What to do if your iPhone unable to check for updates?

Emre Çitak
Aug 9, 2023

The iOS operating system serves as the backbone of Apple's iconic devices like the iPhone and iPad. Each new iOS release brings promises of enhanced features, security improvements, and bug fixes.

However, many users have been stating that they have encountered the iPhone unable to check for update error recently.

This problem has caused frustration for many, leading them to seek effective solutions to update their phone to Apple's latest marvel, iOS 17.

iphone unable to check for update
iPhone unable to check for update error keeps users away from experiencing iOS 17

Why is your iPhone unable to check for updates?

The anticipation of a new iOS update can be palpable, yet the excitement can turn to disappointment when your device gets stuck on the update screen.

There are various factors that might contribute to this issue.


Older devices, such as the iPhone 6, might face hurdles when attempting to update to iOS 17. This is because iOS 17 is designed for iPhone XR and newer models.

Sadly, iPhone 8 and earlier models are not compatible with this update.

Apple's server might be down

It is wise to check the status of Apple's servers by visiting the Apple System Status web page. A yellow status indicates server issues, potentially leading to the absence of the update, ultimately causing iPhone unable to check for updates error.

Waiting for the servers to become operational again or reaching out to Apple support are recommended steps.

iphone unable to check for update
Make sure that your device is compatible with iOS 17 if you encounter the iPhone unable to check for update error - Image courtesy of Apple

Network-related problems

A weak network connection can impede the update process. It is paramount to ensure a stable Wi-Fi connection and connect the device to a charger.

Reconnecting to Wi-Fi and checking for updates after reconnection might just be the solution you need to fix the iPhone unable to check for updates error.

About iOS 17

iOS 17 has brought forth exciting features and improvements, promising enhanced user experiences and heightened security measures. See what iOS 17 has to offer in our writing titled ''Best iOS 17 features: Top 5 list''.

However, the journey to updating to this new version can sometimes be fraught with obstacles.

By following the steps outlined above, users can navigate through the frustration of being unable to check for updates and make the most of the advancements offered by iOS 17.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Laina Betts-Dunn said on September 1, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Most people are finding it is related to the newest Pokémon Go! update. If you check control center, Pokémon Go! has accessed location just prior to the vibrations.

    1. Lillian said on September 4, 2023 at 9:17 am

      You are the best I didn’t even think about that being the problem even tho I said to my friend it’s vibrating randomly like Pokémon go does when new Pokémon pop up

  2. John said on September 3, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    It’s happening on beta release isn’t this to be expected? Any beta release is going to have bugs.

  3. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    “You can browse the internet privately on your iPhone too”

    No, you can’t. See below.

    “This means that no one will be able to see what you’ve been browsing unless you tell them.”

    No-one you would allow to use your devices. It’s important to remind that online trackers still get almost as much as before in this mode, tracking you for the duration of the session at least. In fact a quick search on whether cookies (and local storage, indexedDB, and so on) are even cleared at exit or not in Apple’s private browsing gives contradictory answers (maybe this has to do with Apple’s habit of conveniently avoiding to get technical with users, even when that means more opportunities to fool them) and your article doesn’t say more, so it’s not even clear to me that there is any protection against online trackers.

    About the other Apple privacy tools you mention, I wouldn’t trust them. They killed the actual privacy tools like ublock origin on Safari that hide the IP address from trackers, to then provide their own fake replacement, like Google and their Mozilla pet company are slowly doing too with their own browsers. From the mouth of such companies, even “blocking cookies” may actually mean something weaker, like having an undisclosed tracker whitelist for bullshit reasons that ublock origin doesn’t seem to need (Mozilla does that for instance), not actually blocking them but just isolating them while still writing they’re blocked (Mozilla did that through inaccurate UI wording for third-party cookies), or keeping in place for years privacy bugs that they are aware of and that don’t remove storage when it’s supposed to be (Mozilla again, and they’re not worse than the others). And it’s only a few examples.

    Is there also need to remind that Safari like all the other big browsers is infested with Apple’s own spyware antifeatures (including for advertisers, unlike what they pretend in their ads) ?

  4. You're welcome said on September 18, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    Sneak PEEK.

  5. Seeprime said on September 20, 2023 at 12:29 am

    It has been weeks where the comments sections are littered with old unrelated comments. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to ghacks.

  6. makapav said on September 25, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    This should have been an open standard that works across laptops, OSes, and phones. I doubt it will be though and we will just have to wait until the EU drops the hammer in 8-10 years ?

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