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Unable to Check for Update on iPhone | 7 Fixes 2023

sofia albert
Sofia Albert updated on Mar 15, 2023 | Home > iOS & Mac Topics

With every iOS update, Apple adds some new features and functionalities to the operating system. Sometimes iOS sends you a meesage that says "an update is required to activate your iPhone." Although it is meant for future iPhones, the older version of iPhones can also update their iOS and use. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, due to various reasons, an iPhone is unable to update to the new iOS version. Since you are reading this, you may also have come across the error message "Unable to check for update iPhone." 

This can be a frustrating moment for most people. The ability to upgrade to the recently launched iOS version is crippled on your iPhone. If so, do not worry. We have you covered in this one.

How to Solve Unable to Check for Update on iPhone [7 Fixes]

To resolve these issues, you can follow our sequenced troubleshooting process from start to end until the issue gets resolved. So let's start with the solution.

1. Restart the Internet Connection

In many cases, the internet connection could be the main reason why you are not being able to check for the iPhone update. Since the file is too large and demands a strong connection with the Apple server, a slow connection results in the update failure. You can restart the internet connection you have on your iPhone and see if you can now successfully check for the update.

To restart the internet connection on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Swipe up on the home screen and bring the control center to your iPhone.

Step 2. If you are connected to mobile data or WiFi, turn off the connection and wait for a minute.

Step 3. Turn on the mobile data or WiFi connection again and let the device connect to the internet.

Step 4. Open up the Update page on the iPhone settings and try again to update it.

If you are still unable to check for the update on your iPhone, move on to the next solution.

restart the internet connection

2. Change the Network

The network you are connected to also plays a vital role in what resources on the internet you can or cannot access. Oftentimes, firewalls and VPN connections within the network could interfere, and you will not be successful in checking for the update on your iPhone. This could be solved by changing the network you are using and opting for a different network.

To change the network you are connected to, follow the steps below:

Step 1. If you are on a WiFi connection, you can turn it off and turn on the mobile data connection. And if you are already on mobile data, you can turn it off and find a WiFi connection to connect to.

Step 2. Once you are connected to a different network, open up the update page on the Settings app and try again.

However, if you still cannot check for the update, move on to the next solution.

3. Restart the iPhone

If you cannot solve the issue with the solution above that is network related, there is a high chance that your OS or the device itself is at fault. While there may not be a huge issue with your device, restarting your iPhone could restart the OS and solve your problem. So, try restarting your iPhone and see if it solves this issue.

Follow the steps below to restart your iPhone:

Step 1. From the home screen of your iPhone, press and hold the side button on your iPhone.

Step 2. When you see the Swipe button to turn off the power, swipe it and turn the device off. Let it rest for a minute or so.

Step 3. Now, again press and hold the power button and turn the iPhone on.

Step 4. After the iPhone is turned on, open the update page from the settings app. Try again to check for the update.

restart iphone

In many cases, restarting the device solves minor glitches and errors. If you are still unable to update the iPhone, try the next solution.

4. Clear Storage

If your device is full and cannot store more files, it will reject any update you are trying to push. The same could be the case here. Your iPhone may not have enough storage for the update, and it is rejecting any attempt to update the iOS. To solve this problem, you can delete some large files to make space for the update.

To clear the storage on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Open your Photos app on your iPhone.

Step 2. Go to the Albums section by tapping on Albums from the bottom section.

Step 3. Scroll down to find the Media Type section and open up each type to see the files stored.

Step 4. Delete all the unnecessary and large files.

Step 5. After making about 3 GB of space on your iPhone for the update, open the update page on the settings app.

Step 6. Try again to check for the update.


If the issue was because of the storage space, this could solve your problem, and you will be able to update your iPhone.

If you are still unable to check for the update, try the next solution.

5. Check the Apple Server

The Apple server is what serves your device for the update. You can check if the server is running properly by going to Apple support system status page. If there is an issue with the server, you can wait for the status to be available and try again.

6. Restore Your iPhone Settings to Factory Default

Restoring the iPhone to factory default can cause you to lose all your data from the device. So, you should first keep the backup of your data on iCloud. 

To back up your data on iCloud, go to Settings>Apple ID>iCloud>iCloud Backup>Backup Now.

After the backup, follow the steps below to restore your iPhone:

Step 1. Open the settings app.

Step 2. Go to General.

Step 3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.

Step 4. Tap on Reset All Settings and authenticate with the passcode.

reset all settings

After the steps, the iPhone will reset all your settings and restore them to default. Now, you can go to the update page and try checking for the update.

If you are still unable to check for the update, you can update your iPhone using iTunes.

7. Update iPhone via iTunes

To update your iPhone using iTunes, follow the below steps.

Step 1. Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone to the computer. You may need to tap "I Trust" on your iPhone to consent to the connection.

Step 2. Find your device on the iTunes toolbar and click on it.

Step 3. In the Summary tab, click on the check for updates.

Step 4. Update the iOS to the new version.

Why Does Unable to Check for Update on iPhone Happen

iPhones are very different than Android phones. Since it is a dedicated operating system designed to work with the iPhone hardware, there are very few errors that you will encounter in its use. Apple tests all the apps and their updates for compatibility with the device.

However, it is still possible that there will be errors and glitches. The "Unable to check for update iPhone" message can also be a result of these errors and glitches. Besides, there can also be technical errors from Apple's side, hardware issues, network issues, or even be caused by user settings.

We have identified some of the key reasons for the "Unable to check for update iPhone" message and have listed them below:

  • The network you are connected to is very slow and cannot connect properly with Apple's server.
  • Your iPhone's storage is very limited. Most of the storage is full of other files, apps, videos, and images.
  • Apple's central server is non-responsive or not working properly. This can partly be caused by the network you are connected through or sometimes the server itself.
  • Your user settings on your device are interfering with the update or connection process.
  • There are technical issues with the iPhone's OS, and it may need to boot up again for it to get resolved.

Although these reasons are the most common ones, there can be many other rare reasons that are causing the update issue on your iPhone.


Therefore, "Unable to check for update iPhone" is not a permanent state. This is mostly caused by other factors such as network, settings, servers, and, most importantly, the device itself. We identified some key causes for this issue at the start of this article and also presented a detailed process on how to troubleshoot. Hope we helped you understand the problem and also solved your issue.

FAQs on Unable to Check for Update iPhone

We also found some more frequently asked questions related to the topic from the internet.

1. Why is iOS unable to check for updates?

If iOS is unable to check for updates on your iPhone, it may be because of incorrect user settings, network issues, network anomalies, server issues, etc. At the same time, there can be multiple reasons for this issue. You can try our troubleshooting process given in this article.

2. How to update iPhone on Mac?

You can update your iPhone using Finder on your Mac. The Finder app allows you to connect your devices to the Mac and adjust various settings, manage files, and update apps and iOS directly.

3. Why is iOS update verification failed?

iOS update verification fails because the device is not able to verify the update for your device. This is mostly caused by an already existing update file on your iPhone. Try deleting the existing update file and downloading the update again.



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