iPad iPhone

How to update your iPhone/iPad firmware manually

I have had a few people ask me about updating firmware manually on the iPhone/iPad manually. A huge issue we have here in SA, is that because of our sometimes “dodgy internet connectivity”, we get disconnected quite often.

If you are using iTunes to download the latest firmware, you will notice, that if you get disconnected, more often than not, you need to restart the download every time, which can become annoying as well as expensive

So, I thought I would show you how to manually update your firmware, after downloading the update to your PC/Mac. I recommend a copy of Firefox, and this awesome download manager plug-in called Download Them All. This will help you download the actual firmware file from the Apple servers onto your PC/Mac and then update.

To download the latest firmware(file extension is .ispw) directly from Apple, you can go to this page at iClarified (bookmark it), and then choose to download with Download Them All. This way, if your connection gets interrupted, you can continue your download from the same place it stopped.

Once you have your file downloaded, open iTunes and plug your iPhone/iPad in. On your main info screen, you will see 2 options, Check for update  (which will download from Apple without a download manager, and break) or Restore.

If you are on a PC, you need to hold the SHIFT button in, and click on the “Check For Update button”. If you are on a MAC, you need to hold the OPTION key and click on “Check For Update button”. You will then be asked to locate the file you downloaded (using Firefox and Download Them All), and chose that file. Once you have selected the file, iTunes will continue the installation as per normal.

And that it is :)

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14 replies on “How to update your iPhone/iPad firmware manually”

Is there any objection to using Safari?

What are the advantages of Firefox over Safari?

I work on an iMac and prefer to stick to Apple programs when feasible.

Safari auto-extracts the internal file structure of the ipsw file as it’s effectively a compressed file. This is useless for updating via iTunes. So I suggest Chrome or Firefox for this task.


I followed all your directions and used the manager w/ firefox but the download got interupted and I had to start from scratch. There was one thing downloaded in the manager but it was not the iphone update as it was 100% and my iphone was at 17%. Are there any settings on the manager at default that could be off?? Many thanks !

Hi Guys – Pure Mac Lovers – also check out Speed Download from Yazsoft. I have been using it for 2 years and its my fav download manager for Mac.

thanks man! been at it for quite some time now. didn’t realise it ws as simple as holding down the ‘shift’ button. thanks again!

What If I have already updated using iTunes, but need to restore to defaults, where on my computer can I find the update? I’m on an MBP

Hey Marc,
A mate of mine has a jail broken iPhone Gen 1 which was purchased when they were first released in the US. It was network locked for use on the AT&T network at that stage. I found some clever dude on the net that made a patch available to crack the phone allowing it to work on any network in SA.
Network locking no longer applies to new iPhones sold here. This phone is still cracked and as a result has not had a software upgrade since birth. Is it possible to download the update and install on the once cracked phone?

Thanks Hans

Hey Hans. To be honest, I don’t think you going to find anything that will allow you to Jailbreak that phone. There are newer Jailbreaks out, but they only for the newer models and firmwares.

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