How to fix your iPhone SE that won’t update to iOS version 11.4.1 [Troubleshooting Guide]

Earlier in August of this year, Apple released the 5th installation to iOS 11 for iOS devices from iPhone 5s, iPhone SE and later variants. This update offers bug fixes for security enhancements as well as some improved functions. Seeing the update benefits makes you wanted to have that update installed on your iPhone SE and try all of the new features it offers. But as you attempt to update your iPhone SE to the latest version of iOS, it just won’t update.

Apparently, it’s a problem and therefore it needs to be fixed. To give you some inputs, I’ve highlighted some helpful workarounds and potential solutions you can try on to clear out any software problems on your iPhone SE that might have prevented your device from updating iOS. Read on for more details.

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit.

First solution: Clear all background applications then reboot your iPhone SE.

Background apps can also cause such trouble especially when they become corrupted and go rogue. That said, if you’ve got some running apps on your iPhone SE, then clear these apps to ensure they’re not causing conflict to your phone’s updating system. Just follow these steps to clear background/running apps on your iPhone SE:

  1. Press the Home button twice quickly. Doing so will launch a new screen containing a list of recently used apps that aren’t closed.
  2. Swipe up on each app preview to clear/quit individual running apps.

After clearing all background apps, restart/soft reset your iPhone to refresh its memory and clear up some space. Here’s how to soft reset an iPhone SE:

  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 30 seconds, press the Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Wait until the phone is finished booting up and when it’s done, retry updating iOS through settings.

Second solution: Check and manage internal memory.

Again, your device must have ample storage left to allocate the new update. Some updates come in bigger file size and therefore requires more available storage from your device. To make sure that the problem isn’t due to insufficient memory, check and manage the internal memory of your iPhone SE with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap iPhone Storage.

Read and review the details of your iPhone’s current memory status. Look at the top of the screen and see how much storage is available on your iPhone. If it still have over 1GB of free storage, then that should be good. Otherwise, you will need to free up some space by deleting old and unwanted contents from your phone.

Third solution: Update via settings or iTunes, if necessary.

If you’re attempting to update your iPhone SE through iTunes on a computer but won’t go through, try to close any other running programs first and then retry. If the computer has any security software installed like an antivirus or firewall, then try to disable the software temporarily to make sure it’s not barring iTunes from carrying out its functions. If that still won’t do any good, then try to update your iPhone via over-the-air or wirelessly through settings. Here’s how:

  1. Tap to open the Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Tap the option to Download and Install new update on your iPhone. Doing so will instigate updating.

Meanwhile, if your iPhone won’t update wirelessly, you can do the other way which is through iTunes. In this case, you will need to use either Windows or Mac computer with a later, if not the latest OS version. Also make sure that it has the latest version of iTunes software installed. Then follow these steps to update iOS on your iPhone SE through iTunes:

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Select your iPhone SE in iTunes.
  4. Navigate to the Summary section then click the Check for Update button.
  5. If an update is available, click the Download and Update button then follow the onscreen prompts to completely install iOS update on your iPhone SE.
  6. Wait until the update is completely installed then you can unplug your iPhone from the computer.

Wait until your phone is finished installing the new update and when it’s done, reboot/soft reset to ensure all new changes are properly applied.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone SE.

Invalid system settings on the phone may also bar the update installation in some ways. To make sure this isn’t the root-cause of the problem, try to reset all settings on your iPhone SE then reconfigure options and necessary features accordingly. Here’s what you should do then:

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

Wait until the reset is finished and your iPhone reboots by itself. Then start to configure and enable the features you want to use again on your iPhone, including Wi-Fi.

This reset does not affect any saved data on the phone unlike a factory reset. Therefore, you won’t lose any personal information, contacts, or downloaded contents from doing so.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone SE in iTunes.

If you still cannot update your iPhone SE after performing all prior procedures, then you might be dealing with a complex system issue that requires more advanced solution. At this point, you may have to restore your iPhone SE to wipe everything from it including fatal system errors and glitches that prevented your device from updating.

That said, attempt to restore your iPhone SE using the latest version of iTunes software on a computer. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Plug in your iPhone SE to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  3. Click the iPhone button at the top of the iTunes screen. Doing so will select your device in iTunes.
  4. Click the Restore button on the right side of the screen.
  5. If prompted with a confirmation message, tap OK to confirm iOS restore. Doing so will prompt iTunes to start downloading the latest version of iOS, erase your iPhone and then install the updated version of iOS for your device.

Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS restore in iTunes then reboot or soft reset your iPhone SE when done.

Other options

If the standard iOS restore doesn’t work and your iPhone SE still cannot update iOS, you may continue to troubleshoot and this time opt for the deepest type of iOS restore called DFU mode restore. This will put your device in a state in which it’s able to communicate with iTunes on a computer even without activating the bootloader or iOS. It’s usually used to deal with major system issues that could not be remedied by prior methods, not even with a recovery mode restore.

You may consider updating your iPhone SE again at some other time. It’s possible that the Apple server is busy processing and queuing the same update requests at the moment and therefore unable to process your update request. Perhaps, the server is overloaded or the network may be congested so you’ll have to wait until it’s available to process your request.

Or you can just report the issue to Apple Support for further assistance and official recommendations. Doing so will prompt them to double check on their end and see if the update server is up and working properly at the moment.


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