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How to fix Apple iPhone 8 that cannot install an iOS update? [Troubleshooting Guide]

Recent claims from some owners of iOS devices including those with Apple iPhone 8 have surfaced online, regarding an issue on installing the latest iOS 11 update that could not be completed. Purportedly, users were able to download the update file but will not install. Apple has recently released the iOS 11.2 firmware update to fix a bug that triggers local notifications to crash on the iPhone or iPad. Having said that, affected users are rushing to get the new update installed on their respective iOS device so as to get the problem remedied.

However, not all of them are able to find success in implementing the new firmware as they are prompted with certain errors which inadvertently halted the installation process. What could have possibly prevented the new iOS update from installing and what options do end-users have as remedy? Read on to find out.

Before we move any further, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, them drop by our iPhone 8 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problem. Try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need more help, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and we’ll help you with you problem.

Why does your iPhone 8 can’t download or install an iOS update?

If you are trying to install an iOS update to your iPhone 8 and it won’t go through wirelessly, then it could be due to any of the following reasons:

Insufficient storage space on your iPhone

Update files take up space on your phone’s internal storage. Thus you should consider clearing up some space if you’ve already added more new apps and contents on your device. But this is most likely not the case on your iPhone 8 given that this is still a new device, which is equipped with huge storage capacity.

Update server is congested or overloaded of requests

This is often the case when a major update is officially rolled out as many people would want to get it. The update server then can become overloaded with requests thus become congested and temporarily unavailable. Typically, you will be prompted with an alert message or notification that the server is currently unavailable and that you should try again at a later time.

Corrupted update file

Broken files including corrupted contents and applications can also cause conflict and interrupts the phone’s download and installation functions, if not the iPhone’s network connectivity. If you suspect that the problem is triggered by a faulty app, try to disable the suspected app then retry installing the update file. Finding the problematic however would be a bit of a challenge especially if you have recently installed multiple apps and contents on your device. You may need to try disabling individual apps to determine the culprit.

Unstable or intermittent Wi-Fi internet connection

A key requisite in downloading or installing OTA updates is a strong and stable connection to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Thus it is expected for updates to not download or install as intended if your iPhone has poor or intermittent Internet connection. You need to deal with the wireless connectivity issue first and once it’s fixed you are most likely to get the new iOS update installed without bumping into any issues.

What to do if your iPhone 8 is unable to download or install iOS update?

Determining the underlying cause is a key to fixing the main problem. You may refer to the factors explicated above when attempting to isolate the problem for the first time. To assist you in obtaining a resolution, here’s a rundown of possible fixes and workarounds for you to try on, whenever you need to troubleshoot further.

Before you start doing anything, check your iPhone’s memory status to ensure that everything is okay. Even if your device has huge internal storage capacity, it still can succumb into memory-related problems especially with rogue apps installed and running in the background. If you see any unusual apps or services that are taking much of your iPhone storage, then you should consider disabling them temporarily. Otherwise, delete any problematic apps, if necessary.

  • To do so, head over to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage. On the next menu, you might see a list of recommendations to optimize your iPhone storage along with a list of installed apps and the amount of storage space each of them uses.
  • To view more information about an app’s storage, simply tap an app’s name. Otherwise, tap Show All option to see all the recommendations for your device.

Once you have verified that your iPhone has ample of internal storage space available but still couldn’t download or install the new iOS update file, try the following workarounds.

Reboot your wireless router/modem

To ensure that the problem is not triggered by your wireless router or modem, you may try to power cycle the network equipment to eliminate any glitch that might have inflicted wireless connectivity issues to transpire and halt download processes. Just like what you do when a computer program suddenly gets rogue or not work as intended. Simply turn off the device for a few seconds and then turn it back on. Here’s how it works:

  • Locate the Power button then press it until the router or modem powers off completely.
  • When powered off, unplug the router or modem from the power source for about 30 seconds.
  • After 30 seconds, plug it back in to the power source then press the Power button to turn it back on.

Wait until all the light indicators become stable. If you see any red light, it denotes that something is not working. Try to read the label on what the red light indicates. For example, if it’s the signal indicator that is showing a red light, it means that the router is not getting any signal from the wireless network tower thus wireless connection is currently unavailable to your iPhone and other network devices connected to the wireless router. In this case, you will need to fix wireless connectivity issue first. Once the network problem is resolved, you will most likely be able to download and install the iOS update without a problem.

Restart your iPhone 8 (soft reset)

Performing a soft reset or reboot on your iPhone 8 can help eliminate minor glitches that might have prevented iOS downloads from completing. No data will be affected in the process so there’s no need to worry about losing your personal data stored on your iPhone from doing so. If you haven’t already, then try a soft reset. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Press and hold the Side button or Power button until the Drag to Power Off screen appears.
  • Drag the slider to power off your device.
  • Wait for about 30 seconds then press the Side button for a few seconds until the Apple logo appears.

Your iPhone then power cycles. When it has booted up completely, try to download and install iOS update again.

A restart on the device can also help if the update never completes and the progress bar has not moved for an extended period of time. If your device gets frozen or unresponsive in the process, then a force restart on the iPhone 8 would be necessary. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  • Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Finally, press and hold the Side (Power) button for at about 10 to 20 seconds or until the Apple logo appears.

Retry downloading or installing the update after the phone reboots.

If the update takes so long to download, it could be due to your Internet speed. The time it takes to download an update can vary depending on the size of the update file and your Internet speed. In this case, just wait until you will get a notification when you can install it. It’s probably just taking so long for the update to download completely. Try not to download other contents or use a Wi-Fi network if possible, to improve the download speed.

Remove and download the iOS update file again

It is possible the update file you first download gets corrupted so it will not install. In this case, you need to delete the corrupted update file. After the broken file has been completely removed, download the update file again. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to your iPhone Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Tap iPhone Storage.
  • Locate the iOS update file in the list of apps.
  • Tap the iOS update.
  • Tap Delete Update.
  • When the file is deleted, go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.
  • Then download the latest iOS update.

In case you don’t see the update file in the list of apps or if the problem persists, then consider the next option.

Update iOS through iTunes

While OTA (wireless) update offers quicker and easy process when updating iOS, there are times that it just couldn’t get to work as intended. And this is where iTunes plays its role as an alternative. Consider iTunes as your alternative solution if you still couldn’t get to install the iOS update wirelessly after trying all prior workarounds.

In order to proceed, you will need to secure a computer (Windows or Mac) with the latest version of iTunes software installed. Once you have everything ready, follow these steps to update your iPhone 8 iOS through iTunes instead:

  • Make sure that you have a recent iTunes backup of your iPhone, for safekeeping.
  • Connect your iPhone 8 to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  • Open iTunes on your computer.
  • Wait until the computer detects your iPhone. Or if prompted, tap the option to Trust this Computer on your iPhone screen.
  • Click on the device icon on the upper-left of iTunes screen to navigate to the Device tab.
  • Navigate to the Summary section then click the button to Check for Update.
  • Click on Download and Update.
  • Tap to check the box to Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • If prompted, enter the passcode on your iPhone 8.

Wait until iTunes is done downloading and successfully installs the latest iOS version on your iPhone 8.

Contact Apple Support

If none of these workarounds is able to help you complete the iOS update download and installation on your iPhone 8, then you should consider contacting Apple Support or your carrier for other options or seek further assistance in getting the update successfully installed on your device.

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If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the new Apple iPhone 8 smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone 8. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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