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How to Upgrade to iOS 5.1



In addition to announcing a new iPad, Apple also launched a new version of its mobile software called iOS 5.1 at its event today in San Francisco. While the update isn’t exactly the massive update that we thought it would be, it does bring quite a few features to the table for iDevice owners including Siri in Japanese, a redesigned Camera app for the iPad, battery life improvements and more.

The update is available for the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 3rd generation, and the iPod touch fourth generation.

Fortunately, the upgrade process has been made easy with iOS 5.

How to Upgrade to iOS 5.1

iDevice owners can now choose to update while connected to a computer or laptop using iTunes, install it manually, or, they can install the update Over-the-Air.

The update process is free for iDevice owners, you don’t need to pay a cent, and installation process should be fairly painless.

Prepare for iOS 5.1

Before you update to iOS 5.1, you might want to back up your device in case something goes wrong. It’s unlikely to happen but for those of you that keep important items on your device – photos, video, etc – it might be worth the extra time.

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.

You can also backup your device wirelessly if iCloud is enabled. You’ll want to go into your iCloud settings to see when your last backup was in order to ensure that your data will be safe should something go wrong.

How to Update to iOS 5.1

How to Upgrade to iOS 5.1


1) Head to your device, Settings.

2) Head to General.

3) Go to Software Update.

4) Your device will then check for new software and if you haven’t yet installed iOS 5.1, you’ll be prompted to do so.


itunes iOS 5.1 update

1) Head to iTunes and select your device’s name in the sidebar under Devices.

2) You should now see an overview of your iDevice. Make sure Summary is the tab that is selected at the top and click on Check for Update.

3) The update will now start to download. Do not unplug your device while the update does its work.

The update is around 110MB for the iPhone and almost 200MB for the iPad. It’s fairly sizable, so it should take a few minutes for the update to download and install on your device.

For those that are impatient or that receive an error while trying to pull the update, there is another way to install iOS 5.1.

Manually Install iOS 5.1

1) Head to this link and download the appropriate version of iOS 5.1.

2) Open up iTunes 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.

3) You’ll now be taken through the update process.



  1. jaystrab

    03/07/2012 at 7:13 pm

    So strange. All you have to do is plug in the device and it will say there is an update and walk you through downloading it. No need to write this big article about it. Also, if someone has no clue how to download and update their software, do you really think they are going to be able to find your website and this article to walk them through it?

    • Lori Kempen

      09/16/2012 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks to the guy who wrote this articIe. I wanted to update but not spend any time researching it myself. I Googled how to do it, and this blog popped up an answered my question. Because you took the time, I don’t have to!

  2. Seeme

    03/07/2012 at 11:27 pm

    watch all the idiot questions roll in thru India jaystrab…

  3. Appreciative

    03/07/2012 at 11:53 pm

    I found this post very helpful. We have multiple iDevices in our house. My iPhone showed the update on the screen while the other devices did not. I had to manually update those but I was able to comply the updates OTA. Thank you for taking the time to write this useful post.

  4. Ace

    03/09/2012 at 11:02 am

    my ipod doesnt have an update software.. 3rd generation.  stuck on version 4.2.1

    • Karim Ramadan 95

      03/18/2012 at 9:51 am

      hey if u want to update your ipod u should plug it to you computer open itune and got to ur ipod and clik update 

      • dan

        05/29/2012 at 11:04 am

        mine says 4.2.1 is the ‘up-to-date’ version how do i fix that without manually downloading an update

  5. Airnavy

    03/14/2012 at 1:44 pm

    Cannot find softw do not have icloud also ….what do I do
    are updat in the General catagory Art…[email protected]

  6. Kittu_a99

    03/15/2012 at 12:31 am

    how to check the IOS version of my newly bought iphone 4 which is locked by AT&T my brother bought it from USA and i want to use it in india..

  7. Ikeckg

    04/16/2012 at 9:15 am

    Can I do upgrade with one from the methods above if I previously have iPhone 4s jailbroken on iOS 5.0.1?

  8. Ahmed A. Malik

    05/02/2012 at 11:12 pm

    Can a jailbroken 3GS be upgraded in this manner too?

  9. Isadore

    06/10/2012 at 1:44 am

    I tried to use the itunes, but it says like 10 hours remaining…. What should i do?

  10. Jon

    06/23/2012 at 4:08 pm

    This is helpful for those not “tech savvy.”. For those, with jail-broken devices, yes you can up date but it will un-jailbreak it. I’m sure you can find a work around by now for that.

    I’ve asked in a lot of forums, and no one answers. I have not used the wireless sync. Does it backup or just sync, and more importantly, how do I transfer purchases from the phone first like I have to do when plugged in?


  11. Eve

    07/28/2012 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t have a iPhone but I have an iPod touch. How do I install it o. Their be wise in the general section it doesnt say the update thing.

  12. Razan

    09/01/2012 at 3:23 am

    Thanks alot !

  13. Zubair

    12/19/2013 at 3:07 am

    An error ocurred while updating my iphone 3gs from ios 4.1 to ios5.1 what should i do now?

  14. Hamza

    12/19/2013 at 3:14 am

    Error 3149 occured during updating iphone 3gs to 5.1.That’s really anoyyed me! Now how to fix this error?

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