How to fix an iPhone XS Max that cannot update iOS wirelessly

This post tackles a problem on the iPhone XS Max that cannot update iOS wirelessly for some reason. Read on to learn why this happens what you should be done to update your iPhone.

A faster way to update your iPhone software is via over-the-air or wirelessly. To make this happen, your device must be connected to a stable Wi-Fi Internet. To allocate the update file, the device must have ample of storage space. Finally, to complete the update process, your device must have sufficient power. Once you’ve met all these requisites, you should be all set to implement OTA updates. In case you’re having trouble installing wireless updates, I’ve lined up some helpful tweaks below. Keep reading and give them a try when needed.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone XS Max Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions.

First solution: Refresh the Wi-Fi connection.

Installing the OTA (over-the-air) updates on your iPhone requires stable and excellent Wi-Fi Internet connection. Thus, it is recommended to check and refresh your Internet whenever you are getting an error downloading and installing iOS updates wirelessly.  There are different ways to refresh your Wi-Fi connection. You can either power cycle your router/modem or refresh it through your phone’s Wi-Fi settings. Just refer to these procedures.

Follow these steps to refresh Wi-Fi internet by power cycling the modem/router:

  1. Flip the power switch on the modem to turn it OFF.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter of the modem from the power source for about 1 minute.
  3. After the elapsed time, plug the AC adapter back into the power source.
  4. Then, push the power button to turn the modem/router on again. Wait until the modem lights become stable.

Follow these steps to refresh Wi-Fi internet through the phone’s settings:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select the Wi-Fi menu and toggle the switch to turn it off for a few seconds.
  3. Then toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi on again.

Alternatively, you can also refresh your wireless internet connection by performing the Airplane Mode trick. This will clear out minor glitches that affect the phone’s wireless radios, resulting to internet connectivity issues. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Head over to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the switch to turn the feature ON. This will disable the wireless radios on the phone including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.
  3. While the Airplane Mode is ON, restart (soft reset) your phone.
  4. After the phone reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and toggle the switch again to turn the feature OFF.

Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and once the Internet resumes, retry updating your iPhone via OTA/wirelessly.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos

Second solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Network system errors are also among the underlying causes for the unsuccessful OTA updates on your phone. And this is when resetting the network settings is necessary. This reset will not delete any saved files, but only the wireless network information that’s recently saved on your device. Before you proceed, take note of your Wi-Fi passwords as you need to re-enter it later to reconnect to the network. Once you’re ready, follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the Reset Network Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted.
  6. Then tap the Reset Network Settings option again to confirm the reset.

Your iPhone will restart automatically after the reset. Once it’s back on, set up your Wi-Fi again and reconnect. Then try to download the update again.

Third solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS Max.

Another reset you can try if the previous reset failed to fix the problem is an all settings reset. Network connection errors caused by incorrect or misconfigured settings can also be cleared out by doing this type of reset on your iOS. It is possible that some settings have been modified, which resulted to some conflicts. To clear this out, follow these steps to reset all settings on your iPhone:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Settings app.
  2. Then select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the Reset all Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode when prompted.
  6. Then tap Reset all Settings to confirm the action.

Your phone will reboot itself after the reset and then loads up the original values and options. To use necessary features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, you need to enable them again. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and then try updating your device to see if it’s already working.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone XS Max with no sound [Troubleshooting Guide]

Fourth solution: Delete the update on your phone, and download again.

Since you have tried to download the pending update, it could be possible that it was partially downloaded which will result in having a corrupted update. Being said, you need to delete the corrupted file of the update and redo the update process. Try the steps below:

  1. From the Home screen go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Then select iPhone Storage menu.
  4. Search through the list of apps and find iOS update file.
  5. Tap to select the iOS update, and then tap the Delete Update option.
  6. After deleting the update, head back to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu and download the latest iOS update again.

Wait until your phone shows that the update has been completed. Then restart (soft reset) your phone to refresh its operating system, clear out junk files from its memory, and apply the recent system changes.

Fifth solution: Utilize iTunes to download and install the update on your iPhone XS Max.

If neither of the given options above works, then you can resort to do the update on the computer. This process will also require you a stable internet connection and the latest iTunes version installed on the computer. Once the requirements are met, proceed with these steps:

  1. Using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable, connect your iPhone to the computer.
  2. Launch iTunes and select the name of your iPhone.
  3. On the left corner of the iTunes screen, click the Summary panel.
  4. Then click the Check for Update button. Doing so will prompt iTunes to search for new iOS updates.
  5. If an update is available, click Download and Update.
  6. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  7. Then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update file downloading and installation process.

In case this method doesn’t work, you can try performing a factory reset through iTunes. Doing so will prompt iTunes to erase your device and then download the latest software available. Thus after the reset, your iPhone should already be running on the latest iOS platform. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. On your computer, open iTunes.
  2. Then connect your phone using the provided USB cable or Lightning cable.
  3. Tap Trust This Computer option when prompted. Then follow the onscreen instructions to continue.
  4. Once it appears in iTunes, select your iPhone name.
  5. Navigate the Summary section and then click the Restore iPhone button to factory reset your phone.
  6. Then click on Restore button to confirm.
  7. Wait until iTunes has completely wiped all your iPhone data, restore the default settings and download the latest software version.

When all these are done, your iPhone should reboot automatically. Wait for it to boot up completely and then proceed to the initial setup process. Just use the start-up wizard for automatic setup.

Still cannot update your iPhone XS Max?

Contact your carrier for further assistance if none of the given solutions is able to fix your iPhone XS Max and that it’s still unable to update iOS wirelessly. You can ask them to verify if your iPhone is already eligible for the new iOS version.

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