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How to Update an Old iPad

by on January 18, 2021
in Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Tablets & eReaders, Phones and Mobile, iPhone/iPad Apps :: 62 comments

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While most iPads can be upgraded to the latest operating system, iPadOS 14, some are stuck at an earlier generation of the operating system. Apple leaves devices behind when they don't have the hardware that's necessary to smoothly run the new operating system. 

Consult the chart below to find out the latest version of iOS or iPadOS that your tablet supports. To identify which iPad model you own, go to Settings > General > About. There you will find the "Model Name" and "Model Number." 

The Latest Version of iOS or iPadOS by iPad Model
 

Devices

Latest Version of iOS or iPadOS

iPad - 1st generation (2010), Model numbers A1219, A1337 iOS 5.1.1
iPad 2 - 2nd generation (2011), Model numbers  A1395, A1396, A1397
iPad  - 3rd generation (early 2012), Model numbers  A1403, A1430, A1416

iPad mini - 1st generation (2012), Model numbers A1432, A1454, A1455
iOS 9.3.5 for WiFi only models
iOS 9.3.6 for WiFi + cellular models
iPad with Retina Display - 4th generation (2012), Model numbers A1458, A1459, A1460 iOS 10.3.4
iPad mini 2 - 2nd generation (2013), Model numbers A1489, A1490, A1491
iPad mini 3  - 3rd generation (2014), Model numbers  A1599, A1600

iPad Air - 1st generation (2013), Model numbers A1474, A1475, A1476 
iOS 12.4.8
iPad - 5th generation (2017), Model numbers A1822, A1823
iPad - 6th generation (2018), Model numbers A1893, A1954
iPad - 7th generation (2019), Model numbers A2197, A2198, A2200
iPad - 8th generation (2020), Model numbers A2270, A2428, A2429, A2430

iPad mini 4 - 4th generation (2015), Model numbers A1550, A1538
iPad mini - 5th generation (2019), Model numbers A2124, A2126, A2133

iPad Air 2 - 2nd generation (2014), Model numbers A1566, A1567
iPad Air - 3rd generation (2019), Model numbers A2152, A2123, A2153
iPad Air - 4th generation (2020), Model numbers A2316, A2324, A2325, A2072

iPad Pro 12.9" - 1st generation (2015), Model numbers A1584, A1652 
iPad Pro 9.7" - 1st generation (2016), Model numbers A1673, A1674, A1675
iPad Pro 10.5" and 12.9" - 2nd generation (2017), Model numbers A1701, A1709 (10.5"), Model numbers A1670, A1671 (12.9") 
iPad Pro 11" and 12.9" - 3rd generation (2018), Model numbers A1980, A2013, A1934 (11-inch), Model numbers A1876, A2014, A1895 (12.9")
iPad Pro 11" and 12.9" - 4th generation (2020), Model numbers A2228, A2068, A2230 (11-inch), Model numbers A2229, A2069, A2232 (12.9")
iPadOS 14

How to update an old iPad

There are two ways to update your old iPad. You can update it wirelessly over WiFi or connect it to a computer and use the iTunes app. 

How to update an old iPad wirelessly

Back up your iPad. Make sure your iPad is connected to WiFi and then go to Settings > Apple ID [Your Name] > iCloud or Settings > iCloud. Make sure iCloud Backup is turned on and select "Back Up Now." You'll receive a confirmation when the backup is complete.

Back up your iPad wirelessly

Check for and install the latest software. To check for the latest software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Your iPad will then check for a software update. On the screen, you'll either see your current version of iOS or iPad OS and the message "Your software is up to date," or if your software is not up to date, you'll see the option to "Download and Install." 

Check for and install the latest software wirelessly

How to update an old iPad using your computer

Back up your iPad. Connect your iPad to your computer with your Lightning cable. (You may see a message asking for your iPad passcode or for your to "Trust This Computer." Follow the directions.) On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, launch iTunes. Locate your iPad in iTunes and click on it. You'll then see an option to "Back Up Now." Click on the "Back Up Now" button, and you'll receive a confirmation when the backup is complete.

Back up and update your old iPad using iTunes

Check for and install the latest software. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes. Then, connect your device to your computer. Locate your device on your computer. Click "General" or "Settings," then click "Check for Update." Click "Download and Update." You may be asked to enter your passcode.

Updated on 1/18/2021 with model number information.

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Discussion loading

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13.0 update

From Donald Cercone on November 05, 2020 :: 4:27 pm

Can I update my mini 2 to version 13.0?

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No. The last update for

From Suzanne Kantra on November 05, 2020 :: 4:57 pm

No. The last update for iPad mini 2 is iOS 12.4.8

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I thought that’s what it

From Filip Draskovic on January 09, 2021 :: 4:10 am

I thought that’s what it says

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Been looking for hours for

From Filip Draskovic on January 09, 2021 :: 4:13 am

Been looking for hours for such info,extremel helpful,thanks

Reply

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Upgrade a mini ipad

From John connolly on January 10, 2021 :: 4:14 am

Has no one upgraded a 2012 iPad - given the earths resources are limited surely now is the time to allow upgrades to old iPads there has to be a market - I feel it is morally wrong to just go out and buy a new shiny iPad

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i agree 100% da point

From Christina Brown on January 12, 2021 :: 12:06 pm

i agree 100% da point of switching to Apple was its capabilities of upgrading all their devices….. So its like we dont matter if we dont jump to upgrade their products that changes almost every 4 months sometimes

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Software update

From Fiona on January 11, 2021 :: 4:56 pm

I’m looking to update iPad mini and an iPad gen 2 latest update when backed up say 9.3.5 how do I update this to a better one as my daughters games are usually supported by 10 and above

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iOS 10 not available for those models

From Josh Kirschner on January 12, 2021 :: 1:57 pm

9.3.5 is the latest update available for the 1st gen iPad mini and 2nd gen iPad. iOS 10 isn’t available. Even if it were, the hardware on those very old devices would not have the power to run many of the newer games.

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Did you find out

From Karen on January 13, 2021 :: 3:01 pm

Did you find out

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How frustrating using an iPad can be!!

From Jo on January 12, 2021 :: 4:01 pm

I am completely and utterly frustrated w my iPad, I am trying to sync info from a lost android to my older iPad and i am so confused, I don’t know but the basics of tech stuff , but I don’t know which browser I’m in or which app is in which browser or the passwords for certain apps in the different browser so!!!!!  It does explain it at all as your doing it I mean the choices on the pages are basic unless you know yu ain’t getting nowhere, it has had me change my passwords so many times now I don’t even know?!?!  I have different ones for Google and different for safari !???!  It’s just a big jumbled disscombobulated mess every time I try to figure it out all I’m doing is changing passwords in order to try and get to the page to help me. And then it says all your passwords have been comprimised yu need to change them all now! Oh my Lanta lord help me I’m going to snap!!! Thanks for letting me vent and cry !!

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Here's some help...

From Dave on January 18, 2021 :: 12:46 pm

I understand that using an iPad alongside an Android OS tablet can be quite the struggle. However, if you mean to sync passwords, then I would recommend using just one browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or even Microsoft Edge. Each browser is different, however, you would usually need to make an account for that browser. Since you are using Android, I would recommend Chrome—you can sign in to a Google Account to sync your passwords, as well as the availability on both devices. Even better, go analog and write your passwords down. (Keep it safe, of course.) Moreover, due to the fact it says your passwords may have been compromised, you may need to change them, now. If you have any password that was compromised, try to think of a better one. It’s not the end of the world. Good luck.

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Password manager would be better

From Josh Kirschner on January 18, 2021 :: 5:11 pm

You would be better off using a password manager app, rather than a browser-based option. The app will give you the advantage of filling in passwords within apps on both your iPad and Android tablet, not just websites. We have a list of our recommended password managers, and I’m also a fan of 1Password, which wasn’t in that earlier article.

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Old ipad

From Dorcas on November 11, 2020 :: 5:21 pm

What can I do to improve this iPad? It is a 9.3.5 model MD531Ll/A

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Also 9.3.5 that won't update to a newer IOS

From Dave on November 18, 2020 :: 11:05 am

Is this model obsolete?

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With an iPad that can't

From Suzanne Kantra on November 18, 2020 :: 4:22 pm

With an iPad that can’t be upgraded beyond iOS 9.3.5, you may find that you can’t install some apps that require a later version of iOS.

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Oh no!

From Dave on November 18, 2020 :: 5:23 pm

That is/had been my experience. I was hoping for a work around that doesn’t exist. Thank you for letting me know. D

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There is a potential work

From Suzanne Kantra on November 19, 2020 :: 11:49 am

There is a potential work around. If you’ve already installed an app on another iOS device, you may be able to still install an earlier compatible version of the app on your old device.

Go into App Store > Account > Purchased and you’ll see all of the apps that you’ve downloaded on all of your iOS (or iPadOS) devices. If the app you’re interested in installing is listed, there may still be a version available that’s compatible with your device.

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this worked!!

From Cheryl F Lloyd on January 07, 2021 :: 12:16 am

I have an iPad Mini 2 and needed at least IOS 13.4 for an app I haven’t used in a while. I went into the purchased list and attempted to download the app. It prompted me to download an older version that was compatible with my iPad’s older version. Thank you!!! You saved me. Cheryl

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ios

From Lama on November 21, 2020 :: 7:41 am

I have an old iPad I backed up the iPad but when I got to software they say I have to update with a computer like there isn’t download and install how do I do it I need Microsoft world and power point on my ipad

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What version of iOS is

From Suzanne Kantra on November 24, 2020 :: 10:37 am

What version of iOS is your iPad running now? And, is the only back up of your iPad on iCloud? If so, you should download iTunes and back up your iPad to your computer and then update your iPad. Once your iPad has the latest version of iOS that it can run, check for the Microsoft Power Point and Word apps to download.

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Thanks a lot

From Saumya Chauhan on December 09, 2020 :: 4:22 am

But pls tell any other way to update

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thanks for information

From Dhel Bundles on November 23, 2020 :: 9:52 pm

thanks for information

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Ipad 4

From Georgina on November 25, 2020 :: 2:48 pm

Certain apps wont work on my ipad 4,its running ios 10.3.4.is there a way of bettering it?

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Help

From Noel on November 27, 2020 :: 5:51 pm

Is there no way I can update to 10 without a computer

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I cannot update from iOS 10 from my iPad 4

From Naizacute1981 on December 08, 2020 :: 9:28 am

I cannot download iOS 14 at all. My iOS is up to date but I cannot seem to download any apps as I was instructed to have iOS 11,12 or more. So, why apple displays my software is up to date but on the other hand,I can’t download the most simple google chrome apps! Apple is soooo frustrating. I regret buying this preloved iPad!

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Same here. Its frustrating!

From iPad 4 on December 10, 2020 :: 12:37 am

Same here. Its frustrating!

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Help

From Jaclyn on December 09, 2020 :: 8:41 pm

I need help updating my old ipad past the 10.3.3 and can’t figure it out. I need it to atleast 12

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Old iPad running 10.3.0 and want to update IOS but can't

From Brian G II on December 20, 2020 :: 6:10 pm

I have an an old iPad model MD510LL/A that’s running IOS 10.3.3 and I want to upgrade to a later IOS but I’m not seeing options how.  Can you assist?

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That is as high as it will go

From Josh Kirschner on December 22, 2020 :: 5:08 pm

You have the 4th Gen iPad which, unfortunately, only goes up to 10.2.3/4. So you’re stuck there. The only solution Apple offer is to buy a new iPad.

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Upgrade of 10.3.3

From Gp on December 12, 2020 :: 3:03 pm

I like to upgrade my iPad to iOS 12 as minimum. Please advise what to do.Thanks

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I'd like to upgrade my iPad from 10.3 to at least 12

From David Godley on December 14, 2020 :: 4:30 am

Pls advise how to update from 10.3 yo iOS 12 as a minimum, thanks

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1st Generation iPad Updates

From iPad User Shi on December 13, 2020 :: 8:54 am

Hi!I have an 1st generation iPad, and I recently updated it. Can I update again and what it the maximum that I can upgrade it to?

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Check our chart in the article

From Josh Kirschner on December 19, 2020 :: 2:31 pm

For a first generation iPad, the newest upgrade you can get is iOS 5.1.1, which is pretty useless.

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What If:

From Erin on December 15, 2020 :: 5:38 pm

What if you don’t have an MacBook, is there another way I could update my iPad Air?

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You can download iTunes for

From Suzanne Kantra on December 15, 2020 :: 10:12 pm

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Don’t update iPad 2 iso 12

From Sankar on December 16, 2020 :: 3:16 am

iPad 2 don’t update latest iOS
How to sllove problem any way

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iPad 4th Gen

From GSalazar on December 16, 2020 :: 6:08 pm

The table above does not list iPad 4th Generation, what gives?

Thanks

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It's on the third line

From Josh Kirschner on December 19, 2020 :: 2:33 pm

See “iPad with Retina Display - 4th generation (2012)”

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iPadPro 10.5" will not update to 14.2

From Brian on December 17, 2020 :: 6:56 am

Software Update has been sitting at “Estimating time remaining…” for days now trying to update from 13.7 to 14.2.  Have 20GB of freespace.

If I try to update via my PC using iTunes using Check for Update, it tells me I’m at the current version (13.7). I backed up my iPad before trying update.

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help with DOWN grade

From Sue Lowery on December 18, 2020 :: 3:52 pm

Made the mistake of putting iOS14 upgrade on ipad, now none of my bluetooth will work. I want to downgrade back, but don’t have backup. Is there a link? Apple refused to give me one…thanks!

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Software update

From Shan on December 19, 2020 :: 7:58 am

Hi anybody trying to update iPad 2/3/4 .
It’s not gonna happen just sell it or 🎁 it to a child for YouTube videos .
Apple want you to buy new devices💰 💰 💰  Simple

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fixed with Logitech support

From Sue Lowery on December 19, 2020 :: 2:55 pm

Sorry, not buying new right now! A call to Logitech who makes keypad and they got it working. Other than the ugly background, my air2 with updates works.

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iPAD mini 1 software update?

From tdotcrzn on December 22, 2020 :: 11:49 pm

whats the highest possible software update available for this ipad mini 1… even with the newest possible updates of software for this will it let me install any app or will i ever be able to use it with thenmost recent ipads software? suggestions?? help??

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Only iOS 9.3.5

From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2020 :: 4:21 pm

As we say in the chart above, the latest version available for the iPad Mini ver 1 is only iOS 9.3.5 - which is very limited.

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iPad won’t update

From Jenni Lynn on December 23, 2020 :: 11:48 pm

I have an iPad Air that is running iOS 12.5 and says it’s up to date in the setting screen, but many of my apps are saying they cannot update without iOS 13. How can I force an update to the more updated iOS version if the update setting won’t recognize it is out of date?

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Me too

From Collin on December 24, 2020 :: 8:47 am

Me too I’m trying to force it to go I just did the 12.5 a couple of days ago

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You can't

From Josh Kirschner on December 28, 2020 :: 1:34 pm

There is no way to update older model iPads to an OS beyond the latest version listed in the chart above. Unfortunately, for owners of older devices, it means our iPads have significantly diminished functionality. That’s how Apple does things - it focuses support for the latest devices and features, even if that means leaving older ones behind.

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iOS 9.3.5

From Indiana on December 25, 2020 :: 2:27 am

Can I update my ipad 1 Gen with the model A1432 tp the latest iOS?

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No

From Josh Kirschner on December 28, 2020 :: 1:26 pm

Nope, that’s as high as it will go.

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My old ipad mini modelA1432

From Sivani on December 29, 2020 :: 5:18 am

My old ipad mini modelA1432 is not updating from ios9.3.5 ,im not able to install some apps in it .wont it update at all from 9.3.5?

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