How to Update iPhone/iPad/iPod touch without iTunes

If you are not a big fan of iTunes, we will show you how to update your iPhone without the help of iTunes. That way you will not have to use the app that you do not like and still get the updates installed on your device.

Roger Smith Last Updated: May. 11, 2020

When it comes to performing tasks like updating the iOS version on an iOS device, iTunes is one possible choice to do the task. If you have been using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for yourself, you have likely used iTunes to backup as well as update the iOS version on your devices.

With the macOS Catalina doing away with iTunes, the day is not too far when Apple will discard the iTunes app for Windows machines as well. And if that ever happens, how would you update your iOS devices to the latest iOS version?

Well, that is exactly the question that the following guide answers. It also shows methods on how to update your iPad without iTunes and any other iOS device for that matter.

What is the Latest Version of iOS

Before you proceed, you might want to know the latest iOS version that is available for your device. It makes no sense to try and do the procedure only to realize that you already run the latest version of the operating system on your device.

As of this writing, the latest version of the iOS operating system is 13. iOS 13 has recently been rolled out by Apple and it can be downloaded and installed on a number of iPhone and iPad models. As long as your device supports this version of iOS, you should be able to see the update and get it installed on your phone.

The Features of New iOS

After you have confirmed that you do not yet run the latest version of iOS, you might be interested in finding out what is new in this latest update. Well, iOS 13 brings with it a plethora of new features and you are certainly going to find these features useful and cool on your iPhone and iPad models.

The following are some of the new features you are going to find in the iOS 13:

Dark Mode

The dark mode is one of the newest features of iOS 13, and with this version, it has been applied systemwide on your device. Once you have enabled this mode on your iPhone or iPad, you will find that all of the elements on your device turn into a more darkish color. It helps with eyestrain and also saves battery on your device.

New Features in the Photos App

The Photos app gets a completely new set of features in iOS 13. With these revamped and some brand new features, you are going to like your favorite photo viewer app even more.

You now have new view modes such as Days mode, playing Live Photos, and even a feature that shows the photo of the person whose birthday is on that day. You must have specified the birthdate on your device already, though.

Reminders App

Reminders app also sees a ton of new features in iOS 13. It gets new viewing modes and even a sentence shortener that automatically shortens what you want to say.

That way you can easily and quickly create concise reminders on your iPhone and iPad.

How to Update iPhone via Wi-Fi

With all the new exciting features in iOS 13, we are sure you cannot wait to get your device updated to this latest version of the operating system.

One of the ways you can update your iPhone to the latest iOS without iTunes is to update your iPhone over the air. That basically means connecting your iPhone to the Internet over WiFi and then getting the update downloaded and installed on the device directly. You are going to need a stable Internet connection and that is all, really.

Step 1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on the option that says Wi-Fi. It will open your WiFi settings.

Access the WiFi option on iPhone

Access the WiFi option on iPhone

Step 2. If it is the first time you using your iPhone, select the WiFi network from the list, enter the password to connect to it.

Step 3. Head back to the main interface of the Settings app and tap on General. Then tap on Software Update on the following screen.

Navigate to the Software Update option on iPhone

Navigate to the Software Update option on iPhone

Step 4. Wait while your iPhone checks for available updates. When an update is shown on your screen, tap on the option that says Download and Install.

Update the iPhone to the latest version of iOS

Update the iPhone to the latest version of iOS

Your iPhone will automatically download the update for you and get it installed on your device. All you need to do is keep an eye on the update status to see when it finishes.

How to Update iPhone with Computer

There is another way to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version which does not fully depend on the iTunes app. It does use it to accomplish a few steps though so we cannot say that this is a completely iTunes-less method of updating iOS devices.

You are going to need a computer and an Internet connection to do this method.

Step 1. Launch a browser and head over to the IPSW website from where you can download a firmware file for your device.

Step 2. Select your iOS device model on the website and you will be presented with links to download a firmware for your device. Click on the latest IPSW file to download it to your computer.

Download IPSW file for your iOS device

Download IPSW file for your iOS device

Step 3. Plug-in your iOS device to your computer and launch iTunes.

Step 4. Select your device in iTunes and hold down Option (Mac) or Shift (Windows) and click on the Update button.

You will then be asked to choose the location of your IPSW file. When you have done that, your device will automatically begin to update to the latest version of iOS.

The Bottom Line

Updating an iPhone without iTunes is totally possible as shown in the above guide. In fact, there are multiple ways to get your iOS device updated to the latest iOS without needing or partially needing the iTunes app.

Roger Smith

Work for iMobie team for 5 years as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS or Android related issues.