I have many apple devices 5 iPhones and 4 iPads to be exact

I upgrade by connecting to my Mac and then from iTunes

So when upgrading iOS, it's downloading the software every time?

I would understand the reason for having separate download for iPad and iPhone but for all my phones it has to download 1.59GB every time

Which is time consuming and also wastage of my download

Questions Is there a way to make it so when i upgrade my phones it uses the same file same goes for iPads

  • FYI: I am familiar with apple.stackexchange.com/questions/146019/… but that person has different devices in my case it's the same device times 5
    – SeanClt
    Mar 23, 2016 at 18:07
  • If your devices are identical in every way, then I'm going to add a new answer... save a whole lot of effort...
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23, 2016 at 19:16

3 Answers 3


I feel your pain, here is how I solved the problem:

  1. Go to https://ipsw.me/
  2. Download the iOS(s) you need for your devices
  3. Go on iTunes
  4. Back up your devices
  5. Hold down the Shift button and click on "Restore"
  6. Find and open the .ipsw for your device (make sure you chose the right one)
  7. Sync the device with the back up and you should be set!
  • 2
    Why not just ⌥-Update rather than restore to save yourself from erasing your phone? Also I presume you're talking about Windows, since OS X is ⌥-Update/Restore.
    – grg
    Mar 23, 2016 at 18:14
  • yep any way to just upgrade using the .ipsw or restore is the only way?
    – SeanClt
    Mar 23, 2016 at 18:15
  • If you ⌥-click on Update (or ⇧-click on Windows) then you can specify the ipsw like ⌥-Restore, but you save yourself from erasing the device.
    – grg
    Mar 23, 2016 at 18:16
  • I was thinking the same thing, @grgarside, but after a couple Google searches of research I noticed that Shift-Update might not work. Give it a shot and let me know. Mar 23, 2016 at 18:19
  • 2
    'ipsw.me' simply links to the actual Apple downloads. The only real downside of this answer is the 'nuke & pave' which is totally unnecessary.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23, 2016 at 19:15

If you have identical devices, even if they are synced to different computers using different iTunes, then this is the way to save the download bandwidth...

You can choose to do the download via iTunes for the first device, or directly by picking the correct ipsw file from https://ipsw.me which simply provides direct download links - the downloads themselves come directly from Apple in both cases.

Assuming you are on Mac...

if you are using ipsw.me then skip this step.

  1. Connect the first device then when asked about the update select "Download Only". This gives you chance to sync & backup first, but otherwise doesn't affect the update. Allow the update to finish, then disconnect the device.
    You now have the downloaded file.

  2. If you are going to share this update to other computers, or other Mac user accounts on the same machine, then you need to find it & copy over...

  3. From Finder, open a new window then hit Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ G for 'Go To...' then copy paste ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates & hit Enter ⌅
    Inside there you will see the downloaded ipsw file.

now rejoin if you got the file from ipsw.me... but remember the path from the last step

  1. Copy [don't move] this to your other locations using the same method to find the folder, or if the other users are on the same machine, copy to a 'public' folder that all users can see, then get each user to copy from there to their own folder
    [each user has their own folder, accessible from their own account using the same path, as in 3. above].

  2. Connect any of your identical devices to iTunes from the correct user account for that user.
    You can now begin the standard update process, the update file is already there & will be recognised.


I had the same download size when I connected my iPhone to my Mac. But when I disconnected it and attempted to update it, the download size was only ~300MB. Downloading it via WIFI on your phone is much easier as you don't have to leave your Mac on to download a 1.59GB update. So if you really don't need to update them via iTunes, try updating each of them on their own via WIFI.

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