I have a 1st generation iPad and when I download apps it tells me “this requires iOS 6.0 or later” but when I go to update it tells me it's fully updated? Why is this happening, and is there any way I can fix it?
iTunes 12.7 or later makes this answer into a no - you can’t do it.
Now that iTunes can not manage Apps, you’re not able to side load them over USB.
The only workaround for now is to install a precedent version of iTunes (see this answer) and follow the rest of this answer.
Here's the easiest way to download apps onto an old iPhone/iPad that doesn't support downloading apps through the App Store (if you're getting an error that you need a greater software version to download):
On your old iPhone/iPad, go to
Go onto your computer (it doesn't matter if it's a PC or a Mac) and open the iTunes app. Then go to the iTunes store and download all the apps you want to be on your iPad/iPhone.
If the iTunes on the computer and your iPad are both signed into the same Apple ID, and the iPad is connected to the internet, then go on your iPad/iPhone to
Purchased-> tap on an individual app you want to install.
You'll get a message that says "The current version requires iOS 6.1 or later, but you can download the last compatible version," just hit
This method should at least allow you to have most apps on your outdated device. Most of them will work, but sometimes even once you have the app installed on your it still won't run correctly. That's just tough luck. But in my experience that's not too common; apps usually work just fine.
As Édouard said: the latest supported iOS for your device is 5.1.1, and if an iOS application supports only newer iOS versions, then you can not install / update this application.
You could try to search for an similar application with the same features which supports older iOS versions.
Or you could try to contact the software developer / company and ask for a compatible version. I did that for my favorite media application, and they included my old device as beta tester... but this is unusual.
The how to fix it seems to be answered by the earlier posters. Here to the why:
When writing a program, one can choose pretty freely how compatible it is with prior versions of iOS. However, the more compatible it is, the less it can make use of newer versions and with that new features and new devices. In some cases, tone can only make it work with an older or a newer iOS, not both. So programmers have to move forward and exclude older versions of the OS.
When an app has been in the app store for longer, several versions of the app are often stored. So installation of the app on older devices works in some cases, but not necessarily always. If only your phone doesn't allow it, while others with the same phone and iOS version have no problems, there is something with your phone or your account - maybe also with your purchases. If others have the same issue, an older version may not be available out of security reasons, for lack of compatibility with newer online features or such.