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.
Mobile

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.
Mobile

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.
Mobile

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 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 December 2018.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

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.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

iOS jailbreak app store Cydia shuts down purchasing

For years, iOS users have been jailbreaking their devices to install software not approved by Apple. But now the popular app store alternative Cydia will no longer be accepting purchases.
News

Lawsuit alleges Apple falsely advertised the screen size of the iPhone X

A lawsuit alleges that Apple was dishonest in the way that it marketed the iPhone X. The lawsuit alleges that despite Apple's marketing campaign, the new iPhone is not in fact all screen because of the notch.
Mobile

Report: Samsung's upcoming foldable phone will cost a hefty $1,800

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Business

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Smart Home

Starbucks teams with Uber Eats for delivery from 2,000 of its U.S. stores

Starbucks has teamed up with Uber Eats to offer customers deliveries from almost a quarter of its stores in the U.S. The major expansion launches early next year, making life even easier for fans of the coffee giant.
Mobile

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.
Mobile

The black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.