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What to do if your iPhone SE won’t install latest iOS update, iOS update failed [Troubleshooting Guide]

Keeping a device software up-to-date is recommended to keep it bug-free and performing at its best. Software updates for iOS devices can be downloaded and installed over-the-air (wirelessly) or using iTunes on a computer. Installing iOS update via OTA requires your device to have strong and stable Wi-Fi Internet connection. Your device must also have ample of memory space to allocate the update file. And to prevent any interruption during the update download and installation, your device must also have at least 50 percent of battery life.

Once you have all these requisites met, you should be good to go. But there are just times when a device won’t or can’t install the latest iOS update and prompts an error instead. Problems like this can happen to any device due to various reasons. Tackled in this post is a similar issue on the special edition iPhone (iPhone SE). Read on to find out what to do should your iPhone SE is unable to install the latest iOS update available.

Before anything else, if you have other issues with your device, try to browse through our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed several issues with this device. Odds are that we’ve already published a post that tackles similar problems. Try finding issues that have similar symptoms with what you currently have and feel free to use the solutions we’ve suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot iPhone SE that won’t install iOS updates

Before you start to troubleshoot, verify and ensure that your iPhone SE is included in the list of compatible devices for the new update. The latest iOS version that’s compatible with your iPhone SE to date is iOS 11.4.1.

First solution: Reboot/soft reset your iPhone SE.

Random software errors can cause an update to fail on the first or second attempt but will likely go through once these errors are cleared. A simple yet very effective method to clear random software errors is a device restart or soft reset. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the Slide to Power Off command appears.
  2. Then drag the power off slider to the right to shut down your iPhone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press the Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Performing a soft reset doesn’t affect data saved on the iPhone’s internal memory, so there’s no need to back up files beforehand.

Second solution: Turn Wi-Fi off and on again.

Turning Wi-Fi off and on is another way of restarting Wi-Fi connection on your device. It helps in clearing minor network errors that may have caused troubles to the Wi-Fi system of your phone. Such errors may have hindered the device from connecting to the Apple server. If a soft reset on the phone failed to clear these errors, then you can try restarting your iPhone’s Wi-Fi feature.

  • To do so, navigate to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then tap the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature off. After a few seconds, tap the Wi-Fi switch again to turn the feature back on.

Alternatively, you can turn Airplane mode on and then back on again.

  • To do this, go to Settings-> Airplane mode and then tap the switch next to it to enable the feature.

When Airplane mode is enabled, wireless features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are automatically switched off. After a few seconds, toggle the Airplane mode switch again to turn the feature off. That will enable wireless features on your device back on. This trick has already done wonders to many smartphone users who have dealt with various network-related issues on their respective devices, either Android or iOS.

Third solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone SE.

Performing a network settings reset may be necessary to clear more complex network errors that may have caused your device to fail connecting to the Apple server, which resulted to an OTA update failure. Doing so will clear current network configurations and restore the default network values and options on your iPhone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap to confirm settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone will reboot automatically. Wait until it’s finished booting up and then set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network again and retry downloading the update wirelessly.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone SE.

Resetting all settings on the device may be necessary if the problem is due to some invalid system settings on the phone. In this process, all system settings are cleared and restore to defaults. After the reset, you can configure necessary options and enable only the features you want to use. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will delete current system settings and then restore the original or default values. Unlike a factory reset, this won’t affect any data stored on your iPhone’s internal memory so you won’t lose any personal information from doing so.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap to confirm settings reset.

Your iPhone then restarts once the reset is finished. By then you can continue to setup and configure necessary features and options accordingly.

Fifth solution: Update your iPhone through iTunes on a computer.

Manually updating iOS through iTunes can be considered the last option and possible solution. One of the possible reasons as to why a device won’t or cannot install new update is because of insufficient memory space. You may have already stored a lot of apps and services on your device. As a result, it no longer has enough space to allocate the update file and therefore won’t be able to update wirelessly.

To update your iPhone manually using iTunes, you will need a computer that runs on either Windows or Mac operating system. Once you have the equipment ready, follow these steps to start installing iOS update on your iPhone SE with iTunes:

  1. Back up your device to iTunes. Make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes on your computer to avoid system conflicts.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB or Lightning cable.
  3. Open iTunes on your computer.
  4. Select your iPhone in iTunes.
  5. Click the Summary panel.
  6. Then click the Check for Update button. If a new iOS version is available, you will see an update notification. Otherwise, it will say that your iPhone software is up to date.
  7. If an update is available, click the Download and Update button.
  8. If prompted, enter your device passcode.

Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS download and installation process. Wait until the update installation is finished and when it’s done, reboot or soft reset your iPhone. Doing so will clear any minor software errors and prevent apps and the phone system from going rogue following the recent platform changes.

If the update installation through iTunes still failed and that you’re seeing an error message or code, take note of the error for you can utilize it as clue on what went wrong and how to solve it.

Seek more help

Contact your carrier or Apple Support to escalate the issue if you still ended up unable to update your iPhone SE to the latest iOS version wirelessly and manually. You can also ask them to double-check their system for any ongoing outages that may have halted connection to the Apple server. Or you can just personally ask for help from an Apple technician by taking your device to an Apple-authorized service center in your area.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone SE 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 SE. 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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