Periodically, Apple releases updates for mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches, and even Apple TV's. These updates are for iOS/tvOS, which can include updates to apps that come with your mobile device, bug fixes, and important security updates. Software Updates are an essential part of maintaining supportability and securing your mobile device. The App State End User Supportability Standard requires mobile devices to have the latest major version of macOS or one version previous installed. We recommend you regularly check your device for any available updates and/or major upgrades and apply them as soon as possible. You can view the End User Supportability Standard in full at IT Policy, Standards & Guidelines

The currently supported operating system versions are: 

  • iOS 15
  • iOS 16

If your device requires an update, you may receive an iOS Update Notification. You should also understand the differences between minor updates and major upgrades for iOS:

  • Major Upgrades will include new features, be a larger install, and could potentially impact the support for 3rd-party software you have installed on your device. University policy requires mobile devices to be on the latest major version of iOS or one previous from the latest.
  • Minor Updates are generally smaller and are typically provide bug fixes and patch security vulnerabilities. University policy requires that you install all minor updates within 7 days of availability in order to keep our systems secure from security vulnerabilities. or continue with the steps below to update the software your mobile device


If your device does not meet system requirements to upgrade to one of the supported versions, you need contact IT Support for further steps.

Follow the steps below to either update or upgrade your Apple mobile device. To keep things simple for most users, we recommend that you upgrade your Mac as soon as possible whenever a major iOS/tvOS upgrade is available.

For Managers of Groups of Devices

If you have multiple iPads that you need to update at once, see the guide for Using Apple Configurator to Update Multiple iPads at Once

Step-by-Step Guide


While generally very safe, updates run minimal risk of data loss. Please ensure your data is regularly backed up to another location to avoid risk. One of our Desktop Support Specialists will be happy to assist with this process. Please visit and submit a request for Computer Support.

  1. Before starting, ensure your devices are connected to power and on a Wifi network. 


    Updates will need storage space in order to install. You may need to free up storage space in order to keep your iOS device up to date.

  2. Open the Settings app and tap on General and then tap Software Update.

  3. Software Update will show you both the latest minor updates and major upgrades available to your mobile device (as allowed by ITS). By default, the latest version will appear and we recommend you complete that upgrade/update as soon as possible. 


    When you initiate an update, your mobile device will download the necessary components and will need to restart to perform the installation. Before proceeding, save your current documents, quit any open applications, and backup your data. Please connect to a charger at this time. This process could take a while and your mobile device will be unavailable during this time.

  4. Depending on the availability of software updates for your mobile device - and whether you are ready to install the major upgrade or just the minor updates - you will follow different steps outlined below. The steps below are listed in order of recommendation, for instance, we recommend you to always go to the latest major version of iOS so that will be the first step listed. If you are not ready to upgrade to the latest major version, then you can skip to the next step to only install the minor updates as required by University policy:

    1. To upgrade to a major version, tap Download and Install and follow the installation process.

      1. If there is a minor and major upgrade available, tap on Upgrade to iPadOS *version number* and follow the installation steps there. 

    2. If you are not ready for the major upgrade, tap Download and Install under the minor update. 

    3. If your mobile device is not eligible for the major upgrade and only has the minor updates available, click Download and Install and follow the installation process.

  5. It may take some time to download the update before it can be installed. When the download is complete, you will need to go back into Settings and tap Install Now to kick off the upgrade process.

Visit or call the Technology Support Center for assistance with your iOS Devices.

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