Home / iPad

Updating the iPad or iPhone with the Latest Firmware

To make sure the iPad or iPhone is up to date, install the latest firmware on it. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the iPad or iPhone to your computer. The computer starts iTunes (if it's not running) or activates it (if it is running).
  2. In iTunes, click the iPad's or iPhone's entry in the Source list to display the iPad or iPhone screens.
  3. Click the Summary tab if it's not automatically displayed.
  4. Click the Check For Update button.
  5. If iTunes tells you that an update is available, follow through the prompts to download it and install it.

Resetting an iPad or iPhone Totally with Recovery Mode

Sometimes an iPad or iPhone can get so messed up that you need to wipe the device clean before you can get it working properly again. This can happen under normal use, but the usual culprit is a user trying to "jailbreak" the device in order to run on it apps that Apple won't approve for the App Store.

CAUTION Recovery mode is a scorched-earth treatment that wipes out all the data on the iPad or iPhone and replaces the firmware with a fresh copy. Make sure you've backed up any data you need to keep before you use recovery mode.

To reset an iPad or iPhone totally using recovery mode, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the iPad or iPhone has a decent amount of power in the battery-25 percent or more is usually plenty, but more is (as usual) better.
    TIP Recovery mode is also good for a couple of other situations: First, when you need to transfer an iPad or iPhone from one user to another, and you want to make several hundred percent sure that you've wiped any applications, data, or settings that the current user won't want the next user to see. Second, if you're planning to sell or decommission the iPad or iPhone and you want to wipe the slate clean.
  2. Boot your PC or Mac if it's not already running. If it's a laptop, plug in the power adapter to make absolutely certain it doesn't run out of juice at a critical moment.
  3. Launch iTunes if it's not already running.
  4. Connect the USB end of the iPad's or iPhone's connector cable to the PC or Mac. (I know, you probably keep it connected.) Don't connect the iPad or iPhone just yet.
  5. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button on the iPad or iPhone for about 12 seconds. When the Slide To Power Off slider appears, don't slide it-just keep holding down the buttons as the iPad or iPhone powers right down.
  6. Keep holding down both buttons as the iPad or iPhone begins restarting.
  7. When the Apple logo pops up on the screen, release the Sleep/Wake button but keep holding down the Home button.
  8. When the iPad or iPhone displays the Connect To iTunes screen, plug the cable into the Dock Connector on the bottom of the iPad or iPhone.
  9. When you see iTunes announce that it has detected an iPad or iPhone in recovery mode, release the Home button.
  10. Give iTunes time to download the latest version of the device's firmware and install it.
  11. When iTunes announces that it has restored the iPad or iPhone, click the OK button.
    NOTE If at this point iTunes claims it can't recognize the iPad or iPhone, unplug the device. Turn it fully off-hold down the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Slide To Power Off slider, and then slide the slider-and then turn it back on again by pressing the Sleep/Wake button. Once Sleeping Beauty has shed its slumbers, plug it back in. By now, the scales will have fallen from iTunes' eyes, and it will recognize the iPad or iPhone.
  12. iTunes then displays the Set Up Your iPad screen or Set Up Your iPhone screen (pick your poison here).
  13. Select the appropriate option button:
    • Set Up As A New iPad or Set Up As A New iPhone Select this option button to complete the process of wiping the iPad or iPhone. Give the iPad or iPhone a name, but don't synchronize any data to it.
    • Restore From The Backup Of Select this option button if you've recovered the device to restore it to health. Open the drop-down list or pop-up menu and choose the backup to use.
  14. Click the Continue button. iTunes finishes setting up the iPad or iPhone.

TIP If the restoration fails with the cryptic message "An unknown error occurred," make sure you're using the iPad's or iPhone's original cable rather than a cable designed for an older model. There's a different pin layout in the older cables that causes trouble only at critical moments like this-it's fine for regular syncing.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]