How to Update Old iPad: Step-by-Step Guide to Refresh Your Device

Updating an old iPad can breathe new life into your device, improving performance and giving you access to the latest features and security updates. This guide will walk you through the steps to ensure your iPad is running the most current software available.

How to Update Old iPad

Updating an old iPad is relatively straightforward. These steps will help you navigate the process from start to finish, ensuring your iPad is up-to-date and functioning smoothly.

Step 1: Check Compatibility

Make sure your old iPad can run the latest iOS version.

Older models might not support the latest updates, so it’s important to verify your device’s compatibility. Head to Apple’s official website to check the list of supported devices for the specific iOS version you want to install.

Step 2: Backup Your Data

Before updating, back up your iPad to prevent data loss.

You can use iCloud or iTunes to back up your device. This step is crucial as it ensures all your important files, photos, and settings are saved, just in case something goes wrong during the update.

Step 3: Connect to Wi-Fi

Connect your iPad to a stable Wi-Fi network.

Updates are typically large files, so a stable Wi-Fi connection is necessary to download the update file without interruptions. Ensure your iPad remains connected throughout the process.

Step 4: Plug in Your iPad

Keep your iPad connected to a power source during the update.

Updating can drain the battery quickly, so it’s best to keep your device plugged in to avoid any power-related interruptions that could hinder the update.

Step 5: Go to Settings

Open the Settings app on your iPad.

Navigate to the Settings app, which is usually located on your home screen. This is where you’ll find the options to check for and install the latest update.

Step 6: Select General

Tap on the General tab within the Settings app.

Under the General tab, you’ll find various options related to your device’s management and settings. This is where you can perform software updates.

Step 7: Tap Software Update

Select Software Update to check for available updates.

Your iPad will automatically search for any available updates. If an update is available, it will be displayed on the screen.

Step 8: Download and Install

Tap Download and Install to begin the update process.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update. Your iPad may restart during this process, which is completely normal.

Once you complete these steps, your iPad will restart with the new software installed. You’ll notice improvements in performance, new features, and enhanced security.

Tips for Updating Old iPad

  • Make sure your iPad has enough free storage space for the update.
  • Disable any VPNs temporarily, as they may interfere with the download.
  • Keep your iPad in a cool environment to prevent overheating during the update.
  • If the update fails, try restarting your iPad and repeating the steps.
  • Consider visiting an Apple Store for help if you encounter persistent issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to update an old iPad?

The update process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the update and your internet speed.

Will updating my old iPad delete my data?

No, updating your iPad should not delete any data. However, it is always smart to back up your data before updating.

What if my iPad says the update is unavailable?

Your iPad might be too old to support the latest iOS version if it says the update is unavailable.

Can I use my iPad while it’s updating?

No, you should not use your iPad while it’s updating. Let the process complete without interruptions.

What do I do if my iPad gets stuck during the update?

If your iPad gets stuck, try restarting it by holding down the power and home buttons simultaneously until it reboots.


  1. Check Compatibility
  2. Backup Your Data
  3. Connect to Wi-Fi
  4. Plug in Your iPad
  5. Go to Settings
  6. Select General
  7. Tap Software Update
  8. Download and Install


Updating your old iPad is a relatively simple task that can significantly enhance your device’s performance and security. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your iPad runs smoothly and stays up-to-date with the latest features.

Don’t let your device fall behind; keeping it updated can make it feel like new again. If you run into any issues, Apple’s support team is always there to help. So, dive into your settings, start the update process, and enjoy the refreshed experience of your trusty old iPad!

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