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How to download the iPadOS update

iPadOS is a whole new operating system for your iPad

(Image: © Apple)

iPadOS is officially here, and with it, a redesigned operating system for owners of nearly all Apple tablets (aside from some of the oldest models). 

Apple first announced the new operating system - a fork off iOS built to take advantage of iPads’ larger screens - back in June at WWDC 2019, although we were left waiting until September 24 for it to hit slates.

Thankfully, the wait is over, and you can easily download the first-ever version of iPadOS on your Apple tablet right now. Unlike the beta versions - which were notoriously difficult to download - you’ve only got to update like you’ve done with previous versions of iOS.

Unfortunately, the oldest iPads can’t upgrade to iPadOS - specifically, the original iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and iPad Mini 3.

Check below to make sure you’ve got a run you through a (very short) step-by-step process.

1. Back up your iPad before installing iPadOS

If you want to download iPadOS, we recommend you back up your existing iPad first - just in case. That way, you can restore your tablet’s settings, apps, and data should the update go awry.

To learn how, check out our ultimate guide on how to back up your iPad.

2. Download from Settings

Thankfully, we’re done with the arduous beta stage, and getting the iPadOS update is a breeze. You’ll need to be connected to WiFi to upgrade.

Head to Settings > General > Software Update. Hit the button to update to iPadOS (at the time of writing it's version iPadOS 13.1) and you’ll get the process started.

Given that it’s the first version of iPadOS, this may be an extensive process, so expect the full updating process to take some time. Your iPad will need to download the full update, prepare the tablet, then install the update. 

If you have Automatic Updates turned on, the update should auto-install anyway according to Apple protocol - i.e., overnight if your device is plugged in.

3. That's basically it

That's it. That's all there should be to getting iPadOS today, although the initial phase may mean everyone is clamoring for the update at the same time.

Be patient. We've been testing iPadOS for about three months and Dark Mode and the Today menu on the home screen are worthy upgrades.

Stay tuned for more on the iPadOS and a forthcoming review of the iPad 10.2, which comes out at the end of September.