How to fix your Apple iPhone X that won't update to iOS 12 wirelessly, prompts software update failed error [Troubleshooting Guide]

Keeping your iPhone software up-to-date is recommended to ensure that your device is at its optimum performance and to keep free from random bugs and glitches. Apple typically pushed periodic updates after every major iOS releases. On the 17th of September this year, iOS version 12 was officially rolled out by Apple. It’s a major platform transition for later iOS devices from the iPhone 5s to the latest iPhone Xs series as well as later iPad lineups. As soon as the software update is pushed to your phone, you will be notified when it’s ready.

Usually, you will be prompted with an OTA message, containing the update details. To implement the new iOS update right away, you can just open the notifications panel, tap the software update notification, then follow the onscreen instructions to Download and Install update. After that, you just have to wait until your device is finished updating and by then you can reboot the system. Nonetheless, updating iOS won’t always be as smoothly as this. In fact, many people were having trouble updating iOS wirelessly. This happens due to many different factors. In most cases though, network problems are to blame.

Note that your device must have a stable Wi-Fi Internet connection to install over-the-air iOS updates. Otherwise, it won’t be carried out. And this could be the possible reason as to why some iPhone X owners couldn’t update device to iOS 12 and prompted with software update failed error message. If you’re among these people who are facing the same dilemma, then you may refer to this guide. Read on to find out how to troubleshoot and fix your iPhone X that won’t update to iOS 12 with these subsequent workarounds.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to fix iPhone X that won’t update iOS over the air?

Before troubleshooting, check and ensure that you’ve met all the update requirements including sufficient memory space, battery life, and Wi-Fi Internet access to name some. If the requirements are met but still couldn’t get to update your iPhone X, then troubleshoot your device with these workarounds.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone X (soft reset).

Random software glitches may also interfere with the update system routine, thus halting your device to execute OTA update installation. A simple solution to this would be a soft reset or restart on your iPhone. It helps clear minor software errors that may have caused conflicts. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume Up or Down buttons simultaneously and then release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off menu appears.
  2. Then drag the power off slider to turn off your iPhone completely.
  3. After 30 seconds or so, press and hold the Side/Power button again until the Apple logo appears.

Performing a soft reset also help eliminate junk files from the phone’s internal memory including corrupted data. It doesn’t affect internal data saved on the phone memory thus you won’t lose any critical information in the process.

Second solution: Turn Airplane mode on and then off again.

Another simple yet very effective workaround to try on is the Airplane mode trick. This can potentially resolve the issue if minor network errors are at fault. The process basically works by enabling Airplane mode shortly and then disabling it again. It’s like giving your iPhone’s wireless functions a quick restart.

  • To do so, navigate to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu, then tap the switch to turn Airplane on. Restart/soft reset your iPhone X and then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu to turn the feature off again.

All wireless functions of your iPhone are automatically turned when Airplane mode is enabled and turned on again when Airplane mode is disabled. So be sure to disable Airplane Mode again to re-establish Wi-Fi Internet connection on your device.

Third solution: Forget Wi-Fi network then reconnect.

Corrupted Wi-Fi network can also be the main reason as to why your device won’t have stable Internet connection and eventually fail to carry out over-the-air update installation. To fix the problem, you may need to forget the problematic Wi-Fi network in use and then set it up again. Forgetting Wi-Fi network simply means deleting the network. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the information icon (i) next to the Wi-Fi network you want to forget.
  4. Select the option to Forget This Network.
  5. If prompted, tap Forget to confirm deletion of the selected network.

After successfully deleting the Wi-Fi network, perform a soft reset or restart your iPhone X then manually set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network with these steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap Other
  4. Enter the exact name of the network.
  5. Select the preferred security settings. Among the usual options are WPA2, WEP, or None.
  6. Enter the network password, if applicable.
  7. Then tap Join.

Wait until your iPhone to connect to the Wi-Fi network and once connected, reattempt to update iOS wirelessly.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone X.

Should there be any system settings on your iPhone X that are unintentionally configured in a way to prevent the device from installing updates wirelessly, performing an all settings reset will fix it. Doing so will clear all customized system settings on the phone without affecting any information stored on the phone memory. After the reset, the default or original system settings and options are restored. Errors from previous settings configuration should also be cleared by then. Here’s how to get started with this reset:

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

Reboot your iPhone when the reset is finished and then enable necessary features to use them again on your phone. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network, if necessary and then re-attempt to download and install iOS 12 on your device.

Fifth solution: Factory reset your iPhone X through iTunes on a computer.

If you’re still unable to update to iOS 12 wirelessly after performing all applicable solutions and workarounds, then you should already consider utilizing iTunes this time. This also means the need to secure a computer. You can use either Windows or Mac computer for as long as it has the latest version of iTunes software installed. Once you’ve got the equipment set, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone X to your computer using the supplied USB/Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer and wait for it to recognize your iPhone.
  3. When your iPhone shows up in iTunes, select it.
  4. Then navigate to the Summary panel.
  5. Click the Restore [iPhone] button.
  6. Click the Restore button again to confirm.

iTunes will then begin to erase your device and installs the latest iOS version available. Wait until your iPhone is finished restoring to factory settings and restarts by itself. Then you can set it up as new.

If the previous methods don’t help, then try to update your iPhone X via recovery mode instead. Just put your iPhone X in recovery mode and then select the option to Update when asked to either Update or Restore. Doing so will prompt iTunes download the latest software available for your device without wiping data.

If none of that works, then you may escalate the problem to Apple Support or your carrier for further assistance and other recommendations.

Connect with us

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