How To Update to iOS 5 From iTunes/Manually

Apple released the iOS 4.3 update for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad earlier today and it includes a lot of new and exciting features (Read: What’s new in iOS 5). Upgrading to iOS 5 is a easy task and you just need to connect your device to the PC and check for updates.

If you are unsure on how to update your device to iOS 5 here are the simple steps to update to the latest OS from Apple.

How To Update to iOS 5 Through iTunes

Step 1: Connect your device to iTunes using the USB cable.

Step 2: Once iTunes has detected your device, click on the device name in the left hand menu and click on the “Check for Update” in the device description box.


Step 3: Apple will show you a popup message as seen above if an update for your device is available. Click on the “Download and Update” button.

Step 4: Apple will download the iOS 5 update and install it on your device. It is important that you DO NOT disconnect the device from the computer during the process. It is also recommended to keep your computer plugged in to the power outlet during the process.

That’s it. The process might take around 10-30 minutes depending on how long it takes to download the update to your computer and install it. Once iOS 5 is installed, iTunes will sync your device and you can use it again.

How To Update to iOS 5 Manually

In some cases, the iTunes update process might not work for you for several reasons. In those cases, you can also update your device to iOS 5 manually. Here are the steps to manually update your device to iOS 5.

Step 1: Download the iOS 5 IPSW file for your device using the iOS 5 IPSW direct download links.

Step 2: Connect your device to the computer using the USB cable and wait for iTunes to detect it.

Step 3: Once your device has been detected – follow the steps given below for different OS.

  • For Windows – Hold the Shift key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.
  • For Mac OS X – Hold the Option key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.

Step 4: In the next dialog browse to the file that you downloaded from Step 1 and select the IPSW file.

Step 5: iTunes will now use the IPSW file and update your device to iOS 5. The process should take around 10-20 minutes.

That’s it. Your device will be updated to iOS 5 with ease. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box below.

Published by

Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

  • Trevor

    it will extract the file (iPod 4th gen iOS 5 update) then it will say an unknown error occured (3002). what do I do!? I’ve been trying all flipping day to update!!!!!!!!! It wont let me do it through iTunes, I’ve updated every inch of my Mac, it wont let me do it manually through this, help!!!!!

    • Matt

      You have hold Shift and click Restore instead. I had the same problem but it’s the only way to do it if you’re updating manually.

      • Thanks for saying that because it wont let me click update because my ipod is “new” to the itunes 10.5, and i have trouble downloading ios 5 from itunes, and so thanks :)

  • Thank you very much for posting the direct download links and the instructions. Very helpful and much quicker than a 10 hour download via iTunes.

  • Yudi Soegiono

    I downloaded the ipsw file for iPad 2, but received a “firmware file is not compatible” error message. What should I do?

  • Spencer

    I wonder if this process is safe.

  • zuten

    For Windows – Hold the Shift key and then click on the “Check for Update/Update” button.

    But no dialog for browse file after that – please help

  • Marcus

    I fail to understand why, Trevor. I just updated my iPod 4th gen with iOS 5 and it worked perfectly
    chances are, it didnt download properly for ya. try doing it again, and if it still doesnt work, hit up and look it up there

  • Parth Patel

    i m in india…can i update ios 5 in my iphone 4? plz help……….

  • Alex Daniel

    If you update manually does it wipe all the data off your iPhone? I read that somewhere and wanted to check if it was true before I did it and lost all my saved games on apps.

  • Thanks for sharing the download links. very useful.

  • simon

    after wait for 30 minutes and itunes will tell that “There was a problem downloading for the iphone. The network connection timed out.” i already try many times but still like this and my connection got no problem. what should i do?

  • mikky

    i just downloaded the ipad 2 3 cdma file, but after waiting for over 8hrs to download, i try to update it, and itunes tells me ” could not be restored because firmware file is not compatible”..please what can i do, as i cannot stand another 8hr wait of download…thanks so much for your help

  • Rebecca

    when i shift click the check for updates button, the file i downloaded doesnt show up

  • Ahmad Ateya

    Will all my apps and movies and music get erased

  • Thanks so much it worked, and I love this new iOS 5 !

  • Fenny

    I have the same problem with Rebecca…..the ipsw file is not shown….plz help….

  • Zaw

    it will extract the file (3GS gen iOS 5 update) then it will say an unknown error occured (3002). what do I do!? When i direct download and update from itunes, it will say unknown error (-23).
    how come so many errors in manual and direct? Help!!!

  • samuel

    i have downloaded the file but when i pressed “shift+update” on the itunes….i file doesnt appear on where i saved it.BTW,the file is a WinRAR ZIP archieve.HELP PLEASE!

  • sandy

    i have been trying to update my iphone 3gs to ios5 but after downloading the file and during the processing file it says that internet time out
    can u help me out from these
    even my ipad2 is not updateing same error

  • Bruce Webster

    I have originally tries to update my Ipad 2 WiFi to IOS 5 through itunes however everytime the download would time out (error message 3002). I then followed the instructions to do a manual upgrade and download the applicable manual download file. Tried to download through itunes using this file through both update and restore buy only rec’d the erros message 3194. Is there anything else I can do to update my IOS?

  • den

    i just updated my ipod touch to ios 5.0.1 but after the update i need to configure it but i don’t have a wifi at home and my itunes is not working anymore i dunno why is keep on saying not responding… how can i use ipod touch now since i don’t have a wifi to configure it….

  • when I am connecting to itunes it is showing that error we cannot cennoct to store.

    • do not update othervice u r iphone will be with god….

  • could not be updated because the firmware file is not compatible.

  • Nathalia

    it says it could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible

  • I updated ios through itunes and now my contacts are missing and also a lot of my apps are gone.

  • why are apple’s update files (IPSW) such so large?