How to install iOS over USB using iTunes

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 7 using iTunes

While it's much faster and easier to install iOS updates using the on-device Software Update feature if you backup using iTunes or simply have problems doing an over-the-air install, you can also update using iTunes.

How to update iOS using iTunes and a USB cable

  1. Back up your device to either iCloud or iTunes before performing any kind of update.
  2. Make sure you're on the latest version of iTunes. Go to About and then Check for Updates or visit
  3. Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  4. Plug in your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
  5. Once your computer recognizes it, click on the Summary tab if you aren't already there.
  6. Under the iPhone section, click on Check for Update.
  7. iTunes should recognize that there is an update available for, click on Download and Install on the window that pops up.

Once your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad reboots, you'll be running the latest update!

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to install iOS over USB using iTunes


Does anyone know how to update to 7.1 with a jailbroken 5s? (Just to be clear I'm not looking to update with cydia, I don't care if I lose the jailbreak)

Sent from the iMore App

nice photoshop work on the article pictures.. No one will spot the difference in blur between the version number you're updating to and the rest of the picture.
... OCD senses tingling

I had problems updating over the air last night. If I update with Itunes does it automatically back up or will I have to manually do that before updating? If so, how do I backup with Itunes and recover after updating?