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How to Manually Upgrade to iOS 5



Most of you will just want to sit and download all of the necessary updates for iOS 5 through iTunes.

However, for those of you that don’t like to sit around and wait, you have the option of downloading the iOS 5 update directly, bypassing the stagnant iTunes servers.

So, if you want to cut down on time or if you have a bad connection, you might want to consider downloading it directly and we’re here to help you through that.

First things first.

You’re going to need iTunes 10.5. Once you have that, you’re going to want to download the appropriate iOS 5 update for your device. The links you see below are courtesy of iBattaglia:

So, again, download the one you need.

iOS 5

Open up iTunes 10.5 and click on the ‘Check for Update’ button with the Option button (Mac) or the Shift button (PC) pressed down. Once you do that, you’ll be prompted and you’ll want to select the file that you just downloaded.

Soon, you will be upgraded to iOS 5 and all will be right in the world.

If you are worried about choosing the wrong file, or messing up your iOS device, just wait for the update, but if you can correctly identify your device, this is a faster way to get iOS 5.



  1. Ade

    10/12/2011 at 11:33 am

    Wow.. Thanks…

  2. Tad DeVan

    10/12/2011 at 11:43 am

    This is not working.  I downloaded the correct files for iPad 2 and iPhone 4 and get the same error 3002 for both devices.  When I use the normal download via iTunes it gets all the way to end completely downloaded and then gives me a 3259 error.  This is very frustrating.

    • Nicolai Oseid Lyche

      10/12/2011 at 12:01 pm

      Try holding opt/alt when clicking the update button, then select te file u downloaded..

    • Brian Castell

      10/12/2011 at 12:03 pm

      You have to restore not “update” from the file when downloading it manually. I had
      the same problem. Then when it asks you to set up the newly restored
      phone just use a backup.

      • magimcc

        01/12/2012 at 11:30 am

        This worked for me. Thanks

    • Random Helper

      12/12/2011 at 2:39 pm

      The 3002 & 3200 error is the error you get when the device trys to validate with Apples servers (Which is MUST do prior to any update).  All this is saying is that the servers are bogged down and you need to try again later. 

  3. Guest10

    10/12/2011 at 4:02 pm

    I need help. At first I kept getting error (3002) and now error (3173). My phone is currently in restore mode and I can’t get it to work. I need HELP!!!

  4. Amanda R. Carr

    10/12/2011 at 4:58 pm

    ok so everytime I hold shift and click update or restore I get a popup that says itunes is not responding. I have uninstalled & reinstalled itunes 10.5 and this still happens, can anyone help? I am on windows 7 ultimate edition on a 64 bit operating system. PLEASE HELP!!

  5. AudioDemon

    10/12/2011 at 7:16 pm

    Manually add the .ipsw file to the iTunes Folder in Library/iTunes by hitting shift-control-g and typing “~/Library/iTunes” and then placing the .ipsw in the “iPhone Software Updates folder”.

    This should work.

    • shantanu deorah

      10/13/2011 at 7:59 pm

      this opens google chrome for me :/

  6. AudioDemon

    10/12/2011 at 7:16 pm

    The same concept should work for windows, as it does for mac.

  7. AliceInAshes

    10/13/2011 at 3:43 am

    OMG!!!!!!! its the wrong link :( its ONLY VERSION 4!!!!!

  8. Ahmed

    10/13/2011 at 7:55 am

    After successful downloading of the ios 5 file, i get an ERROR that says iTunes unable to backup… Then, nothing happens!

    Please help guys

  9. jack

    10/17/2011 at 6:01 am

    it says the firmware file is not compatible. What do i do from here? 

    • Hurtadoart

      10/27/2011 at 9:19 pm

      i have the same error. any fixes?

  10. K3ry

    10/20/2011 at 9:14 am

    iphone 3GS –> iOS 5,i:,u:HA5zBZfItTo_Zn3zV9ao,w:322268/9918/23b49c3f6496e07bc8a4c9ccf29f3ea3a5b69bf5/iPhone2%2C1_5.0_9A5220p_Restore.ipsw

    Ok, i torrificed the file for iphone 3GS and now able to download using IDM. Just wondering, from the list above, the file name is iPhone2_1_5.0_9A334_Restore and mine is xxx_9A5220p..whats the different between both file? Is that mine is more up to date or what?

  11. Yomamma

    11/20/2011 at 7:31 pm

    this method sucks

  12. Timi

    11/27/2011 at 5:26 am

    is it same ios 5 and ios 5.0.1?

  13. Tesrusch

    12/03/2011 at 7:46 pm

    Did not work, I downloaded this file, cannot open the file took two hours….better with just doing server overnight.

  14. Error3259

    02/28/2012 at 4:00 am

    Thanks for sharing such an easy procedure. It was really helpful for me. I face error 3259 many times but i fixed it.

  15. Bantawa

    10/04/2012 at 2:47 pm

    Hi, ive not upgraded my iPhone since the realease of 5.1.1. Now that iOS 6 is already here can I still upgrade just to 5.1.1 manually without any trouble.

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