How to update your iPhone to iOS 16: 3 Ways explained

How to update your iPhone to iOS 16

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are here with more new features, revamped Lock Screen, Stage Manager for iPadOS, and many others. I know you are excited to update your iPhone or iPad to the latest version, so without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the same after seeing if your device is compatible with the latest update.

Here, we explain three ways to update your iPhone to iOS 16 or iPad to iPadOS 16.

Note: Apple has delayed the public release of iPadOS 16 to October.

iOS 16/iPadOS 16 compatible devices

Last time, Apple surprised everyone by including even the 6-year-old iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE eligible for the iOS 15 update. However, Apple wasn’t that gracious this year and cut off iPhone 7 series from getting iOS 16. Currently, here are the devices that are eligible for the new update.

  • iPhone 14 series
  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XS and XS Max,
  • iPhone XR and X
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

As for iPads that are eligible for iPadOS 16, the list goes as follows:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (5th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th and 6th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)

Note: The steps to update your iPad is the same as an iPhone.

How to see what update your iPhone or iPad is on

Now that you have made sure your device supports the latest iOS/iPadOS update, let’s make sure what version of iOS you are on. Here’s how:

  1. Head over to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Next, tap About.
  4. Here, you can see the iOS version.

Now that we know your iPhone’s iOS version let’s look at the steps to update your iPhone.

Prepare your iPhone for update

Before we begin, it is important to have a backup of your device. This ensures that if something goes wrong, you have the option to restore, which will let you get back all essential data.

Besides this, you must have a stable Wi-Fi connection, at least 50% battery or plugged into charging, and enough free storage.

How to update your iPhone to iOS 16

  1. Open Settings and tap General.
  2. Tap Software Update.
  3. Tap Download and Install. Follow the simple on-screen instructions.

    How to install official iOS 16 on your iPhone

If you have difficulty updating, please see our post on what to do if you can’t download the iOS update.

You may see Install Now in step 3 above if Automatic Updates is enabled. More about that in the next part.

Automatically upgrade your iPhone to iOS 16

After the last part, you may wonder how to automate iOS updates. It’s pretty simple.

  1. Inside Settings, tap General.
  2. Tap Software Update.
  3. Tap Automatic Updates or Customize Automatic Updates.

    Automatically upgrade your iPhone to iOS 15
  4. Toggle on Automatic Updates or Download iOS Updates.
    You may also enable Install iOS Updates.

    Toggle on Automatic Updates on iPhone

The iPhone will automatically download over Wi-Fi when a new update is available. It can also automatically install the update if the iPhone is charging overnight and connected to Wi-Fi. Now that you know how to turn on automatic updates on an iPhone let’s look at another way in which you can update your iPhone.

How to upgrade your iPhone to iOS 16 using Mac or PC

Besides the easy method of updating over the air, you can also use a computer to get the latest iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 on your devices. But how do you update an iPhone from a computer? Here’s how:

On a Windows PC and Mac running macOS Mojave and earlier, use iTunes. On Mac running macOS Catalina and later, use Finder. The steps are almost the same, and you can follow them effortlessly.

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad using an appropriate cable to the computer.
  2. In iTunes, click the tiny device icon. In Finder, click the device name from the left sidebar.
  3. Click Trust if you see it on the computer screen.

    Click the device name from Mac
  4. Next, tap Trust on the iPhone and enter its passcode.

    Tap Trust on iPhone and enter its passcode to update
  5. From the Summary tab in iTunes and the General tab in Finder, click Check for Update or Update.

    Click check for Update from Mac
  6. Click Update. Follow the on-screen instructions, if any.

    Click Update to download iOS on iPhone
  7. Click NextAgree → enter the passcode on the iPhone if asked.

iOS download will begin. Depending on your device and the internet speed, it may take considerable time to download the file, prepare the update, and install it. Do not disconnect the device midway.

That’s it!

I hope you now know how to update the software on the iPhone or iPad. In my opinion, the easiest method is the first one – from the Settings app. Which route are you taking? Do share your thoughts below.

Oh, and one more thing. When a new iOS version is released, most developers update their apps for better compatibility. So once you install iOS 16 or iPadOS 16, it’s better to update the apps’ latest versions from App Store.

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    1. Hi Eli,

      Can I know which iPhone you are currently trying to update? Since only iPhone 8 and later has support for iOS 16

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