iPhone users have been able to download iOS 17 for over a week, but it's not available to everyone.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Apple's iOS 17 software has been available to most iPhones since Sept. 18, but some people never got the update. That's because some older iPhone models were left out of the newest software upgrade, including those from 2017 or before. If that's you, you won't be able to try out the new features in iOS 17 unless you buy a supported iPhone.
With the release of iOS 17, there are three more iPhone models that won't run Apple's latest mobile operating system: iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Apple stopped providing feature upgrades for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 series with the release of iOS 16 last year. Those phones still run iOS 15.
What if your iPhone isn't on the iOS 17 compatibility list?
If your iPhone isn't listed above, it won't support iOS 17, and you won't get a notification to download the newest software. For instance, if you have an iPhone X or iPhone 8, the latest software you'll ever be able to use on that phone is iOS 16.
Although older iPhones won't support the latest version of iOS or get any of the new features, they should still be functional for a while. They will also continue to receive security updates for iOS 16. Apple released the latest security update for iOS 15 in July 2023 and will continue to release iOS 16 security updates in the near future.