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How to Update an Old iPad

by on November 28, 2022
in Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Tablets & eReaders, Phones and Mobile, iPhone/iPad Apps :: 248 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

While most iPads can be upgraded to the latest operating system, iPadOS 16, 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.

Screenshot of iPadOS 16 update.

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, turn it over and you will find it printed in very small type on the back under the iPad logo. You can also go to Settings > General > About. There you will find the "Model Name" and "Model Number." The model number is a letter followed by four numbers. If you see a slash in a string of characters (for example, MY3K2LL/A), you're looking at the part number. Tap the part number to reveal the model number.

The Latest Version of iOS or iPadOS by iPad Model


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 12.5.7
iPad mini 4 - 4th generation (2015), Model numbers A1550, A1538

iPad Air 2 - (2014), Model numbers A1566, A1567
iPadOS 15.7.1
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 - 9th generation (2021), Model numbers A2602, A2604, A2603, A2605
iPad - 10th generation (2022), Model numbers A2696, A2757, A2777

iPad mini - 5th generation (2019), Model numbers A2124, A2126, A2133
iPad mini - 6th generation (2021), Model numbers A2567, A2568, A2569

iPad Air - 3rd generation (2019), Model numbers A2152, A2123, A2153
iPad Air - 4th generation (2020), Model numbers A2316, A2324, A2325, A2072
iPad Air - 5th generation (2022), Model numbers A2588, A2589

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" - 1st generation (2017), Model numbers A1701, A1709
iPad Pro 12.9" - 2nd generation (2017), Model numbers A1670, A1671
iPad Pro 11" - 1st generation (2018), Model numbers A1980, A2013, A1934
iPad Pro 12.9" - 3rd generation (2018), Model numbers A1876, A2014, A1895
iPad Pro 11" - 2nd generation (2020), Model numbers A2228, A2068, A2230
iPad Pro 12.9" - 4th generation (2020), Model numbers A2229, A2069, A2232
iPad Pro 11" - 3rd generation (2021), Model numbers A2377, A2459, A2460
iPad Pro 12.9"- 5th generation (2021), Model numbers A2378, A2461, A2462
iPad Pro 11" - 4th generation (2022), Model numbers A2759, A2435, A2761, A2762
iPad Pro 12.9" - 6th generation (2022), Model numbers A2436, A2764, A2437, A2766
iPadOS 16

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.

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."

How to update an old iPad using your computer

Back up your iPad. Connect your iPad to your computer with your Lightning or USB-C 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 or later, open Finder. Select your iPad, select "General," and select "Back up all of the data on your iPad to this Mac." 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.

Check for and install the latest software. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open Finder. Select your iPad, select "General," and select "Check for Update." If there is an update available, select "Update." 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 11/28/2022 with new model number information and iPadOS 16 compatibility.

[Image credit: screenshots via Techlicious, iPadOS 16 via BigStockPhoto]

For the past 20+ years, Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Ten years ago, she founded Techlicious, which serves the role of that tech-savvy friend you can count on to share tips and tricks to get the most out of technology; whether that’s saving time in our hectic schedules, discovering new ways to enjoy our personal interests, or keeping up with the latest technology trends and styles. Before that, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she hosted the radio show “Living with Technology." Previously, she served as Technology Editor for Popular Science Magazine. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.

Discussion loading

13.0 update

From Donald Cercone on November 05, 2020 :: 5:27 pm

Can I update my mini 2 to version 13.0?


No. The last update for

From Suzanne Kantra on November 05, 2020 :: 5:57 pm

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


I thought that’s what it

From Filip Draskovic on January 09, 2021 :: 5:10 am

I thought that’s what it says


Been looking for hours for

From Filip Draskovic on January 09, 2021 :: 5:13 am

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


Upgrade a mini ipad

From John connolly on January 10, 2021 :: 5:14 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


i agree 100% da point

From Christina Brown on January 12, 2021 :: 1:06 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

Thank you!

From Melissa Brightman on January 27, 2021 :: 3:27 am

100% agree! Why are we buying such well engineered hardware if they won’t allow upgrades? I still have my enormous eMac and it works great! I would think it would actually be a source of pride and marketing (think Subaru) to have devices that outlast all others. Just a thought.

I tottally ugry with you

From Jool on April 06, 2021 :: 9:23 am

I tottally ugry with you smile

ipad 3 scrap

From brian smith on May 27, 2021 :: 5:07 am

totally agree with John Connolly. Apple claim to be looking after the environment so it is about time we all stopped buying their products until they stop making scrap of perfectly good hardware by so called improvements. More amd more websites no longer work.

RE: Upgrade a mini iPad

From Anonymous on May 31, 2021 :: 5:40 pm

Replying to your comment John,

I have upgraded my original iPad 2nd generation from an iOS of 4.5 to 9.3.5

I recommend googling for iOS downloadable links.

Many editors of legit technology magazines have provided such links, and will go as far as to inform you on what specific iPad (older or newer) can be upgraded to iOS 11 or iOS 12.

Many people say it is impossible to upgrade an older iPad to iOS 12. Do not believe this rubbish talk.

The people who say this have either strong theoretical opinions that they hold to and never put into practice, or, they are the type that believe what they say is one hundred percent indisputable. Either way, they’re hard-headed.

Upgrade on old iPad

From Cindy Cripps on May 28, 2022 :: 11:38 am

That’s exactly what I said to the tech in support.  Apple arbitrarily chooses a date.  I told them I might as well go throw it in a landfill.


From Sandra on June 09, 2022 :: 11:50 am

I agree! Although I don’t use my iPad as often as I should, I want to be able to update apps and download a couple more. I just found an awesome app that will help me begin a business AND stay incredibly organized in other areas. At my age the phone is not suitable to work on due to small screen. I agree re: limited resources AND purchasing power. Then again, Apple is all about the money right? They don’t care if we can afford a new one or not. So if the older models lack he hardware necessary to update, couldn’t they make an attachment that we could plug in to allow updates?


From Mike Michaelis on November 26, 2022 :: 10:56 pm

Unfortunately, since retirement, money isn’t what it once was. Paid the Piper for my still working 2010ish IPAD. Bought it all to the tune of around $1,200.00. Back then they were routinely $450.00 without upgrades, etc… Suppose my expectations are unreasonable. Since it still works fantastic want to at least TRY the current IOS. Have you found out a real way to do this?? Could use help. Kindest regards.

Software update

From Fiona on January 11, 2021 :: 5:56 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


iOS 10 not available for those models

From Josh Kirschner on January 12, 2021 :: 2:57 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.

Did you find out

From Karen on January 13, 2021 :: 4:01 pm

Did you find out


From Jason Sighe on January 22, 2021 :: 1:57 pm

The latest is 12.5.1, but I’m struggling to update my son’s mini 2, can it be done without connection to iTunes on p.c?


Software update

From Asi on April 11, 2021 :: 11:05 am

Hi Thare when I update my baby tab I pad 3 mini it’s say already update with 9.3.6 I tried with different ways but coudent win even try Apple beta profile that’s coudent instal always fail to instal help me o on my Wataap 0027731100111 wil b appreciate

iPad mini 2 update

From Renee on January 27, 2021 :: 9:53 pm

Since my iPad is apparently too old for the iOS 14 update, does that mean my device is at risk?


Security - reply to Renee comment of 1/27/21

From Bob C. on March 29, 2021 :: 1:58 am

Depends on what you do and sites you visit. Assuming you do basic things, e-mail, games (from the Apple store), messaging, etc., you are probably OK. If you are doing a lot of financial transactions and other sensitive type functions, you could be at risk. While Apple products may be more secure than Windows products, it is not 100%. Apple also ships “security fixes” when the need arises. The problem is they won’t install on older Apple hardware that is no longer supported. So you are without those fixes. But, again, it depends on what you do. If you clear out your browser (assuming Safari) before shutting down, that would help get rid of any information you entered that is temporarily stored until clear it (like “cookie” from visited web sites). Also, shutting it down (on iPad until it asks “power off” and accepting), supposed to clean up any other temporary data.

I have an iPad 2 and can’t use iOS past 9.3.5. But I only use it for limited purposes (like looking up something with Duckduckgo instead of Google) or reading comics, or a few other things where I don’t consider worth “protecting”. When done, I just turn it off normally and every so often, I power off to clean up any residual stuff that may be laying around. My biggest problem is running into something where it requires downloading a new app from the Apple store - 99% of the time, the download fail because its an old iPad. The same with update requests. I used to get alerts to update an app and then have the update fail because it required the latest iOS version. Now if I get ne, I usually try it once and if it fails due to being on the older iOS version, I ignore future update alerts.

Hopefully, I provide you some (late) help. I apologize to other if someone else has provided much of the same/similar advice, but I only came to this site due to the misleading title, which implied an old iPAD/apple device could be “updated to use the new versions of iOS and after seeing a few comments (including Renee’s) didn’t plan on spending anymore time finding out what I already knew.


From Fakhri zaman on July 08, 2021 :: 3:50 am

Hi,I have ipad2 64gb I want updates my iPad,I cannot download any application from AppStore,please guide me,THANK YOU



From Lonjezo Phiri Bwanali on December 28, 2021 :: 5:32 pm

I am also failing to update my iPad 5.1.0 version


From Marc on October 23, 2021 :: 8:02 pm

Soooo my iPad A1395 can’t pass the 9.3.5 update?


My iPad 2 version 9.3.5 I cannot update for latest version.plz help me if posible

From Juliuscesar francisco on December 16, 2021 :: 10:16 am

Hi mam how I update my iPad version 9.3.5 to the latest version can you help me plz


Update Ipad Mini

From Fleur on February 22, 2022 :: 11:25 am

What is the latest version for an ipad mini model A1455? I followed your instructions, but I cant get any further than version 9.3.6


Check the chart above

From Josh Kirschner on February 23, 2022 :: 7:40 pm

The A1455 is a 1st generation iPad mini - 9.3.6 is the max OS.


From Marley on March 23, 2022 :: 2:22 pm

This is why android tablets are better. Only thing good about apple is when it’s jail broke. stoping all app download if iOS is not up to date is like ur car not working because it’s few years older ... trash!!


wow !!!

From Emma joemans on January 03, 2023 :: 12:27 pm

Update Apple iPad Bahador dear can I

From Bahador on July 26, 2022 :: 2:38 am Bahador dear can I update program in iPad A 1396 ?i can’t update program and installed waths app and Oder program.please help me


Update iOS

From Will on August 01, 2022 :: 10:41 pm

How did u update it to 12.4.8 for me it’s 9.3?


Air pad 2

From Lesley on February 07, 2023 :: 2:41 pm

Any chance of updating Airpad model 16GB, A1566 from 2014?  It seems stuck on 15.7.3 while my iPhone is on 16.3.


Transferring an App from a new iPad to an older Version 9.3.5 iPad

From Steve on May 12, 2023 :: 7:37 am

Hello Suzanne.
Is it possible to transfer an App from an iPad version 15.6.1 to an older iPad version 9.3.5?


Almost certainly no

From Josh Kirschner on May 16, 2023 :: 10:33 am

Almost every app you’re using on for 15.6.1 will not be backwards compatible for 9.3.5. App security and design has changed significantly over the years and older devices won’t work with the new apps.

How frustrating using an iPad can be!!

From Jo on January 12, 2021 :: 5:01 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 !!


Here's some help...

From Dave on January 18, 2021 :: 1:46 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.


Password manager would be better

From Josh Kirschner on January 18, 2021 :: 6:11 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.

Hi Dave,after reading most of the others I think you might be able to help me with my pr

From Susi on July 31, 2022 :: 3:15 am

I have an iPad that stopped updating at 9.3.6- and the version of Chrome on there at the moment isn’t supported.
How do I figure out which is the last version that it CAN SUPPORT?

I can't anymore!!

From Anne on December 06, 2021 :: 11:20 pm

I’m so done!! As I try to update my iPad it just says ‘“iPad is already updated” but it’s nottttttttt! I’m 15 years old and my parents won’t even bother to et me a new iPad, and this one is 11 yeas old!!!!! It won’t even backupppp it just says “iPad failed to back up try again” over. And over. Again! I’m about to cry at this point!! Can someone help me!? Or is it just my tablet that seriously suuckkkss!!!


No back up

From Paula on December 07, 2021 :: 4:52 am

Your IPad may be too full of data to work correctly, mine is and won’t back up. My own iPad is also a 2nd gen so is now obsolete too. You may need to delete files you don’t want or email them to another computer for external storage. Extend your iCloud capacity is about 80p/month is one of the solutions I have.
Is maybe not as simply of your parents dipping into their pockets for a new one. New equipment is expensive, and all household bills and food has gone up in price too. This along with a global shortage in computer chips has had a knock on effect in lots and lots of goods and products over many global industries. Do you have savings to help with the cost of another and have some funding for Christmas? - may be an option to consider.

You likely can't update anymore

From Josh Kirschner on December 07, 2021 :: 10:54 am

To use 15-year old tech parlance, yes, your tablet sucks. Any 11-year old iPad won’t be updatable anymore (check the chart above) and will be very limited in what you can do with it.


From Sandra on June 09, 2022 :: 12:17 pm

Sweetie I’m right here with you! I just found an awesome app n it wouldn’t let me install it! I went to upgrade my 11 year old mini iPad and it said: you iPad has been updated. I’m like, “No it’s NOT! So yeah, we’re stuck at 9.3.5 I’m tempted to buy another one but can’t afford it right now. Things re really messed I. The world right now. Give your mom a break about buying a new one. Do you have neighbors you could babysit for? Or are you in the kind of neighborhood where you could mow lawns? It’s really easy n the hardest part would be bagging it up!  You can walk dogs, have a little garden n grow n sell fruits/vegetables. Have a yard sale with all your old clothes, games and any toys your mom hasn’t already given away. If you’re in an apt it’s a bit harder to make money. Are you near any restaurants or stores? How close are you to 16? Oftentimes businesses will hire folks or pay somebody to help clean, wash dishes, organize clothing racks, etc. Just hit every business and offer to help anyway you can to earn money. There are apps for dog walkers n other things that you can do at your age. Just google for related apps. Can you draw? You can even decorate store windows! Do you n your mom know Jesus? That’s why things are getting crazy, He is coming back soon! Make sure you ask God to forgive you everytime you slip up and sin. Read your Bible everyday n pray everyday too. Good luck with job hunting and also thank God for what He is about to do in your life.

It's not your iPads fault

From James L on July 09, 2022 :: 9:16 pm

Blame Apple, they are the ones that made it impossible to update your still functioning device. Growing up before computers in the home, I can give you one sliver of hope- at some point none of the apps on your iPad will work either, and at that time it will be a paper weight.

I'm so confused

From Anne on December 06, 2021 :: 11:23 pm

My iPad won’t even backup anymore!!! Whyyyyy?!??!?


Back up?

From Paula on December 07, 2021 :: 4:42 am

Mine doesn’t back up either due to having not enough working capacity. I need to delete files or upgrade cloud size to facilitate this. Yours maybe the same reason

Update iPad Gen 2 to higher ios than 9.3.5

From Aaron Heale on April 20, 2021 :: 11:02 pm

This is the reason I HATE Mac products with a true passion. There are some very basic and simple apps that I need to download to be able to do some things like, pay my cable bill, or make changes to cell plan, or have the insurance carrier app to be able to add or remove cars from my policy, and I CAN’T!!!!!! Because I have an iPad Gen 2 that runs a 9.3.5 ios and cannot be upgraded to the minimum required software that almost every app demands. My iPad is in mint condition still and is absolutely worthless. Apple tells you basically that your device you purchase today, will be worth jack sh** in the near future no matter how well you take care of it. I have an tablet , some off brand name that is 2 years older than the iPad and had no problem downloading and running every app i request, maybe very slow sometimes, but it allows me the opportunity to at least do that much. Samsung Galaxy and Samsung smart TVs have been good to me. I still have the Galaxy S4 and it works great and downloads everything and runs everything. Apple is BS.  Are there any hackers out there that can upgrade my pile of crap iPad Gen 2 to the latest version ios for a decent price???



From gollum on June 08, 2021 :: 1:22 am

Not sure if this will help but worth a shot….

Go to your Purchase history and try downloading the app from there. If previously downloaded it will allow you to use a backward compatible version . You wont get this feature from the App store which is ridiculous.


iPad update

From Pierre on July 06, 2021 :: 2:49 pm

How do I get to purchase history? Please help

Same frustration with upgrading my device

From Ash on August 09, 2021 :: 1:55 pm

I totally agreed, I have been having the same issue with even the youtube app due to having IOS 9.3.5, as the latest upgrade. :(



From Dave on November 28, 2021 :: 10:00 pm

Same here,
Perfectly good iPad - Streaming works fine. Facebook etc won’t as it’s stuck at v9.3.5

... Is this what they call “built-in obsolescence” ?

So back to the PC - it can still run Windows 3.1 😋
... I just use this white slab as an alarm-clock


What to do with an old iPad

From Gun665 on August 01, 2022 :: 11:52 pm

If you Google this, or what to do with an old iPhone, there is a site that points out that you can use these devices as iPods (really EXPENSIVE iPods), security cameras, etc.

So, while Apple’s negligence and sheer hypocrisy about saving the planet may make your beloved Apple device a technologically advanced paperweight; OTHER PEOPLE have found uses for our devices despite Apple’s lack of support. I hope this helps - it aggravates me to no end that Apple puts us all in this position solely for the sake of profit.
Lets Go Apple.


From Tony on December 07, 2021 :: 10:29 pm

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.



From Rudie on January 24, 2023 :: 8:04 am

My Air will go nothing higher than version 12



From John on January 30, 2022 :: 8:59 pm

Jan 2022,
I have found ANDROID is the only real fix for Apples IPad issues.
Apple preaches a good sermon though! //ji



From Brian Smith on January 31, 2022 :: 5:59 am

In reply to John January 30th 2022
How do I use Android on my ipad please? It is currently useless to me and I want to use it for research on the internet. Very few sites now work.


Read More Comments: 1 2 3 4 5

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