The main reason your iPhone won’t update is because there isn’t enough storage on your device to store the update. You can delete huge apps in order to remove storage quickly. This will allow your iPhone or iPad to store the update.

What Happens when you Update your iPhone

So, there are a few things that have to happen for your iPhone or iPad to update: Your iPhone needs to be able to contact Apple’s update servers. If you can browse the internet on your iPhone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can contact Apple servers, because Apple servers use special ports.

So, if you’re trying a Wi-Fi network in a public place like McDonald’s and it’s not working, go home try a different Wi-Fi network that might make all the difference in the world. You also need to be able to store the software on your iPhone itself. There has to be enough storage space, and everything just has to be working right with the system itself.

So, sometimes little software errors can happen and that will also prevent your software from updating.

Try and Update your iPhone or iPad again

Start by going to the normal place to go to update your iPhone software:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Scroll down to General
  3. Tap ‘Software Update’

If an update is available, you should see the version number of that update and you should see some information about it.

Tap ‘Download and Install’ on the bottom of the screen. If it’s not working, as usual, go to the next step.

Turn your iPhone On and Off

If you have a software update on your iPhone and nothing is happening at all, this could be a grey screen or it could be a spinning wheel.

If this is the case, turn your iPhone off and back on again, because sometimes that simple fix can solve software issues that crop up in the background.

To do that:

  1. Press and hold the power button on your Phone until ‘slide to power off’ appears on the screen
  2. Swipe the power icon across the screen with your finger
  3. It’s normal for your iPhone or iPad to take 10-15 seconds to turn off
  4. After that happens, press and hold the power button again until the Apple logo appears at the screen
  5. Then, let go

Not Enough Storage

Another possibility that a lot of people will see is that when they tap software update and they go to download and install, you’ll get an error message that says not enough storage.

Here’s how to check the storage:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Go to iPhone storage

At the top, you can see how much gigabytes of data your iPhone has actually used and how much you have available. At the top of this list, you’ll see the biggest offenders of what’s using all your iPhone storage — photos, videos, and apps, usually take up the most space.

your iPhone acts like a digital camera where if you plug it into your PC or Mac, you can just transfer all your photos and put it on your PC and then remove them safely from your iPhone.

Always make sure you have a backup, but this is a really good way to dump your photos on your computer.

Use iTunes to Update your iPhone

So, you’ve tried restarting their iPhone and you’ve checked your storage but it’s still now working, the next thing to do is to try to use iTunes to update your iPhone. Back in the day, iTunes was the only way you could update your iPhone.

This was around iOS 5 or 6. Apple caught on and they made it easier to do over the air software updates. They made it a lot easier to do because a lot of more people have problems updating their iPhone with iTunes than they did with the iPhone itself.

This is because iTunes brings a computer to the mix and computers can have all sorts of problems. Now this will work on a Mac or a PC. There’s a difference between updating your iPhone and restoring your iPhone using iTunes and syncing your iPhone with an iTunes library.

  1. Plug your iPhone into your PC
  2. In iTunes, look for the iPhone logo in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  3. Tap Check For Update

If an update is available, you’ll be able to download and install it here just like you can on your iPhone.

If you’re using the same Wi-Fi network at home and you can’t update your iPhone, it could be the Wi-Fi network. if everything’s having the same problem and it’s just the Wi-Fi network— try it somewhere else.

Reset all Settings

If iTunes still won’t update after you’ve tried to use iTunes, the next step is to Reset All Settings. When troubleshooting iPhone software, try to do the least invasive thing.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Go to reset at the bottom
  4. Then, Reset All Settings

Reset all settings doesn’t delete any of the data on your iPhone, such as text messages and photos, but it does reset everything in the Settings app.

So, you’re going to have to reconfigure your Wi-Fi passwords, your wallpaper, and a few minor things.

Reset All Settings, however, does fix a lot of minor software problems and since a software update is part of the Settings app, it can fix this problem.

Restore your iPhone

If nothing has worked, it’s time to restore your iPhone. But before you do that, make sure you back up your iPhone to iTunes or iCloud.

When you restore your iPhone, it just takes everything off your iPhone or iPad and puts a fresh version of the operating system on it.

When you restore your iPhone, it means that it has to update the software on your phone.

Note: When you’re updating your iPhone, you can’t restore an iPhone to an earlier version. As soon as Apple releases a new version of the software, they sign it and then all the old versions of software become invalid and you can never access them again.