Upgrade old iPad
Upgrade old iPad

One of the main advantages of purchasing an iPad is that the manufacturer offers support for a period that can reach up to 6 years, including software updates that allow you to get the most out of your device.

An iPad several years old is still a powerful tool, read on and find out if you can upgrade your device to the best version of itself. 

iPad models that can receive updates

Whenever our iPad device can be updated to the latest version of iOS, it is recommended to do so to continue enjoying the best user experience and compatibility with a greater number of applications.

Below are the different models that support updates to the latest version of iOS/iPadOS as of today.   

ipadIpad miniIpad AirIpad Pro
iPad 5th generationIpad mini 4IPad Air 2iPad Pro 9,7″
iPad 6th generationiPad mini 5th generationiPad Air 3rd generationiPad Pro 10,5″ 
iPad 7th generationiPad Air 4rd generationIpad Pro 11″ 1st generation
iPad 8th generationIpad Pro 11″ 2st generation
Ipad Pro 11″ 3st generation
Ipad Pro 12,9″ 1st generation
Ipad Pro 12,9″ 2st generation
Ipad Pro 12,9″ 3st generation
Ipad Pro 12,9″ 4st generation
Ipad Pro 12,9″ 5st generation

iPad models that cannot receive updates to the latest version of iOS

It is important to note that although our device cannot be updated to the most recent version of iOS, it is possible to try to update it to the latest supported version of the operating system to enjoy the improvements in terms of security, compatibility, user experience and performance. the latest versions.

iPad models that cannot be updated to the latest version of iOS Are detailed below. 

ipadIpad miniIpad Air
iPad—iOS 5.1.1iPad mini 1st generation: iOS 9.3.6 iPad Air 1st generation: iOS 12.5.4 
iPad2: iOS 9.3.5 iPad mini2: iOS 12.5.4 iPad Air 2: iPadOS 13.7 
iPad 3rd generation: iOS 9.3.5 and iOS 9.36 Cellular versionsiPad mini3: iOS 12.5.4 
iPad 4th generation: iOS 10.3.4

If you have doubts to identify your iPad model visit this guide.

Recommendations before upgrading an old iPad

There are a series of steps that are recommended to be carried out before updating our old iPad, these are: check the age of the model, verify that there are updates available for the model and back up the data before starting the update.

Check model age

The age of our device will largely determine whether or not we can update it and to what degree. It was previously stated that not all iPad versions support updates to the latest version of iOS, which is particularly true for models purchased before 2015.

Check for available updates

The easiest way to check the existence of available updates for our iPad is through the option “search for updates” of the general settings.

Check for update on iOS

By pressing the option to search for updates we will be able to know the most recent versions that we could download and install, but that we will not do without first making sure that we have a backup of our data, that the device has a charge level greater than 50% and that we are connected to a stable, fast and secure Wi-Fi network.

Save all data

The protection of the data constitutes a vitally important step before installing an update on the iPad. If an error occurs during the installation and the stored data is lost, the backup copies of the data that we have made will allow us to recover the information.

Below are two processes to back up data on iPad: via iCloud, via PC. 

ICloud backup

Backing up your data is easy through iCloud. The steps to follow are:

  1. Connect to the Internet (preferably through Wi-Fi)
  2. Access to Configuration and select your name and your iCloud
  3. Make sure the option iCloud Backup is activated and select iCloud backup 
  4. Select the option Make a copy security now
  5. Verify that the backup was successful
Back up to iCloud

Backup to computer

To protect the data of an iPad with a PC we must connect the first one to the computer and select iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, then choose back up now. We will verify the backup in the iTunes preferences (Edit → Preferences → Devices).

It is recommended before performing the backup that iTunes is updated to the latest version, during the backup process you may be asked to enter passwords.

Options for backing up to iTunes

Ways to update an iPad

Like backups, we can update our iPad using an Internet connection (preferably via Wi-Fi) or a PC.


The steps to follow begin by making sure that we are connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi and that the device is plugged into electricity.

Later we will follow the indicated steps to search for available updates and select download and install. An interesting option is the activation of automatic updates so that the iPad incorporates the new features little by little. Access codes may be required during the process.

connected to a computer

Updating an iPad with a PC is also a simple process that starts with connecting the iPad to the computer (assuming iTunes is installed, otherwise it should be installed), after which an iTunes pop-up window will be displayed on this screen. Finally, we will then proceed as follows: General menu → Settings → Check for updates.

Check for update in iTunes

When selecting Search for updates iTunes will show the available updates that we will proceed to download and install. In case our iPad is not automatically recognized by the computer, we can follow the following steps in iTunes: Device → Summary → Check for update → Update.

What to do if my iPad won't update? 

In some cases, you may not be able to update an iPad for some reason, the most frequent being insufficient storage space on the device, an excessively long delay in downloading the update, the inability to establish a connection with the update server, or that the update does not finish.

In any case, whenever possible, the technical support channels enabled by Apple should be used to help customers, some general guidelines are:

  • Check that you have enough storage space To install updates, delete unused files and apps to increase available space.
  • Try connecting to a fast Wi-Fi network and stable to download and install updates.
  • In case you have not been able to update the iPad to a certain version, try to delete it, download it, and install it again.

By Manuel Garrido

Graduated in Computer Science, passionate about writing and technology. In Digital Guides I am going to offer you the best tutorials of the tools that I master the most, as well as recommendations of apps and programs that will surely interest you.