How to update your iPad to the latest version of iPadOS

Apple iPhone and iPad update screen

It’s a good idea to keep your iPad’s operating system and firmware (iPadOS) up to date. iPadOS updates are available for free from Apple, and they provide your iPad with the latest security and bug fixes and features. How to update your iPad to the latest version of iPadOS.

Back up before updating

Although problems during installation are rare, it is possible that something goes wrong and causes your iPad to lose your data. So before you install an iPadOS update on a mission-critical iPad (or one with irreplaceable data), make it a habit to back it up first.

Update iPadOS via the Settings app

These days, most people update their iPad directly through the Settings app without connecting their iPad to a computer. This is called a wireless installation.

To do this, open the “Settings” app from the Home screen.

Click “General” in the left column.

Press "General."

Select “Software Update” on the right side.

Press "Software update."

The Settings menu displays information about the latest iPadOS update, including version number and some details about the changes it makes.

If your iPad has not yet downloaded the update, you will see a button that says “Download and Install”. Tap it to download the update. Your iPad automatically installs the update when the download is complete.

If your iPad has already downloaded the update, you can see the “Install Now” button; tap it to start the update process.

Press "Install now."

When the installation process starts, a pop-up will warn you that it is verifying the update. wait for this to finish.

IPadOS "Confirms update" message.

When the verification is complete, the iPad screen turns black and the tablet restarts. The Apple logo and a small status bar appear in the center of the screen.

Apple logo and installation process in iPadOS.

Once the installation is complete, you can use your iPad again as usual.

Update iPadOS via USB with Finder or iTunes

You can also update your iPad via a wired connection to your Mac or Windows PC. If your Mac is running macOS 10.15 or later, open Finder. If your Mac is running macOS 10.14 or earlier, or you are using a Windows PC, open iTunes.

Connect your iPad to your computer with a Lightning-to-USB cable. If this is the first time you are connecting it to the computer, your iPad will ask if you want to trust the computer; press “Trust”.

Find your iPad on your computer and click on it. On macOS 10.15 or later you will see it on the left side of the Finder window under “Locations”.

Click on your iPad in the Finder.

If you’re using iTunes, click the iPad icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen.

In the information window of your iPad, navigate to the “General” tab (in the Finder) or Settings> Summary (in iTunes). Click “Check for Update”.

click on "Check for update."

If an update is available, click “Download”. When the download is complete, click “Refresh”. Enter your password if necessary and the update will be installed.

Make sure your iPad is up to date

After updating your iPad, you can double check to make sure everything is installed.

On your iPad, navigate to Settings> General> Software Update. If your device is fully updated, you will see a screen similar to the one below that confirms this.

The software updated message in iPadOS.

Congratulations! Your iPad is up to date and ready to use.

Is your iPad no longer receiving updates? It’s time to dump her and move on.

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