After just accepting the iOS 7.0 upgrade dialog on my iPad, the gears spin for a moment and it looks like the download will start, but then the install fails. iOS Software Update Failed

Is this something I can fix?

2 Answers 2


This is quite expected for several hours (and sometimes even a day later at popular times like first thing in the morning) as Apple tunes the servers that host the download images. Usually, things smooth out several hours after the launch and if you have this issue for more than a day, I would contact support just in case it's your device that is having problems.

Even more important than the download servers are the activation servers that verify the software wasn't corrupted or tampered with as they seem to be preventing many people from updating even after the software is downloaded and installed on the device.

It's not unrealistic that thousands or even a million devices are all asking to download the files at the same time, and if you wish to get a good download here are some strategies:

  • Go to a network with an OS X Server Caching service so that the first person to download the package will cause it to be cached so that all the subsequent downloads are a local transaction
  • Use iTunes (or Safari) to download the update rather than perform an over the air (OTA) update as shown above.
  • Wait out the rush and get your update several hours or days later.

Hopefully, enough servers are available so that this isn't "normal", but even on a fast connection to the internet you might have some delays in upgrading on launch day.

  • 1
    For any major iOS update, you should do it from iTunes on your computer after backing up your whole phone to the computer!
    – CyberSkull
    Sep 20, 2013 at 5:16
  • In my case, I do make a precautionary backup to iTunes, but since I don't sync any of my apps to iTunes (SSD space is limited), when I restored from the iTunes backup - no purchased apps were restored. It's not at all what I'd consider a friendly restore losing all those apps (and even if the data for the apps was copied back to the phone - I don't know what happens between when the restore ends and I get the apps re-downloaded whether the content is there.) I am in the habit of restoring from the iCloud backup where it re-loads both the data and the applications - even on launch day.
    – bmike
    Sep 20, 2013 at 16:28
  • You should just bite the bullet for the full backup before doing the update, then delete the backup when your phone is successfully updated.
    – CyberSkull
    Sep 21, 2013 at 12:26

I got the same on my iPad initially. I just tried it again and its seemingly working fine. I'm guessing it's a glitch.

On my iPhone I got a notice that I needed to free up some memory before I could download. Bu-bye Garmin North America map!

  • Happy Trails! I'm glad to see that the throttling is at the beginning of the download. If you want to report the download speed you are seeing (or the estimate to install) - that might be an interesting tidbit to share.
    – bmike
    Sep 18, 2013 at 17:18
  • Initially I saw a 20 minute time for the iPad download. It's down to about 14 minutes now--10 minutes or so later. Seems up to par given my network—and that I'm pulling both iPhone and iPad downloads simutaneously.
    – jaberg
    Sep 18, 2013 at 17:26
  • I can use the Garmin map :)
    – Ruskes
    Sep 18, 2013 at 18:46

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