How to fix software update failed error on your iPhone 11, cannot install OTA update

Installing software updates on your iPhone wirelessly is supposed to be effortless. Nonetheless, there are many factors that can cause conflicts and make the simple process a bit complicated. There are many reasons as to why you won’t be able to update your iPhone wirelessly. Insufficient storage, unreachable server, corrupted update file, and slow internet connection are usually the underlying causes. Be sure to read any message prompt that pops up as they’ll give you some hint on what went wrong and what needs to be done. Among the possible errors to encounter are connection timeout, unable to verify/check update, update failed due to insufficient storage, and update doesn’t complete. If you’re reading this context, then you’re probably facing any of the said errors while attempting to update your iphone 11 wirelessly. If so, then this post is for you. Read on to find out what to do if you cannot install over-the-air (OTA) update and faced with a software update failed error on your new iPhone 11.

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Troubleshooting an iPhone 11 that cannot install OTA update, software update failed error

Memory-related issues like insufficient or low memory are usually among the common reasons as to why updates would fail to install. But given that the problem is transpiring on a new device, such is unlikely the case unless your iPhone storage is already populated with several huge apps. If you’re certain that the problem isn’t attributed to insufficient storage, then you may go ahead and eliminate other possible causes using these lined up solutions. 

First solution: Reboot your iPhone 11 (soft reset).

Performing a soft reset can fix different types of problems including software update failed errors attributed to random iOS glitches. It is also an effective way of dumping junk files that are stored as cached on your phone’s internal memory, which aids in speeding up the system. If you haven’t already, consider a soft reset as the first potential solution to try on. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Side and Volume Up buttons for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off bar appears.
  3. Swipe or drag the bar to turn your device off.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button and then release when the Apple logo appears.

You can also force restart your iPhone 11 to forcibly end all corrupted apps and processes that might have interfered with the updating process. Just like a soft reset, a force restart doesn’t affect any saved information on your iPhone storage so backing up files won’t be necessary. Just proceed with these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. Press then quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press then quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

Release the button when you see the white Apple logo to let your device execute and finish its boot-up sequence. Give your iPhone a few seconds to re-establish network connections and regains Wi-Fi signal. When it’s back online, go back to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and then retry downloading and installing the update file.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 Pro that won’t connect to App Store


Second solution: Disconnect Wi-Fi then reconnect.

Wi-Fi connection problems can also result in this error as the phone lost connection to the Apple server. This is usually the case if your device is currently experiencing random Wi-Fi drops or intermittent connection. The same thing can happen if the Internet connection is very slow as it takes longer for the entire update file to be downloaded completely. To clear out random Wi-Fi issues on your iPhone 11, restarting its wireless feature can help. So here’s what you should try next:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn the feature OFF.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Wi-Fi back ON.

Turning Airplane mode on for a few seconds and then back on again is also another way to restart your phone’s wireless features including Wi-Fi internet connection. 


Third solution: Forget Wi-Fi network then set it up as new.

In the case where a corrupted Wi-Fi network is at fault, restarting the Wi-Fi will not suffice. In this case, you’ll have to delete the problematic Wi-Fi network and then set it up as new. Just follow these steps whenever you’re all set to proceed:

  1. From the Home screen, go to your iPhone Settings-> Wi-Fi menu and make sure that Wi-Fi is enabled.
  2. Scroll down to the list of available networks then select your Wi-Fi network.
  3. Tap the information “i” icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi network or SSID.
  4. Then tap the option to Forget this network.
  5. If prompted, tap Forget network to confirm.

If you’ve set up another network on your iPhone and that network is still active, try switching to your other network and retry updating to see if the error is gone. This trick has been proven to work wonders by many iPhone owners who previously dealt with the same update error.


Fourth solution: Reset all settings to fix software update failed error on your iPhone 11.

Settings that are not properly configured can also result in some conflicts and adversely affect other system functions. To eliminate invalid settings that might have interfered with the update process, resetting all settings on your iPhone 11 can help. Doing so clears out all your current settings and personal preferences along with any incorrect options and values. This reset doesn’t affect any saved data on the phone memory though, so you don’t need to back up files beforehand. Just follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Confirm action by tapping on Reset All Settings again.

Allow your device to finish resetting and then restarts automatically. After it reboots, you will need to re-enable individual features so you can use them again on your phone. Also don’t forget to reconnect to Wi-Fi, to get back online and retry updating your phone.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 that cannot update apps through App Store


Fifth solution: Delete partially installed update file and download the update again.

It is also possible that some fragments of the update file have already been installed and then went corrupted. In that case, you wouldn’t be able to successfully install the entire file unless you delete the broken file first. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on iPhone Storage.
  4. Locate the update file in the list of apps.
  5. Select the update file then tap Delete Update. Doing so removes the file.
  6. After deleting the update, reboot your iPhone to clear cache and then go back to Settings-> General-> Software Update style=”font-weight: 400;”> menu. 
  7. Finally, retry downloading and installing the latest iOS update for your iPhone 11.

If that still failed and your iPhone 11 still cannot install OTA update, consider the next recommended solution.

Last resort: Use iTunes to manually install update on your iPhone 11.

The main reason why you prefer updating wirelessly is because it’s a totally effortless process. But since this doesn’t work as intended, your next option is either not to update your device or update it manually. This is when iTunes play its part. With that said, you can use either a Mac or Windows computer to manually update your iPhone 11 via Finder or iTunes.

  1. To get started, open Finder (if you’re using a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15). Otherwise, open iTunes on your macOS Mojave or earlier or on a Windows computer. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the original USB cable/Lightning cable.
  3. Locate your iPhone 11 on your computer.
  4. Then click General or Settings.
  5. Click the Check for Update button.
  6. Then click Download and Update to start updating.
  7. Enter your passcode if prompted to proceed.

You may have to temporarily disable any security on your computer (if there’s any) to prevent it from interfering with your computer’s connection with iTunes or your iOS device.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 Pro Max that is not recognized in iTunes


Still getting a software update failed error on your iPhone 11?

If you still cannot update your iPhone 11 on a computer through iTunes, contact your carrier to verify and confirm if your device is already eligible for the update. Sometimes, there will be some slight delay on the firmware update file’s availability. Hence, the update may still not be accessible on your phone even if it’s already rolled out. In this, you may have to consider updating your iPhone again at a later time. 

For further suggestions and assistance, you can also escalate the problem to Apple Support. Also care to check and confirm the availability status of the Apple server. If the server is experiencing temporary downtime, then it will be out of reach.

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