Haven't downloaded iOS 15 for iPhone yet? How to install Apple's software update today
iOS 15 is ready to be installed on your iPhone and iPadOS 15 is available for your iPad. But make sure you prepare your phone and tablet first.
Jason CiprianiContributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
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
Ready to dive into the new features that are coming with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15? We've got good news: Both software updates are ready to be installed on your iPhone and iPad. Once downloaded, you'll have access to Apple's new FaceTime features that, for the first time, let Android and PC users participate, as well as iMessage improvements that make it easier to track links and photos your friends have sent. The iPad is getting a complete home screen makeover and multitasking is finally receiving the boost it's needed for years.
Watch this: iOS 15 best features: How Focus mode improved my iPhone
Get your iPhone or iPad ready before installing the update
Before you install the latest update, take a few minutes to do some routine maintenance on your iPhone or iPad. Not only will it help ensure a smooth update, but you'll free up storage in the process, and you'll have a fresh backup at the ready should anything go wrong when you install the update.
Make sure to clear out any clutter, such as photos and apps you don't need anymore, to free up storage on your phone. If you haven't done so recently, you'll also want to create a fresh backup so you don't lose anything important on your device. (Here's a guide that'll walk you through how to do it all.) Once you've done this, your phone and iPad will be ready for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
Watch this: We found these amazing features in the iOS 15 beta
Are iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 compatible with my iPhone and iPad?
Apple published a list of devices that will receive the update. It's easy to figure out if your device will run the new operating system for its platform. If your iPhone is running iOS 14 right now, then you'll be able to install the update. Here are all of the compatible devices:
Devices that will support iOS 15 or iPadOS 15
iPhone 12 Mini
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
iPhone 12 Pro
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
iPhone 11 Pro
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
iPhone XS Max
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
iPad Pro 9.7-inch
iPad (8th generation)
iPad (7th generation)
iPhone 8 Plus
iPad (6th generation)
iPad (5th generation)
iPhone 7 Plus
iPad Mini (5th generation)
iPad Mini 4
iPhone 6s Plus
iPad Air (4th generation)
iPhone SE (1st generation)
iPad Air (3rd generation)
iPhone SE (2nd generation)
iPad Air 2
iPod Touch (7th generation)
How to install iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
Now that the update is live -- Apple launched it around 10 a.m. PT today (1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST) -- you can install it much like any other software update. It's a good idea to have your device plugged into a charger to ensure that the update doesn't drain the battery, and a strong Wi-Fi connection will help speed up the process without burning through your data plan. Bear in mind you may want to wait a little while -- here's why.
If you're eager to get going, on an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Select General.
3. Tap Software Update.
4. Under the Also Available section, tap Upgrade to iOS 15.
5. Select Download and install to begin the installation. You may be prompted to enter your passcode if you have one.
Follow the prompts to complete the installation. When your device reboots, it will be running iOS 15. Follow the same steps with an iPad to update it to iPadOS 15.