Here’s how to get iOS 12 on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

iOS 12 is now available -- here's how to install it on your Apple device

iOS 12
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

At this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled the latest version of its mobile operating system — iOS 12. While the update mainly focuses on delivering a faster and more responsive OS across a range of older iPhones and iPads, it also packs a host of new apps and features

After months of public betas, the final version of iOS 12 is now available and ready for download. The new iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR will ship with it, but here we’ll take a look at how to install iOS 12 on older iPhones.

Compatible devices

First, make sure your device is capable of running iOS 12. Like iOS 11, iOS 12 is only compatible with 64-bit devices — which means 32-bit devices like the iPhone 5 won’t be able to run the update.

Here are the supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices:

  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X
  • iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 iPad 9.7 inch, iPad Pro 9.7 inch, iPad Pro 12.9 inch, iPad Pro 10.5 inch
  • iPod Touch (sixth generation)

Back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Before you update to the iOS 12, you should make sure to back up your device’s data. That way, if you lose anything while downloading the new OS, it will be easy to restore things back to the way they were.

You can choose to back up data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch via iCloud — or via iTunes on a PC or Mac.

Here’s how to back up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using iCloud:

  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Open Settings, select your name, and tap iCloud. (If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, you’ll have to scroll down and tap iCloud).
  • Tap iCloud Backup. (For those on iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Backup). Also, make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  • Tap Back Up Now.
  • You should also make sure to check the backup is completed. You can do this by opening Settings, tapping on your name, going to iCloud > iCloud Storage > Manage Storage and tapping on your device from the list.

If you choose to back up your device using a computer, you can use the built-in backup function via iTunes.

Here’s how to back up an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using iTunes:

  • Make sure your iTunes is updated to the latest version, open it up, and plug your iOS device in.
  • Follow the onscreen steps if a message asks for your device password or to Trust This Computer.
  • Select your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch when it appears in iTunes.
  • You can save Health and Activity data from your iOS device or Apple Watch by selecting Encrypt and creating a pass code. If you don’t want to save your Health and Activity data, you can just click Back Up Now.
  • After the process is done, you can check to see if the backup finished successfully by clicking iTunes Preferences > Devices (on a Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Devices (on a PC).

How to download and install iOS 12 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

The easiest way to get iOS 12 is to install it right on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch you want to update.

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • A notification about iOS 12 should appear and you can tap Download and Install.
  • It can take a while, during which time you won’t be able to use your device, so tap Install Tonight or Remind Me Later if you want to postpone for a more convenient time.

How to download and install iOS 12 from iTunes on your PC and Mac

If you prefer, you can download and install iOS 12 from your computer using iTunes. Here’s how:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed.
  • Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer.
  • Open iTunes and select your device. In iTunes 12, you click the device’s icon in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window.
  • Click Summary > Check for Update.
  • Click Download and Update.
Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for October 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for September 2018.
Deals

The best iPad deals for October 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for September 2018.
Mobile

iOS 12.0.1 fixes iPhone XS charging issue, Wi-Fi bugs, and more

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Mobile

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and it wants to help you limit your smartphone usage

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. At $350, the Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon.
Photography

Adobe is bringing Photoshop to the iPad and, eventually, other tablets

A full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad -- and soon, other tablets, as well. Adobe also launched several new features for Photoshop and Lightroom, including a new Content-Aware Fill tool.
Mobile

The Huawei Mate 20 may come with a massive 40W charger

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Mobile

Upcoming iPad may lose a few millimeters, along with its headphone jack

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch aren't the last devices we'll see from Apple in 2018. There are plenty of rumors about a new iPad coming this year too, and it may share some design similarities with the new phones.
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.