[Full Guide] How to Update iOS Without Wi-Fi on iPhone

This article describes how to update iOS without Wi-Fi on iPhone. You can find out 4 options to help you download and install an iPhone update. Let’s start to read!

Clara by Clara Updated November 20, 2023
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I want to learn how to update iOS without wifi. I'm stuck in a place with unstable Wi-Fi, but I really need to update my iOS. Any hacks to do it without Wi-Fi? Btw, I'm using an iPhone 14 Pro Max. Appreciate any tips or tricks you've got!

- Question from Apple Community

Can I Update iPhone Without Wi-Fi?

When you are in a situation where the Wi-Fi network quality is poor or unstable, you may encounter the problem of iOS update install failed. So can iPhone update without Wi-Fi? The answer is “Yes”, you can update your iPhone using alternative connections.

 how to update ios without wifi

In this article, we’ll explore 4 methods to update your iPhone’s iOS operating system that don’t rely on Wi-Fi. With detailed steps and guidance, you can update your iPhone without Wi-Fi successfully!

Preparation: Transfer/Back up iOS to Avoid Data Loss

Many users reported that they lost their important data during the procedure of iOS update. So, before you learn how to update iOS without Wi-Fi, you’d better transfer or back up your iPhone data. Here, we recommend a powerful iOS data management tool - FoneTool.

FoneTool supports you selectively transferring iPhone data or switching iPhone data with one click. You can preview and transfer photos, music, videos, contacts, etc. from iPhone to iPhone/iPad/PC. It is equipped with advanced technology to transfer data at a fast speed. You can transfer 100 photos only use 2 seconds.

Now you can download FoneTool, and follow the guide to protect iPhone data by transferring it from iPhone to PC.

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Step 1. Open and launch FoneTool > Link your iPhone to the computer.

Step 2. Select Phone Transfer > Tap iPhone to iPhone > Click Start Transfer.

 how to update ios without wifi

Step 3. Check the Enable backup encryption to keep your private data safer > Click Start Transfer to begin.

 how to update ios without wifi

Besides, FoneTool also can help you easily and quickly back up iPhone to iPad/iPhone/Computer, or other external hard devices. Below is how to fully back up iPhone to computer.

Step 1. Link the iPhone to the PC via a USB cable > Run FoneTool and choose Phone Backup > Full Backup > Tap Get Started.

 how to update ios without wifi

Step 2. Check Enable Backup Encryption to protect your privacy > Set a backup storage path on PC > Tap on Start Backup to start.

 how to update ios without wifi

How to Install iOS Update Without Wi-Fi

After you prepare an iPhone backup or switch your data, here, we share 4 effective methods to help you learn how to achieve an update even when there is no Wi-Fi connection. Read and pick the ways you like!

Option 1. How to Update iOS Using Cellular Data (5 G)

Apple doesn’t support you downloading major iOS updates via cellular data below 5G. But iPhone models starting from 12 and up to iPhone 15 Pro Max come with 5G. So, if you don’t want to install the latest iOS update without Wi-Fi, you can try using 5 G mobile data to install any software updates for iPhone.

mail Note:

Make sure your iPhone has more than 50% battery to avoid it stopping halfway.

Installing a software update requires a lot of mobile data, so you need to ensure that you have enough cellular data.

Here are steps about how to download iOS update without Wi-Fi:

Step 1. Open the Settings app > Tap Cellular > Select Cellular Data Options on the screen.

Step 2. Select Data Mode > Choose Allow More Data on 5G.

 how to update ios without wifi

Step 3. Go back to the Cellular page > Tap Voice & Data > Choose 5 G On or Auto.

Step 4. Go back to the Settings main menu > Tap General > And then select Software Update.

Option 2. Connect A Hotspot to Update iPhone

If there is not a stable Wi-Fi connection and you don't want to waste your cellular data, then you can use the Internet on your iPhone through a mobile data hotspot. This mode uses Wi-Fi technology, and all you need to do is borrow a Wi-Fi hotspot from someone else's iPhone or Android phone. Follow the steps to learn how to upgrade iPhone without Wi-Fi.

Step 1. Switch on Wi-Fi on the iPhone > Choose the Hotspot network you can connect > Enter the password to access the internet.

Step 2. After you connect to the hotspot, go to Settings > General > Software Update to update your iPhone.

 how to update ios without wifi

Option 3. Download iPhone Update Without Wi-Fi by iTunes

If you don't want to use the above method, updating your iPhone via iTunes is a good option instead of updating with Wi-Fi. Besides, if you don't like the latest iOS version, you can also restore the iOS version to the earlier one. For example, you can restore iOS 17 to 16 with iTunes. Check the steps below to install iPhone update without Wi-Fi.

Step 1. Download and open the latest iTunes on your computer > Connect your iPhone and your computer by a USB cable.

Step 2. Click the iPhone icon on the interface > Tap the Summary tab > Locate the Check for Update button.

 how to update ios without wifi

Step 3. If there is an available iOS update, a prompt will appear > Click the Download and Update to start.

Option 4. Update iOS via IPSW Online

Downloading the IPSW file to your iPhone, is another way to install the iOS update without Wi-Fi. However, notice that IPSW files are often very large and may fail in many cases and have some risks. Below are how to do it:

Step 1. Open the IPSW website on your computer > Download the IPSW file compatible with your iPhone.

Step 2. Link the iPhone to the computer with a USB cable > Open iTunes.

Step 3. Tap on the iPhone icon > Hold the shift key, click on Update > Find the IPSW file where you downloaded it on the computer > Click on Open.

 how to update ios without wifi

Step 4. After that, iTunes will start applying it to your device.


That’s all about how to update iOS without Wi-Fi on the iPhone. In the absence of a Wi-Fi network, there are some alternative methods that can help you update your system. The article lists 4 methods. Choose the most suitable method according to your specific situation.

By the way, don’t forget to protect your important files by transferring or backing up your iPhone. If you also want to do more things without Wi-Fi, like to download app over 200 MB without Wi-Fi, you can go to the above link to find answer.

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