iOS 12/12.1 Software Update Failed? 6 Tips to Fix This iOS 12 Update Issue

The software update failed error on iPhone or iPad during an iOS upgrade is more common than you think. Read on this post to know how to fix the annoying issue of iOS 12/12.1 software update failed.

By iMobie | Posted on: Sep. 17, 2018, Last Updated: Nov. 05, 2018
Home > iOS 12 Problems > Software Update Failed, An error occurred downloading iOS 12/12.1 
Software Update Failed and an error occurred downloading iOS 12

Software Update Failed, an error occurred downloading iOS 12

Usually, after a fresh iOS upgrade, tons of users rush forward to update their iPhone or iPad to the brand new OS version. This sometimes will cause software update failure, and the iOS 12 is not an exception. You may get an error saying Software Update Failed, An error occurred downloading iOS 12/12.1. Therefore, to resolve the iOS 12 software update failed error, we post the article here and provide you with some potential solutions. Check for further details.

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How to Fix Software Update Failed iOS 12/12.1

Try the following tips to avoid or resolve the iOS 12 software update failed error on iPhone or iPad.

Tip 1. Close and Retry after a few Hours

On the “Software Update Failed” popup screen, you’ll see two options: “Close” and “Settings”. Tap on the “Close” button to exit this error screen, and wait for a few hours, and then tap on “Download and Install” again.

Tip 2. Restart iPhone or iPad

A simple restart of iPhone or iPad always fixes some problems. You can have a try.

For iPhone X: Hold the Side button and either volume button> A slider appears > Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone X > Hold the Side button again to turn on.

For iPhone 8 or earlier: Hold the Top (or Side) button> A slider appears > Drag the slider to turn off your device > Hold the Top (or Side) button again until to turn on.

Tip 3. Update via iTunes

It seems that the iOS 12 software update error is more likely to happen to those who upgrade over the air. Thus you can try to update to iOS 12 via iTunes.

Step 1 Connect iPhone or iPad to computer with USB cable.

Step 2 Launch the latest version of iTunes.

Step 3 Click on your device and go to Summary.

Step 4 Click “Check for Update” to see if there is an available update, click on “Download and Update”.

If you get a message “No Update Found” via updating via iTunes, then maybe there is an unpacked iOS update that has been downloaded before. To delete this, go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage > Scroll down and check if you have an iOS 12 update list, if yes, delete it.

Tip 4. Reset Network Settings

Pay attention that by resetting network settings; you also delete stored Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings. Remember to back up any settings before the reset.

To reset network settings, Go to Settings and General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Enter your password if required and confirm the reset.

Tip 5. Restart WiFi

A weak Internet connection might cause the iOS 12 software update failed error. You can restart the WiFi router if the signal weakens or position yourself in a good WiFi condition.

Tip 6. Update with IPSW File

For skilled iPhone iPad users, you can try to update with IPSW file, which will help you fix the software update failed iOS 12/12.1 problem. Note that you’d better create a full backup for your iPhone or iPad before the following steps.

Step 1 Download the correct IPSW file.

Step 2 Launch iTunes and connect iPhone via the Apple-applied USB cable.

Step 3 Click on the iPhone icon on iTunes screen.

Step 4 Choose the IPSW file by doing the following:

For Mac: OPTION + Click on the “Update” button in iTunes;

For Windows: SHIFT + Click on the ‘Update’ button in iTunes.

Step 5 Find the correct IPSW file on your computer.

Step 6 Click Update to confirm the iOS 11 update.

Step 7 Allow iTunes to complete the update and iOS 11 installation.

Share the tips to fix the error “Software Update Failed” that people may meet while downloading iOS 12 update. And help them get out of this issue.

The Bottom Line

That’s all for the fixes for the iOS 12/12.1 software update failed error. Hope they will be helpful for you. If you find any other useful solutions to the problem, welcome to share with us by leaving a comment. And we also posted other related articles that you may like, such as iOS 12 downgrade tutorial and the full list of iOS 12 problems. Check out them if you are interested in.


Member of iMobie team, an Apple fan as well as an anime lover. Like to share solutions on iOS and Android related problems.