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Some hints if you can’t install iOS 8

You’re running around the house looking for a charger to plug in your iPhone because you just realized iOS 8 from Apple has just been released and you can’t wait to get it updated. Or perhaps you’ve come across this article weeks or months later because you don’t care about updates, but someone along the way said you better update your phone or your life will end.

Regardless, if you’ can’t install iOS 8 because your iPhone or iPad aren’t playing nicely, here are some steps to take to first ensure you’re trying to install the update correctly.

First back up data, then pull the trigger

You hear it all the time but rarely heed the warning. You should always back up your data before upgrading anything in life. You wouldn’t want to lose those 5000 pictures you’ve snapped over the years. So you have  few options:

Backup with iCloud

  • Click SETTINGS
  • Click ICLOUD
  • Scroll to the bottom and click STORAGE & BACKUP
  • Click BACK UP NOW at the bottom of the screen.

This will dump all of you data to the cloud assuming you have a cloud account (which everyone with an Apple ID does). If you don’t have enough space for a full backup, you may need to increase the size of your iCloud storage. Simply click ‘Change Storage Plan‘ and increase accordingly. (Apple has recently updated their storage offerings to be much more affordable).

Once that’s done and you have enough space to upgrade, simply go to Settings ›› Software Update and click Install (Be patient!)

Backup and install with iTunes (Old school way)

You can always just plug your iPhone or iPad into a laptop or desktop with iTunes and follow the prompts. First, the software will realize there is an update to install and it will ask you if you want to update. If you choose to, it’ll first download the update. It’ll ask you to copy over purchases you made on your phone to iTunes. Go ahead and allow the program to do that.




Once that is complete, it’ll back up your data to iTunes. Have some more patience. This takes quite awhile depending on how much data you have.


can't install iOS 8

One the update is downloaded, it’ll back up your phone’s data to iTunes.


After the backup finishes, your phone or tablet will go black and restart. iTunes is preparing the backup on the phone. You’ll see a status bar on your iPhone or iPad just below the Apple logo. The software is now updating.

You may receive a message asking if you’d like to update the carrier settings. Click yes. Sometimes it won’t be able to connect but will finish the install of iOS 8 regardless.

Once your iPhone or iPad goes through one final status bar update, you’re there and your now updated to iOS 8!



Tips if you can't install iOS 8
You may come across some issues if you want to upgrade, but you can’t install iOS 8.

Not enough storage to perform upgrade: This is the most popular problem. We love to fill our iPhones with video, images, etc. So this is a good time to go in and clean out some of the junk. Generally, the biggest culprit of space-hogging are videos. Click on your Photos app, click Videos and sort through and delete what you don’t need to keep. You can always dump the videos to your computer if you want them. But you’ll find a few videos will free up a gig in no time.

Need 5GB in order to Install warning: Freeing up 5GB is not easy. Instead, use the ‘old school’ way above and you’ll be able to upgrade your phone without having to free up all that space. I still needed to free up 800MB and still upgraded without issue.

Messages Data: You may notice your iMessages have saved a whopping number of MB’s or GB’s. Make sure you’ve deleted all the old conversations you have on iMessages. Every time you share an image or video, it’s cached. So delete as much as you can before upgrading.

You can free up some space by going to Settings > Safari > and hit Clear Cookies and Data.

We’ll have more tips added to this as bugs are discovered in iOS 8 and more issues are announced. Check back often and please leave your comments below and we’ll take a look.

Josh Benson

Josh Benson

Josh is the Editor of and supreme geek to boot. He spends much of his time learning new software, coding languages, gadgets and more. He loves helping people figure out tech problems - big or small. Josh is a former television news anchor and tech reporter. He spends his days developing websites and producing videos.

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