Upgrade To iOS 6 Right Now

Upgrade To iOS 6 Right Now

Although iOS 6 won’t see an official release until September 19, you can install the final version right now. Anonymous public postings of the software update files has made it possible for even non-developers to get the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Here’s how.

Note: We updated a handful of iDevices using these files and encountered no issues. But because we’re unable to verify them all, we don’t know of all the potential problems. This process worked for us when we tested with an iPad, and iPod Touch and an iPhone, but there’s always a chance you could run into an issue. Please be aware that there’s some risk involved before you upgrade and proceed at your own risk.

Backup First!

Before you do anything, back up your iDevice with iTunes. In the past, the early upgrade process worked for some but not for everyone. The results may be the same this time around, although we’ve upgraded to the final version of iOS 6 without issue. Regardless of whether or not things work out you will need to restore your device so back it up!

Download iOS 6

Thanks to a public posting on RapidShare, you can download the Golden Master version (essentially identical to the final release coming next week) of iOS 6 for your device without logging into the Apple Developer Center. Here are the download links. Choose the type of device you want to update:

The iOS 6 update may require a later version of iTunes than you have installed. Update your copy before moving on.

Install the Update

To install iOS 6 on your device, follow these instructions:

  1. Open up the disk image (.dmg) and find the iPhone Software Update file (.ipsw) for your device. Drag it to the desktop or a folder of your choosing. (Windows users will need a tool like 7-Zip to do this and will need to open the .hfs inside the .dmg as well.)
  2. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, to your computer.
  3. If your device isn’t automatically selected in iTunes, select it and go to the “Summary” tab.
  4. Hold down the option key (Mac) or the shift key (Windows) and click the Restore button. Browse to the .ipsw file you downloaded, select it, and wait for the update to finish.
  5. If necessary, restore your device from backup and sync with iTunes.

That’s it. If you follow those steps, you’ll be up and running iOS 6 in no time.


    • first attempt failed.. went through the whole process in iTunes and seemed to work fine, but after restarting it, iTunes said the phone was still in recovery mode, and needed to be restored.. trying once more, if not I’ll just wait till next week to install the Apple version..

  • Just a note, you may have to re-install iOS6 when it is the official release, so back up EVERYTHING.

    I’ve been using the iOS6 since the first BETA, there’s nothing special. I’d rather keep iOS5 and keep my google maps..

  • downloaded installed but it trashed all my old settings. tried to restore the settings from backup but it keeps saying “There was a problem downloading the software for the iphone … The requested resource was not found.”
    Any work around?

    • Sounds like you’ll have to restore more than just the settings – do a full restore from a pre-iOS6 backup? It should then be able to locate the requested resource which I guess indicates your iTunes is trying to find the (unreleased) ipsw on Apple’s site?

  • Upgraded my iPhone 4s and new iPad – all good except no mobile data on Telstra Network – says I don;t have a subscription. Hoping this is a Telstra anomaly that they’ll fix on Wednesday, until then – Wifi only for me.

    • I have the same problem. I went into the Telstra Store and they said it was a technical issue and I need to contact either Telstra Technical Support or Apple Technical Support – Did you happen to get a fix for the issue?

  • Guess it’s a bit of a gamble for each person. I did it on my 4S no worries, works fine on both Wifi and 3G. There’s been a couple of little bugs so I’ll do a restore when it’s officially released, but haven’t seen a feature that doesn’t work so far.

  • I was interested in getting iOS6 now. But having unsuccessfully tried to download the linked file many times since the article was published, I’ve given up. There’s only a few days until it’s available from a working download location.

  • I was successful with downloading iOS 6 GM for my iPhone 4s but will it update to the final version today when it’s released? Or do I have to manually update it? Thanks for any help!

  • For some reason my 4 had downloaded iOS6 overnight and prompted me to install it when I woke up. My partner’s update was still downloading. It seems to be working ok, but did manage to keep dropping our wifi connection, which is a bit of an issue when you’re in a rural area and have dodgy reception. The fifth reset worked a treat though and the connection seems stable. Given that the 4 doesn’t get the Siri, the new maps and do not disturb controls seem to be the most noticeable difference. So far so good.

  • Issues and observations with iOS 6 upgrade.

    I upgraded my iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPad 2.
    Both iPhones are synced with the same apps and data, so about 99% identical.

    Upgrade times – the iPhone 4S took about 30 minutes for the full update while the 4 took about 1 hour. The iPad took about 30 minutes. These times include downloading the update via wifi.

    App Update issue – both the iPhones failed a couple of app updates, showing that they are updating, but the update is frozen. Tried rebooting the phones, closing all apps, resetting all phone settings, and refreshing the updates, but no success. I even spoke to staff in the apple store, but they had no answer. I recall this same issue a couple of years ago. The only way to fix it is to delete the app and re install it. The problem is that some of the core apple apps are frozen, so harder to get these apps back. The apps range in size from very small to very big.

    Wifi issue – this issue has happened many times before with apple upgrades. It’s really easy to fix. For some reason the os thinks the wifi password is in place, but like all the other passwords, it needs to be entered again.
    The fix simply involves deleting the wifi setting and re creating it with the password. All 3 of my devices were solved the same way.
    The dummy apple login page is a red herring. Ignore this and just recreate the wifi setting.

    Maps – I was looking forward to the new maps, but without the comprehensive google maps search, finding businesses is very hit and miss. Fortunately google maps web can easily be added to the homepage. I’ll definitely be using it until apple maps search results matures.

    Performance – all the devices feel a bit sluggish at times and other times very fast. It’s odd, almost like iOS 6 does some sort of caching.

    You Tube – the google you tube app is a good enough replacement for the iPhone. Google hasn’t created an iPad app though, so the web is the only way to use you tube on the iPad.

    App Store – this seems a bit buggy and sluggish. Yesterday I could not access the Games category, but every other category seemed in place. For the past couple of hours today the App Store won’t open, simply showing a white screen and returning an error message. Apple is obviously having some issues.

    App Store layout – I like the concept of the new layout and it seems to work on the iPad, but on the iPhone there is way too much swiping needed due to the much bigger screen real estate used by each app. The new layout would actually discourage people from browsing as much.

    Battery – it’s too early to tell and I haven’t timed anything, but battery consumption seems to have increased about 20%. Fixing issues and playing more over the last 24 hours make it harder to be sure though.

    Heat – there is a noticeable heat increase after iOS 6 is installed. This might be related the the increased battery consumption.

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