Skip to main content

How to download iOS 17 on your iPhone right now

everything apple didnt add to ios 17 website hero photo

Apple has officially released iOS 17, the latest major release of its mobile operating system for the iPhone. After three months of beta testing, iOS 17 is finally ready for public consumption, and it brings with it fun new features like interactive widgets, Contact Posters, a new StandBy smart display mode, multiple timers and improved notifiations, and much more.




30 minutes

What You Need

  • A compatible iPhone

  • A Wi-Fi or cellular data connection

Sadly, not every iPhone is compatible with iOS 17. Most significantly, this is the end of the road for the 2017 iPhone X, the model that ushered in Face ID and the modern edge-to-edge iPhone design, along with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus that came out that same year.

Those models will all be left behind on iOS 16, but the good news is that as long as you have any other iPhone released in the past five years — that's an iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, or newer — you'll be able to update to iOS 17, although those older models may not be able to take advantage of all the newest features that iOS 17 has to offer. For example, you'll need at least an iPhone 11 to use back-to-back Siri requests, while more advanced videoconferencing features like studio lighting, reactions, and gestures require an iPhone 12 or newer.

Three iPhones showing settings for iCloud Backups.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Back up your iPhone

Although it's very rare to run into problems with an iOS update, it's still a very good idea to have a backup of your iPhone to fall back on just in case, especially with a major iOS update like this one.

You can find the instructions on how to do this in our article on how to back up your iPhone.

Also, keep in mind that you can't restore a backup made from a newer version of iOS onto an iPhone running an older version, so you may want to keep an extra backup on your Mac or PC just in case you later need to go back to iOS 16 for some reason. Your iPhone backs up to iCloud automatically every 24 hours, and only the three most recent iCloud Backups are retained, so it won't take long for your iOS 16 backup to be pushed out of the rotation.

Two iPhones showing steps to update from iOS 16.6.1 to iOS 17.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

How to install iOS 17 on your iPhone

Now that iOS 17 has been released to the public, your iPhone will eventually fetch the update and install it automatically. However, that can take anywhere from a few days to even a few weeks, as Apple prefers to avoid forcing updates on hundreds of millions of iPhones at a time.

Fortunately, you don't have to wait for this automatic update; you can have your iPhone go out and fetch iOS 17 right away. Here's how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Select General.

Step 3: Select Software Update.

Step 4: If you haven't already updated to the latest release of iOS 16 (iOS 16.6.1 as of this writing), you will see an option here to install that update. Skip this and look for "Also Available" at the bottom of the screen and select Upgrade to iOS 17.

In most cases, you can go directly to iOS 17. however, if the "Upgrade to iOS 17" option doesn't appear, then you may be too far behind and will need to update your iPhone to the latest iOS 16 release.

Step 5: When the update appears, select Download and Install and agree to the terms and conditions when prompted to begin installing iOS 17.

Prompt on iPhone to confirm use of Cellular Data to Download the iOS 17 update.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 6: If you're downloading over a cellular data connection instead of Wi-Fi, you'll see an additional prompt to confirm you want to use cellular data to download the update. Select Continue to confirm, or Cancel if you'd rather wait until you have a Wi-Fi connection available.

Step 7: It may take up to an hour or more to download the iOS 17, prepare it, and then install it on your iPhone. Once that process completes, your iPhone will restart and take you through the usual series of welcome and setup screens.

iPhone plugged in atop MacBook showing Apple logo during a software update recovery.
Szabo Viktor / Unsplash

Problems installing the iOS 17 update?

In most cases, updating to iOS 17 should be a smooth process. However, there are a few common problems you may encounter.

Step 1: If you're not seeing the iOS 17 update appear in General > Software Update, here are some things to try:

  • Make sure your iPhone is compatible with iOS 17.
  • Check your internet connection. In some cases, you may need to use a Wi-Fi or 5G connection for it to show up, which is probably a good idea anyway, as it's a pretty big download.
  • If you've been participating in the public beta or developer beta program, you may have already installed the final iOS 17 release, which was sent out to beta testers on September 12 after Apple's iPhone 15 event, six days ahead of the public release on September 18.
iPhone Showing iOS 17 Update Requested screen.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 2: If you see "Update Requested" after selecting Update Now, you'll simply need to be patient. This means that there are a lot folks downloading iOS 17 at the same time, and you're simply waiting your turn in the queue.

Step 3: Make sure you have enough free space on your iPhone before you start. The bare minimum is 2GB, but more is better. Generally, your iPhone will tell you if there's not enough space when you try to install the update, but it can sometimes fail to do so if you're really close to the line, in which case the update may just fail to fully download or install.

You can see what's taking up space on your iPhone by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Your iPhone may provide some recommendations on how to clear up space, or you can select individual apps to delete or offload data to free up some more space.

iPhone Storage Settings.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 4: Sometimes, an iOS 17 update may fail due to a corrupted download. In this case, you can delete the downloaded update in Settings > General > iPhone Storage, and try downloading it again from Settings > General > Software Update.

Jesse Hollington
Jesse has been a technology enthusiast for his entire life — he probably would have been born with an iPhone in his hand…
Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 work with the iPhone?
The display turned on on the Galaxy Watch 7.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 7 may not look like much of an upgrade over its predecessor at first glance, but it packs some significant improvements under the hood that could be enough to tip the scales for those who have been thinking about jumping into one of Samsung’s latest wearables.

The latest Galaxy Watch adopts a classy green as its standard finish but otherwise retains the same iconic rounded design with a bright and crisp edge-to-edge display and compatibility with a broad assortment of watch bands. However, on the inside, you’ll find a new five-core Exynos W1000 chip that promises to deliver three times the performance of the Galaxy Watch 6, upgraded health sensors, a more accurate GPS, and the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized Sleep Apnea feature.

Read more
Best Prime Day smartphone deals: iPhone, Pixel, Galaxy
Samsung Galaxy S24 (left) and Google Pixel 8 in hand.

With how important phones are these days, it makes sense to want to have a modern phone that isn't more than a few years old. Luckily, smartphones are some of the most discounted items, and while Prime Day is officially over, there are still some great Prime Day deals that you can snag. That includes everything from more budget-friendly options to the higher-end Apple Prime Day deals, so there are options out there for pretty much everybody, and we've collected some of our favorites below. Also, you may want to check out these Prime Day tablet deals for some additional utility.
Today’s best smartphone deals
If you can’t wait until Prime Day officially starts, we’ve got a bunch of great phone deals that are available right now. Here’s what we recommend you buy today.

Motorola Moto G 5G --
Google Pixel 6a --
Apple iPhone 13 (Straight Talk) —
Google Pixel 7 Pro —
Samsung Galaxy S22+ —
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE —
OnePlus 11 —

Read more
I tested iPadOS 18. It’s not the iPad update I was hoping for
home Screen of an iPad Pro that boots iPadOS 18.

I believe I fit into the iPad Pro’s target audience fairly well. I edit videos to make my sibling’s travel clips look nice on social media. Photo manipulation is a part of my daily routine, and I put in roughly 4 to 5 hours each week labeling images of dental scans for a machine learning training and research project.

I push my M4 iPad Pro as far as I can until I reach the frustratingly short limits of its operating system. Ever since Apple dropped the bombshell of a class-leading 3-nanometer processor being put inside its latest flagship tablet, the chatter of iPadOS finally getting a computing-worthy overhaul kicked into an all-time frenzy.

Read more