How to download and install iOS 16.1 on your iPhone

iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 display side by side
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

Every year, Apple releases major software updates for your iPhone. A slew of new features is introduced, and it's always fun to try these new capabilities out on your current phone. But first, you'll need to get the new version of iOS on your device! Here's how to do just that.

What's new in iOS?

October 24, 2022: Apple launches iOS 16.1

Apple has released iOS 16.1 to all users. The update debuts a number of new features like iCloud Shared Photo Library, Live Activities, Clean Energy Charging, and more. You can see all of the new features released today in the release notes below:

This update introduces iCloud Shared Photo Library making it easy to keep your family photos up to date. This release also adds support for third party apps in Live Activities, support for Apple Fitness+ on iPhone even if you don't have an Apple Watch, and includes other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.

iCloud Shared Photo Library
- Separate library for seamlessly sharing photos and videos with up to five other people
- Setup rules allow you to easily contribute past photos based on start date or people in the photos when you set up or join a library
- Library filters for quickly switching between viewing the Shared Library, your Personal Library, or both libraries together
- Shared edits and permissions let everyone add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete photos
- Sharing toggle in Camera lets you choose to send photos you take straight to the Shared Library, or enable a setting to share automatically when other participants are detected nearby using Bluetooth

Live Activities
- Live Activities from third party apps are available in the Dynamic Island and on the Lock Screen for iPhone 14 Pro models

- Apple Fitness+ is supported on iPhone even if you don't have an Apple Watch

- Key sharing enables you to securely share car, hotel room, and other keys in Wallet using messaging apps such as Messages and WhatsApp

- Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is supported enabling a wide variety of smart home accessories to work together across ecosystems

Clean Energy Charging
- New setting that can try to reduce your carbon footprint by selectively charging when lower carbon emission electricity is available

- Reader controls are automatically hidden as you start reading

This update also includes bug fixes for your iPhone:
- Deleted conversations may appear in the conversations list in Messages
- Dynamic Island content is not available when using Reachability
- CarPlay may fail to connect when using a VPN app

October 10, 2022: Apple launches iOS 16.0.3

The next version of iOS 16 is finally here, and it brings some major bug fixes along with it.

This update provides a number of bug fixes for issues affecting iPhone 14 models:

  • Incoming call and app notifications may be delayed or not delivered on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Low microphone volume can occur during CarPlay phone calls on iPhone 14 models
  • Camera may be slow to launch or switch between modes on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Mail crashes on launch after receiving a malformed email

September 22, 2022: Apple launches iOS 16.0.2

The next version of iOS 16 is finally here, and it brings some major bug fixes along with it.

Two big bugs quashed in this update are the camera vibration bug affecting some iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max users, and the copy-paste bug that caused system alerts to pop up too often for pasting across apps is also gone.

Even more bug fixes are included in iOS 16.0.2 (opens in new tab), so make sure to download it as soon as you can! 

September 14, 2022: Apple launches iOS 16.0.1

Apple has released iOS 16.0.1 to the public. In addition to being an immediate update needed for the new iPhone 14 models, it will also fix some issues with the Photos and enterprise apps on the new phones. This update is only for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.

This update is recommended for all users and provides important bug fixes for your iPhone including the following:

  • Fixes an issue with activation and migration during set up of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro
  • Photos may appear soft when zooming in landscape orientation on iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Enterprise single sign-on apps may fail to authenticate

September 12, 2022: Apple launches iOS 16

Apple has just rolled out iOS 16 to everyone. This is a massive iOS update, and includes brand new features like customizable Lock Screens, edit/undo send in iMessage, multi-stop routing in Maps, improvements to Live Text and Visual Lookup, and more.

How to install the iOS update using Software Update on your iPhone

The easiest way for most people to download iOS is over-the-air, directly on their device. It's fast, it's efficient, and it's simple to do.

  1. Make sure you have a recent iCloud backup.
  2. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  3. Tap on General.
  4. Tap on Software Update.
  5. Tap on Download and Install.
  6. Enter your Passcode, if prompted.
  7. Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  8. Tap Agree again to confirm.

The download will begin automatically. If the download does not begin right away, you may see a notice: "Preparing to download." Give it a couple of minutes and the download will begin shortly.

How to install the iOS update using your Mac

If you have limited space on your device or software update isn't working for whatever reason, you can update using your Mac.

  1. Make sure you have a recent backup. Make it encrypted so all of your passwords and other private data is preserved.
  2. Plug your iPhone or iPod touch in using your USB to Lightning or USB to 30-pin Dock cable.
  3. Under Finder, click on the device icon at the top left to go to the device tab.
  4. Click on Check for Update in the Summary pane.
  5. Click on Download and Update
  6. Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  7. Enter the Passcode on your iPhone or iPod touch, if prompted.

How to install the iOS update over the developer or public beta

You can install the public version of this iOS update over a beta version if your device is still running that version. Here's a guide on how to update from an iOS beta to the official release.

Time to explore the latest and greatest that iOS has to offer

As you can see, the process for getting the new software update on your best iPhone is very easy and straightforward. The easiest way is definitely over-the-air, but it isn't always the fastest. If you want to get done sooner, then the best way is by updating with a Mac or PC through Finder/iTunes.

Regardless, now that your iPhone has the latest iOS, it's time to put it to the test and play with all of the cool new features that it has to offer. With iOS 16, you'll be able to do things like customize the Lock Screen, edit and undo send on iMessages, have multiple stops on a route in Maps, and so much more.

Updated September 2022: Updated for iOS 16.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.