How to fix Apple iPhone XS software update failed iOS 13

Apple’s new iOS version, iOS 13, is supposed to bring out new features to iOS devices such as new dramatic dark mode, photos and camera enhancement, privacy and security updates, 3D maps and a lot more. However, there are few reported errors where users are getting software update failure. This might be due to a minor software glitch or random bugs. 

If this is the case you’re facing on your iPhone XS, we have collected some effective workarounds and you can see the details below. Read and check how you can fix your iPhone XS that’s getting software update failed error while updating to iOS 13. 

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 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 to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone XS. 

If you have been using your iPhone for an extended period, it might accumulate random bugs that could affect the capability of your phone to optimize its performance. This might be the reason why you’re getting a software update failure. Performing a force restart is efficient in removing these glitches and might resolve the issue. It also clears erratic apps that could also hinder the software update to be successful and refresh your phone’s system. Just follow these steps to proceed:

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly. 
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side button for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo. 

Allow your phone to complete the reboot process. As soon as it’s back up, retry the software update and check if it pushes through this time. 

Second solution: Free some space on your iPhone XS. 

Low storage memory greatly affects the ability of your phone to update software. If there are unused apps that’s consuming your phone’s memory, it is best to delete them in order to free up some space. Doing so allows your phone to process updates without an issue. Here are the steps on how to uninstall apps on your device:

  1. From the Home screen, tap and hold on an app icon until the icons start jiggling. 
  2. Tap the X on the app you want to delete.
  3. Select Delete to confirm the deletion of the selected app. 
  4. Perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS Max.

Initiate a software update after freeing some space on your device memory. You can also delete large video and photos that is not important to give your phone’s memory an extra space. 

Third solution: Sync your iPhone XS with iTunes. 

If the previous procedure did not fix the issue, this next workaround might help you out. If there are system glitches that’s preventing your phone to update software, syncing your device with iTunes allows you to restore the most recent backup and might allow the software update to push through. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Using the Apple-supplied USB/lightning cable, connect your iPhone to the computer that you used to synced before. 
  2. Open iTunes on your computer once it’s connected.
  3. From the iTunes main screen, select the Sync option. 
  4. Once prompted, enter your device passcode to unlock your phone. This will backup your iPhone to the computer. 
  5. Click the option to Restore iPhone from the most recent backup.
  6. Then follow the rest of the on-screen prompts to complete the process.

You can disconnect your iPhone from the computer right after the restore process is completed and then try updating your iPhone XS to iOS 13. 

Fourth solution: Factory reset (master reset) your iPhone. 

Software update failure may have been caused by stubborn glitches if you’re still not able to fix the issue up to this point. If that’s the case, you may need to perform a stronger solution to deal with the problem. Performing a master reset allows you to delete all files on your phone’s memory including those corrupted ones and restore all default settings and configurations. This may come handy in dealing system errors that’s preventing your iPhone XS to update software. However, be reminded that this process will delete all saved files and data on your phone, so it is recommended to create backups via iTunes or iCloud beforehand. Once backups are created, simply follow the steps below to perform a factory reset: 

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the Erase all contents and settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm factory reset. 

After the reset process is done, your phone will automatically restart and then apply default configurations. You’ll need to set it up like a new iPhone in order to use it again. Once initial setup is complete, you can try updating your software to iOS 13. 

Fifth solution: Update your iPhone in recovery mode. 

Your last option in order to update your iPhone XS to iOS 13 is to perform a recovery mode restore. This process will rule out major flaws from the current iOS version on your device that may have been preventing a successful software update. If you wish to proceed, follow these steps to put your iPhone in recovery mode and restore it through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS max to the computer using the Apple-supplied USB/lightning cable.
  2. Once connected, allow iTunes to sync in.
  3. Then press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  4. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly.
  5. Then press and hold the Power/Side button once prompted with Connect to iTunes screen. Do not release the button when Apple logo appears as you will need to enter recovery mode state.
  6. Once you enter the recovery mode, you’ll see either Update or Restore option.
  7. Select Update if you wish to update your iOS or Restore if you want to reinstall and download iOS on your device without erasing data. 

Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions on your computer to finish the process. Keep your phone connected to the computer until the entire restore or update process is completed. 

Alternatively, performing a DFU mode restore or Device Firmware Update might also help in eradicating the software update failure issue on your iPhone XS. This will allow your phone to communicate with iTunes even when the boot loader or iOS is not activated. Once your device has entered this state, it can be updated, restored, or bypassed. Simply follow the steps below: 

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the supplied USB/Lightning cable. Once connected, open iTunes on your computer. 
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume up button.
  3. Press and quickly release the Volume down button.
  4. Press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen goes black.
  5. After the screen turns black, press and hold the Volume down button while keep holding down the Power/Side button
  6. Wait for 5 seconds then release the Power/Side button but keep holding the Volume down button until your iPhone XS shows up in iTunes. 
  7. Release the Volume down button once you see your iPhone in iTunes then follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to start restoring your iPhone through iTunes.

If you’ve successfully restored your iPhone XS in DFU mode, disconnect it from the computer then perform a force restart on your iPhone exit and boot your device back into normal mode.

Wait for the restart process to complete then try updating your software.

If all else fails and you’re still not able to update your iPhone XS to iOS 13 due to software update failed error, you may need to contact Apple support for further assistance. They can provide you with more options and additional information regarding the issue. If you happen to live in an area with an Apple service center, you may also bring your device to their location and have your phone checked by their onsite technician. 

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