The company’s new iPadOS 14 firmware brings a new batch of features, bug fixes, and important security patches to its iPad lineup.
If you’re moving from iPadOS 14.5.1 to iPadOS 14.6, you’ll see the smallest download. If you’re upgrading from an older version of iPadOS, your iPadOS 14.6 download could be much larger. That’s because the changes from the update(s) you skipped are baked in.
While some of you might want to refrain from downloading iPadOS 14.6 right now, most iPad users should install the software today or at some point in the near future.
If you do decide to install iPadOS 14.6 on your iPad, you’ll want to set aside some time to get the new software properly installed on your device.
Moving your tablet from one version of iPadOS to another can cause problems so you’ll want to make sure you have time to monitor the download and installation.
We can’t tell you exactly how long the process will take because it will vary. That said, we can help you approximate how much time you should set aside if you choose to install iPadOS 14.6 on your device.
If you’ve prepared for the move and your tablet is on a fast Wi-Fi connection, it could take around 10 minutes for the installation to complete.
|Sync (Optional)||5-45 Minutes|
|Backup and Transfer (Optional)||1-30 Minutes|
|iPadOS 14.6 Download||5 Minutes to 15 Minutes|
|iPadOS 14.6 Installation||8 Minutes to 20 Minutes|
|Total iPadOS 14.6 Update Time||13 Minutes to 1 Hour+|
Before you initiate the iPadOS 14.6 download, make sure you’re ready.
If you don’t know how to prepare for a software update, please take a look at our pre-installation guide. It’ll take you through the most important steps to take before you tap download.
Most of you should be able to get through these steps in 30 minutes or less, but there’s a chance you’ll need more time. In some cases, a lot more.
You don’t need to follow every single step in our guide, but at the very least you’ll want to make sure your iPad’s data is backed up properly.
iPadOS 14.6 Download
Once you’re ready, you’ll want to start the iPadOS 14.6 download.
The exact size of the iPadOS 14.6 download will depend on your version of the iPad and the version of iPadOS your tablet is currently running.
If you’re running iPadOS 14.5.1 on your iPad right now, your download will check in at several hundred megabytes. However, if you’re currently running older software, your download will likely be much larger.
If your iPad is currently on iPadOS 14.5.1, and it’s connected to a speedy Wi-Fi network, the iPadOS 14.6 download could finish up in around five minutes or so.
If your connection is slower, and/or you’re running older iPadOS software, it could take 10 minutes or longer.
iPadOS 14.6 Installation
Once your iPad is done pulling iPadOS 14.6 from Apple’s servers, the installation process will begin. This could take longer than the download.
If you’re moving up from iPadOS 14.5.1, the installation process could take around eight minutes. If you’re moving up from an older version of iPadOS 14 or iPadOS 13, the installation will take longer. It took around eight minutes to install on an older iPad Pro.
Note that your iPad might reboot itself a few times during the installation process. This is perfectly normal and isn’t a cause for concern.
After the iPadOS 14.6 installation process finishes up, you might need to spend time logging into your iCloud account, signing into your device’s various apps and services, and/or setting up Apple Pay.
We recommend spending some time checking your important data (photos, videos, music, etc) to make sure everything is where it should be.
After that, you should test your core applications and services to ensure they’re working normally. If you notice an issue with an app, try downloading the latest version. Developers are rolling out iPadOS 14 support updates and they should help stabilize performance.
You’ll also want to poke around iPadOS 14.6 for bugs and performance issues. If you notice something take a look at our list of fixes for the most common problems.
Install iPadOS 14.6 for Better Security
If security is important to you, and it should be, think about installing iPadOS 14.6 right now.
iPadOS 14.6 brings 50+ security patches to the iPad, iPad Pro, iPad mini, and iPad Air. You can learn all about these changes right here.
If you missed iPadOS 14.5.1, you'll get its security patches with your update. Both of them are related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, check Apple's website for more details.
If you skipped iPadOS 14.5, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can read more about the changes over on Apple's website.
iPadOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iPadOS 14.4.2 you get its security patch with your upgrade. You can read more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed iPadOS 14.5.1, iPadOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.4.2 and iPadOS 14.4.1, you'll get iPadOS 14.4.1's security patch with your update. You can read more about the patch on Apple's security site.
If you skipped iPadOS 14.5.1, iPadOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.4.2, iPadOS 14.4.1 and iPadOS 14.4, you get iPadOS 14.4's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iPadOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iPadOS 14.5.1, iPadOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.4.2, iPadOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4, and iPadOS 14.3, you'll get iPadOS 14.3's patches with your upgrade.
iPadOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iPadOS 14.5.1, iPadOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.4.2, iPadOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4, iPadOS 14.3, and iPadOS 14.2, you'll get iPadOS 14.2's 24 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iPadOS 13, iPadOS 14.6 will also include iPadOS 14.0's security updates.
iPadOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to iPad models. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
If you skipped iPadOS 13.7 or any older versions of iPadOS 13, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your upgrade. They're baked in.
In addition to those patches, iPadOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iPadOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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