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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

ios

From Lama on November 21, 2020 :: 8:41 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

Reply

What version of iOS is

From Suzanne Kantra on November 24, 2020 :: 11:37 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.

Reply

Thanks a lot

From Saumya Chauhan on December 09, 2020 :: 5:22 am

But pls tell any other way to update

Reply

I can not upgrade from ios9.3.5 on my ipad

From Butsuzie on February 18, 2021 :: 9:15 pm

Hy my name is Susan, and I have an old ipad that I can not upgrade to ios10. It’s model is MC769LL/A. A friend of mine told me it’s a very old version I just have to throw it away, so my question is, is there any possible way to upgrade or I should throw it away like my friend adviced, coz it’s driving me nats๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

Reply

No, you cannot upgrade further

From Josh Kirschner on February 19, 2021 :: 2:20 pm

You cannot upgrade your iPad beyond the latest iOS version listed in the chart above. The only workaround is that if you have apps downloaded through iTunes on another device (e.g., your iPhone), you may be able to download that app through the iTunes on your old iPad if that app had a version compatible with 9.3.5. But those earlier app versions may be missing important functionality or may not work at all, so it’s a weak workaround, at best.

So if it doesn’t offer any value to you as is, your best bet is to wipe the data (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201351) and either dispose of it responsibly or donate it.

thanks for information

From Dhel Bundles on November 23, 2020 :: 10:52 pm

thanks for information

Reply

Ipad 4

From Georgina on November 25, 2020 :: 3:48 pm

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

Reply

Also having same issue

From Ramesh on February 13, 2021 :: 2:11 pm

I can’t upgrade to higher versions. Did u find a solution ? If yes..pl share with me too on my email ...thanks

Reply

Help

From Noel on November 27, 2020 :: 6:51 pm

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

Reply

I cannot update from iOS 10 from my iPad 4

From Naizacute1981 on December 08, 2020 :: 10:28 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!

Reply

Same here. Its frustrating!

From iPad 4 on December 10, 2020 :: 1:37 am

Same here. Its frustrating!

Reply

Help

From Jaclyn on December 09, 2020 :: 9:41 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

Reply

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

From Brian G II on December 20, 2020 :: 7:10 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?

Reply

That is as high as it will go

From Josh Kirschner on December 22, 2020 :: 6:08 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.

Reply

How to update software on old iPads- MD510C/A?

From Terri froess on February 06, 2021 :: 1:18 pm

How do I do this?

Reply

Upgrade of 10.3.3

From Gp on December 12, 2020 :: 4:03 pm

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

Reply

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

From David Godley on December 14, 2020 :: 5:30 am

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

Reply

1st Generation iPad Updates

From iPad User Shi on December 13, 2020 :: 9:54 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?

Reply

Check our chart in the article

From Josh Kirschner on December 19, 2020 :: 3:31 pm

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

Reply

1st Gen iPad update

From Kathy on January 20, 2021 :: 12:23 pm

Hi, I have an old 1st gen ipad, model A1458, and the latest software is 10.3.3, but I need to upload google classroom and this it cannot be done with that older version software, although the software is saying “up to date” on the actual ipad. Is there any way to have a later version installed?

Reply

No, you have the latest version for your iPad

From Josh Kirschner on January 20, 2021 :: 3:45 pm

You have the most up-to-date version available for your A1458 iPad (10.3.3 for WiFI-only devices) because Apple stopped offering updates for that model. That is why you get the message your software is “up-to-date”. However, it is a very old version and Google Classroom requires iOS 11, at a minimum. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it except to purchase a new iPad (or Android tablet).

1st Gen iPad update

From Kathy on January 21, 2021 :: 11:27 am

Actually, there was a way to get it on the old ipad. You have to sign into a new apple device, share purchases, then go to the app store on the old device, select the user name from the new device and it can be downloaded. The Google classroom and Google Meet works fantastic on the old ipad.

Check the link below for a tutorial on how to do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXvB_-eQWoE&t=142s&ab_channel=JishanKharbanda

What If:

From Erin on December 15, 2020 :: 6:38 pm

What if you donโ€™t have an MacBook, is there another way I could update my iPad Air?

Reply

You can download iTunes for

From Suzanne Kantra on December 15, 2020 :: 11:12 pm

Reply

Donโ€™t update iPad 2 iso 12

From Sankar on December 16, 2020 :: 4:16 am

iPad 2 donโ€™t update latest iOS
How to sllove problem any way

Reply

iPad 4th Gen

From GSalazar on December 16, 2020 :: 7:08 pm

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

Thanks

Reply

It's on the third line

From Josh Kirschner on December 19, 2020 :: 3:33 pm

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

Reply

iPadPro 10.5" will not update to 14.2

From Brian on December 17, 2020 :: 7:56 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.

Reply

help with DOWN grade

From Sue Lowery on December 18, 2020 :: 4:52 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!

Reply

Software update

From Shan on December 19, 2020 :: 8:58 am

Hi anybody trying to update iPad 2/3/4 .
It’s not gonna happen just sell it or ๐ŸŽ it to a child for YouTube videos .
Apple want you to buy new devices๐Ÿ’ฐ ๐Ÿ’ฐ ๐Ÿ’ฐ  Simple

Reply

fixed with Logitech support

From Sue Lowery on December 19, 2020 :: 3:55 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.

Reply

OS

From Tommy on February 13, 2021 :: 3:31 pm

I have the iPad Air also. What OS were they able to upgrade you to? Thanks!

Reply

iPAD mini 1 software update?

From tdotcrzn on December 23, 2020 :: 12:49 am

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??

Reply

Only iOS 9.3.5

From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2020 :: 5:21 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.

Reply

iPad wonโ€™t update

From Jenni Lynn on December 24, 2020 :: 12:48 am

I have an iPad Air that is running iOS 12.5 and says itโ€™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 wonโ€™t recognize it is out of date?

Reply

Me too

From Collin on December 24, 2020 :: 9:47 am

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

Reply

You can't

From Josh Kirschner on December 28, 2020 :: 2:34 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.

Reply

iOS 9.3.5

From Indiana on December 25, 2020 :: 3:27 am

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

Reply

No

From Josh Kirschner on December 28, 2020 :: 2:26 pm

Nope, that’s as high as it will go.

Reply

My old ipad mini modelA1432

From Sivani on December 29, 2020 :: 6:18 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?

Reply

MR

From Themba Moyo on December 28, 2020 :: 1:39 am

Thanks

Reply

Quastion

From Moumouh on December 29, 2020 :: 10:37 am

What can i do with my tab iPad 5.1.1

Reply

Lots of things

From Josh Kirschner on December 30, 2020 :: 1:35 pm

I have a 1st gen iPad running 5.1.1, also. Here’s what I found it to be most useful for.
1. Propping open the door when I’m carry large objects.
2. Use as a hot mat on my dining room table.
3. Placed over belly, can help prevent stab wounds during sword fights.
4. Use to impress people in bars and cafes. When they ask what it is, tell them it’s a secret prototype of the newest iPad Apple gave you to test out, then quickly hide in your bag (don’t let them actually see you try to use it).
5. Create an in Instagram page for your iPad and post photos of it posed in various exotic locations around the world (you will have to use a new iPad to actually take the photos and load to Instagram).

Would love other suggestions.

Reply

I found uses for my 1st generation iPad

From Ernie on August 22, 2021 :: 11:04 am

I know this is an old post, but i’ll add my comment. I purchased a 1st generation iPad from Goodwill. It still has its uses. I found some old apps in the Apple app store and got the iPad charged. I can read ebooks, read comic books, listen to music (mp3 format) and watch movies or tv shows (mp4 format). Also, Bluetooth works with my Bluetooth speaker so i use it as a stereo. Notes and Calendar work fine. So a 1st generation iPad can still be used for something.

Reply

I found uses for my 1st generation iPad

From Ernie on August 22, 2021 :: 12:33 pm

One other note. My 1st generation iPad’s battery still charges well and holds its charge for several days. In my opinion, that is very impressive. I would like to end by saying a big f#*& you to Apple for being such a greedy and unfair company. Thanks to their greed, all these older, yet good devices have been left out for future updates and newer apps. Apple as a company truly sucks.

More uses for obsolete ipads

From Riki Newton on November 25, 2021 :: 10:58 pm

Hi, love how patient you are with folks who just don’t get how Apple works with it’s extremely irritating obsolescence policy. Bless you for your kind heart โค
Some more ‘uses’ for obsolete ipads,
Add cat litter and let your cat poo and pee all over it.
Let the kids use it as a snow board or surf board.
Use as hot ๐Ÿ”ฅ or rather luke warm water bottle.
As a paperweight for very large books ๐Ÿ“š
As a cumbersome drinks tray..
A dustbin filler..
Cheers and thank you Josh ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜˜

Reply

Ipad upgrade

From Mercy on December 30, 2020 :: 5:00 pm

Hi can I uprade iPad 4.3.5(BL1) model MC981SO to a better model

Reply

Mini iPad 9.3.6

From Marcela on January 07, 2021 :: 2:58 pm

Hi, it is possible update my mini iPad version 9.3.6. ?

Reply

Not updated OS

From Kathiravan on January 09, 2021 :: 10:16 am

Sir, my io9.3.5

How to updated for latest version…. Plz.. Reply me

Mobile…9962585033

Reply

Not updated OS

From Kathiravan on January 09, 2021 :: 10:21 am

Kindly solve the problem

Reply

Yes it's easy

From Riki Newton on November 25, 2021 :: 11:15 pm

Simply use your obsolete ipad as a handy doorstop - then go to your nearest Apple ๐ŸŽ store ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ‘ and give them a big chunk of notes for a new one !! Any alternatives ? You betcha there ain’t. Cheers โœŒ ๐Ÿป

Reply

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