How to manually install iOS 6

After officially announcing iOS 6 last week Apple finally releases the new iPhone OS to the public today. But the rush to install the new operating system might mean you’ll be waiting a long time to get it.

Here are direct links to the iOS 6 update for your convenience for the United States.

Most people will use the over-the-air (OTA option of downloading the ipsw (install file) and installing through their iOS device. The problem with that option is that the servers that Apple uses are going to be swamped with requests from all iOS users across all iOS devices. It may be better to wait a day before attempting to install the update this way.

You can also use iTunes to automatically update, but make sure you back up your device before applying the update because it wipes your device and then imports your most recent backup. iTunes will probably use the same servers as the OTA update which can also cause the update to not be downloaded because of massive traffic.

The third option is to download the iOS 6 ipa separately and manually install the firmware through iTunes. Downloading the ipa ensures that you have the full file and won’t experience server errors when downloading the file OTA or through iTunes.

Most users will use the OTA option to update their devices so Apple’s servers are going to get pummeled with requests. The better option is to head to the iOS support page for your device. The update should be available from 10am Pacific Time today. Click here to find out the iOS 6 release time in your part of the world

Download the ipa from Apple

Download the iOS 6 ipa to your computer. Then open iTunes. Be sure to backup your iOS device and transfer any purchases you have made. When you install iOS 6, it’s going to wipe your device and reinstall a backup so if you haven’t updated your library, you could lose a lot of apps and data.

Inside iTunes

After you completed the backup, find the “Version” section of the iOS summary page.

In Windows: hold the [Shift] key and click “Check for Update”
In OS X: hold the [Option] key and click “Check for Update”

This will launch the file explorer. Locate where you saved the iOS 6 ipa and select it. This will start the update process. Now it’s time to sit back and just wait for the update to complete.

After the update is completed, you will be running iOS 6 on your device. You can complete the same steps on any iOS device you own, but not all features may work depending on the device.

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