How to update to iOS 7 using over-the-air (OTA) Software Update on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

How to update to iOS 7 using over-the-air (OTA) Software Update on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

The quickest, easiest way to update to iOS 7 is via the on-device, over-the-air (OTA) Software Update feature in Settings. 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. Here's how:

  1. Tap on Settings from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Now 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 iOS 7 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. Let your iPhone or iPad download iOS 7. This can take some time depending on your internet connection speed.
  7. Once the download is done, your iPhone or iPad may prompt you to confirm the update. Tap on Install to do so.

That's it. Your iOS device will reboot, and you'll be running iOS 7!

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 to iOS 7 using over-the-air (OTA) Software Update on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad


So is there any news as to when today it will actually be released? Is it kind of a rollout by location thing or.............?

Edit...also the picture above shows to pick "about" once in the "general" section...shouldnt it say "software update"?

maybe around 2 PM (EST) or 11 AM (PDT). I live in Edmonton,Canada and everyone of the last iOS updates came out at 12 PM (MST) so ya this time could be different

Someone needs to change the third image. The text is correct but the images show selecting "About" rather than "Software Update"

You don't suck, Allyson. :) By the way, how many posts do I have to make on the iMore forums to post without having to wait for it to be approved?

It will likely be released to the public at 1PM Eastern Time in the US... It's not available yet as of the time of this post...

hi everyone

has anyone got any ideas what time ios7 will be released in the UK???

anxiously waiting by iphone like a right geek!!! am i sad or what, but i love it

OTA updates need 2-3GB if memory serves. If you do not have that much free space you will have to use iTunes.

why cant they just release it at midnight like preorders?? the whole world has to wait for 10 am PST?? east coast is biting their fingernails all day waiting!

One tiny thing you forgot to mention... If this is like the jump from iOS 5 to 6, then after installing iOS7 you will have to download all your apps and let the phone reinstall everything...or am I missing something?

6pm for the update ?? is that just for ota? Or can I plug right into itunes to update it right away?

Thats the only thing thats not showing up for me yet :( I can download IOS 7 from my phone but my computer does not see the iTunes update

Everytime I try to download it, it loads part way and then I get a message saying Software Update Failed. Anyone know why??

Worked like a charm on my iPad mini.

iOS7 looks great on this device. It's also a lot snappier. The only thing I wish they had done is enabled Text Reflow in Safari (the WebKit engine has it but the browser has to turn it on).

I Got the update But, When I try to install I get a message saying update unavailable?? I restarted and other suggestions?

I had the same issue and so far it's actually downloading now. What I did was plug in my ipad to my computer, back it up and than update it from Itunes instead of by the phone. It's gotten allot further that way than by me going to setting on my ipad. It has literally just told me that it has been updated :) It's restarting right now.

I have an iPhone 5 and when I tried to download it failed so i tried again and it won't come up under software updates it says my device is up to date with ios 6.1.4 help!

Did an OTA update on iPhone 4S (dads phone) and upon reboot it's saying plug into iTunes. He doesn't have a comp. Any explanation why?

Yeah, it may end up in iTunes Restore mode. You will need an extra tool called TinyUmbrella on your PC / OS X to kick it out from Restore mode.

Help! During the 7.1 update on my iPad it froze! I'm refusing to accept that these "geniuses " can't make it possible to recover my pic and videos ... Infant laughing for first time important videos. I am beyond angry. No I stupidly did
To think to " back it up" but seriously, should it be needed for an update!?? Now to even use it again I'm to reset and wipe it clean:( I'm in denial. I have faith in the hackers of the world to help me with this!!