What’s the Latest Version of iOS for iPhones and iPads?

Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices all run the iOS operating system. You can upgrade to the latest version of iOS right from your Settings app, but Apple regularly drops support for older devices. So what’s the latest version?

The Latest Major Version is iOS 11

The latest major version of Apple’s iOS operating system is iOS 11, which was first released on September 19, 2017. Apple releases new major versions of iOS roughly once every twelve months.

Apple has also issued smaller interim updates to iOS 11, including iOS 11.3, released on March 29, 2018. iOS 11.3 features battery throttling controls, the ability to chat with businesses, and various security updates. It also includes new animoji for use on the iPhone X: a lion, bear, dragon, and skull.

If you have iOS 11 on your device, you will be automatically upgraded to these minor versions of iOS 11 via the standard Software Update tool in Settings.

RELATED: What’s New in iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad, Available Now

How to Check if You Have the Latest Version

You can check which version of iOS you have on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via the Settings app.

To do so, navigate to Settings > General > About. You’ll see the version number to the right of the “Version” entry on the About page. In the screenshot below, we have iOS 11.3.1 installed on our iPhone.


How to Update to the Latest Version

You can upgrade iOS to the latest version available for your device from the Software Update screen. Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch may occasionally show a notification telling you a new version of iOS is available, too.

To start an update, head to Settings > General > Software Update. Your device will immediately check for an updated operating system. If an update is available, you can download and install it whenever you want. If no updates are available for your device, you’ll see a “Your software is up to date” message instead.

You can also use iTunes to update an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

RELATED: How to Update Your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11

Why Can’t I Update to iOS 11?

If your device tells you your software is up to date but you aren’t running iOS 11 yet, you’re probably using an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that Apple is no longer supporting with operating system updates.

According to Apple, the following devices are compatible with the iOS 11 operating system:

  • iPhone: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, and iPhone 5s
  • iPad: 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad (6th generation), iPad (5th generation), iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, and iPad mini 2
  • iPod touch: iPod touch (6th generation)

If you have an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod that isn’t on this list, you won’t be offered the iOS 11 operating system on the Software Update screen. You can still install the latest version that is compatible with your device. But, to get iOS 11, you’ll need a new device.

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock.com.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.