is ready. A little red icon with a number in it will appear at the bottom left-hand corner of the App Store icon on your Home screen. If it says “2,” then there will be two apps needing to be updated.If it says “3,” that means three app updates, etc.