iPhone 8 can’t install iOS updates [troubleshooting guide]

We’ve been getting some reports from a few #iPhone8 and #iPhone8Plus users lately that they’re having problems updating their operating system so we’ve decided to write this post. We hope you’ll find it useful.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

There a few methods on how to install an update to your iPhone 8 but the most convenient and efficient way to do it is over-the-air. Once a notification about a new update shows in your phone, you only need to tap it and wait until the update is finished. Installing an iOS update this way can sometimes become problematic though. Some users may not be able to update wirelessly for these reasons:

  • device doesn’t have enough storage space
  • download time takes a long time
  • server is down or encountering some technical problems
  • the update does not complete

Troubleshooting your iPhone 8 that won’t install updates

Updates in this article refer to iOS updates only. If you’re having an issue installing app updates, you can visit another article that can help you.

Make a copy of all your irreplaceable stuff

Before doing any drastic software changes to the software like installing an update, always make it a habit of creating a backup of photos, videos, etc. Sometimes, updates can lead to problems and in extreme cases, can cause boot up issues. Users who realize too late that they may need to do a full restore or DFU recovery due to a boot up problem may find their precious digital memories and documents gone for good. Don’t fall into the same trap. In fact, part of being a responsible user is to regularly create a backup of important files. Electronics are not 100% reliable and they can fail anytime for whatever reason.

The easiest way to back your files up is by using iCloud but we also recommend that you use iTunes, if it’s available.

Restart your iPhone 8

A lot of minor bugs can be fixed by doing a simple restart. If you find yourself mired in an update issue, it’s good if you can kick off your troubleshooting with a restart. It refreshes the system and eliminates bugs that may have developed after leaving your phone on for a long time.

We suggest that you simulate a virtual “battery pull” instead of the regular restart. Here’s how:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume up button then press and quickly release the Volume down button.
  2. To complete, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Make sure phone has more than enough storage space

iOS update files becomes bigger after every new iteration and at this time, you should have at least 1.5GB of free space in order to allow more than space after update installation. This should also give you more space to update apps after installing a new iOS version.

If you want to check the available space left in your phone, kindly do the following:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

Once you’re in iPhone Storage page, you’ll see the remaining storage space on top of the screen.

If you want to make space in your internal memory, these are the options for you:

  • transfer files to iTunes
  • delete files
  • uninstall apps

Normally, if there’s not enough space to allow download and installation, iOS will make enough room for you by deleting some temporary files like cache and app data. These files can be rebuilt or redownloaded later on and deleting them will not be a problem. However, we still recommend that you ensure there’s enough storage space available before you download the update to prevent future hassles.

Updates can fail if download takes a long time

If you in a poorly covered area and your internet connection is spotty, downloading all update files can be slow thereby stretching the time for the download session. This sometimes causes a break in the communication between your device and the server, which in turn, can lead to a disconnection. Once that happens, update service in your phone may stop and won’t re-initiate update again. To ensure that update does not take a long time, try to use a fast wifi network.

Also, make sure that your device does not download other contents while it’s downloading the update files.

Server issue

Apple uses other computers called servers to pass forward updates to devices like your iPhone. Sometimes, especially when there’s a lot of users downloading a new iOS version at the same time, servers won’t be able to handle the load. This can lead to problems such as slow download speed and total failure. If your iPhone gets an error saying it’s “unable to check for update. An error occurred checking for a software update.” or “Unable to Verify Update. iOS failed verification because you are no longer connected to the Internet.” that may indicate that the server may be overwhelmed, or it’s suffering a technical issue. This is not an issue with your iPhone but a possible server problem. What you need to do is to either try to download the update at a later time, use iTunes to download and install the update, or switch to another network.

Update iOS via iTunes

To update your iPhone 8 using iTunes, follow these steps:

Before you update your iPhone 8 via iTunes, make sure that your computer is not using the Personal Hotspot in your iPhone (if applicable). If it is, disconnect it from the Hotspot and use a different wifi network. Better still, connect it to the router directly via ethernet to ensure good connectivity.

  1. In your computer, ensure that iTunes is up-to-date.
  2. Also, make sure that you computer runs the latest available update for its operating system. Some update errors can occur if a computer’s operating system is not recent.
  3. Connect your iPhone 8 to your computer.
  4. Launch iTunes and select your device.
  5. Click Summary.
  6. Click Check for Update.
  7. Click Download and Update.
  8. Enter your passcode, if prompted.

If you’ve already tried updating via iTunes or used another network, you can then try to remove and download iOS update again. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Find the iOS update in the list of apps.
  5. Tap the iOS update.
  6. Tap Delete Update.
  7. Go back to Settings app.
  8. Tap General.
  9. Tap Software Update and download the latest iOS update.

Restore your iPhone 8

Sometimes, updates won’t install at all even if the entire update package had already been downloaded. If you have this same exact situation, what you need to do is put your iPhone in recovery mode first, then set it up again. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. In your computer, ensure that iTunes is up-to-date.
  2. Also, make sure that you computer runs the latest available update for its operating system. Some update errors can occur if a computer’s operating system is not recent.
  3. Connect your iPhone 8 to your computer.
  4. Force restart your iPhone 8 by pressing and releasing Volume Up key. Do the same (press and quickly release) for the Volume Down key. Then, press and hold the Side button (Power) until the recovery mode screen shows.
  5. Once you have the options to either Restore or Update, pick Update. This way, you’ll be telling iTunes to reinstall iOS without deleting your files.
  6. Wait for iTunes to finish downloading the update package. If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode, let the download finish, then repeat these steps.
  7. Once update is done, set your phone up again.

Update errors during an update installation

If you encounter an error message or code during an update, here are the things that you need to do:

  1. Make sure that iTunes is updated.
  2. Make sure that the computer’s operating system is up-to-date. If you have a Mac, get help from Apple. If you have a PC, get updates from Microsoft.
  3. Use a different known working USB cable.
  4. Plug your iPhone directly to a known working USB port, not to secondary USB port in aa keyboard or USB hub.
  5. Do a soft restart as detailed above.
  6. Temporarily disable your computer’s security software.
  7. If you’re getting a specific update error code, visit this link.

iOS 11 update bugs

Having random restart issue on or after installing an update last December 2, 2027? Below are the steps that you can do:

Install iOS 11.2

In your iPhone, try to check for a new update (iOS 11.2). If you can manage to tap Download and Install after checking if there’s a new update, your iPhone will continue to download the files even if it’s stopped by the bug or restarts at random. You simply have to wait until the update is complete.

Turn off app notifications

If update is unsuccessful or won’t even complete, try to turn off app notifications before attempting to download iOS 11.2 again.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Notifications.
  3. Tap an app, then turn off Allow Notifications. Repeat this step for each app.
  4. Update your device to iOS 11.2.
  5. After updating, tap Settings > Notifications and turn Allow Notifications on again for each app.

Use iTunes to install iOS 11.2

If you can’t install iOS 11.2 with the suggested steps above, consider install it via iTunes. Refer to the steps above on how to do it.


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.