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Owners of Old iPhones and iPads Need to Update Software Now

by on October 31, 2019
in News, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Blog :: 66 comments

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If you’re using an old iPhone or iPad, it may be at risk of losing access to email, apps, and the web. According to a warning issued by Apple, owners of iPhone 5 and earlier models, 4th generation iPads and earlier and first-generation iPad minis have until November 2, 2019, at 8PM ET/5PM PT (12 AM on November 3 UTC) to update their device’s operating system or face major problems using their devices. 

At fault is a GPS time rollover issue, which wouldn't seem to have such far reaching effects. But GPS isn't just used for determining location, it also is used to maintain the correct date and time. Without a verified date and time, the phone won't be able to access the App Store, email, and web browsing. 

To check to make sure you have the correct version of iOS, do the following: 

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select General
  3. Select About and look for the number next to where it says "Software Version."

For iPhone 5 and iPad (4th generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, it should be updated to iOS 10.3.4

For iPhone 4s, iPad mini (1st generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular (CDMA models only) and iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, it should be updated to iOS 9.3.6.

This issue does not affect iPod touch models or any iPad model that only uses Wi-Fi. 

If you're confused about which iPad model you own and whether it can be updated, check out our story on how to update an old iPad.

If you do need to update your software, remember to back up your device before updating. 

To update your software: 

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select General
  3. Software Update

Apple warns that if you don't update ahead of November 2, 2019, at 8PM ET/5PM PT (12 AM on November 3 UTC), you will have to back up and restore using a Mac or PC to update. After the cutoff date, you will not be able to update over-the-air and iCloud Backup will not work. 

[Image credit: iPhone 5 and iPad mini via BigStockPhoto]

Discussion loading

Update for my iPad iOS 4.2.1 model a1219

From Marcjunior on January 21, 2021 :: 3:40 am

Why can’t I create me a new apple ID and update my iPad over the wifi.


If you want to use

From Suzanne Kantra on January 21, 2021 :: 3:24 pm

If you want to use a new Apple ID on your iPad, you need to go into Settings and then tap the name at the top of the screen (your Apple ID). Scroll all the way to the bottom and choose sign out. Then you can sign in with another Apple ID or follow the instructions to create a new one.

A first generation iPad, like the one you have, should be able to upgrade to iOS 5.1.1


I have an iPad Air 1st generation

From Abdullah on January 24, 2021 :: 3:29 am

Can I update my iPad Air to iPadOS 14????


You can't update a first

From Suzanne Kantra on March 11, 2021 :: 10:15 am

You can’t update a first generation iPad Air to iPadOS 14. The latest version available for that model is iOS 12.

For more information, check out my story on how to update an old ipad:



From Connie on April 26, 2021 :: 9:43 am

Hi. My iPad is only updating to 12.5. All my apps that need higher won’t work. It tells me to download older versions. Is there anyway to get the uploads for iOS 13 and above?


Updates needed to my iPad version 5.1.1

From Dedi Isaac on May 30, 2021 :: 1:04 am

VERSION 5.1.1 (9B206)

When I tried it keep telling me cannot check update
Please help


Read our other article

From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 6:03 pm

We wrote an article on how to update your iPad with a chart telling you what the latest version of iOS is for your specific model.


Up grade

From Kasirye on December 18, 2021 :: 7:55 am

I have an ipad4 but each time I try to download an app it tells me to up grade to iOS 10 or greater . Am running 9.3.8 . And when I check it tell me my software is up to date


How to update an old iPad

From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2021 :: 10:08 am

Hi Kasirye,

If it is an iPad 4, you should be able to upgrade to iOS 10. We have a more recent articles that gives you step-by-step instructions for upgrading an old iPad. One of those methods should work for you.



Failed to make calls

From Kasirye on January 01, 2022 :: 4:16 am

My iPad has a SIM card slot and it works well but you can’t make a call and it can’t go through when called on , why ?


Is your SIM active?

From Josh Kirschner on January 02, 2022 :: 6:46 pm

You weren’t clear in your note, but you need an active SIM in the SIM card slot. Are you sure your SIM card is working? You can test it by trying the SIM in a phone.


It works

From Kasirye on January 06, 2022 :: 10:54 am

My SIM card works very well coz I use it on cellular data , I don’t use wifi , I use cellular data


What model/iOS are you running

From Josh Kirschner on January 13, 2022 :: 11:23 am

What model iPad and iOS are you running?


From Kasirye on January 13, 2022 :: 3:42 pm

It’s model MD537c/a

What iOS version?

From Josh Kirschner on January 14, 2022 :: 11:36 am

That’s a first gen iPad Mini, correct? What iOS version are you running? If it’s not 9.3.6., that could be your issue. Also, go to Settings->Cellular
and make sure the switch is toggled on to enable cellular (I don’t have a 9.3.6 to test on, but I believe there is a setting for this).

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