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How Long Will the iOS 10 Update Take to Finish?

The iOS 10 update is here with a plethora of new features in a more compact download. The iOS 10 update will still take some time to download and install, so not all users should jump and start as soon as the iOS 10 release time arrives.

With the iOS 10 update users get new Messages apps, shared iPhone notes, better control of read receipts and a ton of new Messages features. Check out what’s new in iOS 10 for more details.

The iOS 10 update runs on most devices device currently running iOS 9, but not all.

One question we hear every year with this major update, and that we are already hearing from readers is, ” How long will the iOS 10 update take to download and install?”

How long will the iOS 10 update take to install?
How long will the iOS 10 update take to install?

There is no single answer, but based on our experience with earlier updates we can help you figure out how much time you need to set aside to download and install iOS 10.

If you try to download the iOS 9 update as soon as it is available, you will likely see longer download times, that will make the overall installation take longer. Waiting a few hours after the iOS 10 release time can drastically speed up the process.

How Long Does the iOS 10 Update Take?

Assuming Apple doesn’t run into server problems and you are on a fast Internet connection and you are prepared for the iOS 10 installation it could take as little as 30 minutes to install iOS 10, but that is variable, and it is a good idea to budget an hour.

The table below outlines how long each step may take to complete as you work through the process of downloading and installing iOS 10.

TaskTime
Sync (Optional)5-45 minutes
Backup and Transfer (Optional)1-30 minutes
iOS 10 Download15 Minutes to Hours
iOS 10 Update15-30 Minutes
Total iOS 10 Update Time30 minutes to Hours

The iOS 10 update will take longer during the first several hours of the iOS 10 release date as millions of users attempt to download and install the update. If you want to avoid the long download times, try installing iOS 10 later in the day or wait a day for faster speeds.

Although the first two tasks are optional, we highly recommend a recent backup of your iPhone before you install iOS 10. The odds of a problem wiping out your phone are small, but it can still happen. With a recent iTunes or iCloud backup you won’t lose anything.

Check out our guide to 10 things to do before installing iOS 10 for other tips about how to prepare and cut down on the time it takes to update once Apple starts the downloads.

iOS 10 Download Times

The iOS 10 download sizes vary from one device to the next, but you should expect to see a more manageable update than two years ago when Apple required massive amounts of storage. The iOS 10 update size is just 1.00GB on for many users although some may see a 1.79GB update.

The iOS 10 update is not huge, but it will take a little while to download.
The iOS 10 update is not huge, but it will take a little while to download.

In a best case scenario the iOS 10 download will take 15 minutes, but we saw the iOS 8 download times hit six hours as soon as the update was available. Many of these high iOS download times sped up, but if you attempt to download within the first hours of the release, expect to see some times longer than 15 minutes.

iOS 10 Installation Time

The iOS 10 installation should not take very long to complete. In most cases this will finish within 15 minutes or less. It’s a good idea to make sure you have longer if something goes wrong or in case it takes longer, but this is a safe bet.

The iOS 10 installation will likely be faster than the iOS 10 download.
The iOS 10 installation will likely be faster than the iOS 10 download.

When the iOS 10 install is taking place you cannot use the iPhone or iPad at all. Make sure you keep this in mind before you tap install, as you will be otherwise unable to make calls or send texts.

During this process you can expect the iPhone or iPad to restart several times.

Backup, Sync & Transfer Purchases

The longest steps in the iOS 10 update are the housekeeping ones that many users avoid until a major update, or wish they already did when something goes wrong.

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If you don’t use iCloud Backup, it is a good idea to make sure that you plug-in to your computer and perform a backup before installing iOS 10. If you have not done this in a while, expect to spend 15 to 30 minutes on this process.

When you are connected you may also want to transfer purchases from your iPhone or iPad to iTunes. If you choose to do this they will restore back to your device if you need to restore from a backup, if you skip this step they will not. At the least we suggest a recent backup, since you can get your apps from the App Store again if you need to.

You can see what’s new in iOS 10 in the video above and see more details about these new features and changes in the slides below that compare iOS 10 to iOS 9.

What’s New in iOS 10.1

What's New in iOS 10.1

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What's New in iOS 10.1

This is a list of what's new in iOS 10.1, including new features like Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus and a number of important fixes for the iPhone and iPad. 

Camera and Photos

  • Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta)
  • People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups
  • Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app
  • Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users
  • Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library

Maps
  • Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya
  • Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations
  • Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes

Messages
  • New option to replay bubble and full screen effects
  • Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled
  • Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages
  • Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders
  • Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio

Apple Watch
  • Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace
  • Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch
  • Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing
  • Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled
  • Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text

Other improvements and fixes
  • Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories
  • Improves AirPlay Mirroring performance when waking a device from sleep
  • Fixes an issue where playback would not work for iTunes purchased content when the "Show iTunes Purchases" setting is turned off
  • Fixes an issue where certain selfie apps and face filters used with the FaceTime HD Camera on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not display a live preview
  • Fixes an issue in Health where individual strokes are converted to separate characters when using the Chinese handwriting keyboard
  • Improves performance of sharing websites from Safari to Messages
  • Fixes an issue in Safari that caused web previews in tab view to not display correctly
  • Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text
  • Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly
  • Fixes an issue that in some cases caused the search field to disappear in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Today View Widgets from updating when launched
  • Fixes an issue where Weather widget sometimes failed to load data
  • Fixes an issue on iPhone 7 where Home Button click settings would not appear in search results
  • Fixes an issue that prevented spam alert extensions from blocking calls
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent alarm sounds from going off
  • Fixes an issue where audio playback via Bluetooth would cause the Taptic engine to stop providing feedback for some users
  • Resolves an issue preventing some users from restoring from iCloud Backup
  • For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:  https://support.apple.com/HT201222 

Keep reading to check out the iOS 10 features and iOS 10.1 features that these updates offer.

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28 Comments

  1. lucy w

    09/16/2015 at 3:03 pm

    HAHAHA be ready to give up your phone for hours and hours. ridiculous

    Reply

  2. maestro77j

    10/15/2015 at 12:37 pm

    it is currently telling me 10 hours… i am upgrading from IOS 8.3

    Reply

  3. Beth

    11/22/2015 at 2:48 am

    It has neatly nearly been an hour since I updated my phone it’s taking the mick

    Reply

  4. Trice

    11/23/2015 at 6:16 am

    its been 4 hours and my phone is no where finished updating

    Reply

  5. Steve

    12/15/2015 at 4:23 pm

    My iPad has been updating for 14 hours, and still not finished what a joke.

    Reply

  6. Paul

    02/07/2016 at 1:51 pm

    Iphones are seriously a joke…..my wife has been in tears over this POS….we switched carriers and she lost half of our honeymoon pics….all of her contacts and this is all AFTER she did what apples no nothing customer service told her what to do!!! I will NEVER own an apple product myself

    Reply

    • kevin Jobless

      02/19/2016 at 6:55 am

      Paul ,I’m sad that you lost important memories but should have used icloud.there are great Apple products but iPhone 6 is a junk.

      Reply

  7. kevin Jobless

    02/19/2016 at 6:48 am

    Apple had this date hoax out to get more customers ready for next release of the iPhone 7 .

    Reply

  8. Anne Mandour

    03/15/2016 at 8:02 am

    First it’s telling me 2 hrs then 3 and now 10 .

    Reply

  9. M a r y J a n e l l y n

    05/02/2016 at 9:19 am

    Mine took 2 hours to download. Haha

    Reply

  10. Anderson Shih

    07/31/2016 at 6:43 pm

    My ipad so far has taken one day to update, and it’s STILL not done

    Reply

  11. sdfsdf

    08/26/2016 at 6:27 am

    10 hours

    Reply

  12. Janet Buchwald

    09/08/2016 at 9:45 am

    My update only took 15 minutes. Also, the phone advised me to backup everything to iCloud before I updated to iOS 9.3.5. Good idea. If anything goes wrong, I still have my data.

    Reply

  13. Asa

    09/13/2016 at 10:37 am

    I downloaded and attempted to install iOS 10 and my iPad Pro is not telling me to connect to iTunes (until then it is dead) – I also started my iPhone and it is still installing – 30 minutes in. — Hope it does not do this to my phone as well. I am at work and do not have access to iTunes at home.

    Reply

  14. Carlos Munoz

    09/13/2016 at 11:59 am

    more than 1 hour and nothing yet…… iphone

    Reply

  15. marjorie

    09/13/2016 at 12:26 pm

    I have downloaded iso 10 on my IPhone and iPad. Problem is it took 2 hours to download on my phone and I am into the 3rd hour on my iPad and it seems to be froze this is ridiculous tempted to get rid of this piece of crap 😡😡

    Reply

  16. Sanoj

    09/14/2016 at 2:30 am

    It has been 2 hours now my phone got stucked while trying to update .. and still showing the message extracting software, waiting for iphone to install updates and nothing has happened #lol

    Reply

  17. Bob Karchouhev

    09/14/2016 at 12:19 pm

    The update is still in progress and already used 12 hours of my time@#$%^%@#
    This is really the most annoying update ever from Apple
    Even downloading was taken more then ten hours on a fast connection 120Mbps download)
    will think next time twice before doing this kind of update :(

    Reply

  18. Ron

    09/14/2016 at 1:31 pm

    I upgraded to iOS10 from iOS9.3.5 on my iPhone 5.

    Steps taken:
    Connected iPhone to windows 7 desktop via usb cable.
    Took about 10-15 minutes to backup.
    About a minute or 2 to download iOS10 software from iTunes.
    Also upgraded iTunes to latest version on windows 7 desktop.
    Rebooted my windows 7 desktop after iTunes upgrade to finishing installation and upgrade of iTunes.
    Connected to iTunes via usb on desktop to upgrade to new iOS10 on iPhone 5. Took about 15 minutes to install software.

    The installation went smooth and the whole process took less than 30 minutes.

    After installation, disconnected the usb cable and connected it back again.
    Got a message to update the carrier settings.
    Did an update and took backup of the iPhone once again using iTunes onto my desktop.

    Did not encounter any issues so far with the latest upgrade.

    Reply

  19. sam

    09/15/2016 at 11:58 am

    the update has installed then t asks for you to answer a few steps, so the one asked me to sign in to my apple id and i did pressed enter and its stuck on that screen just trying to load

    Reply

    • nay

      09/16/2016 at 1:04 am

      Omg the exact same thing is happening to me right now

      Reply

  20. Megahertz1

    09/17/2016 at 11:11 pm

    It’s already been more than 24 hours but still my husbands phone isn’t working

    Reply

  21. techie

    10/05/2016 at 11:46 am

    It took around 35 min to install (progress bar stuck at the end) and around 5+ min to reboot in my Iphone 5. Dont panic :-)

    Reply

  22. Winnie

    10/15/2016 at 1:40 pm

    iPad still downloading after 1 1/2 days. FORGET THIS!!! Nothing should take this long. It said 3 hours, now saying 4 hours.

    Reply

  23. Winnie

    10/15/2016 at 1:43 pm

    My iPad update is still loading after 1 1/2 days. I’s not worth it!!!

    Reply

  24. vinod

    02/27/2017 at 8:28 pm

    OMG!! It’s take too long time. already it has completed 6hrs.
    can any one help me out from this..it was installing last 6hrs.
    can we cancel at the middle ?
    Next time i wont buy Apple products..

    Reply

  25. Mark Densmore

    04/12/2017 at 5:43 am

    My iPhone started to update phone has gone off and hasn’t come back on ?

    Reply

  26. Jem

    04/18/2017 at 4:35 pm

    Our iPad took more than 8 hours to update yesterday. It had already been updated last month, but yesterday noticed that the DJI Go App had disappeared from the screen, and then told us the iPad software had not been updated for 34 weeks! Why?? … and wondering why the app disappeared. The iPad is actually empty – no photos, no videos, nothing, so I don’t think it should have taken so long to update!

    Reply

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