Updating iOS is generally easy, but there are a few small things that can go wrong. Perhaps your friend has installed the latest version of iOS but you aren't seeing it as an option in Software Update, maybe you tried to update iOS but it refused to install, your iPhone might have crashed or run out of power mid-install you might have lost data, or found that your settings changed after the update was performed.

In this article, we will look at the most common problems people have when updating their iPhones and iPads.

iOS 12 isn't available to me

When Apple first launches a new version of iOS it can take a while for the update to become available. Sometimes your friend might get an alert before you do. Or it might be that your iPhone isn't capable of running the software, in which case you won't see an alert at all.

To run iOS 12 you'll need one of the following:


  • iPhone XS or XS Max
  • iPhone Xr
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 or 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 or 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s or 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6 or 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s


  • All iPad Pro models
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad (2017 and 2018)
  • iPad mini 2, 3 and 4


  • Sixth- and seventh-gen iPod Touch 

If you have an iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5 or anything older than that you will be out of luck! iOS 12 will not run on your iPhone. Find out more here: Can my iPad or iPhone run iOS 12?

The iOS 12 update is taking too long

We had a complete nightmare installing iOS 7 in 2013 - it took us all night. We had hoped things might go a bit smoother in 2014 with the launch of iOS 8. But unfortunately not. Again, many faced installation dramas because Apple's servers seemed unable to cope with the sheer number of people trying to access them to get the download. So if this was your experience it's not a huge surprise, and you shouldn't feel like you're alone.

One thing is for sure: if you choose to update as soon as a new version of iOS launches you're probably in for a long wait because the first few hours of an update are always the busiest time on Apple's servers.

Whenever a new iteration of iOS comes out, we recommend giving it a few days just to let the clamour die down and any bugs get ironed out before you put it on your device.

If you are installing the update a few months after the launch there should be no problems with busy servers or long delays. In that case, if you are having issues with the download time, it may be that your WiFi network isn't performing. Read this: How to fix problems with WiFi on iPhone or iPad.

iOS 12 won't download

If iOS 12 is there in Software Update but your iPhone or iPad just won't download it, or it seems to be hanging, we advise force quitting the Setting App and trying to start the process again.

To do so, double press the Home Button so that the app switcher appears and swipe up on the Settings app. On iPhone X or later, simply swipe up from the bottom of the display to access the multitasking menu, and swipe up on the Settings app to close it.

Then reopen Settings and try downloading the software again.

iOS download freezes

If your iPhone stops responding during the download, it may be that it has hung. While it's worth waiting a while longer in case it's just taking a long time, if you are convinced that the phone has crashed then you could reset it.

The process to reset your iPhone depends on the model you have.

If you have an iPhone 7 or later:

  1. Press and hold the on-off switch at the side of your iPhone or iPad and the lower volume control switch on the other side at the same time.
  2. Keep both buttons pressed while your iPhone turns off.
  3. Wait for it to restart before letting go of the buttons. 

If you have an older iPhone or an iPad:

  1. Press and hold the on-off switch at the top or side of your iPhone or iPad and the Home Button at the same time.
  2. Keep both buttons pressed while your iPhone turns off.
  3. Wait for it to restart before letting go of the buttons.

Now try starting the download process again.

Stuck on Verifying Update

Once iOS 12 is downloaded on your device it will be verified by Apple. If your device gets stuck on this screen it may be because your WiFi connection has dropped, so check your internet connection.

If that's not the culprit then try resetting your device as per the steps above.

There's not enough space on my iPhone or iPad

All that presumes you had enough space on your iPhone to start with. A common problem when updating your version of iOS is to find that there isn't room on your device for the install file. One solution is to delete lots of files from your iPhone and make room, then put them back afterwards. Another option is to update iOS via iTunes on your Mac.

If you don't need to free up a lot of space you may be happy to delete a few images from your Camera Roll or some of your music. You might find it useful to read our guide to saving space on your iPhone here.

We explain this relatively painless process in a separate article: How to update iOS using iTunes on your Mac.

iOS update problems and fixes

You may also encounter some problems following an iOS update. Let us know if you encounter any.

Alarm doesn't work after update

Apple is keen for more users to install incremental iOS updates that provide fixes and small improvements. One way it encourages this is by offering the chance to install them for you overnight while you're sleeping. If you're prompted to update your iPhone while you're using it, Apple now lets you choose 'Later,' which will then specify a time period during which it will update automatically for you if you've got your iPhone plugged in to a power source, which most people do overnight anyway.

When Apple prompted Macworld's own Ashleigh Macro to update to iOS 9.1 and offered that 'Later' option, she decided to make the most of the convenient new feature. She expected to wake up in the morning as usual to an updated iPhone. And indeed she did, but she woke up more than an hour after her alarm was scheduled to go off. The update had worked brilliantly, but her alarm had been deactivated, causing her to be late for work.

She's not the only one. Users have taken to social media and forums to express their annoyance with the issue, which we consider to be a bug, and many have been late for important meetings and school.

Therefore, we'd only recommend choosing the later option if you don't have to wake up at a particular time in the morning, or if you can set another alarm on a different device! Read next: iOS 12 troubleshooting

My battery is draining really fast!

If since upgrading to iOS 12 you think your battery is draining really fast you might just have to wait for Apple to issue an update to the software (as yet we are unaware of any specific problems related to the battery though).

However, it is often the case that following an iOS update people do complain about reduced battery life. If you are finding that to be the case, it could be that some of the settings you had that were preserving battery life have been changed, such as Background App Refresh and some of the Mail settings.

We think it may be the case that it isn't possible to change the frequency that Mail updates anymore - one of our tips for reducing the battery usage. Read: How to improve iPhone and iPad battery life.