No Software Update Section in iPad Settings: What To Do

iPad Settings Software Update

I’ve posted on this topic before, but I thought it was worth another mention since I keep seeing this question posted in iPad discussion forums. The question being:

What to do when there’s no Software Update section in the iPad Settungs app.

The very simple answer is that you need to update to iOS 5 when connected to a Mac or Windows PC. Then once you have iOS 5 installed, the Software Update section will be available and you’ll be able to update your iOS software directly on the iPad.

For a full step-by-step walkthrough, check out my earlier post on how to update to iOS 5.

** Owners of the original iPad should not that the latest iOS version you can update to is 5.1.1.

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How To Update iPad OS Software When You Don’t See Software Update in the Settings App

Software Update on iPad

Keeping the iOS (operating system) software up to date on your iPad is nearly always a good idea. Each major update to iOS (those that are .0 updates) brings a wealth of impressive new features to the iPad. The ‘point updates’ (5.1 or 6.0.2 for example) tend to offer important bug fixes, security patches, and general performance enhancements.

It is now very easy to update your iOS software right on the iPad itself, with no need to connect to a computer. But … in order to be able to do a wireless, over the air update to iOS you need to already be running at least iOS 5.0. If you’re not yet running iOS 5 then you won’t see the ‘Software Update’ section in the General section of the Settings app, which is where new updates are shown and installed from.

A quick way to check which version of iOS your iPad is running is to go to Settings > General > About and look at the ‘Version’ field. If it shows anything lower than 5.0 then you will need to update via iTunes on a computer one time before being able to do over the air updates in future. Here’s how you go about this:

– Connect your iPad to a PC (Windows or Mac) with iTunes installed, via USB and your sync/charge cable. If you are prompted immediately to update your iOS software you should choose to Cancel and not do that right away.

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