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

iOS 12
Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

Apple has released iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile and tablet operating system. 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

The new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR ship with it pre-installed, but here we’ll take a look at how to install iOS 12 on older iPhones and iPads.

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.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for April 2019

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 April 2019.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 13 will reportedly offer a systemwide Dark Mode and windowed apps

iOS 12 was a relatively large update to Apple's iPhone, but iOS 13 could be even bigger. Rumors have begun circulating about what we should expect from iOS 13, which suggest a much more productive operating system for both iPhone and iPad.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for April 2019

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 April 2018.
Mobile

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!
Deals

Apple iPads and iPad Pros get price cuts up to $150 on Amazon

In the market for a new iPad? Now might be the time to buy -- Amazon has discounted a range of iPad models, including the 10.5-inch, 11-inch, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, plus the standard iPad.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 update gives manual control of Bright Night mode

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Deals

The excellent Moto G6 is just $99 from Google Fi for a limited time

Getting a cheap smartphone can be a great way to squeeze value out of your dollars. Motorola's Moto G-range has always been good value, but never better than this: Get the Moto G6 for just $99 from Google Fi.
Mobile

Keep your huge phone beautiful with the best iPhone XS Max cases

Apple's iPhone XS Max might be the best large phone the company has ever released. But a bigger OLED display and body means there's more glass to crack. Keep your massive phone safe with the best iPhone XS Max cases.
Deals

Ultra Wideband is here, and you can use it with the 5G Moto Mod (and save $150)

5G is rolling out in the U.S., and Motorola’s Moto Z3 is one of the few phones that can use it. Select people can take advantage of Verizon’s 5G service and enjoy a $150 discount with the purchase of a Moto Z3 and 5G Moto Mod bundle.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Mobile

The 15 most stylish iPhone docks and charging stands for your device

The right iPhone dock does more than just hold your phone. If you’re looking for the perfect dock for your bedroom, or one to sit discretely on your office desk, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here.
Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.