How to fix your iPhone that can’t update iOS, unable to install update, an error occurred while installing iOS 13

Unable to install update file, an error occurred when installing iOS 13, update failed — these are just some of the common error prompts, telling you that something is wrong and your device can’t update to the latest iOS version. Find out what triggers these errors to occur and how to fix it.

Installing iOS updates is supposed to be done in just a few taps on the screen. However, there are many factors that can make this simple updating process a bit more complicated. There are two ways to update an iOS device. You can use the settings menu or use iTunes to manually check for and install firmware updates on a computer. The former method is also known as over-the-air (OTA) update installation. Many people would prefer to use this method since it’s way faster than updating through iTunes. For as long as your device has a stable Internet connection, sufficient storage and battery life, there shouldn’t be any problem installing OTA updates. But not all people have the same effortless updating experience. Just like what has occurred to some iPhone owners who have trouble updating their devices to iOS 13. If you’re here because you can’t install the iOS 13 update on your phone too, then this post might be able to help you. Keep reading for more detailed solutions.

Before moving on, feel free to browse through our troubleshooting pages to find potential solutions to other problems with your other Apple devices. If your iPad is in the list of our supported devices, then you can visit its exclusive troubleshooting page and find the problem that you need help dealing with. You can refer to or use our provided solutions and workarounds if needed. In the case where you’d prefer to get direct assistance from us, simply fill up our iOS issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting an iPhone that can’t update to iOS 13

When this problem occurs, there must be something in your iPhone system or Apple’s update server is halting the update process. To view and check the current status of Apple’s update server, you can visit its status page found on the Apple support website. If the update server is currently experiencing downtimes, update requests won’t be processed at the moment. Thus you can try updating your iPhone later. If there’s no problem with the Apple server and yet your iPhone still can’t update to iOS 13, verify and ensure that your device is eligible for iOS 13. Note that this update does not support all iOS devices. Just so you know, devices that are compatible with iOS 13 are the iphone 11, 11 Pro, Pro Max, down to the iPhone SE. This means that the iOS 13 update isn’t available for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and earlier variants. If your device is supported but couldn’t update to iOS 13 for some reason, rule out the common culprits through these lined up solutions.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone (soft reset).

There are times when update download and installation isn’t successful at first but works as intended on the next attempt. Often times, all it takes is a soft reset or reboot on the phone to straighten things up. Thus if you haven’t already restart/soft reset your iPhone and then retry updating. 

Performing a soft reset or restart can resolve a lot of issues that are tied to minor system flaws. Just follow these steps, if you haven’t already:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the Slide to Power Off label appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Power button to turn it back on.

Allow your device to finish its boot sequence and then connects to the Wi-Fi internet. When it’s connected, retry downloading and installing the iOS 13 update again to see if it’s already working.

ALSO READ: How to fix your iPhone 8 that cannot make or receive calls in iOS 13, phone bug

Second solution: Manage your iPhone storage.

Insufficient memory space is one of the common factors to consider. If your iPhone is running low on storage, it’s possible that there’s not enough space to allocate the iOS 13 update file. As a result, the update download and installation couldn’t be completed. This is when freeing up memory space is needed. Just follow these steps to get started:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.

View the used and available memory data and see if there’s still enough space to store the new update file. If there isn’t, move some of your files to other storage media or transfer them to your iCloud/iTunes account. You can also delete all old and unwanted contents from your device. After freeing up your phone’s internal memory, give it another reboot to dump cache and then retry updating.

Third solution: Restart Wi-Fi to fix your iPhone that can’t update to iOS 13.

The problem might be due to some random Wi-Fi connection errors that are usually remedied by restarting the phone’s wireless functions. There are different ways to get this done. You can use the Wi-Fi toggle or carry out the Airplane Mode trick as depicted by the following procedures. To restart your phone’s wireless internet connection through Wi-Fi toggle, simply follow these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature OFF for a few seconds and then tap to switch it back on.

You can also use the Wi-Fi control from the control center. Just pull up the Control Center on your iPhone and then tap the Wi-Fi icon to disable and enable the feature.

To restart Wi-Fi using the Airplane mode trick, refer to these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn on Airplane Mode. Doing so disables your iPhone’s wireless radios so as your Wi-Fi internet connection.
  4. While Airplane Mode is enabled, restart/soft reset your iPhone.
  5. Then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

Wait for your iPhone to re-establish Wi-Fi signal then enable Wi-Fi to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and get back online. When your iPhone is connected to the Internet, head back to settings and retry updating via over-the-air (wirelessly).

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone X iOS 13 Wi-Fi that keeps disconnecting, Wi-Fi internet keeps dropping 

Fourth solution: Turn off restrictions.

Another possible hindrance to update file downloading is the iOS feature called restrictions or Content & Privacy Restrictions to be exact. When this feature is enabled, apps and services can be limited or restricted from working on your device. To make sure that this isn’t the underlying cause, follow these steps to view and disable the feature, if needed:

  1. Tap to open the Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Scroll to Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Then toggle the switch to turn restrictions off.

Restrictions for your iPhone apps and services are now lifted. Try to update your iPhone while restrictions are disabled to see if it works. 

Fifth solution: Reset network settings.

Incorrect network settings inflicting network conflicts on your device can also halt the updating process. To clear this out, performing a network settings reset can help. This reset clears all your current network settings and then restores the original network values and options. Any erratic settings are likewise removed. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll to and tap General.
  3. Tap on Reset
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  6. Tap to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your iPhone.

Wait for the phone to finish resetting its network settings and then restores the default network values. After the reset, automatic system reboot will follow. Just wait until the phone is finished rebooting and then start enabling Wi-Fi to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and get back online.

Sixth solution: Reset all settings.

To eliminate system settings conflicts that might have prevented your device from updating, resetting all settings on your iPhone would be necessary. This reset will erase all your current settings and customization. Any associated errors are also eliminated in the process. There’s no need to back up files beforehand because it doesn’t affect all saved data in the internal memory of your phone. Just proceed to these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll to and tap General.
  3. Tap on Reset
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to proceed.
  6. Tap to confirm that you want to reset all settings on your device.

Features that are disabled by default must be re-enabled first so you can use them again on your phone. 

Last resort: Manually install iOS 13 update through iTunes.

As mentioned earlier, iOS updates can also be installed manually through iTunes. Thus you can use this as the final means to update your iPhone, if none of the prior methods is able to fix the error. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app on your computer. Your computer must be connected to the Internet too.

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB/Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer and wait for it to recognize and sync with your iOS device.
  3. Select your iPhone when it appears in iTunes.
  4. Click on the Summary pane.
  5. Click the button to Check for Update.
  6. If the iOS 13 update is available, click Download and Update.
  7. Enter your passcode if asked to continue.

Then follow the rest of the onscreen commands to finish updating your iPhone in iTunes. 

ALSO READ: How to fix iOS 13 email problems on Apple iPhone XS Max, cannot send/receive emails

Still can’t update your iPhone to iOS 13?

Carrying out the above solutions is usually enough to deal with and eliminate common factors that hindered your iPhone from updating to iOS 13. If you’re still getting the same error and unable to install the iOS 13 update on your iPhone, the problem is likely with the Apple server. In that case, report the problem to Apple Support or contact your carrier for further assistance.

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