Fixed: An Error Occurred While Checking for A Software Update

When you encounter the software update failed issue, do you know why your iPhone is unable to check for update? 9 solutions are listed here to help you solve the problem. And it’s better to back up your iPhone before the update.


By Dylan / Updated on April 17, 2024

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An error occurred while checking for a software update

I'm going to update my iPhone to iOS 17, but there is an error stopping me from updating iOS. How do I fix unable to check for updates?

- Question from Apple Community

Unable to Check for Update

Apple has been always optimizing iOS by pushing updates. But sometimes when you update the iOS version on your iPhone/iPad, you may get a prompt saying "Unable to check for update: An error occurred while checking for a software update".

But don't worry, this article can give you detailed instructions about why this issue occur and how to fix it efficiently.

Why is your iPhone unable to check for update?

You can refer to the following reasons to get why it happens, and find a way from the next part to solve this error.

Not enough space for iOS update: An iOS update package is about 1-2 GB. But actually, you will need some extra available space to release the package. If your iPhone storage is getting full, please free up some space.
Unstable network conditions: A stable and strong network/WiFi condition is important, so your device can download the iOS version to your iPhone/iPad.
Another iOS version has been downloaded: You probably tried to download the new iOS or ever install the beta version, so the new iOS update can be interrupted by the previous version.
Incompatible device: Your device is not compatible with the latest iOS system.
Server malfunction: Some errors exist in Apple server can cause the iPhone update failure.

If you're sure your device is compatible with the upcoming iOS system update, you can continue reading to fix this error when updating iOS 17/16 on iPhone. It's worth mentioning that some of these methods are also useful for solving iPad update errors.

9 solutions to "an error occurred while checking for a software update" problem

Before we get down to it, we strongly suggest you backup your iPhone to your computer in case of any unexpected problem, so you won't lose your data.

Solution 1. Restart your device

When it is unable to check for update iOS on iPhone, the first step to fix the Apple iOS update issue should be restarting the device.

This step simply requires you to turn off your iPhone and then turn on the device. This is the easiest way to fix any iOS update issue.

Solution 2. Force Restart iPhone

This could be a powerful solution to refresh the background of iPhone and you would not lose data for this. Different iPhone requires different operations to force restart the device.

  • iPhone 8 or later: Press the volume+ button and then quickly release. Press the volume- button and then quickly release it. Press the power button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the power button and volume- button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

  • iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the power button and the Home button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

Restart iPhone

Solution 3. Give more available space for iOS update

iOS update needs enough storage to download and install the package. There should be at least 2GB for that. You can delete the large files or clear the app data.

Go to iPhone Settings > General > iPhone Storage to have an overview of the storage use. Select the app and then tap Delete App. This app can be redownloaded from the App Store.

iPhone Storage

Solution 4. Turn off Airplane Mode

The Internet is required to connect iPhone to the server, so if you have enabled Airplane Mode, you can get a response from the software update server. Just Turn off Airplane Mode and connect iPhone to the Internet.

iPhone Control Panel

Solution 5. Check Wi-Fi or connect to a better Wi-Fi

The network connection should be well-built. If checking for a software update failed because you are not connected to the Internet. You need to check whether the Internet could be used to download installation package or you could connect to a faster Wi-Fi.

It is suggested to use Wi-Fi to update your iPhone rather than cellular because the size of most of installation packages is more than 200MB and the speed of Wi-Fi is more stable.


Solution 6. Reset Network Settings

This is the ultimate solution to solve the iOS update failed issue caused by Internet but you need to remember all the configuration information like some settings and Wi-Fi passwords.

Go to iPhone Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Reset Network Setting

Solution 7. Delete iOS Beta Version Profile

Recently, iOS 17 beta profile has been released, you might have downloaded the package. iOS update check will be stopped by it. You need to delete the package.

Go to Settings > General > Profiles & Device Management > Choose Remove Profile to delete the profile.

Uninstall iOS Beta

Solution 8. Use iTunes as an Alternative

iTunes could help you update iPhone on computer to fix the iPhone won't update iOS issue. It will automatically download the latest iOS installation package for your iPhone and you just need to give it the order to start updating iPhone.

You need to Download and install iTunes on your computer, connect iPhone to computer with USB cable, and click the iPhone icon in the upper-left corner > Go to Summary > Choose Check for Update to begin the task.

check for update on iTunes

Solution 9. Check iOS System Status

Apple might have known the error and is trying its best to fix the iPhone software update failed issue. Go to Apple’s site to see System Status. If the light is not green, you could update iOS in the other day.

Apple System Status

🌟Tip: Solution 8 and solution 9 are also available for the iPad unable to check for update issue.

Backup iPhone before updating iOS

Updating iOS will make some changes on your iPhone and sometimes your photos or other data will be unexpectedly removed, so you’d better leave a copy of iPhone data on your computer to make sure they are always safe.

FoneTool is the best free iPhone backup software. You could use it to export photos, videos, music, messages, and contacts from iPhone to computer.

Preview the data on iPhone and select the needed one.
Transfer unlimited data to computer for free.
Support backup all data on iPhone or partially backup iPhone according to your need.
Support all iOS devices (iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/SE, iPad Pro/Mini, iPod Touch, as well as the latest iOS 17).

Download FoneTool to computer for free, connect iPhone to computer with a USB cable, and backup your iPhone within 3 steps.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Click Phone Backup on the main interface > Select Full Backup > Get Started.

full backup

🌟Tip: If you don't need to backup the whole content of your iPhone, you can click iPhone to PC to selectively transfer files from iPhone to computer.

Step 2. Specify the storage path by clicking Backup Storage Path and click Start Backup.

start backup

Note: To backup health data, fitness records, keychains, and other private data, please check Enable Backup Encryption to encrypt your backup.

Wait for the backup process to get finished.  After updating or solving the issue, click Backup History > Locate and restore the data to your iPhone.

click resotre


If an iPhone says an error occurred while checking for a software update, it might be caused by poor network conditions or certain iOS issues. You can follow the 9 methods to easily fix it.

Before you update iPhone, it is suggested to use FoneTool to backup the important data to computer to make sure nothing will be lost. And it is also software to transfer iPhone to PC enabling you to selectively save iPhone data to computer.

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FAQ about the iOS update failed error on Apple Watch

How to fix an error occurred while checking for a software update on Apple Watch?

Step 1. Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close together as you unpair them > Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

Step 2. Navigate to the My Watch tab and tap your watch at the top of the screen > Click the info button next to the watch > Choose Unpair Apple Watch (For GPS + Cellular models, choose to keep your cellular plan).

Step 3. Click it again to confirm your choice. If asks, type in your Apple ID password to disable the Activation Lock. Before wiping all content and settings on your Apple Watch, your iPhone will create a new Apple Watch backup. 

Step 4. Then set up your Apple Watch with your iPhone > Select Set Up as New when asked > Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the task. If you need to update to the watchOS beta, reinstall the beta profile after the setup process.

Now you can update your Apple Watch as usual.