Apple’s annual (and free) software update brings new features for iPhones – and iPads. iOS 15 will be available to download later today (usually in the evening in the UK and Europe). It’s the same date for iPadOS 15 – the new name for the iPad operating system.

Here’s how to get it, and things to watch out for. To find out more about what’s in the update, read our guide to iOS 15.

Can my iPhone run iOS 15?

Most probably. The following is a list of every eligible model. The iPhone 13 range comes with iOS 15 pre-installed, so the list only includes those which can be updated from iOS 14.

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • 2020 iPhone SE
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (Original)

As for iPads, the update will be available for iPad mini 4 and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and all iPad Pro models.

How do I update to iOS 15?

Simply open Settings, tap General, then Software Update.

How to get iOS 15

If you have Automatic Updates enabled, a check is made to see if there’s a new version available and you should then see iOS (or iPadOS) 15 appear, with an option to Download & Install.

You may see a message saying "See What's Coming in iOS15" but once the update is out, there will be an option called "Upgrade to iOS 15", though it may appear right at the bottom of the screen as shown below.

How to get iOS 15

Simply tap that, agree to the Ts and Cs and the update will be first requested, then downloaded. The amount of time it takes will depend upon the speed of your internet connection, but it can also take longer on the first day or two due to the sheer numbers of people downloading it from Apple’s servers.

How to get iOS 15

Once downloaded, the button should change to Install Now. The update file will be checked and, if everything is ok, it will be installed.

During the update process, your iPhone or iPad will reboot and once you’ve tapped in your passcode you’ll be able to try out the new features.

Should I install iOS 15?

If you have one of the oldest supported devices, it’s worth holding back for a week or two just to see what other owners say about performance. Some iOS updates improve performance, but generally speaking, updates demand more from iPhone and iPad hardware and – in the past – some have regretted upgrading as the new software caused problems and made their device less responsive.

It’s not easy to downgrade to an earlier version of iOS, so caution is advised.

Before you update, it’s well worth making a backup of your iPhone – or iPad – using iCloud or iTunes. The risk of something going wrong is very small but, as ever, you should back up anything you can’t afford to lose, such as photos and videos from your camera roll.

Those should be backed up as a matter of course, in case your phone is stolen or damaged, but that’s just common sense!