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Unable to Check for Update on iPhone, iPad, How to Fix?

By Carrie Murray, Sunday, September 29, 2019
You could fail to update iPhone, iPad to iOS 13/12 via OTA with the error "unable to check for update." There are 5 methods to fix it. Or you can update to the latest iOS via iTunes or FonePaw iOS System Recovery.

"When I tried to update my iPhone 7 to iOS 13, iOS 13 is not showing up with a message saying that 'Unable to Check for Update. An error occurred while checking for a software update'. What can I do to fix that and update my phone?"

iPhone or iPad unable to check for update error often happens in OTA update. After clicking Software Update, the iPhone or iPad first shows "Checking for Update" and then ends up with the error "; Unable to Check for Update". If your iPad or iPhone is unable to check for update in iOS 11, 12, 13 or iPadOS, here are 7 solutions.

iPhone Unable to Check for Update

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Solution 1. Make Sure Apple Servers Are Not Down

When your iPhone or iPad is checking for update, it is trying to communicating with the Apple servers. If Apple servers are down, naturally the iPad or iPhone 11/X/8/7 is unable to check for update. So pay a visit to Apple System Status web page to check whether the servers are available.

If the icons show green, it means they are not down. Then you may turn to other reasons and solutions to fix the unable to check for update issue. If there are yellow or red icons, you can wait for the servers going back to normal and try the update again.

Apple System Status

Solution 2. Ensure a Good Network Connection for Software Update

The "Unable to Check for Update" is usually a network issue. Since iOS OTA update requires a stable and smooth network condition, you need to make sure your iPhone/iPad has connected to a strong Wi-Fi. There are three ways to help you fix the network problem on iPhone 5/6/7/8/X and iPad.

1.Reconnect Wi-Fi

Head to Settings > Wi-Fi. Toggle off Wi-Fi for several minutes. Turn it back on again and reconnect. Then go to Software Update and see if your device is unable to check for iOS update.

2.Connect to Another Wi-Fi Network

If the reconnection doesn't work, you may try other working Wi-Fi networks. Head to Settings > Wi-Fi. Disconnect the current Wi-Fi network. Connect to another effective Wi-Fi.

3.Reset Network Settings

If there is still an error in checking for software update on your iPhone or iPad, try to reset the network settings. Open Settings > General. Scroll down and tap Reset. Tap on Reset Network Settings.

Reset Network Settings

Solution 3. Change to Google's Public DNS

Some users discover that their iPhones or iPads are able to check for update after switching to Google Public DNS.

Step 1. Head to Settings > Wi-Fi.

Step 2.Tap the blue info icon next to your current connecting Wi-Fi network.

Step 3. Tap on "Configure DNS" > Manual > Add Server and type the DNS servers: "" or "".

Change DNS Server to Google Public DNS

If none of the above methods work and your iPhone is still stuck on checking for update, the error is not caused by a network issue. Read on for more solutions.

Solution 4. Force Restart iPhone/iPad

Try to reboot your iPhone/iPad. And then head to the Software Update page to check whether it can update normally or not.

What if reboot still doesn't help? Then you should force restart the iPhone or iPad that are unable to check for update on iOS 13 or iOS 12. Different generations of iPhone have different ways to hard reset the phone.

In iPhone 5c/5s/6/6s/6 Plus/6s Plus: Press and hold the Power button and Home button at the same time, until the Apple logo appears.

In iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press and hold the PowDer button and the Volume button at the same time for several seconds till you see the Apple logo.

In iPhone 8/iPhone X/XS/XR/iPhone 11: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, and the same to the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone X

After the hard reset, go to Software Update page again see if there is an error occurred while checking for a software update

Solution 5. Delete iOS 13 Beta Version Profile

If you have downloaded the previous iOS 13 Beta version on your iPhone/iPad, the new iOS update cannot show up. Delete the beta files firstly and then try to check for update again.

Step 1. Go to Settings > General > Profile.

Step 2. Tap the iOS Beta Software Profile.

Step 3. Tap "Remove Profile" to delete the beta update profile.

Remove iOS Beta Software Profile

Solution 6. Check for Update with iTunes

It could be frustrated after you've tried all the solutions above, your iPhone/iPad is still unable to check for update via OTA update. You can try to update to iOS 13/12, iPadOS, via iTunes.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer.

Step 2. Launch the latest version of iTunes.

Step 3. Open the Summary tab.

Step 4. Click on "Check for Update" and then choose "Download and Update".

Step 5. Reboot your iPhone/iPad after the update and you'll get the iOS 13/12 on your device.

Check for iOS Update on iTunes

Solution 7. Check for Update without iTunes

If your iPhone/iPad keeps showing error while checking for update while your iTunes doesn't work properly, you can update iPhone or iPad to iOS 13/iPadOS with FonePaw iOS System Recovery. It is a tool that can fix frozen or dead iPhone. Also, it can bypass checking for an update and update a working iOS device to the latest version.

Step 1. Download and install FonePaw iOS System Recovery on your PC/Mac.


Step 2. Click Start > Standard Mode > Confirm. (Tip: Under standard mode, you can update your iPhone without losing data).

Select Standard Mode

Step 3. Connect your device to it and follow the guide to put your iPhone in Recovery Mode. 

Enter Recovery Mode

Step 4. Check if the information of your device is correct or not. Choose the iOS update version you want and then click on Repair. The program will download the firmware file of the newest iOS 13 and get your iPhone updated. 

Verify iPhone Information

Step 5. Keep your iPhone/iPad connected until the process is completed. Your iPhone/iPad will reboot and update be the latest iOS 13. 

Have you fixed the "Unable to Check for Update" on your iPhone/iPad successfully with any solution above? If not, drop your problem below.

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