How To Update an Old iPad to iOS 14 with/without a Computer

  • Navigate through the complexities of updating your old iPad to iOS 14 with our comprehensive guide.
  • Discover why your iPad might not be able to update to iOS 14 and what you can do about it.
  • Learn how to update an old iPad to iOS 14 without a computer.
ipad ios 14 update how to update an old ipad to ios 14

Does your trusty old iPad seem to be stuck in a digital time warp? Updating your device can feel like defusing a time bomb, one wrong move and your beloved device might just explode (figuratively, of course). This guide aims to answer all your questions about updating your old iPad to iOS 14, providing clear and easy steps to help you do it smoothly.

Why Can I Not Update My iPad to iOS 14?

If you’re unable to see the iOS 14 update on your iPad, it could be due to one of several reasons:

  • Your iPad may not be compatible: Not all iPads can be updated to iOS 14. Older models that don’t meet the hardware requirements for iOS 14 will not be able to perform the update. Below you will find the list of supported devices for iOS 14.
  • Your device may already be updated: If you have automatic updates turned on, your device may have already updated to a newer version of iOS.
  • Network restrictions: Some network conditions, like VPN or proxy connections, can prevent your device from contacting the update servers.

Is iPadOS the Same as iOS?

While iOS and iPadOS are closely related, they are not exactly the same. In 2019, Apple introduced iPadOS as a distinct operating system for its iPads. Until that point, iPads ran on iOS, the same system as iPhones. The decision to separate the two was based on providing features specific to the larger, more versatile screen of iPads.

However, the core features and security updates remain consistent across both platforms, which is why iPad users sometimes still refer to their iPad’s operating system as iOS. Without further ado, let’s see how to update an old iPad to iOS 14.

iOS 14 Supported Devices

iOS 14 is compatible with these iPad models:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad Air 2 and later
  • iPad 5th generation and later
  • iPad Mini 4 and later

Remember that while these models are technically compatible, performance might vary depending on the age of the device and how it’s been used. Always back up your device before performing any update.

How Do You Update an Old iPad That Won’t Update?

If you’re having trouble updating your iPad to iOS 14 wirelessly, you can try updating it manually using a Mac or a Windows PC. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPad to your computer using the appropriate cable.
  2. If your Mac runs macOS Catalina or later, open Finder. For macOS Mojave or earlier or Windows, use iTunes.
  3. Select your iPad when it appears in Finder or iTunes.
  4. Click on General or Settings, then Check for Update.
  5. If an update is available, click Download and Update. You’ll need to enter your iPad passcode to proceed.

How Do I Install iOS 14 on My Old iPad?

Time needed: 2 minutes.

To install iOS 14 on your old iPad, you first need to ensure your device supports the software update. For iOS 14, this includes iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad Mini 4 and later. If your iPad is eligible for the update, follow these steps:

  1. Back up your iPad to preserve your data.

  2. Ensure your device is connected to Wi-Fi and plugged into a power source.

  3. Navigate to Settings and then select General. In the General settings, tap Software Update.

    general software update ipad

  4. If an update is available, you will see it listed. Select the one you want to install. If iOS 14 is not listed, your device may not be compatible or it may have already been updated to a later iOS version.

    checking for update ipad

  5. Tap Install Now. If Download and Install appears instead, tap it, enter your passcode, and then tap Install Now.

    update now button software update ipad

Interested in trying out iPadOS 17 Developer Beta? Check out how to get it for free.

How Do I Update My Old iPad from iOS 9 to iOS 14?

If your iPad is running on an older iOS version, like iOS 9, and it is compatible with iOS 14, you can follow the same steps listed above. Remember to back up your data first to avoid losing any information during the update process.

How To Update an Old iPad to iOS 14 Without a Computer?

If your iPad is on the iOS 14 compatibility list, here’s how you can update it without needing a computer:

  1. Before updating your iPad, it’s crucial to back up your data using iCloud. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup and then select Back Up Now.
  2. To avoid any interruptions, make sure your iPad is charging during the update.
  3. A stable Wi-Fi connection is essential to download the update.
  4. Tap on the Settings app on your home screen, then navigate to General > Software Update.
  5. If iOS 14 is available, you’ll see an option to download and install it. Tap on Download and Install.
  6. You might be asked for your device’s passcode before you can proceed. After entering it, the update should start downloading. Once the download is complete, your device will restart to complete the installation.

Please note that if iOS 14 is not available for your iPad, this could be because your device is not compatible with this version, or it may already have a newer version of iOS or iPadOS installed. Always make sure to check the compatibility of your device with the version you’re trying to install.


Updating your iPad not only keeps it functioning optimally but also equips it with the latest features and security improvements. However, it’s essential to remember that each iPad model can only be updated to a certain iOS version. It is, therefore, crucial to consider the age of your iPad and iOS compatibility before attempting an update. If your iPad is beyond the five-year mark, you might want to consider upgrading to a newer model to keep enjoying the latest features and improvements that come with newer iOS updates. For further reading, check out how to update an old iPad to iPadOS 15.

Can iOS 9.3.6 be updated?

iOS 9.3.6 is quite outdated. If your device supports a later version of iOS, you can update it through the Settings app. However, older devices like the iPhone 4s or iPad 2 only support up to iOS 9.3.6. Please consult Apple’s official support for the most current information.

Can I update my old iPad to the newest software?

Whether you can update your old iPad to the newest software depends on its model. Not all iPad models can support the latest iOS versions due to hardware limitations. To find out, you should check the list of supported devices for the latest software available.

Why will my iPad not update past 10.3.3?

Certain older iPad models cannot be updated past iOS 10.3.3 due to hardware limitations. For instance, the iPad 4th generation is not compatible with any version newer than iOS 10.3.3. When your device reaches its maximum supported iOS version, it will no longer receive software updates, including those for newer features and security enhancements.

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