Justin Duino / How-To Geek
The latest version of iOS for iPhones is iOS 16, which was released on September 12, 2022. The latest version of iPadOS for iPads is iPadOS 16, released on October 24, 2022. You can find and install the update from Settings > About > Software Update if Apple is still supporting your iPhone or iPad with software updates.

Apple’s iPhone runs the iOS operating system, while iPad run iPadOS—based on iOS. You can find the installed software version and upgrade to the latest iOS right from your Settings app if Apple still supports your iPhone or iPad.

The Latest Versions Are iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

The latest version of iOS for iPhones is iOS 16, which Apple released on September 12, 2022. The latest version of iPadOS for iPads is iPadOS 16, and Apple released that on October 24, 2022. Apple releases new major versions of iOS and iPadOS roughly once every year around the time it announces the latest version of macOS.

iOS 16‘s most immediately noticeable new feature is a revamped lock screen that’s more customizable and includes lock screen widgetsiPadOS 16 adds better support for external displays and a macOS-style Stage Manager for multitasking with multiple apps. Both include a more powerful Focus feature to better customize your notifications and environment for various situations—from sleeping to working to gaming to working out.

As usual, these new operating system versions are packed with other tweaks, changes, and new features. Be sure to try these 16 features after you upgrade to iOS 16.

Which iPhones and iPads Can Run the Latest Version?

As usual, these new operating systems drop support for some older iPhones and iPads.

The following iPhones can run iOS 16:

  • iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Maxx
  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation0)

The following iPads can run iOS 16:

  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad (5th generation and newer)
  • iPad mini (6th generation and newer)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and newer)

If you have an older iPhone or iPad that isn’t on this list, you won’t be offered iOS 16 on the Software Update screen. You can still install the latest version that is compatible with your device. But, to get iOS 16 or iPadOS 16, you’ll need a new device.

Tip: Not sure which iPhone or iPad you have? You can see your Apple device’s model name by heading to Settings > General > About and reading the “Model Name” field on your phone or tablet.

RELATED: What iPhone Do I Have? Find Your Model Name and Number

How to Check if You Have the Latest Version

To see which version of iOS or iPadOS you have running on your iPhone or iPad, first open the Settings app. Tap the “General” category and tap “About” at the top of the screen.

Look to the right of “iOS Version” or “iPadOS Version” to see the version number of the operating system on your iPhone or iPad. If it starts with “iOS 16”, your device is running iOS 16.

The version number displayed next to "iOS Version" in the Settings app.

How to Update to the Latest Version

To install the latest version of iOS or update iPadOS, head to Settings > General > Software Update on your phone or tablet. Your iPhone or iPad will check for newer versions of its operating system and offer any that are available here. If none are available for your device, it will let you know your device is up to date.

This screen offers both major new versions—for example, if you’re still running iOS 15, it will offer you iOS 16—as well as minor updates like iOS 16.1 and iOS 16.2, which fix bugs, patch security problems, and include other smaller changes.

Tip: Your iPhone or iPad may occasionally show a notification telling you a new version of iOS or iPadOS is available, too.

Update your iPhone from the Software Update screen in Settings.

If no updates are available for your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see an “iOS is up to date” or “iPadOS is up to date” message instead, along with the version of the OS your device is running

Tip: You can also use iTunes to update an iPhone or iPad.

Why Can’t I Update to iOS 16?

If your iPhone or iPad isn’t running the iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 and it isn’t offered to you via the Software Update screen, then Apple is no longer supporting your device with software updates. While Apple tends to support its iPhone and iPads with the latest operating systems for longer than Android manufacturers support Android phones and tablets with the latest version of Android, the company doesn’t support them forever.

If you want the latest operating system, you’ll have to buy a new iPhone or modern iPad that’s still getting updates.

The Best iPhones of 2023

Best iPhone Overall
iPhone 14 Pro
The Classic iPhone
iPhone 14
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Best Budget iPhone
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Best iPhone Camera
iPhone 14 Pro
Best Battery Life
iPhone 14 Pro Max
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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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