Having trouble downloading iOS 7? Got a 16GB iPhone or iPad? Server error? Here's what to do!

So, iOS 7 is out there, and there's a ton of people trying to download it. As such, we're seeing many reports of folks experiencing issues. Truth is, some of it may just be down to Apple's servers being slammed right now, but there's other issues that you can help resolve yourself. So, here's a few handy pointers:

  • Make sure you have enough free storage on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. By enough, you need around 3.4GB available it seems, so if you're running close to the wire then you'll need to either delete some content or update via iTunes instead (iTunes doesn't need to download the update onto your device first, it stages it on your Mac or Windows PC).
  • Make sure you're running with plenty of battery power left, or make sure you attempt any OTA updates while connected to a power outlet.
  • Be patient and keep trying - It sounds ridiculous, but a little patience will go a long way.

There's millions upon millions upon millions of people trying to download iOS 7 around the world at the same time. You might see timeouts, you might see it slow to a crawl. If it stops, just start it again and keep trying.

It's not going to be an easy process for some of us, but we'll get there in the end. Doing everything you can to help the process will make it easier for you in the long run.

If you've had problems, let us know, and if you've found fixes, tell us about them!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Having trouble downloading iOS 7? Got a 16GB iPhone or iPad? Server error? Here's what to do!


Good advice. Was having that issue with my iPad mini. iPhone went no probs. I've backed up the iPad and then erased all content. Do the install and then restore. See if it works.

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I honestly wonder if the iPhone 4 will cope. I remember how sluggish the 3G got when it updated to iOS 4.

3GS got sluggish up to 6.

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Download took awhile on my iphone 5 but shows as being fully downloaded. Clicked to install update but getting a pop up "Update unavailable at this time"????

i have the 4s its been over 3 hours and counting -_- . did it take you this long. wont even happen when i connect it to itunes.

It took me few attempts and I got an error message AFTER download was complete but after few attempts ipad rebooted and new system was there. Takes time. Be patient.

my iphone is trying to download the newest version it finished downloading then the phone shut down to reboot and now it has been stuck at that same screen for the last 7 hours. what do i do? i can't turn it off and i have no way to access the phone now!

Same problem. I wonder if the download file is corrupt. Is there a way to delete and start over?

Well after numerous attempts I get the damn download to work and now it says the Activation Server is down and now I cannot activate my phone :(

First I updated iTunes and then it wouldn't recognize my i5. Reinstalling fixed that. Then I finally got the install going and at the end I get told the activation server is down.. Lovely.

Downloaded fine and now I'm getting, "Software Update is not available at this time. Try again later."

Of course I take "later" to mean "try again in 10 seconds and every 10 seconds after that until it works."

I suppose I'm just impatient.

Some problem. Goth through the download, but was stuck. I powered the phone off for a few seconds and restarted. Now it is working.

Same problem. Full download, then software not available. Even shows a badge in settings. I did not have this problem with iOS 5, and 6. Smooth as silk. iOS 7 is a mess. I know there are a killgillions of us trying to update, but Apple should have been better prepared for this.

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I know it's downloaded on the phone because I went from 10.1G to 8G. It downloaded but will not activate. My question is, how can it download completely, but error not available? Does that make sense? Any ideas?

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I'm getting the same thing.. I tried restarting but the same thing happened. So frustrating cuz it's RIGHT THERE and we can't have it yet!! grrrr

Did a reset as suggested and the update went through and even worked. I did a full wipe after that (don't ask) and now the phone won't activate.

I wait. More.

I have been at this now for three hours. I could understand long download times, or unable to download, but once downloaded, and will not verify, something is wrong. Guess we have no choice but to wait. I to am wondering if corrupt files is a problem. My download only took thirty minuets, device prepared alright, then verify problems.

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File isn't corrupt or anything like that at all. Servers are overloaded. I didn't get the error when updating my phone, but did get the error a few times while updating my iPad. I let it go for about 15 minutes and tried again and had no problems after that.

Just keep at it guys.. I was trying for 3 hours and only just now it started installing. Soooo happy! Good luck and just be patient.. even though I know that's really hard to do!

that the advice be patient .... editors probably mean that someone has so much time to be able to spend all attempts to update ... Apple totally mishandled the situation .... has enough money to strengthen servers or rented additional capacity, instead, the customer ...

I also sometimes have to go to work and work hard that one has money on overpriced Kramm from Apple Especially when Apple robs customers outside the USA robber rate of 1 U.S. dollar equals one euro ... EMPTY in the bank I could not find the same course

i updated my iphone 5 to ios 7 and it says my phone cannot be activated because there is some issues with connecting to itunes store and my i tunes pops up with a message saying my network settings have been reset and i dont know how to fix this ... can anyone help please?

LOL my iphone 5 at a point said 18 hours remaining and now after like 30 minutes it says 5 minutes remaining so i say just be patient and keep trying

updated ios 7 and i have my password on the previous version and when i type my password it says it's incorrect help me please

My iphone 5 16 gb AT&T isn't even showing the update for me anymore. I tried downloading earlier but had poor wifi. Now my phone says its up to date with ios 6.1.4. Please help me.

Everybody take a deep breath and wait till late tonight or tomorrow. This has happened before. 200 million people are trying to update.

About to go crazy!
This is my problem, since about two months I had issues with my iPhone 4s wifi i decided to update to iOS 7 beta 4 then 5 [No results with wifi but the phone worked fine].
Today I wanted to update the iOS to its final version (at last). however, after downloading iTunes 11.1 version, and trying to install the iOS, my computer (Windows 7) just shut down, and now the iPhone requires to be plugged to iTunes, iTunes won't recognize the iPhone and even when the computer makes the sound a USB has been plugged, it doesn't appear on my PC!
I cannot use my phone or do anything with it!
Please HELP!

Im having the same problem but my iphone is showing this screen that i need to plug it into itunes but my computer wouldnt recognize it.... did anyone help u out with this problem??

When I tried to update to iOS7, my phone went into recovery mode. Now I'm trying to restore it for the third time, and it still isn't working. What can I do to fix this?

I have an ip4S. Just tried to upgrad to iOS7 but when i checked 'software updates' on my phone, it says there are none. What can I do?

I have successfully downloaded, and updated my iPhone 5. However I can only set it up as a "New iPhone". Even after I do so I am only able to get iTunes to recognize the device as a "New iPhone". This makes the phone nearly useless; I cannot sync, or successfully restore from an iOS 6 backup. Errors or improper device recognition. Anyone running into this? Ideas?

Honestly, I have had every single problem listed above and it took from 10 am to 6 pm to finally get it work. On every single point just KEEP trying. I'm guessing Apple is getting slammed and there are probably some kinks but since so many people are trying to download it. Either wait or keep trying and it will eventually work. It did for me over wi-fi on an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini. Definitely the most amazing OS I've dealt with. Love the new features including iRadio and Control Center. I feel like I bought a new phone!

Had an issue with my ipad not finding the update. Simply turned the cellular data off and it worked like a charm. Same thing with a friends iPhone. Hope it helps.

I started the iOS7 upgrade in both my iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Then I gor an advisory froim my company to hold on until they test new iOS7 impact on the company's email system. I managed to interrupt the download by turning flight mode on. But the download will resume as soon as I online. Turned the devices off and back on, makes no difference. Any help in how to completely cancel the upgrade process already started?

So question. I have an ipad2 but it doesn't even say that I have a software update. What's up with that?

My iphone 4 wont load software update. All it says is checking for update, it's been over an hour like this.

I downloaded iOS 7 to my phone last night. Now my phone is in recovery mode. I tried to plug my phone into my computer but it is saying that my computer isnt recognizing my phone. Someone please help me!!

i did my update at midnight last night and now 12 hours later its still on the apple screen and the bar is about 5% complete. what do i do?

I have an Ipad 2. How come I am not even being offered the possibility to upgrade to IOS7? Does anyone have the same problem? Do I have to upgrade to IOS 6.1.3 before???

So I have an Apple ID from 2007 that's never changed. After iOS 7 downloaded on my iphone 4S, it began a set up process and it asked me to log into my Apple ID. Easy, that worked. Then it asked me to be more secure and update my Apple ID to an e-mail address. Ok, cool. I tried several times & it kept telling me I couldn't create an Apple ID due to a server error. I tried a few more times and now it's saying my username & password are incorrect...the same username & password I've had for 6 years & used this morning to download a song. Even iTunes on my computer says its wrong. What in the world is going on? I need to be able to use my phone!

I conected the ipad to my pc and started the update through iTunes, then went to bed, this morning I found the ipad in recovery mode, I'm guessing it ran out of battery half way through. No worries, I have a recent back up I though, problem is, it won't let me recover or update. The update is already downloaded, so it should just install, but I'm getting error 3004 which when I checked with Apple is suposed to be a internet conection problem to download the update file. I turned off my antivirus and firewall but it still didn't work.

Hi, i had put my iphone for updating, some problem with net connection has resulted in my phone jus booting repeatedly, but is not turning on at all, do you knw what could be done ?

hi everyone,pls help me out!!!I've updated my iphone last night..to ios7 and after 24 hours my iphone just passed out...hewo'nt turn on or anything else!!Anyone with the same prob?!?!

hi my name is marisa and I just downloaded ios 6 lol and I wanted to know if there is some other way to download the new ios 7 because I had recently updated ios 6 so my Ipod says your software is up to date

Hi everyone,
I have an iPhone 5 and when I try to update it to iOS 7 a message shows up that says that I am not connected to internet. But I AM, it's the same network that I use everyday, besides I can access to different webpages and whatsapp, so I am connected. However, when i try to update the software says I'm not.
Has anyone else had that problem? what should I do?

Hi I had that with my iPad so reset the system settings , in settings, not the erase data, and after making sure it wasn't plugged in , while downloading the ios7 it worked.

I am trying to download ios 7 and i am getting only one message that is
"Checking for updates" and this is coming since a very long time. I am fed up. What should I do?