Update, 21st September 2021: Apple’s iOS 15 update is now available for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. You can use the guide below to get the latest iOS 15 on your device if you haven’t received it as an OTA update yet.
Once a year, Apple announces a completely new version of iOS, the operating system that runs on all iPhones. These full-version updates bring new features, tweaks to the interface and important security patches – and best of all, they’re free.
The newest version is iOS 15, and it becomes available to download and install today (20 September 2021). In this article we explain how you can install iOS 15 on your iPhone, and help to guide you through any problems you might encounter.
When will iOS 15 become available?
In the UK, iOS 15 should become available to download around 6pm BST tonight (20 September 2021).
In the US we expect iOS 15 to launch around 10am PDT and 1am EDT.
At time of writing we are seeing the update on our iPhones, but if you can’t see it yet, hang in there – it may take a little while to reach you.
What do I need?
You’ll be installing the iOS 15 update from Apple’s servers, so you’ll want a reliable web connection. Other than that you just need an iOS 15-compatible iPhone, and access to mains power (you should plug the iPhone in while it’s updating).
Does my iPhone support iOS 15?
We mentioned iOS 15-compatible iPhones – this is important. Not all iPhones can install the latest version of iOS. Some older models are not certified as sufficiently powerful to run the latest software.
If you’ve got iPhone 6s or later, however (including the iPhone 7, 8, X, 11, 12 and 13 series, plus the iPhone SE from 2020), you should be fine to install iOS 15. For a complete list, read Which iPhones can get iOS 15?
Preparing the iPhone for iOS 15
A few things to tick off before grabbing the update:
- Back up your iPhone in case something goes wrong.
- Clear some space on your iPhone. The iOS update is likely to take up a fair amount of space during installation – and it’s worth making a bit of room anyway.
- Plug into a power supply.
- Make sure you’re downloading over Wi-Fi, not 3G or 4G, or you may run out of data. Also, check it’s a safe network. (We don’t recommend installing an iOS update over hotel Wi-Fi, for instance.)
Okay. We’re ready to install iOS 15!
How to install iOS 15
Open the Settings app: tap the grey app icon with the cogs if you can see it, or go to search (by swiping down from any home screen) and type in Settings.
Go to General > Software Update and wait while iOS checks for new updates. If iOS 15 is ready for you to grab – and bear in mind that the rollout is often delayed a little past when we expect it, and may appear in some territories later than others – you’ll be told about it here. If you haven’t installed one of the later iOS 14 versions (such as iOS 14.8) you may see iOS 14.8 at the top of the screen and ‘Also available: Upgrade to iOS 15’ at the bottom.