How to update iOS over-the-air using Software Update

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 7.1 over-the-air (OTA)

When a new version of iOS arrives, the quickest, easiest way to update on-device and over-the-air (OTA) using the Software Update built into Settings app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. You need to be on Wi-Fi, be plugged in or have more than half your battery life remaining, and you need sufficient storage space left on your device to download the update, but if all those things are true, you'll be up and running the new version of iOS as fast the internet allows. If you have any problems or just want to do it old-school style, you can also update to iOS using iTunes.

How to update iOS on-device

  1. Tap on Settings from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Towards the top, tap on Software Update.
  4. Your iPhone or iPad should now check for new software and find that an update is now available.
  5. Tap on the Download and Install option towards the bottom. You need to be on WiFi in order to download the update or this option will be greyed out.
  6. Wait for your iPhone or iPad download the new version. This can take some time depending on your internet connection speed.
  7. Tap on Install to to begin the installation procedure.

Once the install is finished your iPhone or iPad will reboot and you'll have to sign back in, but the update will be yours!

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

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 update iOS over-the-air using Software Update


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

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Just downloaded and my device is moving faster. I hope this fix the device from shutting down.

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My gps I on won't go away even after shutting down all apps and a respring. I guess I'll try hard reboot.

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Pretty ugly experience, for the first time ever that OTA forced me to use iTunes. Obviously something went wrong and I dislike iTunes with a passion...

Did it work for you? Cause I also have an rsim in my iPhone 4S from sprint and I'm using t-mobile, but I don't wanna be locked out again like when I updated from ios 6 to 7

Well maybe I can update late tonight. The download servers are overloaded right now.

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please update the pictures in the article. The process is the same but you're showing an update to 7.0...
My OCD is twitching...

is there any benefit to updating OTA vs. itunes? I've never done an OTA update, I always do them through itunes. I'm a little wary because I've heard OTA updates don't always function properly after you install them.

I got unable to check for update. Anybody else and what should i do? Ive been trying to install 7.1 for a day now

I've been trying for days, it keeps telling me error occur but I can't figure out what I need to do to complete this update

Hiii.. I haven't bothered up dating my mini iPad (the first one) to iOS 7.1 until now, but I'm not sure if anything will happen or go wrong after its completed... I'm going to be using wifi. Can someone who has the first mini iPad let me know or just anyone?? Kind of scared & undecided, I don't know why.
Thank y'all. (:

hey guys! new in here.Just wondering why the hell is no body answering the many questions about being stucked in Searching for update.
I am kicking my a....for the last one week with updating my ipad air 7.1 but no success.
I used I tunes,I downloaded ipsw and all give error message after taking many of my hours.couldnt sleep for the last couple of nights.searching a solution but non.
its not happening through ipsw download,via itunes and niether on over th air.
my mind is just near blowing.
any one please.