Ever wondered how to install a downloaded software update (.ipsw file) in iTunes?
Well there’s a little trick to it, and we’re going to show it to you.
1) Latest iTunes Version
First things first, grab yourself the latest iTunes version from Apple. New software updates require new versions of iTunes, so if you’re not on the latest version you may experience problems when trying to update/restore.
2) Backup your device first
As always, back up your device either to iTunes or iCloud (you may need to upgrade your iCloud storage plan for this), and make sure the backup completed successfully before attempting an upgrade/restore.
4) Download the required firmware file
Download the appropriate firmware file for your device. We have some firmware download links available on our Downloads page. Make sure the extension of the file ends in .ipsw, as some browsers and download managers tend to rename these extensions to .zip. If it does, just rename it back to .ipsw.
5) Proceed to Summary screen in iTunes
Plug your device into iTunes, select it in the left sidebar pane (you may have to enable the sidebar in View > Show Sidebar) and proceed to the Summary screen. Find the section in the Summary screen of your device where it says something like “Check for update” and “Restore iPhone”
6) Restore / Update to firmware file
Now that you have the correct firmware file, you need to decide if you want to restore to the firmware version, or update to it. These are two different things, so make sure you choose wisely.
Restore will wipe the device clean, and proceed to install a fresh version of the firmware file you provided.
Update will maintain current data on your device, and install the new version of the firmware file you provided.
Once you have decided which option is right for you, perform the following:
- Mac: Hold the Option (alt) Key and click on either Check for Update or Restore
- PC: Hold Shift and click on either Check for Update or Restore
A window will pop up asking you to select the firmware file , for which you will select the .ipsw file downloaded above.
Once you have selected the firmware file, iTunes will begin performing the necessary steps to install it onto your device. Be patient, this process can take up to 10 minutes or so.
Congratulations, you should have successfully installed your firmware file onto your iDevice.
If you are experiencing problems with any step above, start a thread over on our forums where we will be more than happy to assist!