This guide will walk you through the process of updating your iPad or iPhone to the most recent iOS version using the desktop version of iTunes.
This will be especially useful for people who do not have enough space to update on the device itself. By using iTunes the update is downloaded to the computer and installed on the device from there instead of the having to delete content from your device in order to download the update.
As with any major software change, you should make sure that your device has completed a full backup on either iCloud or iTunes.
Backup to iCloud — before you begin this process.
Open iTunes and Find the Preferences for the Application
This step and the next step are mostly necessary for computers that are shared with multiple users or if it is on a computer that is not used by the same person as the iOS device to be updated.
(1) Open iTunes
(2) Navigate to the menu bar and click on iTunes on the upper left corner of your screen.
(3) Click on “Preferences…”
Turn Off Auto Sync
(1) Select “Devices” from the options on the top of the window that just opened.
(2) Make sure that there is a check mark next to “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically”
These steps will make sure that the content from the computer does not sync over to the iPad.
Start the Update Process
Make sure at this step that the iPad is plugged into the computer using the charge/sync cable.
You may see an option to either “Set up as new” or “Restore from a backup”. Make sure to select “Set up as new” and this will not erase the data on your device. Otherwise click “Continue” to start the update process.
Locate the iPad in iTunes
Look for “iPad” in the top right corner of iTunes.
**If you have the sidebar view turned in iTunes you will see the name of your device listed there instead**
Tell iTunes to Update Your Device to the Most Recent Version
Make sure that you click “Update”. Do not click “Restore iPad…” as this will erase everything on the device.
Click “Update” to Confirm
Review Features and Agree to Terms & Conditions
Let iTunes Download the Update
iTunes may need to download the most recent version of the software if it does not currently have a local copy. This process may take a little while depending on the speed of your internet connection.
Let iTunes Run the Update
Follow the Steps on the iPad to complete the process
After these steps your iPad should be all up to date.