The iPad is one of the more successful tablets out there in terms of sales and market penetration. That’s probably due, in part, to the dependability and exciting features on display with any Apple product. Like any electronic device, though, the iPad can be susceptible to operational issues occasionally. One of those that you might encounter is an inability by your iPad to update the operating system. If that’s what’s happening with yours, then read the following article, as we detail what could be causing the problem and how best to fix it.
Different Things that Might Happen to Your iPad During an Update
The operating system that iPads run is iOS, the same as iPhones, Apple Watches, or other Apple devices. iOS comes out with updates periodically that have new features. The latest versions also contain patches that are meant to rectify bugs or glitches that have been detected since the previous iteration came out.
If you try to update iOS and it isn’t working, then it is possible that there might not be enough storage space left on your iPad. It could be that downloading the update is taking an unusually long time. Sometimes, if that happens, then it will stop entirely somewhere along the way.
It might be that you are unable to reach the update server with your iPad. One final thing that might happen is that everything will be proceeding as it should, and then it will suddenly stop without warning, and you will get some variety of error messages.
We’ll talk about each of these possibilities in turn, and what to do about them.
The iPad Won’t Update Because There Is Not Enough Space
If there isn’t enough space left on your iPad for an iOS update, then the device will do what it can to make room on its own. It will clear space by temporarily removing app data that it can then download again after the iOS update is finished.
If this isn’t enough to clear room for the download, though, then it will stall. You’ll need to clear some storage room on your device for the iOS download because ignoring it could mean your iPad will have problems somewhere down the line.
You can delete a couple of your apps if you consider some of them to be nonessential. There might be native apps on your iPad that serve a similar purpose. You can also go to Settings, then tap Your Name. From there, go to iCloud Storage. You will see a color-coded bar telling you what’s taking up space on your device. You might consider transferring some of your photos and videos to your computer or deleting some of the older ones. Either of those things will free up some space.
After you have gotten rid of anything on your iPad that you feel is nonessential, then you can try the iOS download again. Hopefully, it will work now.
The iPad Update Taking a Long Time
If the iOS update on your iPad is taking way longer than it should, or if it seems to have stopped entirely in the middle, then the chances are high that you have a poor Wi-Fi connection. If you’re trying to perform the update when you’re out in public, then it’s advisable to wait until you get home to give it another shot.
If you’re already at home and using a private Wi-Fi network and the iOS update is taking a long time or has stopped entirely, then you should check the router. Is it functioning correctly? You may need to unplug it and then plug it back in again. This means you will probably have to start the iOS update over again as well.
It might also be that there is a power outage in your area. The way to find you if that is the case is to call your internet carrier service or get on their website and look for a service outage page. If there is an outage in your area, then you’ll have little choice but to wait until it is corrected before you try the iOS update again. Hopefully, it will not take very long until you have connectivity once more.
Your iPad Won’t Update Because You Can’t Reach the Server
An inability to reach the server by your iPad means that the problem is on Apple’s end rather than yours. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s always possible. You will see a message that says Unable to Check for Update, or possibly one that says Unable to Verify Update.
You have a few different options at this stage. You can go to Apple Support on the website and see if there is a widespread problem with the servers. If you don’t see anything to that effect, then you can wait and try the update again in a few minutes. You can also try using another Wi-Fi network if you have access to a different one that you trust.
You can also use iTunes to do the iOS update. Connect your iPad to your laptop or PC with an Apple-approved USB cable. Then, pull up the latest version of iTunes. You should see an icon for your iPad under Devices on the upper left-hand side of the screen. Pull up the information for the iPad. There should be an option to download the newest version of iOS onto your device. Go ahead and try it, and see if you’re getting any further error messages.
What if the iOS Update on Your iPad Still Won’t Complete?
If the iOS update for your iPad seemingly won’t complete, then we’ve already talked about your Wi-Fi connection being a possible culprit. It also could be, though, that the size of this particular update is larger than that of a typical iOS booster. The time when that’s most likely to happen is when a new generation of iOS comes out. It might not take very long to go from iOS version 11.1.1 to 11.2.1. However, the jump from version 11 to version 12 is going to take a longer time.
The best thing that you can do if that’s what is happening is to be patient. Leave your iPad to download the new iOS, and go do something else for a while to occupy your time. If you come back hours later and it’s still not done, then something has probably gone wrong.
The other thing that you can try in this scenario is to plug your iPad into power as you are doing the update. Connecting it to a wall outlet means that there is no chance of it running out of power, which could be what is causing the trouble with longer, more extensive downloads.
You can also try restarting your iPad if the screen seems to have frozen during the download.
What if None of these iOS Update Fixes Have Worked?
If none of what we’ve suggested has worked for your iOS downloading issue, then you have a couple of choices. You can leave the current version of iOS that is on there. It’s probably going to be okay that way for at least a little while, so you could regard this is a temporary fix.
Another thing you can do is to get someone at an Apple Store to look at the iPad to try and figure out what the problem is. This is probably something that you’re going to have to do at some point. That’s because, eventually, the inability to download the latest versions of iOS will increase the chances of bugs and glitches on your Apple device.
The fix will probably not take very long or be very complicated once the Geniuses at the Apple Store get a look at your iPad. In all probability, they’ll soon figure out what went wrong, and they’ll direct you on how to get that latest iOS update.