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No, you don’t necessarily need WiFi to update your iPhone. You can also update it using cellular data. However, using WiFi is recommended as the updates are usually large and can quickly consume your mobile data. Also, updating through WiFi is usually faster and more effective than updating through a cellular network.
If you have enough cellular internet, you can update your phone without WiFi. But before you start the update, make sure you are linked to a strong and stable cell network. Also, remember that changing over cellular data can quickly use up your data plan, so if you can, it’s best to do updates over WiFi to save your mobile data.
There are multiple ways to update iPhones and only some of them require wifi. Some of the ways require a computer too. Here is the requirement:
|Way to Update
|Possible to Update without wifi?
|Automatic updates through iCloud
|5G or Wifi
(Only possible in 5G supported iPhone)
|Any Internet connection, Mac or Windows computer
|Any Internet connection and Mac device
|Any Internet connection and Mac device
How To Update An Iphone Without Wifi?
You should always keep your iPhone updated. Because updates include security patches that protect your device. As a bonus, updates fix bugs and improve stability, so you’ll get better performance and fewer glitches.
Additionally, updates enhance your iPhone’s functionality by adding new features. Finally, they help your device run faster and smoother.
It is recommended to update any iPhone over WiFi.
However, sometimes we do not have access to WiFi and no choice without mobile data. In that case, you have to face some challenges to overcome. Because the large size of software updates can quickly consume your mobile data allowance, leading to additional charges.
Additionally, weak or unstable cellular signals can cause slow downloads. Updates drain your battery quickly. The most challenging thing is that you can’t update most iPhones directly without wifi.
Checking Device Compatibility and Requirements
Explaining The Ios Version And Device Compatibility
Each year, Apple releases iOS updates with new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and security patches. Most iOS updates improve the user interface, performance, app functionality, and system-level optimization. Apple’s most recent mobile operating system is iOS 16. However, older iPhones may not work with the latest iOS versions. If you plan to install the update, make sure your device is compatible.
|iPhone 8 and later, iPhone SE (2nd generation and later)
|iPhone 6s and later, iPhone SE (1st generation and later)
Verifying Available Storage Space On Your iPhone
Your iPhone’s memory must be sufficient for a smooth update. Because updates can be as large as several gigabytes. Insufficient space on your device can lead to update failures or other issues. You must make sure you have ample storage before installing the update. For instance, you would like to update to iOS 16. If so, Apple recommends having 2-5GB of available iPhone storage space.
Discussing The Battery Level Requirement For Updating
Your iPhone needs a healthy battery level to update properly. An iPhone needs at least 50% battery to update. The update will not start if your iPhone’s battery is less than 50%. Updates can consume a lot of power, so it is important to have a high battery level. Luckily, Apple doesn’t specify battery health requirements for updating. But you should have decent battery health to ensure a smooth update process.
Preparing Your iPhone for the Update
Connect Your iPhone To A Power Source:
Plug your iPhone in to charge before updating. Make sure it has enough charge. This prevents interruptions from a low battery during an update.
Back-Up Your Iphone Data (Recommended):
A backup of your iPhone’s data is highly recommended before updating. So you don’t lose any important files, settings, or app data if anything goes wrong during the update. If you have a computer, you can back up your iPhone using iTunes/Finder.
- iCloud Backup: Go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup Settings > iCloud > Backup on earlier iOS versions. Make sure the toggle switch for iCloud Backup is enabled. Tap Back Up Now to initiate an immediate backup.
- iTunes/Finder Backup: Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. Open iTunes or Finder on macOS. Click Back Up Now on your iPhone.
Enable Low Power Mode (Optional):
You can enable Low Power Mode during the update process to conserve battery. To enable Low Power Mode, go to Settings > Battery. Please note that enabling Low Power Mode may affect performance slightly.
Utilizing Mobile Data for iPhone Updates
Apple did not support automatic updates for iPhones without a Wi-Fi connection till 2020. After 2020 newer 5G models of iPhone support automatic updates through iCloud using cellular data. If your iPhone is released after 2020 and is an iPhone 12 model or later and supports 5G, you can update it through iCloud without using a WiFi connection.
So this update requires no wifi or computer. That means you can update your iPhone without wifi and a computer. Let’s talk about how you can update your iPhone using Automatic updates through iCloud:
Understanding The Limitations Of Mobile Data Updates:
Specifically, updating your iPhone via mobile data can consume a lot of data. Some cellular data plans restrict or limit data usage. A weak or unstable cellular signal can also slow down downloads. Mobile data updates also drain your battery quickly.
Ensure Your Device Supports 5g
- Go to Settings > General > About.
- If 5G is displayed under Network Carrier, then your device supports 5G. (iPhone 12,13 and 14 /mini/Pro/Pro Max support 5G)
Checking For Available Cellular Data Plan And Allowance:
Check that your cellular data plan is active and that your data allowance is sufficient. You can usually do this through your cellular provider’s app or by contacting customer service. Make sure you have enough data left on your plan to cover the update size without exceeding your monthly allowance.
Configuring Your iPhone Settings For Mobile Data Updates
- Open “Settings>General.
- Then tap on Software Update.
- If there is a pending update, you will see a message with an option called Customize Automatic Updates or Customize Updates. Select it to proceed.
- On the next screen, locate Download iOS updates or Download and Install iOS updates and tap on it.
- You’ll find three options:
- Download iOS updates
- Install iOS updates
- Use Mobile Data.
- Toggle on the Use Mobile Data option. You can now use your cellular data connection to get and install software updates.
Trigger The Update:
- Open the Settings on your iPhone,
- Then go to General and select Software Update. Check out the available updates here.
Download And Install The Update:
- Tap on Download and Install to start the update.
- On-screen instructions will guide you.
- Maintain a stable cellular data connection throughout the process.
Enabling Personal Hotspot for iPhone Updates
If your phone doesn’t support direct mobile data updates, use another technique. You’ll need a computer and simple software. Use your phone’s hotspot. Using Personal Hotspot, you can update your iPhone via your cellular data connection. Here’s how:
Using Your Iphone As A Personal Hotspot:
- Go to Settings> Personal Hotspot.
- Toggle on the Personal Hotspot switch. Set a Wi-Fi password to secure your hotspot.
Connecting Your Computer To Your iPhone’s Hotspot:
Find your iPhone’s hotspot network in your computer’s Wi-Fi settings. If necessary, provide your Wi-Fi password. You can use your iPhone’s cellular data once you are connected.
Enabling Itunes Or Finder To Download And Install Updates
- Launch a browser.
- Download the iTunes application from the Apple website. https://www.apple.com/itunes/
- Click on the Download button to start the download.
- Save the iTunes installer file.
- Double-click the installer file. Permit its installation.
- Finder is the default file manager and search application on macOS. So you don’t have to download it separately.
- Your Mac comes with a Finder application pre-installed.
- To access Finder, click on the Finder icon in the Dock or click Command + Space and search for Finder in Spotlight.
Updating iPhone using iTunes or Finder (macOS and Windows)
- Use a Lightning cable and connect your iPhone to your computer.
- According to your computer’s operating system, choose the appropriate method
Using Itunes (Windows Or Mac):
- First, find the iTunes App on your computer(Mac/Windows).
- Then, click on the device icon (upper-left corner) to select your iPhone.
- Click on the Summary tab, then click on Check for Update.
- If an update is available, click Download and Update to start the update process.
Using Finder (For Mac):
- Open Finder on your Mac.
- In the sidebar, select your iPhone under Locations.
- Go to the General tab and click on Check for Update.
- If an update is available, click on Download and Update to begin the update process.
Troubleshooting Common Issues:
If you encounter any issues when updating your iPhone with iTunes or Finder, try these troubleshooting steps:
- Make sure your internet connection is stable.
- Fully charge your iPhone before updating.
- Restart your iPhone and PC.
- Update iTunes or Finder.
- Change your Lightning cord or PC USB port.
- Disable firewalls and security software temporarily.
Updating iPhone using Third-Party Software
Use third-party software if these approaches fail. Apple advises against updating iPhones with third-party software. Third-party apps can cause compatibility issues, security flaws, and iPhone damage.
But if you can’t decide without third-party software, we can help you pick some of the most reliable ones. You should always check these things before picking any third-party software.
- Research reputable sources.
- Read user reviews and ratings.
- Verify developer credibility.
- Check for compatibility.
- Assess security measures.
- Try trial versions or demos.
- Seek recommendations.
We can help if you are still confused. This is the most reliable software to update your iPhone, according to users:
Each third-party software has its way of updating the iPhone. Using the official instructions, update your iPhone.
Troubleshooting Common Update Issues
Sometimes you might have issues updating your iPhone. Whether it’s a bug, battery, or something else, it could be anything. Let’s talk about it and find a solution.
When updating your iPhone, you may encounter an error message suggesting a lack of available storage space. This can happen if your device is nearing capacity and the update requires more room to download and install. Clearing out unwanted files or apps can assist in freeing up storage space.
Slow Download Speed:
Sometimes, updates may take longer to download due to a slow internet connection. This can result in a prolonged update process or failed downloads. Ensuring a stable and high-speed Wi-Fi connection can help mitigate this issue.
Update Stuck Or Frozen:
Occasionally, an iPhone update may get stuck or frozen during the installation process. This can happen due to various factors, such as incompatible software or a corrupted update file. Restarting your iPhone or performing a force restart (by pressing specific buttons) can often resolve this issue.
Update Failure/Error Messages:
During the update process, you might encounter error messages, such as Unable to Verify Update or Software Update Failed. These errors can occur due to network interruptions, server issues, or incompatible software. Retrying the update, restarting your device, or updating through iTunes/Finder on a computer can help resolve such problems.
Some users experience rapid battery drain after updating their iPhones. This can be attributed to background processes or settings that change during the update. To mitigate this issue, charge your iPhone fully before updating, close unnecessary apps, and adjust settings like background app refresh or screen brightness to optimize battery life.
If you encounter any update issues, it’s recommended to visit Apple’s support website. Find the Contact Support button. You can then contact Apple support via phone, or chat, or set up an appointment at an Apple Store.
Ultimately, updating your iPhone without WiFi is possible, but it comes with some challenges. Although some newer iPhones support automatic updates via iCloud, most require a WiFi connection or a computer. Check your device’s compatibility, storage space, and battery level before updating.
Using mobile data for updates can also quickly exhaust your data allowance and slow down your downloads. If WiFi isn’t available, you can use a personal hotspot and third-party software. Update your iPhone regularly to get better security, bug fixes, and improved performance, despite the challenges. Make sure your device is up-to-date for the best performance.
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