How to Install iOS 9 on iPhone or iPad Manually with Firmware in iTunes

Sep 19, 2015 - 39 Comments

Update iOS 9 Manually with Firmware Files

If you have decided you’d like to update an iPhone or iPad to iOS 9, you can install iOS 9.0.1 manually using firmware and iTunes. The manual firmware method is more advanced, making it perhaps best for specific reasons, like to resolve the frustratingly unresponsive “Slide to Upgrade” screen, to fix the Software Update Failed error, due to storage space limitations on the target device, because sometimes it’s just easier due to bandwidth constraints, or because you’re updating multiple of the same devices. Whatever the case, we’ll walk you through the entire process.

Note this will perform a software update to install iOS 9.0.1, it does not perform a clean install or a device reset.

You’ll need the following in order to update an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 9 with firmware:

Note that you can use iOS 9.0.1, or iOS 9.0 and then update to iOS 9.0.1 after installation is complete. For most users, you’ll want to use iOS 9.0.1 IPSW simply because it’s easier.

It doesn’t matter if iTunes is on a Mac with OS X or a Windows PC, the instructions are almost exactly the same.

Do note this firmware based method is intended for advanced users. The average iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch owner should install the iOS 9 software update through the Settings app in iOS, or through iTunes as usual. Using a firmware file offers little benefit to the average user and simply complicates an otherwise easy update process.

Updating to iOS 9 Manually with Firmware and iTunes

This will update a device running a prior version of iOS to iOS 9, as described here it will perform a software update, it does not restore or reset the device. Nonetheless, always backup before beginning a software update.

  1. Place the downloaded iOS 9.0.1 firmware file or downloaded iOS 9 firmware file somewhere easy to locate, like the desktop
  2. IPSW file

  3. Launch iTunes after you have the latest version
  4. iTunes 12

  5. Connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the computer with a USB cable
  6. Select the device in iTunes
  7. Under the Backups section, either choose iCloud, or choose “Back up to this computer” and select ‘Encrypt iPhone backup’ , then click “Back Up Now” – don’t skip backing up! When finished backing up, continue
  8. iTunes option click Update button to update with firmware manually

  9. Now you must choose to use an IPSW file by entering an alternate update method:
    • For Mac: OPTION + Click on the “Update” button
    • For Windows: SHIFT + Click on the ‘Update’ button
  10. Navigate in the file system to the IPSW file you downloaded and select it
  11. Select the IPSW file to update with in iTunes

  12. Confirm that you want to update to iOS 9 by clicking on ‘Update’
  13. Confirm update with IPSW to iOS 9

  14. Let the process complete, this can take a little while

Updating to iOS 9 with firmware IPSW in iTunes

iTunes will show a progress bar as it extracts the software from the IPSW file, updates the iPhone / iPad / iPod touch, and then reboots. DO NOT INTERFERE with the device when it is being updated, doing so may mess up the update.

iOS 9

When finished, the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will reboot itself automatically and enter the iOS 9 setup screens. You’ll be prompted to pick a six digit passcode, setup Hey Siri, and asked a few other questions. Run through the simple setup, and you’ll be presented with your device that is freshly updated to iOS 9. Enjoy!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, iTunes, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. mandar says:

    I downloaded the update but itune is showing that “can not update iphone 4s because frimware file is not complete”.

  2. Federico Graneta says:

    Bala, here is an entire walkthrough dedicated to how you can update an iPhone to iOS 9 manually:

  3. atlas says:

    hello.. im sure that im follow step by step correctly, but why i got error 3603 on my ipad? anybody can help me?

  4. Raiden99 says:

    I was tired asking for people on how to Install iOS 9 on iPhone manually with Firmware in iTunes . Here is where I got all my questions answered The best facilitator I ever met.

  5. kat says:

    THANK YOU!! This has helped soooo much

  6. okenna says:

    hello there i owned an iphone 5c but it fell and all of a started showing searching and the network bar has refused to come up. someone told me to upgrade that it might be a software upgrade issue and while upgrading from the phone itself it never installed after the download.
    I used my pc using the steps above but it always stopped at “installing firmware” and it has never come up since then. what is the possible way out pls…

  7. Smokemeowt says:

    Hi, I’m currently on iOS 6.1.2 will this same method work if I wanted to upgrade say to iOS 7.1.2? Or only the latest version?

  8. neeraj maurya says:

    i have update my iphone 5s with ios 9.3.2 .why my camera does not work properly??
    even i have again update with ios 9.3.4
    please anybody help

  9. Bala says:


    Good Day !!

    I am having Iphone 4S My current OS version is :7.1.2(11D257)

    Is it possible to update IOS 9 by manually.

    If yes please help how to update

    Thanks for your Help.

  10. jignesh says:

    my iPhone 4 system is corrupted. so phone can not install any software like itune…so how can I solve

  11. Amit Locham says:

    Thanks For your Help.

  12. stu says:

    worst update ever 9.3, u cant even jailbreak some i really want to go back to ios 9.0 X(

  13. Pemba says:

    Hi , i wana update my iphone iso 9 . How to install my iphone ?

  14. Araz says:

    Work ! Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu

  15. Ivan says:

    Failed restore with code error 52 always.
    How what to do ?

  16. Yinka says:

    You really saved me. Wonderul post!

  17. Cole phoenix says:

    I enrolled my iPhone 5s in the public beta program a couple months before ios 9.0 officially deboued and was astonished by the capability of apples new ios bit as usual with minor flaws such as my apps would crash shortly after being launched I saw no problems an the app crashing problem was resolved in the official ios

  18. Herman says:

    Hi, I’ve tried downloading the IPSW files to update my iphone manually. But the download keeps getting stuck at 320MB out of 1.5GB. I tried restarting my computer but it still get stuck halfway.

  19. tris says:

    hi, i did all the steps that are shown here but after the blue bar for extracting software fills up, it says error… what should i do?

  20. banko says:

    My ipad4 went off, i connected it and it showed restore mode. i just downloaded new ios9.0.1, how can i use it to restore my ipad?

  21. jithin says:

    Is data on my iphone will be erased?

  22. Hector H says:

    How long it took you to update your ipad 2 to IOS 9?

    The progress bar on the ipad is stuck on the same spot (around 60%) for one hour…

  23. Radha Desai says:


    I tried this after everything else failed including turning off Find my phone through icloud & then updating. After upgrading my ipad to iOS 9.0, it just wouldn’t start. It would come on & not move beyond the swipe to upgrade screen. I checked with apple support ppl through chat & they asked me to upgrade to 9.0.1 through iTunes, which I did. After downloading 80% of 1.88GB, there was an error & the download stopped. So I tried the above method which you guys recommended. I want to THANK YOU BIG TIME since this worked & my iPad is back to normal after the 9.0.1 upgrade. With download accelerator I dwnldd 1.88GB in half the time, any day makes more sense to do it manually.

    Thank you again!

    • Brandismith says:

      I second that! Same thing happened to me because of slow rural internet (only got <250mb downloaded) iphone was stuck in restore mode for days, thank God for the writers of this tutorial! …and that my daughter's iphone works again, I'm serious u are a blessing, Apple support was no help

  24. Abdu says:

    Do i need to trunoff my iPhone while I’m doing the update??

  25. Wharf Xanadu says:

    iOS 9 is buggy

  26. Risky says:

    Can i move on to ios 9 public from ios 9.1 beta with this step?

  27. Tony Piner says:

    Loaded on iPhone 5S, mini iPad and iPad 2. No problems, find the new keyboard a lot clearer. Like to multi Windows. Still exploring but no problems to date.

  28. I don’t like the new vision of the keyboard. The letters are less easy to pick out if you have any form of dyslexia and it takes time to pick them out.

  29. Ryan says:

    What’s broken about it? I’ve been using since Wednesday with no problems. I think it’s a great update.

    • Luis says:

      Same here. No problems after updating iphone 5 and ipad air 1. In fact I am typing this on my ipad running iOS 9. Only one app on the ipad failed to load, but it’s a 3rd party app so I guess that developer will have to release a new version of it (they do it anyway every time there is a new ios version).

  30. John Ferman says:

    Alert to those who use the Apple Camera Connection Kit to transfer images from digital cameras. After installing iOS 9 on my iPad Air 2 images from the Sony a6000 or its SD card were not recognised ib the iPad through the Camera kit. The screen showed empty squares with 3 dashes. This did not happen with the Canon PS A1400. I do not know the depth in the camera kingdom that this problem exists.

    • headache says:

      You should consider downgrading to iOS 8.4.1 while you can, but back up first.

      iOS 9 is a mess, hard to believe this went through a developer beta and a public beta, it is just broken all around.

      Using firmware to update, or iTunes to update, or OTA to install, whether upgrading, or a fresh install, none of it matters. iOS 9 is broken. Disappointing.

    • steve says:

      Is this problem when using the Play Memories app? Maybe an update is coming for that.

    • steve says:

      Also, can you get the pictures into the Play Memories app via wifi?

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site