iPads are awesome, but constant crashes, software bugs, and security breaches are significantly less awesome. That’s why it’s important to keep your iPad up to date. Before you throw your hands up and panic, take a breath: it’s an easy process that anyone can do, regardless of your technical savvy. Here’s how.
Method 1: Use iTunes on the computer
1. Connect your iPad to your computer.
You’ll want to backup the data on your iPad before you update, just in case something goes wrong. Plug in the iPad and follow the on-screen instructions for the process.
2. Open iTunes.
If you followed the first step, iTunes should already be open. And it often automatically opens whenever the iPad is connected, but if your settings are different, you will need to open it iTunes.
3. Navigate to your iPad in the side menu. Once you click on it, select the “Summary” tab.
4. Click the “Check for Update” button.
This will automatically check if there is an update available. Note: many iPads will provide push notifications when new ones are released.
5. Click “Update.”
If there is one available, click “Update,” sit back, and let it run. Leave the iPad connected to your computer during this time; disconnecting it will stop the process and risks corrupting the data.
Method 2: Over-the-Air update
Updating your iPad through iTunes is only one option. The second — and usually preferred option — is an over-the-air (OTA) update using only your iPad. Here’s how to do it.
1. Make sure your battery has at least 50% charge and you are connected to Wi-Fi.
The update will not start unless you have sufficient charge. Take the time to charge your iPad (or place it on the charger) before updating.
2. Open Settings –> General –> Software Update
This will automatically perform a check.
3. Select the update and click install.
Following your acceptance of the terms and conditions, the installation process will begin. During this time, you will be unable to use the iPad.
4. Once completed, your iPad will automatically reboot.
After the iPad has restarted, you will need to log in using your password. After you have logged in, you will be able to use the iPad as you normally would.
If you’ve encountered problems with your iPad, it’s possible this will fix them. These are released periodically to address compatibility issues, security risks, and more. Check for updates at least once a month to ensure the smooth, continued operation of your tablet.