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How to Update an Old iPad

by on October 03, 2021
in Tips & How-Tos, Computers and Software, Tablets & eReaders, Phones and Mobile, iPhone/iPad Apps :: 212 comments

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While most iPads can be upgraded to the latest operating system, iPadOS 15, 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 12.5.5
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), Models numbers A2602, A2604, A2603, A2605

iPad mini 4 - 4th generation (2015), Model numbers A1550, A1538
iPad mini - 5th generation (2019), Model numbers A2124, A2126, A2133
iPad mini - 6th generation (2021), Model numbers A2567, A2568, A2569

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")
iPad Pro - 5th generation (2021), Model numbers A2377, A2459, A2460 (11-inch), Model numbers A2378, A2461, A2462 (12.9")
iPadOS 15

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 or later, 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 or later 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 10/03/2021 with new model number information and iPadOS 15 compatibility.

[Image credit: Techlicious]

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

Bethany's iPad

From Chrissy on January 03, 2022 :: 7:39 pm

So I got a iPad 4 and it’s only up to 9.3.5 and I wood like to update to 10.0

Reply

Instructions

From SheShe on January 07, 2022 :: 8:39 am

Great Instructions!

Reply

iOS upgrade

From Linda on February 02, 2022 :: 5:49 am

My iPad is MD 367 B/A version 9.3.6. It’s 14 years old so is it possible for an iOS upgrade.

Reply

No, you can't upgrade

From Josh Kirschner on February 02, 2022 :: 2:16 pm

That is a 3rd generation iPad, so you can’t upgrade beyond 9.3.6.

Reply

Update problems

From Peter on February 12, 2022 :: 9:02 am

Please I have been trying to update my iPad version 9.3.6 but Apple isn’t sending update to my device what else can I do

Reply

running ios 13.3.3 is now completely obsolete

From Pete Petshop on March 02, 2022 :: 7:07 am

Not only is my ipad no longer supported by Apple but my apps are - one by one no longer accessible…ie Utube, my website app jimdo and more…..DISGUSTED

Reply

I need help

From Otim emmanuel on April 15, 2022 :: 1:19 pm

My I pad needs upgrade but I can’t upgrade it myself . I want your help on whatsapp number [redacted]. Even it’s audio speakers does not work. Is that as a result of outdated software .
Help me please

Reply

Update

From Kathy on June 13, 2022 :: 2:00 am

Need to update to iOS 14.5

Reply

Someone please help me !

From Leeann hatfield on June 13, 2022 :: 7:00 am

I bought a iPad 3rd gen from someone and have no pc no way of use of one and it won’t show latest update,it is on 9.3. Something and has been for over a month what can I do if anything

Reply

That's as high as it goes

From Josh Kirschner on June 13, 2022 :: 9:04 am

For a 3rd generation iPad, 9.3.5 is the last OS available, you can’t upgrade it further.

Reply

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