How to Upgrade to iOS 5

Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 5 is available for download today. iOS 5 brings a collection of new features to old iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.

There are over 200 new iOS 5 features, which will change the way you use your iOS device. If you have an old iPhone, iOS 5 will help you get ready to upgrade to an iPhone 4S, or it will help you get another year of use out of an old phone.

Apple has made the upgrade process pretty straightforward. If you haven’t already done so, you should be sure to prepare your iPhone for iOS 5.

Once you start the iOS 5 upgrade process, you shouldn’t stop. Typically upgrading right when the software is available is slower due to a large number of people updating. If you are updating your iPhone, be sure you can be without it for the duration of the upgrade.

iOS 5 is a free upgrade, and works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3rd generation, iPod Touch 4th generation, iPad and iPad 2.

Prepare for iOS 5

If you haven’t already read, 5 Things to Do Before You Upgrade to iOS 5, I suggest you give the list a quick glance, but we will cover the essential steps below.

iTunes 10.5 - The first thing you need to do is update iTunes. You can do this by choosing Check for Updates in the app, or downloading iTunes 10.5 directly from Apple.

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Follow the prompts to update iTunes to the latest version. This should take 5-10 minutes once the file is downloaded.

Backup – Backup your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to your computer. To do this, plug in with a USB cable and allow the device to backup. If it does not automatically backup, you can right click on the device name in the left side of iTunes and choose backup. If moving to a new computer, be sure to transfer purchases to the computer for easy syncing.

How to Update to iOS 5

Now that you are ready, here’s how to upgrade to iOS 5.

1. Click on your device’s name in the iTunes sidebar.

iOS 5 Upgrade Step 1

2. This will open up Settings in the right hand area as shown below.

How to upgrade to iOS 5

Click Check for Update to Upgrade to iOS 5.

3. Click on the Check for Update button in the middle of your screen.

4. iTunes will now download and upgrade your iPhone to iOS 5. This could take some time. Do not disconnect from your computer or quit iTunes until the iOS 5 upgrade is done.

5. When the update completes your device will restart and you will be prompted to sign in with your Apple ID. You can sync to iTunes to bring back your apps and data if need be.

6. Do not remove your device until your apps have synced back, otherwise you will have to recover lost apps, which is painful.

That’s all you need to do. We’ll be showing off how to use iOS 5 soon, for now, learn how to use the Notification Center in iOS 5.

While the upgrade to iOS 5 happens, you can watch the iOS 5 overview video from Apple to see what you can expect in the newest iPhone and iPad software.

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Comments

  1. Christoph says

    Is there a different release date for the UK?  At the time of writing – 4:50pm 12/10/11 iTunes still says my phone software is up to date????…..

    • Cem says

      Apple are going to make it available in the US at 10AM PDT, that’s 6PM UK time. They may just start with US and gradually rollout to the rest of the world.  So any time between 6pm and midnight, you should be able to upgrade your IOS devices

        • Cem says

          David, are you 5 or what? watch the language. i’m just sharing the info i’ve got from Apple Store

      • Cem says

        and as of now, my itunes started downloading the update.   quickly connected my ipad as well, it still shows 4.3.5 as the latest.  looks like there is a req/sec limit on Apple servers so eventually you’ll get the software if you keep on trying

    • BrownEyesInMD says

      Mine said my software is up to date too, but if you prompt it to check for updates it will identify the 5.0 for you to download.  Maybe apple is notifying of updates in phases so everyone is not doing it at once, but you can still get the update by checking for updates. 

  2. Erin says

    I live in the US, and it also says my software is up to date even after I downloaded the newest version of iTunes. 

  3. Cmtuck53 says

    Mine says 4.3.5 up to date.  Updated iTunes already and it says 10.5.  Frustrating…

  4. Skosi1 says

    update is still showing version 4.3.5 on my itunes 10.5.
    Can I update to ios5 from 4.2.1??

  5. Robert says

    My gosh! Have some patience…at precisely 1pm (Eastern), I started clicking the check for update button on itunes (iPhone).  Finally, it took!  Downloading now.  Sometimes you guys forget it’s just an update on a phone…not life or death.  Relax!

  6. Emre says

    My Ipod keeps telling me it cannot be restored (Error 3200) Can anyone help I tried installing 3 times already :(

      • Emre says

        What I did was this, it asked me if I wanted to reset it to factory settings and I would lose all my apps. And so I proceeded because everything on my iPod was backed up on my computer anyway. So after I did that it downloaded successfully and when your iPod reboots it asks you if you want to start your iPod fresh or backup from computer or iCloud. I chose computer and got everything back. I believe it should work with iPhone as well. Good Luck !

  7. Palet says

    Same here.. tried rebooting phone, updating iTunes, lion, restarting mac…. any other ideas?

  8. guest123 says

    just signed into my apple account (view account screen) and from there without clicking done went straight to the phone and clicked restore and it is upgrading. so maybe try that…

  9. Frascatoren says

    I’m getting an error that’s saying “The network connection could not be established”. I have a win 7 pc and how do I fix this? I AM connected to Wifi.

  10. Sharmas Rohan1997 says

    I’ve tried to get it on my iPhone 4,
    But it says that it can not be restored error 3200 or something like that, can anyone help!?

    • It Caveman52 says

      First, connect the iPhone to a computer (Mac or PC) running
      iTunes 10.5, using the cable. Turn the phone off if you can (I couldn’t but
      this trick worked anyway). Hold the power button on the top and the home button
      on the front down at the same time for precisely 10 seconds — no kidding, time
      it with a watch. At 10 seconds, release the power button but keep holding the
      home button down until the computer sees the iPhone.

       

      Now you should be able to do a normal restore. It’s a big
      update, so expect it to take a good, long time.

       

       

      DFU means Device Firmware Update. If a restore using
      Recovery Mode doesn’t work you will want to use DFU Mode as a last resort. When
      placing your iPhone into DFU Mode it does not load the OS before attempting the
      restore

  11. Claire says

    Is there a way to download the iOS 5 without syncing with the PC?

    My PC was recently restored back to factory settings (all data wiped out, no backup) and am wondering if downloading the iOS 5 would wipe out the data on my iPhone 4?

  12. It Caveman52 says

    First, connect the iPhone to a computer (Mac or PC) running
    iTunes 10.5, using the cable. Turn the phone off if you can (I couldn’t but
    this trick worked anyway). Hold the power button on the top and the home button
    on the front down at the same time for precisely 10 seconds — no kidding, time
    it with a watch. At 10 seconds, release the power button but keep holding the
    home button down until the computer sees the iPhone.

     

    Now you should be able to do a normal restore. It’s a big
    update, so expect it to take a good, long time.

     

     

    DFU means Device Firmware Update. If a restore using
    Recovery Mode doesn’t work you will want to use DFU Mode as a last resort. When
    placing your iPhone into DFU Mode it does not load the OS before attempting the
    restore

  13. Bob says

    WTF it still says my 4.2.1 is the newest version for my 3rd gen iPod touch. Anyone know any solutions? I have the new iTunes.

  14. Me says

    Help!! When i right click on “ipad”, it only says eject. Ive upgraded to the latest itunes. Maybe its the computer? Please help me!!

  15. Znnancy says

    Thanks for sharing this. The poor thing is that my Mac Pro screen went black and the cursor became frozen while upgrading. Have to force to turn it off and then turn it on. No ideas what it was going wrong. But finally it is syncing in process…

  16. Spinx126 says

    Can iPhone 3G use ios5 ? Or I should I need to upgrade to other first then upgrade to ios5 ?

  17. Christy says

    When trying to upgrade to iOS 5, I am getting a message that session has timed out?? If you have a good internet connection (which I do) it says to check network settings-has anyone seen this or have any advice as to what needs to be changed in the settings?? would appreciate any help :)

  18. IamAPersonIam says

    If you have ios 4.3.5 and you want itunes to update to ios 5, Downgrade firmware to 4.3.4 first then the 5 update should run fine.

  19. spongebobfan213 says

    will it erase the data i have on my ipod touch? i have several videos and pics i don’t want to lose.

  20. Helpingafriend says

    A friend at church purchased a Ipad2 and has created a Itunes acct. My daughter has a Ipod so we have our own Itunes acct. My friend sent home his Ipad2 with me for me to update t he iSO 5 but I am afraid to sync it to my computer. Is it best to sync it to his computer at his home that he will be using or is it ok for me to sync from my own personal computer? He has to have a updated version in order to purchase the Strong’s Concordance. Please advise, Thank You, a friend.

    • Helpful friend says

      When iTunes opens the sidebar is the strip on the left of the screen that shows your device and lists things such as library, playlists, videos, etc.

  21. Sharls says

    Like many others, I tried to upgrade to iOS 5 from 4.3 something. The software got downgraded to 4.2.1 and it keeps saying that is the latest update. Can anyone help?

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