How to Check Your Version of iOS

Apple releases a major update to the iPad's operating system every year. iOS has evolved quite a bit since it was initially released, and in addition to gaining major features such as the Virtual TouchPad or split screen multitasking each year, Apple releases periodic minor updates throughout the year.  These updates can include bug fixes, performance updates or even new features.  Here's how to check your iOS version:

  1. First, you will need to open the iPad settings. This is the settings app that looks like gears running.  (Find out how to open settings...)
  2. Next, scroll down the left-side menu until you locate General. Tapping this entry will open the General settings for the iPad in the right-side window.
  3. The second option from the top in the General settings is called "Software Update". Tap this entry to get more information.
  4. After tapping Software Update, the iPad will move to a screen displaying the version of iOS running on the iPad. If you are on the most current version, it will read: "Your software is up to date." This page will also give you the current version number your iPad has installed.  
  5. If you are not on the latest version, you may see information on downloading and installing the latest version of iOS. This is a relatively easy process. You should make sure you have a current backup before starting the update, and if your iPad is below 50% battery power,  make sure you plug it in before starting the update. Find out more on upgrading to the latest version of iOS.

    Why Is It Important to Update to the Newest Version of iOS?

    It is always very important to keep your iPad updated. In addition to squashing bugs and tuning performances, iOS updates include security fixes. It is very difficult for malware to find its way onto your iPad unless you jailbreak it, but there are other vulnerabilities hackers can use to get at the information stored on your iPad.

    The regular iOS updates include security fixes to help patch up these holes as well as the normal bug fixes and tuning. It's not something to worry about quite as much if your iPad mainly stays in the house, but if you are a regular at the coffee shop or take it with you on vacation, it is a good idea to keep it updated for those times.

    Owners of the original iPad will not be able to download the latest version

    The original iPad does not have the processing power or memory needed to run the latest versions of the operating system.   However, your tablet isn't quite useless.  There are a number of things the original iPad is still good at even if it cannot receive the latest updates.