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New iOS Download: How To Update Your iPhone Software Without iTunes

First Posted: 11/11/11 12:57 PM ET   Updated: 11/11/11 12:59 PM ET

The newest version of Apple's software for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is here, and for the first time users are able to download the updated iOS for their devices without connecting them to a computer.

With iOS 5.0.1 (which was pushed out quickly to correct a battery draining issue with iOS 5.0.0), iGadget owners can update their software with nothing but an Internet connection and a little bit of spare time.

Below, we've outlined step-by-step how you can download iOS 5.0.1 (and every future iOS update!) without plugging in to your laptop or opening iTunes. You do need to be connected to Wi-Fi (not just 3G), and Apple requires that you have at least 50 percent battery power OR that you plug in to a power source before it will let you begin your iOS download. The download took about 3 minutes from beginning to end on my home's wireless connection.

Now, let's dive in! Here's how to update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to the latest iOS without connecting to a computer:

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  • Go to "Settings"

    First, touch the "Settings" icon on your home screen.

  • Go To "General"

    Head into the General section of Settings.

  • Go To "Software Update"

    Second from the top, head into "Software Update" to check for an update to your current iOS.

  • "Install Now"

    You'll see this screen if there's a software update (like iOS 6.0.0) available. Touch "Install Now" to get started, but note that, as of now, Apple does not allow you to update your software over the Internet if you do not have more than 50 percent of your battery or if your iPhone is not plugged in to a power source. You also need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, not just to 2G or 3G.

  • Agree To The Terms And Conditions

    Read through the Terms and Conditions, making sure to note all relevant clauses and licensee restrictions, and then touch "Agree" to begin the download.

  • You're Done!

    After a restart, you will have the newest iPhone software! If you want to make sure everything worked as planned: 1. Go to "Settings" 2. Go to "General" 3. Go to "About" 4. Scroll down to see which "version" of iOS you are running. Above, you can see that iOS 6.0 is indeed installed on my phone.

  • No More Updates!

    You can also do Steps 1 through 3 to double-check that you're iPhone or iPod Touch does indeed have the latest software. When you go into "Software Update," you should see this screen if you have the most recent iOS.