What is the “Unable to Check for Update” Error?

Experiencing the Unable to Check for Update error on your iPhone can be frustrating, especially when you are eager to download the latest iOS version. This error often prevents your device from checking for or downloading new updates. Understanding the underlying causes and knowing the right troubleshooting steps can help you resolve this issue efficiently. The “Unable to Check for Update” error on an iPhone appears when the device fails to connect to Apple’s servers to check for the availability of a new iOS update. This error is usually accompanied by a message that reads something similar to “Unable to Check for Update. An error occurred while checking for a software update”.

Why Does This Error Occur?

Several factors can lead to this error:

  • Network Issues: A weak or unstable internet connection can prevent your iPhone from reaching Apple’s update servers.
  • Server Overload: Sometimes, when a new iOS update is released, a large number of users attempt to download it simultaneously, which can overload Apple’s servers.
  • Device Settings: Incorrect date and time settings on your iPhone can cause issues with server synchronization.
  • Software Glitches: Minor software glitches in the iOS can interfere with the update process.

Download repair tool

Sometimes resolving the errors is out of our control and possibilities. This is where third-party tools are more than welcome to contribute and carry all the difficulties away. If you are facing “Unable to Check for Update” error or similar issues, but fail to benefit from any of the manual steps below, try using Tenorshare ReiBoot — a great recovery tool designed for resolving errors like that. Get to know how one can use it to address the errors and restore or update an iOS device successfully on their website.

Download iOS Repair Tool
  1. Download and install ReiBoot for either Mac or Windows.
  2. Once done, open the app and plug your device into the computer.
  3. The program should recognize your device and offer a couple of options.
  4. Choose Standard if you simply want to update your device, or Deep repair if you want to fully restore it.
  5. Then, download the firmware found by the app for your smartphone by clicking Download.
  6. Once the process is finished, click Repair now to start resolving the problems.
  7. Standard is meant to search for basic issues and bugs to address them without wiping out your data.
    Deep repair will reset your device to factory settings and delete the entire data stored on it.

  8. Wait until the app finishes its repair and restores your device. It will take about 15 minutes to end.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Fix the Error

Solution 1: Check Your Network Connection

  1. If you’re using Wi-Fi, try switching to a different Wi-Fi network or use cellular data (beware of data charges). If on cellular data, switch to Wi-Fi.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will erase all network settings, returning them to factory defaults.

Solution 2: Restart Your iPhone

Press and hold the side button with either volume button until the power off slider appears. Slide to power off, then press the side button to turn the device back on after a few seconds.

Solution 3: Ensure Correct Date and Time

Go to Settings > General > Date & Time and toggle on Set Automatically. This ensures your device matches Apple’s servers for updates.

Solution 4: Free Up Storage

  1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Make sure there is enough space to download and install the update.
  2. Delete unnecessary apps, photos, videos, or other data to free up storage.

Solution 5: Update via iTunes/Finder

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes (on PCs or macOS Mojave and earlier) or Finder (on macOS Catalina and later).
  2. Select your device and click on Check for Update under the device summary.
  3. If an update is available, click Update.

Solution 6: Reset All Settings

If other solutions fail, you can try resetting all settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. This won’t delete your data, but it will reset system settings like wallpaper, Wi-Fi passwords, and notifications.


By following these steps, you should be able to overcome the “Unable to Check for Update” error on your iPhone. If the problem persists, it might be a more serious issue, and contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store may be necessary. Always ensure your data is backed up before performing major troubleshooting steps to prevent data loss.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here