How to Install iOS 8 on Your iPhone or iPad

iOS 8 ImageApple released the iOS 8 software for their mobile devices on 17 September 2014. It contains some significant new features and enhancements from iOS 7. Many of these features will be discussed in future articles, but for now, we will focus on how to upgrade your device to iOS 8.


The iOS 8 software is available from Apple as a free download for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPad 2, iPad third and fourth generation, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the iPod touch fifth generation. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are delivered with iOS 8 preinstalled from the factory.


 Install iOS 8 Directly on Your Device

Before starting the upgrade process, you may want to backup your device to iCloud or your computer in case there are any issues with the upgrade. You may also need to connect your device to the charger if it has less than 50% battery charge. This is a typical requirement for most iOS updates to make sure the device does not run out of power during the upgrade. Additionally, you may want to connect the device to a Wi-Fi network to avoid potential data usage charges from your cellular provider for exceeding any cellular data limitations associated with your service plan.


Open the Settings app on your device, select General, then select Software Update. The device will automatically check for available updates.

Software Update in iOS 7


If the icon for the Settings app has a red circle on it with a number inside the circle, this indicates a software update is available for your device.

Settings Update Badge


If iOS 8 is available for your device, you will see a screen similar to the one below. Select Install Now to begin the upgrade process. When the upgrade is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

Install iOS 8


Not Enough Storage When Updating

When updating directly on your device, there needs to be enough storage space available to download and install the update. If there is no “Download and Install” button and you see the message “This update requires at least x.x GB of available storage”, there is not enough space available on your device. You have two options to install the update:

  • Use iTunes to download and install the update as described below
  • Remove things you no longer need from the device. This can be items such as apps, photos, videos, or movies. These things can be transferred to iTunes and reloaded on the device after the upgrade is complete. This article provides additional details about recovering storage space on your device.

iOS8 Install


Install iOS 8 to Your Device Using iTunes on the Computer

You have the option to update your device by connecting it to iTunes on a computer. Some of the older iOS versions were not capable of being updated directly on the device. The device needed to be connected to iTunes to perform an upgrade.


Make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes on your computer before upgrading to iOS 8.

  • If you have iTunes installed on your computer, verify the version by opening iTunes and checking for updates as follows:
    • Windows: From the menu bar in iTunes, choose Help > Check for Updates
    • Mac: Choose iTunes > Check for Updates.
  • If you do not have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download it from the Apple website at


When iOS 8 was initially released, iTunes version 11.4 was also released to support the new software.


Once the latest version of iTunes is installed on your computer, iOS 8 can be installed on your device as follows:

  • Open iTunes on the computer and connect your device using the USB cable
  • Within iTunes, select your device under the Devices menu
  • Select the “Check for Update” button in the top pane of the window
  • If an update is available, iTunes will prompt you to download and install the update
  • Do not disconnect your device until the update is complete.