It’s important to keep your iPhone and iPad’s software up to date—even if the old devices you still use aren’t going to be eligible for the upcoming iOS/iPadOS 13. In fact, sometimes it’s the older phones and tablets in Apple’s hardware line that see the most critical updates.
Apple recently alerted users that iPhone and iPad models introduced in 2012 or earlier will need to to be updated before November 3 to avoid a “GPS time rollover” issue that could mess up your device’s location-tracking and date/time features. These bugs could also affect numerous apps and services, such as syncing data to your iCloud or grabbing your latest email.
The specific iOS devices that need to be updated are:
- iPhone 4s
- iPhone 5
- Third and fourth-generation iPad
- iPad 2
- First-generation iPad Mini
If your iPad is wifi only, not wifi and cellular, your device doesn’t need to be updated. Also, any iOS devices that are newer than what’s on this list don’t need to be updated—you’re fine.
If you have an iPhone 5 or a fourth-generation iPad, you’ll need to make sure your device is updated to iOS 10.3.4. Owners of all other devices on that list should update their devices to iOS 9.3.6. You can check your device’s iOS version by going to Settings > General > About. The iOS version number will be displayed next to “Software Version.”
If you find that any of your older iOS devices need to be updated, the easiest way to do so is over wifi. Make sure your device has a good connection to your home network and:
- Go to Settings > General > Software Update, then tap “Download and Install.” (If iOS asks for permission to temporarily uninstall apps so you can download the update data, tap “yes.” The apps will be reinstalled after the update is completed.)
- Tap “Install” to begin the update. (You can also opt to “Install Tonight,” if you prefer to run the update at a more convenient time.)
- Enter your password if prompted, and then let the update run. Your device will reboot once the installation is complete.
- Check your device’s version number again after the update finishes to make sure you’re running the correct version of iOS.