Languages

iOS 4: Updating your device to iOS 5 or later

To update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from iOS 4 to iOS 5 or later, you must erase and restore your device first, before completing the update.

As part of the update and restore process, iTunes will (in order):

  1. Back up key elements of your device, such as settings, Contacts, Calendars, Notes, and your Camera Roll1. iTunes will not, however, back up media content from your iOS device, such as music, apps, books, movies, and TV shows.
  2. Update your device to the latest version of iOS software.
  3. Restore your device from your most recent backup.
  4. Restart your device.
  5. Sync back media content from your iTunes Library to your device2.

If you are attempting to update using a Mac or PC with which you normally sync

You may see the following iTunes message:

Follow these recommended steps before updating your iOS device:

If you are attempting to update using a Mac or PC with which you do not normally sync

Only the content that is stored in the backup will be restored back to the device after the update is complete. Attempting to do this may result in iTunes alerting you with the following message:

Alert message

If you must update your device on a Mac or PC you don't normally sync with, follow these recommended steps before updating:

Additional Information

Notes:

  1. Completing your backup may take some time, depending on the amount of content on your iOS device.
  2. If you are updating your iOS device on a computer with which you do not normally sync , or if you disconnect your device before the sync process is complete, you may notice that some media content that was previously on your device is no longer there. You can restore this content by syncing with the Mac or PC with which you normally sync.
  3. Movie rentals purchased directly from your device will not get transferred to your computer when you sync and transfer your purchases.
Last Modified: Aug 17, 2012
Helpful?
Yes
No
Not helpful Somewhat helpful Helpful Very helpful Solved my problem
Print this page
  • Last Modified: Aug 17, 2012
  • Article: HT4972
  • Views:

    12222004
  • Rating:
    • 58.0

    (129404 Responses)

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
Featured Questions
Why can't I update my iPod touch to iOS 5?
Only the third-generation or fourth-generation iPod touch can run iOS 5. My guess is that you have a second-generation model for which iOS 4.2.1 is the last version available. You can confirm the model you have here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1353 Regards.
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked