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Problems downloading iOS 16? Here's how to fix it fast

Desperate to get iOS 16 onto your iPhone, but it's not downloading? Here's how to get that update coming in quick!
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iOS 16 is out for the Apple iPhone

iOS 16 is out for the Apple iPhone

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Been hammering that update button on your iPhone trying to get iOS 16 downloaded but having no success?

You're not alone.

Fortunately, most people get their download working after checking and tweaking these simple things.

Also: Problems downloading iOS 16? Here's how to fix it fast

Step 1: Will your iPhone run iOS 16?

First thing to get out of the way is whether your iPhone can run iOS 16.

If you have one of the following, you're good to go:

  • iPhone 13 / 13 mini / 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 12 / 12 mini / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS / XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus

If not, iOS 15.7 is the end of the line for you.

Step 2: Power up!

Your iPhone must have at least 50% charge or be connected to the charger to start installing the update.

My recommendations are to have at least 50% charge AND be connected to the charger, as this eliminates the chances of anything going wrong should the update take longer than anticipated.

Also: iOS 16 brings a surprise new battery charging feature to your iPhone

Step 3: Wait!

Apple servers are busy sending the iOS 16 update to hundreds of millions of iPhones, so delays and glitches are inevitable.

Take a break, have a beverage or go for a walk and try it again later.

Step 4: Try a better internet connection

Major iOS releases are many gigabytes in size, and that's a big file to download.

Get the best internet connection possible, whether that be Wi-Fi or cellular (be careful downloading over cellular if you have data caps as it could get exceedingly expensive!).

Some people find that switching into and out of Airplane Mode does the trick.

Step 5: Disable any VPN software

If you connect to the internet using a VPN connection, switching that off may help. I've found this especially useful when the update is stuck in the Update Requested stage.

Step 6: Reboot!

This simple trick works for so many problems, and not being able to download an iOS update is indeed one of those problems it can fix.

How you reboot your iPhone depends on which one you have

Step 7: Can't get iPadOS 16 to download on your iPad

It's not out yet!

Apple confirmed that iOS will release first. No date has been given for the release of iPadOS 16, and the latest update for this platform is iPadOS 15.7. 

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