If you want to know how can I upgrade my iPhone without WiFi, then you have landed on the correct page. Updating your iPhone to the latest iOS software is important for security fixes, new features and app compatibility. However, you may encounter situations without a nearby Wi-Fi network as Apple has restricted the ability of iOS devices to upgrade without a WiFi.
This guide explores why OTA updates require Wi-Fi and shares proven methods to work around this limitation for updating without internet connectivity. So, if you want to know how can I upgrade my iOS without WiFi, then you must read this post till the end. Among them, we have listed all the working methods that we have tried and tested.
Why Can’t I Update My iPhone Without Wi-Fi?
Apple designed iPhone software updates to primarily use Wi-Fi networks for their large file sizes. Cellular data plans have transfer limits and high costs for multi-GB downloads. However, there are savvy workarounds if you need to update in areas without Wi-Fi. Also, in the later iPhone models, you now get the ability to update your OS over 5G networks.
If your iPhone or iPad device is 5G enabled, then you can always use your mobile data to update the software version. This is so because 5G networks are comparatively faster than 3G or 4G LTE network models. However, even if your device has 5G unlimited internet data, we still recommend using a WiFi connection to upgrade your iOS version, as it is a safer way to do that.
How To Update iPhone Without WiFi Data or Hotspot? [4 Methods]
This article details the best options for updating offline through a local computer connection, mobile hotspot tethering or specialized upgrade apps. Each method is thoroughly explained and tested on recent iOS versions to help users stay current even without wireless internet access. So, if you want to know how can I update my iPhone software without WiFi, consider following the methods mentioned below
1. Try Updating Using A Computer
This technique involves connecting your iPhone to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed. The software may then detect available updates and install them via a high-speed computer connection without requiring Wi-Fi on the device itself. You don’t need an active internet connection on your mobile or even a SIM card installed. Follow the steps mentioned below to update iOS on iPhone using iTunes.
- First, connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
- Now, open the iTunes software and wait for it to detect the mobile.
- If you get a pop-up message, then click on Trust/Authorize the device.
- Now, go to iTunes and click on the phone’s name on the left bar.
- Under the General tab, click on the Check For Update button.
- The tool will start searching for available updates. Wait until the process finishes.
- If an update is available, it will be displayed in a pop-up box.
- Click on Download and Update and wait for the software to install the latest OS to your device.
This method comes in handy when you don’t have an internet connection on your mobile device but have it on your PC. Also, updating your device via iTunes is a much safer option than doing it over OTA. Ensure you have a power backup for your PC in case there’s a power cut during the updation process. If possible, use a laptop instead of a PC to do this.
2. Allow More Data On 5G
Starting from iPhone 12, users can now download OS updates and update their applications using cellular data but only on 5G-enabled networks. If connected to an eligible 5G plan, one can temporarily alter data settings to give iOS permission to utilise more cellular data tiers. With boosted network usage, the update may download over faster mobile bandwidth.
If you have enough data in your internet plan to download the newest OS version, you can consider this option to upgrade your iOS version. The option will be disabled by default, and you will have to enable it from the Settings menu. Follow the steps mentioned below to allow more data usage on your 5G networks.
- Open the Settings app and click on Cellular.
- Scroll down and click on the Cellular Data Options.
- Under Data Mode, tick the Allow More Data On 5G option.
3. Change Date To Update Using 4G/LTE
By changing the system date on the iPhone to something in future, bug fixes in place temporarily allow 4G networks to be used to download iOS upgrades. This method comes in handy for those who don’t have an older iPhone device or do not have access to a WiFi connection. You can follow the steps mentioned below to follow this trick.
- Open the Settings app and click on the General option.
- Now scroll down and click on Date and Time.
- Use the Toggle button to turn off the Set Automatically option.
- Click on the date displayed below the Time Zone option.
- Change the date to 2 or 3 months in the future. If today’s date is January 1, 2024, then change it to March 3, 2024.
- Go back to the General Settings page and click on Software Update.
- It will start showing that an iOS update is available for your device.
- Download and install the app like you normally do.
- Once updated, enable the Set Automatically option in the Date and Time tab.
- Restart your device, and you are ready to enjoy the newest OS on your iPhone device.
4. Update iPhone Using IPSW Downloads
For advanced users, fetching the specific firmware files from trusted online databases and installing through recovery mode ensures always having an internet-free system update option available on local storage for emergency iOS installations offline. You can use these files with iTunes software on Windows and macOS while with idevicerestore on Linux devices.
There are various websites out there where you can find the OS installation files for Apple devices, but the most trusted among all is ipsw.me. This website has firmware upgrade files for iPhone, iPad, MAC, Apple TV, Apple Watch and HomePod & iPod Touch devices. Here’s how you can use it to download and install OS on your iPhone manually.
- Visit the official ipsw.me website -> https://ipsw.me/
- Click on the iPhone option.
- A list of all supported iPhone models will be displayed.
- Click on the device you are using.
- It will then display a list of all Signed and Unsigned IPSW files for the device.
- We recommend going with the signed ones, and they’ve been verified by the website owners.
- Click on the file name, and it will take you to a new page.
- Here, you can read information about the file and see the release notes, too.
- Click on the Download button, and the file will be saved to your device.
The first part of this method is done. Now, you have to use a USB cable and a computer with iTunes installed on it to install this OS file to your device. Before anything else, ensure the file you’ve downloaded is correct and match the file size with the one mentioned on the IPSW website. When you are ready, follow the steps mentioned below to install it.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC via a USB cable.
- Open the iTunes app and click on the iPhone name on the left sidebar.
- Tap on the Restore iPhone button, and a pop-up box will appear.
- Navigate to the Downloads folder and locate the downloaded IPSW file.
- Click on Open, and iTunes will start updating your device.
- Wait for the process to finish, and then restart your device to make changes.
FAQs Related To iPhone iOS Update Without WiFi
Now that we have outlined several dependable techniques, some commonly asked questions about updating iPhones without Wi-Fi may also be on your mind. Don’t worry because we have got you covered. Below, we have answered the most frequently inquired topics based on reader experiences. Consider reading them to get answers to your questions related to the topic.
What Happens If You Don’t Update Your iPhone?
If your iPhone or iPad is not updated to the latest iOS version, it may not run the newest apps or app updates that require recent OS features. Not updating also leaves your device vulnerable to newly discovered security vulnerabilities. Critical bugs and stability issues present in older firmware versions may not be fixed.
How Do I Manually Download iOS Update?
You can manually download iOS updates by connecting your iPhone to a computer, ensuring iTunes software is updated, and then clicking the “Check for Update” button. The dialogue will prompt you to save the large update file, which can then be installed via iTunes upon file completion back on the device. You can also use websites like ipsw.me to get software installation files.
Why Is My iPhone Not Working Without Wi-Fi?
Not only the iPhone but every smartphone requires an internet connection, preferably via Wi-Fi, to enjoy features like streaming, sending messages, using GPS navigation and downloading media files or app updates. If your device is not working without a WiFi, then you can try restarting your device once or reset the network settings.
How Much Data Do I Need To Update My iPhone?
iPhone software updates range from 1GB up to 2.5GB, depending on your device and iOS version. Thus, a 5GB or higher data plan capacity would be recommended for convenient downloading. Carrier plans with limitations below this limit may find the update process frustratingly slow or error-prone over cellular networks alone. That is why Wi-Fi remains ideal for stability.
Can I Update My iPhone Using Cellular Data?
While possible, updating directly over cellular data can rapidly consume data allowances and lead to expensive overage charges if your plan has a low cap. It is generally better to save updates until connecting to an unmetered Wi-Fi network by the home or work whenever possible to avoid cellular data risks. Using WiFi over cellular data also removes the risk of failed downloads and installation.
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iOS upgrades play an important role in maintaining device functionality, and you must keep your software version up-to-date with the latest build. This post hopes to give users more freedom to ensure important updates install smoothly, even without Wi-Fi. Try one of the outlined methods if an iOS download is ever needed independently of wireless networks.
Remember, staying updated is key for peak iPhone usability and security. We hope now you know how can I update my iPhone without internet and you are now able to do so. There can be more ways to do so, and we will keep this post updated with more such methods as we find them. If you know any way to work, then do share your views with us via the comments below.