How to manually update to iOS 5.1.1 with iCloud

It's been almost a week since Apple released iOS 5.1.1 but not everyone seems to have heard about it right away. Some may not have received or noticed the popup notification or badge on the Settings app to advise them it was available. Others may have been waiting to see what, if anything, iOS 5.1.1. did to battery life and performance before updating. Still others aren't updating until a nicely packaged, unthethered jailbreak is available for iOS 5.1.1.

If you're in the first two groups, however, our latest reader survey shows that iOS 5.1.1. is about the same, if not a little better, when it comes to battery life and performance, so you can go ahead and update without any worries. If you still haven't received your update alert, or you missed it, or simply haven't gotten around to it yet, it's really easy, and really fast, to manually start the updating process using iCloud.

How to manually update to iOS 5.1.1

iPad software update alert notification

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Software Update
  4. If there's nothing new, you'll be told just so. Otherwise, you'll be presented with all the details about the update.
  5. Tap Download and Install

  1. Agree to the Terms and Conditions

  1. 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.)

  1. 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.

  1. Agree to the Terms and Conditions yet again.

  1. Apple will verify the install.

See our complete how to set up, back up, restore, and update using iCloud guide for more, and if you need any extra help, or need to trouble shoot, jump into our iOS 5 Forum.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • updates aren't a part of icloud
  • You seriously did a guide for this? Really? Even my mother can do this. Who seriously needs a guide to show how to update iOS?
    My god man.
  • You seriously had to comment on this? My God man... There are users out there that need this level of instruction... You, Mark - are not one of those. So move on...just pass it by, and leave it alone.
  • One day, when you understand how the world really works, you will look back at your non contributing zero-ness and realize what a fool you sound like questioning things that don't need to be questioned.
  • Connecting to PC via iTunes is so iOS 4. Glad you used OTA.
  • Anyone notice that 5.1.1 update added a Bing bookmark to Safari? Did it on my iPhone 4 and iPad 3rd gen.
  • Didn't do that for me... however, I'm syncing bookmarks with my Mac via iCloud.
  • In previous releases, if you went into the Safari settings and made Yahoo! or Bing your search provider, the search box in Safari still said Google, but functioned correctly. With this release, it now actually says who the provider is that will be used in the search submission.
  • Won't work because of the mb limit for downloads....
  • Has anyone had issues with the signal always "searching..." on 5.0, if so does the 5.1.1 update address this? I've read it has to do with a problem caused by receiving MMS messages from Android.
  • Breaks wi-fi sync