iPhone Not Updating To iOS 13? Here's The Real Fix.

David Lynch

SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Apple just released iOS 13 and you're trying to install it on your iPhone. No matter what you do, your iPhone won't update to iOS 13! In this, I'll explain why your iPhone is not updating to iOS 13 and show you how to fix the problem.

How Old Is Your iPhone?

Every year, Apple adds a couple iPhones to its list of Vintage and Obsolete Products. If you find that your iPhone has been added to this list, it may not be compatible with iOS 13.

This is a pretty good sign that's it's time to upgrade to a new iPhone. Check out our cell phone comparison tool to find the best deals on a new iPhone.

Apple's Servers May Be Overloaded

When Apple releases a major software update like iOS 13, it's not uncommon for their servers to become overloaded. Millions of people are all trying to download the same iOS update at the same time, and that type of traffic can really slow things down.

Check Apple's servers and make sure things look normal. You may just need to wait a few hours before downloading the update.

What To Do When Your iPhone Won't Update To iOS 13

6 Steps Total
1.

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can sometimes fix minor software glitches and errors.

How Do I Restart My iPhone?

  1. Press and hold the power button (Sleep / Wake button) on your iPhone until the slide to power off slider appears on the display.
  2. Swipe the red power icon from left to right to turn off your iPhone.
  3. Wait about 30 seconds, then press and hold the power button again until you see the Apple logo appear in the center of the display.

If The Power Button Is Broken (Option 1)

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Shut Down.
  4. Swipe the red power icon from left to right.
  5. Plug your iPhone into a power source using a Lightning cable to turn it back on.

If The Power Button Is Broken (Option 2)

  1. Watch our YouTube video or follow the steps below!
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Accessibility.
  5. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  6. Turn on the switch next to AssistiveTouch.
  7. Tap the AssistiveTouch button when it appears on the display.
  8. Tap Device.
  9. Tap More.
  10. Tap Restart.
  11. Tap Restart again when the confirmation alert appears.
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2.

Make Sure Your iPhone Has Enough Storage Space To Update

iPhone software updates (iOS updates) generally require 600-800 megabytes (MB) in order to install properly. Let's make sure your iPhone has enough storage to complete the update!

How Do I Make Sure My iPhone Has Enough Storage Space To Update?

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. The amount of storage space you have available will be listed next to Available.
  5. If you don't have enough storage space to install the iOS update, clear up some space by deleting unwanted apps, photos, or other content.
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3.

Update Your iPhone Software In iTunes

You can use iTunes to perform iOS updates on your iPhone. If you're unable to update your iPhone in the Settings app, sometimes using iTunes to update your iPhone is a simple workaround.

How Do I Update My iPhone Software In iTunes?

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer using a Lightning cable (charging cable).
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. In the upper left hand corner of iTunes, click the iPhone icon. iPhone icon in itunes
  4. In the top box underneath iPhone, click Check For Update.
  5. If an update is available, click Update.
  6. Keep your iPhone plugged into your computer while the update downloads and installs.
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4.

Back Up Your iPhone

It's important to back up your iPhone before doing any major restores (such as a DFU restore). If something goes wrong while you're trying to fix your iPhone, having a back up means you won't lose any of your data (such as contacts, photos, apps, and more). Restoring from a back up is a lot more convenient than having to go and reenter all the information that was saved on your iPhone.

How Do I Back Up My iPhone?

There are two ways to back up your iPhone:

Backup Your iPhone Using iCloud

  1. If you have a WiFi connection, you can back up your iPhone using iCloud.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap iCloud (I blacked out my iCloud email address in my screenshot, but you'll see your iCloud email address there!)
  4.  Tap Backup.
  5. Make sure the switch next to iCloud Backup is on. You'll know the switch is on when the switch is green.
  6. Tap Back Up Now.
  7. A status bar will appear to tell you how much time is remaining.

Backup Your iPhone Using iTunes

  1. Plug the Lightning connector on your Lightning cable (charging cable) into the Lightning port on your iPhone.
  2. Plug the other end of your Lightning cable into a USB port on your computer.
  3. Open iTunes on your computer.
  4. Click on the iPhone icon in the upper left hand corner of iTunes.
  5. Click the circle next to "iCloud" or "This computer" to select whether you want to backup your iPhone to iCloud or your computer.
  6. Click Back Up Now to backup your iPhone.
  7. When the backup is complete, you'll see the time and date updated under Latest Backup.

Backup Your iPhone Using Finder (Macs Running Catalina 10.15)

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a charging cable.
  2. Open Finder.
  3. Click on your iPhone under Locations.
  4. Click the circle next to Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.
  5. Click Back Up Now.
  6. When the backup is complete, you'll see the time and date updated under Latest Backup.
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5.

Put Your iPhone In DFU Mode

A DFU restore is the last troubleshooting step you can take to rule out a software problem on your iPhone.

Watch our step-by-step DFU restore guide on YouTube, or follow the steps below:

  1. Plug your iPhone in a computer.
  2. Open iTunes (on PCs or Macs running macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier) or Finder (Macs running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer).
  3. Press and release the volume up button.
  4. Press and release the volume down button.
  5. Press and hold the side button until your iPhone's display goes black.
  6. When the screen turns black, press and hold the volume down button while continuing to hold the side button.
  7. Hold both buttons for five seconds.
  8. After five seconds, release the side button, but continue to hold the volume down button.
  9. Release the volume down button when your iPhone appears in iTunes or Finder.
  10. Your iPhone appears in iTunes or Finder, it's in DFU mode!
  11. Click Restore and follow the on-screen prompts to DFU restore your iPhone.
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6.

Repair Your iPhone With Apple

Apple repairs iPhones at the Genius Bar in Apple Stores and through their online mail-in repair service. Apple repairs are high-quality, but out-of-warranty repairs can be much more expensive than third-party solutions. If you're looking to save some money you're not covered by Apple's warranty, you may want to check out our other recommendations.

How Do I Repair My iPhone With Apple?

How To Repair Your iPhone With Apple's Mail-In Service

  1. Visit Apple's support website to begin the online mail-in repair process.
  2. Alternatively, call 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) to set up a repair.

How To Repair Your iPhone At The Genius Bar Inside Your Local Apple Store

  1. Visit Apple's website to make a Genius Bar appointment before you go into the store. Apple Stores are extremely busy, and if you don't have an appointment, you may have to wait for hours or end up being turned away. (Editor's note: I'm a former Apple tech and we're not exaggerating — please, do yourself a favor and make an appointment first!)
  2. When you arrive, go to the Genius Bar to check in for your appointment.
  3. Genius Bar appointments always include free diagnosis. If you're under warranty, many repairs can be done on the spot, but it all depends upon which parts are in stock. If you're not under warranty, the Genius will give you a quote for the cost of a repair.
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Up To Date!

You've updated your iPhone to iOS 13 and now you can start enjoying the new features like Dark Mode. Know someone who can't update their iPhone to iOS 13? Share this article with them! Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think about iOS 13.

Applies To: iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE 2, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, M

AUTHOR

David Lynch

Hi, I'm David! I'm here to help you fix problems with your iPhone and help you find a better cell phone plan.

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