Make iOS upgrades work for you

Edited by Jonathan, Lynn, Maria, Eng

This tutorial will teach you what upgrades can work for you, if you own any of the following: iPhone 1 or 3G, iPod Touch 1 or 2, or iPad 1 or 2. When you first bought your device, years ago, you probably loved it dearly and always took good care of it, as if it was fine and fragile porcelain China. You were proud to say, during that time, that inside your device, you had the latest iOS software.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help
IOS 6.jpg

But as the years have gone by, Apple has done a lot of research, and has upgraded its iOS versions several times. So now, you probably realize that your old version of iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad cannot download the latest Apple applications because most of them require an iOS which your device does not have.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Look at the chart below to see if you can upgrade your device, and to see what iOS you can upgrade to. It usually means that you are trying to upgrade to iOS 5 or higher if a software update option is not available on your Apple device. Just open iTunes on your computer and connect your device to it in order to upgrade. (source:

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad iOS Compatibility Chart

IOs 5.png

Device iOS Version Device iOS Version Device iOS Version
iPhone 1 iOS 3.1.3 iPod Touch 1 iOS 3.1.3 iPad 1 iOS 5.1.1
iPhone 3G iOS 4.2.1 iPod Touch 2 iOS 4.2.1 iPad 2 iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 3GS iOS 6.1.x iPod Touch 3 iOS 5.1.1 iPad 3 iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 4 iOS 6.1.x iPod Touch 4 iOS 6.1.x iPad 4 iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 4S iOS 6.1.x iPod Touch 4 iOS 6.1.x iPad Mini iOS 6.1.x
iPhone 5 iOS 6.1.x iPod Touch 5 iOS 6.1.x

Select the method that best suits your situation.

Tips if you have iOS lower than 5.0

  • If you have an iPad 1, the maximum iOS is 5.1.1. For newer iPads, the current iOS is 6.1.3. If you go to Settings > General > Software Update, the update will appear on your screen if you have iOS 5.0 or higher presently installed.
  • If you are presently running on an iOS lower than 5.0, connect the iPad to the computer, then open iTunes. Thereafter, select the iPad under the "Devices" heading on the left, click on the "Summary" tab, and then click on "Check for Update."
  • If connected to your computer, disable your firewall and anit-virus software for the moment. Be sure to backup your iPad before the iOS update. Then download and install the iOS update. After you update an iPad (except iPad 1) to iOS 6.x, the next update can be installed via WiFi, which means the device is not physically connected to your computer.
  • Unlike on iPad 2 and newer versions, you must update to version 5 with your iPad connected to your PC. The problem is that you will lose all your data (music, photos, apps etc.). So you should back them up to your PC first, then install version 5 operating software. Thereafter, reinstall all your data from your backup.
  • If you are updating through WiFi, locate your iPad near your router so as to avoid getting a corrupted download.
  • iPad 1 is loaded with Apple operating software version 4. Updating it to version 5 makes it run much more quickly.
  • Officially, updating iOS should be done through iTunes. Thus, iTunes will not back up items which you did not buy from Apple, like legally downloaded e-books and music.
  • There is a much better free software program called Syncios. It is easy to use and it works. The appearance on your PC screen is similar to iTunes, but is much simpler to use.

Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Make iOS upgrades work for you. (2015). In VisiHow. Retrieved Mar 30, 2017, from

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Make iOS upgrades work for you." VisiHow, Accessed 30 Mar 2017.

Chicago / Turabian "Make iOS upgrades work for you." Accessed Mar 30, 2017.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Ask the author

Premier Author
31 Articles Started
721 Article Edits
31,850 Points
Jonjessph is a premier author with VisiHow. Jonjessph has achieved the level of "Lieutenant" with 31,850 points. Jonjessph has started 31 articles (including this one) and has also made 721 article edits. 544,000 people have read Jonjessph's article contributions.
Jonjessph's Message Board
Jonjessph: Hi, my name is Jonjessph.
Jonjessph: Can I help you with your problem about "Make iOS upgrades work for you"?

Article Info

Categories : Apple

Recent edits by: Maria, Lynn, Jonathan

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 9,444 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No