Apple frequently releases iOS updates to keep your iPhone secure, up-to-date, and feature-rich. With iOS 16, it introduced so many excellent features! If you recently tried to install iOS 16 but failed, check out these tested solutions to fix the problem. Once you follow these, the software update failed issue will no longer trouble you. Let us have a look.
- Essentials to ensure iOS update downloads and installs
- Force quit the Settings app
- Restart your iPhone
- Learn how to fix frozen iPhone update
- Reset network settings
- Use a computer to download and install iPhone update
1. Essentials to ensure iOS update downloads and installs
I. Ensure your iPhone is compatible
The first step is to ensure your device and iOS compatibility. If you have an iPhone 8 or later (including iPhone SE 1 gen.), you can download and install the iOS 16.
However, If you have iPhone 7 or earlier, iOS 15 is the maximum you can go. You can see the complete list of iOS 16-supported devices.
II. Make sure you have over 50% battery
You must have over 50% battery to install an iOS update. If the charge is less, please plug your iPhone into charging. While charging or once the battery is above 50%, you can download and install the iOS update effortlessly.
III. Connect to a stable Wi-Fi
It is vital to ensure that you have stable Wi-Fi. Also, ensure you have turned off the VPN on your iPhone or the router level. If the Wi-Fi at a coffee shop is not letting you download the update, consider using your home or office Wi-Fi.
Note: Some minor iOS updates can now be downloaded using mobile data. According to my testing over the last few months, major updates still require Wi-Fi.
IV. Ensure you have sufficient free space
To download and install iOS updates, ensure you have free space. You will see a message on the update screen if you do not have ample free space. Check out our guide on how to free iPhone space to resolve it.
V. Wait for some time or try again later
You tried the above fixes, and still, if it does not help, you may get worried, thinking, why won’t my iPhone update to iOS 16! But in some instances, the fault does not lie at your end!
For example, people worldwide flock to download the latest iOS version when a major update is released. This is strenuous for Apple servers, and for a long time, you will see “Waiting to update…” In these conditions, the best solution is to wait a few hours.
You may also check Apple’s server and see if things are ok here or not. If you cannot install the iOS update on your iPhone, move on to the next step.
2. Force quit the Settings app
If you cannot install the iOS 16 update on your iPhone, force quit the Settings app.
- On iPhone with Face ID, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold.
- On iPhone with a Home button, quickly double-press it.
- Drag the Settings app card all the way up to force quit.
- After a few seconds, open the Settings app → General → Software Update and see if you can install the new iOS update.
3. Restart your iPhone
This is another important fix for iOS updates not installing. To restart your iPhone, turn it off and after one minute, turn it back on.
4. Learn how to fix frozen iPhone update
Is your iPhone update frozen? Is it stuck on the same update requested screen for a long time? In this situation, please see this post where I show you multiple solutions to fix this issue.
5. Reset Network Settings
This is an almost sure-shot solution to fix failed software update issues. A while back, my iPhone update also got stuck. I switched to three different Wi-Fi networks. Still, the update was not downloading. Finally, I reset the Network Settings, and everything was as good as possible.
Note: This will not delete personal data like apps, photos, videos, songs, etc. However, all Network Settings related to Wi-Fi, Cellular, and such will be erased.
- Open iPhone Settings and tap General.
- Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone → Reset.
- Select Reset Network Settings.
- Once this completes, try downloading and installing the update again. It will work.
In rare cases, if this does not help, go ahead and reset all settings. This, too, won’t delete personal data. But all settings you have ever changed or added, like notifications, keyboard, Wi-Fi, location, VPN, etc., will reset to the default state.
6. Use a computer to download and install iPhone update
Finally, if nothing seems to work now, you can update your iPhone using a Mac or Windows PC. We have a detailed guide explaining how to do that.
I hope the methods listed here helped. These were the solution to fix the ‘cannot download and install iOS update’ issue. If you need more assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me via the comments section below.
If you think your device needs physical inspection, please contact Apple Support.
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None of those worked now what
Please share the exact issue: whether you can’t see the update option or installation is getting stuck somewhere. We’ll be able to help you out better when we have that info.
I was able to download IOS 15.2 but could not install. I keep getting an error message “Unable to Install”, and a prompt to “Retry”. I retried several time with same results.
Try restarting your device and retry. If this doesn’t work, check if there’s enough space on your device, clear some space, and that might help.
Also, what is the exact message under the Unable to Install popup? If it says software update requires a network connection, try switching the network (WiFi or hotspot).
Thank you very much for your time! As I can see of course some people are very rude. But just know for every rude person there is a person that appreciates what you do😊 Thank you
Thanks for the help, it has been very useful.
We spent several days trying to upgrade from IOS 14 to 16 and your suggestion of resetting the network settings worked.
Thank you so much!