How to manually update to iOS 6 over-the-air (OTA)
iOS 6 is here -- read our complete iOS 6 review! -- and if you're itching to get your hands on it but your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch isn't yet alerting you that it's available, you can manually update over-the-air.
Follow along and we'll show you how!
How to manually update to iOS
- Launch the Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
- If there's nothing new, you'll be told just so. Otherwise, you'll be presented with all the details about the update.
- Tap Download and Install
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions
- Watch the progress bar (This part depends on the speed and quality of connection. Don't be alarmed if it takes a long time, speeds up or slows down, or appears to jump around -- be patient.)
- Once it's finished downloading, you'll be prompted to instal (and restart) your device. If you don't explicitly hit Later or Install within a few seconds, it will install on your behalf.
- Apple will verify the install.
You're done! Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is ready to go on iOS 6!
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.
File size for the 4s is 626mb.
Edited to add: whole process took 30 minutes start to finish. Looking good and trying it out.
OS X 10.8.2.12C54 on mid 2011 i7 264 GB MBA (ca. 50 min to download, 10 min install & reboot),
iOS 6 on:
- iPh4s 64GB (ca. 40 min download + 15 min "prepare" + 20 min for 1st install & reboot phase, 5 min for 2nd install & reboot phase);
- iPa3 64GB 3G: failed to install 5x, throwing an unspecific "Update Failed" message (moving on to iPa2);
- iPa2 64GB WiFi-only: failed to install 8x, same as iPa3 (assuming overloaded servers at Apple's end, so going to dinner now!) Reminder to everybody, before doing all your updates, don't forget to do something like this:
- allow enough time to do the process ... it took me about 2 hours (most of which was for doing the download and then for my iPh4s to process and install iOS6 ... so don't think you will save much time by skipping all the back-up steps that I include below out of an abundance of caution);
- start with charged-up devices (computer and ios units), keep plugged-in during the update process;
- back-up mac (or PC);
- import photos from iOS devices and sync/backup that device (my backup is to my mac, yours may be to the iCloud or elsewhere like a PC);
- back-up mac (again, note each successive back-up is faster because of the first one);
- d/l and install OS X 10.8.2 and restart (see notes above for my times);
- back-up mac (this will take some minutes because your are backing up the new OS X)
- d/l and install iOS 6 on your devices;
- when the iOS 6 screen finally pops up after 75 minutes, tap the "i" at the bottom to expose an information screen with IMEI and ICCID data; make a screen shot of it (simultaneously press sleep and home buttons for a second, the screen should flash white and, if volume is on, the camera shutter will make a noise);
- slide to open, enter your screen-unlock passcode (and if you don't have one, shame on you and don't forget to go into settings and set one up!);
- complete the short series of set up screens;
- sync/back-up your iOS devices (this appears to have begun automatically on mine after completing the preceding two steps and before the SIM unlock screen ever appeared);
- "finishing sync" taking ages, assume due to SIM card locked, pulled iPh from dock, shut-off and restarted; reentered screen and sim codes (1h20m since start); resyncing ... now it has decided to sync/copy all 2083 photos on the phone (didn't expect this!) ... photo sync complete 1h54m after start;
- back-up mac ca. 5m
- done (ca. 2h from start-to-finish; compared to the A5 processor in my iPh4s, the 2x faster A6 processor in the iPh5 is sounding pretty good just about now!) Other:
- I stopped updating apps about 2 months ago because I wanted to wait for the improved security (for contacts, etc.), so I have about 53 updates to make yet ... this will add some more time to the whole update thing...
- I did a normal slide to shut off, and noticed that the spinning wheel is almost imperceptably dim...