When Apple releases a new version of iOS it's normally a simple process to update it on your iPhone or iPad. We have instructions to do so here: How to update iOS on an iPhone. However, it's not so easy if your iPhone only has a small amount of space. If you have an iPhone with 16GB storage - or even a 32GB iPhone that's crammed full of photos, chances are the iOS installer will require more space than you have available.
In that case you will want to follow this tutorial and install your version of the iOS update via iTunes on your Mac or PC.
How to update iOS if you don't have enough space on your iPhone/iPad
If you don't have a lot of space left on your iPhone or iPad, when you try and update iOS you may see a message that Apple will delete some of your apps to make space. You could choose to let Apple do this - you will be able to download your apps again later. You could also follow our advice about how to make space on an iPhone.
However, if all that sounds like a lot of extra work, there is a way round it. Here's how to update iOS via iTunes on your Mac of PC:
- Plug your iPhone into your Mac or PC
- Turn on your Mac (or PC) and start up iTunes
- You should see the message that "A new iPhone software version (11.0) is available for the iPhone "YourName's iPhone". Would you like to download it and update your iPhone now?"
- Before clicking Yes, check that your iCloud backup is up to date (or if you back up to iTunes check that). If you don't have a recent backup we recommend you make one before updating. Expect it to take a few minutes. Here's how to back your iPhone up
- Once backed up click Transfer and Update and wait while the Mac connects to the iOS update server.
- Agree to the Software Licence Agreement.
- When you are asked for the passcode on the iPhone or iPad Touch ID may be sufficient.
- Once the iOS update has finished downloading to the Mac, it will switch to updating the iPhone firmware
- Eventually the iPhone will restart, at which point you will have various set up options to run through
- You can follow the whole process in the video at the top of this article. It can take a while, depending on whether you are updating at the same time as everyone else in the world, but at a less busy time it should only take about 40 minutes from beginning to end.