At work I have 3 devices to experiment with today: An iPhone 5, an iPhone 6, and an iPad mini.

The iPhone 5 had iOS 8.4.1 installed on it. Early this afternoon (US Eastern time zone) iOS 9 showed up on the iPhone 5 as an update.

My iPhone 6 and iPad Mini both have iOS 8.4 on them (Not 8.4.1, 8.4). Software update on both devices offers to update to 8.4.1.

After about an hour of waiting, I decided to try installing 8.4.1 on my iPhone 6. Sure enough, once I was through the install process and actively online, I'm offered an update to iOS 9.0. My iPad mini still shows the next update as iOS 8.4.1, not 9.0.

WTF? These are big, time-consuming updates. It seems silly to have to download and run the full install process for an intermediate step update.

Is this how Apple does over the air updates to iOS 9? I thought Apple bundled updates into a "combined update?" but don't see a way to do hat other than downloading the install image and using iTunes to update over USB.

5 Answers 5


this problem occurs when you already have a downloaded update (for example, you have downloaded 8.4.1 but not installed it yet). Easiest way to correct is to delete the update (Settings-General-Usage-Manage Storage - look for iOS8.4.1 (or whatever version has been downloaded).

After deleting the old update, a check for software update will show iOS9

  • This sounds like the most likely explanation, so I'm accepting it. On one of my devices I did the horrible 2-step update first to 8.4.1 and then to 9.0. On the other I waited until I got home from work and installed the update through iTunes, which does not seem to suffer from this problem. I'll have to test this solution when I'm ready to update one of my other devices.
    – Duncan C
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:45

Yes, if you haven't installed 8.4.1 and you haven't been prompted to install 9.0, then it appears that the installation of 8.4.1 will enable you to also upgrade to 9.0.

I resisted upgrading to 8.4.1 because I don't really care for Apple Music. I really wanted 9.0 though but until today the update was not enabled for me. I finally decided to try installing 8.4.1 as a gateway to 9.0 and it worked. Immediately after my upgrade, I went to check for other upgrades and was pleased to see that 9.0 was now available.


Deleting the downloaded 8.4.1 from my iPhone immediately opened up downloading 9.0. I would agree that you don't need to install 8.4.1 first.


No it does not. You can have 8.0 installed and update directly to iOS 9.0. Sometimes you have to wait for Apple to stop signing the last release (iOS 8.4.1) before it will offer up the next release (iOS 9.0). Until then you should be able to download and install the iOS 9.0 update through iTunes.

  • As of today, I can't seem to get iOS 9 installed unless I install 8.4.1 first.
    – Duncan C
    Sep 16, 2015 at 21:51
  • This seems to resolve around whether the device has already started to update to iOS 8.x. If not, you are right. If so, your answer isn't complete.
    – bmike
    Sep 17, 2015 at 15:46

No need to download iOS 8.4.1, it will upgrade straight to iOS 9 from iOS 8.2.

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