Updating Your iPhone to iOS 17 Today? Here's Why You Want to Hold Off

It may not be the best move to update to iOS 17 right now.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
4 min read
Apple iPhone 14

Don't update to iOS 17 just yet.

James Martin/CNET

Not everyone needs to download the latest iOS update on their iPhone right when Apple makes it available.

Apple announced the release date for iOS 17 during its Wonderlust event last week, alongside the iPhone 15 series, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the second-generation Apple Watch Ultra. iOS 17 will be available to everyone with a compatible iPhone today, Sept. 18. But just because it's released, does that mean you should install it on your phone? 

In this story, I'll look at a few reasons why you may not want to update to iOS 17 just yet and instead let others take it for a spin.

If you know you want iOS 17, check out how to download iOS 17, as well as all the cool hidden iOS 17 settings and features you can expect to find.

Your iPhone battery might drain faster than usual

One reason to hit pause on the download? There really isn't a single general reason why battery drain occurs right after a major software update like iOS 17, but it happens to some people pretty much every year. 

If your battery health level is already in bad shape (Settings > Battery > Battery Health), you might want to refrain from updating to iOS 17 for a bit.

Here are a couple of reasons why iOS 17 might be draining your battery:

  • Your phone is working overtime in the background. New features, such as the improved search feature in Messages or Live Stickers for your photos, may need to index your files to work properly.
  • Your apps don't support iOS 17. Developers are given plenty of time to update their apps to the latest iPhone software, but if they don't, the apps could drain more battery because they're outdated.

And of course, there's always the slight chance of software bugs that could be eating up your battery life in the background.

A close-up of a charging cable next to an iPhone Lightning port

You may need to charge your phone more often because of new software.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Even if you wait for future iOS 17 updates, you may still encounter some battery drain for the first few days, but that generally disappears once your iPhone gets settled with the software update. 

Your older iPhone might get really slow

Just because your iPhone supports iOS 17 doesn't necessarily mean the new OS will run smoothly on your device. An older iPhone model, like the iPhone XS or iPhone 11 Pro might struggle to keep up with iOS 17's demands, due to little storage, low RAM or an older chipset.

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You might encounter bugs that can cause issues on your iPhone

No matter how polished a software update may seem, a few bugs are bound to slip through the cracks. It's why Apple sometimes releases a "point update" shortly after a major update, to fix issues like:

  • Battery drain.
  • Lag.
  • Apps force-closing.
  • Phone restarting.
  • Unusable features.

If you're concerned about possibly facing issues such as these, you may want to wait until any possible major bugs are squashed in subsequent iOS 17 updates.

You might not get all the new iOS 17 features you want anyway

Not every iPhone running iOS 17 will get all the new features, especially older models like the iPhone XR and iPhone 11. Below you'll find some of the features that aren't supported on all devices running iOS 17:

  • Hand reactions in FaceTime: iPhone 12 and later.
  • FaceTime on Apple TV: iPhone XS/XR and later.
  • Improved autocorrect: iPhone 12 and later.
  • Predictions inline as you type: iPhone 12 and later.

If you were looking forward to any of these features but can't get them because of your older iPhone, you might want to skip out on iOS 17.

facetime on tv screen

FaceTime on Apple TV isn't supported on all iPhones running iOS 17.

Apple; screenshot by James Martin/CNET

For the most part, you should probably update to iOS 17

Regardless of any hesitations you might have, if you do want to jump in, there are plenty of reasons to just go ahead and update to iOS 17. Aside from all the new features you may benefit from, Apple's major software updates may fix bugs and other issues in previous iterations.

However, major updates don't just fix issues, they also bring new privacy and security settings that improve your safety and better protect your personal information.

On iOS 17, you have a few major privacy and security features to look forward to:

  • Sensitive content warning: You can toggle on a setting to blur sensitive photos and videos sent to you. This feature works in Messages, AirDrop, Contact Posters, FaceTime messages and third‑party applications.
  • Improved permissions: Applications let you choose which photos you want to share in-app, while the rest of them are kept private. Also, an application can add an event to your calendar without being able to see your other events.
  • Expanded Lockdown Mode: The new and improved Lockdown Mode increases security to help protect you against more-sophisticated cyberattacks. It even works on your Apple Watch now.
Apple security

Apple is taking a new approach to security with Lockdown Mode.

James Martin/CNET

And then there are all the new accessibility features, which can be incredibly beneficial to those with disabilities:

  • Personal Voice: An AI feature that allows you to clone your voice and use it via type-to-speak to communicate with others.
  • Assistive Access: Simplifies everything on your phone, making it easier to use.

For more, check out what the iPhone 15 might tell us about future phones and how the Apple Watch Series 9 compares to older models.