Download iOS Updates Once for Installing on Multiple Devices

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If you have multiple iPhones, iPads, or iPods that need to be updated to the latest version of iOS, you can have a nice trick to save some bandwidth and download a single iOS update file to apply on multiple devices of Mac OS X or Windows. This is a perfect solution for a family with multiple iPhones or iPads that need to be updated, especially if you don’t want to download the same firmware multiple times.

To be clear, the iOS devices must be the same type and model, meaning three different iPhone 4s can use the same firmware, but an iPhone 4 cannot use the same update file as an iPad 2, and an iPod touch cannot use an update file for the iPhone 4S, and so on. The same models use the same IPSW, different models need different IPSW.

How to Use a single IPSW file with multiple iOS devices

To do this, you need to download the iOS firmware files directly from Apple. Here are firmware links for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone if needed. Once you have the file, place them in the folder where IPSW files are stored locally. Here is the process for Mac OS X and Windows, and yes, you can download an IPSW file downloaded on a Mac or PC to update an iOS device connected to another PC or Mac, the files are platform independent.

For Mac OS X:

  1. Close iTunes
  2. Hit Command + Shift + G to bring up “Go to Folder” and enter the following path depending on your iOS device:
  3. ~ / Library / iTunes / iPhone Software Updates ~ / Library / iTunes / iPad Software Updates ~ / Library / iTunes / iPod Software Updates

  4. Drag the downloaded IPSW file to the correct location
  5. Launch iTunes and connect the iOS devices to the computer to start the upgrade

For windows:

  1. Close iTunes
  2. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the following folder, depending on the iOS device and version of Windows:
  3. Windows XP: Documents and Settings UsernameApplication DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software UpdatesWindows Vista & Windows 7: UsernameAppDataRoamingApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates

  4. Move the IPSW file to the appropriate Software Updates folder
  5. Restart iTunes and connect the iOS device to the PC

That’s all there is to it, and here’s how it works; anyone can download the updates without iTunes by using direct firmware links from Apple’s servers. Once you have the firmware file, you can either use the standard method of using .ipsw files with ALT / Option by clicking Restore, or use the approach described above, which will trick the computer into thinking it is the iOS update itself, which will then immediately extract and start the iOS upgrade process upon iTunes launch.

Also, don’t forget the OTA updates, which allows iOS to download and update only the changes between releases. The resulting OTA update can often be 1/12 the size of a full firmware file, and while they cannot be shared between multiple devices, the small size of the update on the device can make it a valid choice for those aware are of the bandwidth.

Thanks to AJ & NeverEnuf for giving us the idea for this great one tip in our comments.

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the Download iOS Updates Once for Installing on Multiple Devices tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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