How do I update the iOS software on my iPad 2?
I saw that Apple released a new version of the iOS firmware for the iPad and iPad 2 and want to update my iPad to run the latest and greatest. Is there a way I can do that with just an iPad, or do I need to have my computer involved with the iPad update too?
It's always a good idea to run the latest and greatest software on any device you own, whether it's your iPod, iPad or even a Sony PSP, LG TV or Toshiba Blu-Ray player. Bugs are found and fixed, security issues arise, features are added, enhancements are slipped in, and performance is improved. Most vendors keep the reason for the upgrade secret (presumably for security reasons) but I always try to keep the firmware up-to-date on everything I own.
For devices like the iPad or iPod, however, you can't do the update in situ (that is, just with the device itself) but instead need to hook up with a computer because the device can't reboot itself and install a new version of firmware simultaneously. Fortunately, it's pretty easy, though I do have to make the assumption that you've sync'd your iPad with a computer and that's the same computer we'll use for this process.
Plug in your iPad or iPad 2 into your computer and launch iTunes if it doesn't automatically launch. Then click on the device itself on the left side and look closely to the "Summary" information. If there's an update available, you'll see something like this:
To begin the update, click on "Update". Make sure your computer is plugged into the wall too: generally it's a disaster if you have your computer die during an update.
Next step is to click on "Download and Update", then get a cup of tea...
Oops. No tea yet! Always a terrific idea to do a full sync (which we should have done before we started, really. But I know you've already done that so let's proceed). Apparently there are some purchases on the iPad that haven't yet made it onto the computer, so let's not lose them. Click on "Continue".
Once it's done with the sync and new app/content copying, iTunes will start downloading the actual firmware iOS update software:
If you click to the "Download" area, you'll see the download progress:
596MB. That's a hefty download, over a half-gigabyte of shiny newness.
After the download completes the update will begin...
The software package is unpacked and uncompressed, then iTunes verifies it's survived the transit and unpack:
The update itself begins...
After a while (often rather a long while!) the update is done and iTunes automatically restarts the iPad itself:
Once the iPad's rebooted, it reattaches to iTunes and now it should show that the firmware iOS on the device is up to date:
More Useful Apple iPad Help Articles:
✔ Closed captioning for TV shows and movies on my iPhone?
Hey Dave, I saw your article from a few days about How to Turn on Closed Captioning in iTunes and am wondering if...✔ Capture and email a portion of an iPad screen display?
I would like to be able to clip out a rectangular section of any screen on the iPad (not just web pages) and...✔ Review: Verticus for iPad
iOS gamers everywhere are familiar with the genre of infinite forward progress apps - Mega Jump, Canabalt, and a host of other run/jump/fly-until-you-die...✔ Enable Apple 2-Step Verification in iTunes?
I keep reading all these articles about iTunes account security and people having their accounts hacked. I have 2-step security verification set up...✔ The Best Free iOS Apps?
Whether the best things in life are free is an issue hotly debated over. With iOS apps, this may or may not be...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+