I am unable to download iOS 7 on my iPhone 3Gs. Why? I have iOS 6.1.6 and if I want to download "Find My iPhone", it requires iOS 7. I've tried to search on what else I can do, but cannot figure it out. I also have about 10 GB of free memory out of 13 GB.

  • 2
    There is no "iPhone 3"— the first three models were iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. Can you please verify what model you are trying to install this software on?
    – samh
    Sep 8, 2014 at 13:07
  • 1
    If it's running iOS 6 then it's a 3Gs —cc @samh
    – grg
    Sep 8, 2014 at 18:50
  • 1
    If it's running iOS 6 unjailbroken then we can say it's not a 3G or an original iPhone, but we can't assume it's a 3GS—all we know is that the poster did not properly identify the model.
    – samh
    Sep 8, 2014 at 19:45

4 Answers 4


You cannot download it because iOS 7 is not supported on any iPhone model prior to the iPhone 4. The latest version of iOS that will run on the 3Gs is iOS 6.1.6 -- which you have.

Here's a fantastic compatibility chart for iOS 7:

Source: http://cdn.theapplelounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/iOS-7-Comparison-Chart-definitivo-1.jpg

Note the complete absence of the iPhone 3G and 3GS models.


If you purchase an app (free in this case) before the app is upgraded to require the next OS version, you can get the latest compatible version for your device.

That sounds a bit awkward, so here's an example:

I have a 4th-gen iPod. It runs up to iOS 6.x. At one point I installed various Apple apps like Find My Phone/Friends.

I recently wiped it and set it up for wifey to use. She had, naturally, no apps in her new account so she cannot install Find My Friends.

I used my iTunes account to install Find My Friends and was able to get the last compatible version for my/her device. It will likely work until the server is updated and stops supporting older versions.


Apple has a work around for older devices.

Download the latest app to your computer with iTunes.

Then log into the store with your device and select purchased.

Find the app(s) for iOS7 you downloaded to iTunes and then select install. If an older version (i.e. iOS6) is available it will download.


I have recently bought an iPhone 5 from Tmobile and before that I had a 3gs. The 5 wasn't working properly, so I took it back to Tmobile to get my 3gs back again. The man at the counter transferred everything to my old iPhone, and along with it, came iOS 7. I'm writing this to say it can be done, but with a lot of hassle, a waste of money, and a lot of stupidity.

  • That's simply not possible, unless T-Mobile is jailbreaking devices now. (They're not. If you went to a third-party dealer, I suppose there's a slim possibility, but even that would be suspect.)
    – tubedogg
    Nov 3, 2014 at 5:24

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