Updating to iOS 6 on the iPad 3

I updated my iPad 3 to iOS6 last night. I was excited to see the long list of new features of  iOS6 in action. After hearing about some failed updates and wireless not working for some people, I was a little leery of the procedure, but the overall process went well for me. If you are planning to do the upgrade, here are two ways to do it.


Updating to iOS 6 via the Over the Air Wireless Upgrade

Before attempting the upgrade make sure your unit is fully charged, backed up to the cloud or your PC, and that all applications are closed. It’s a good idea to reboot your machine before upgrading for a smooth transfer process. I also recommend having the unit plugged in so you don’t have to worry about power problems.

If you have an iPad 2 or 3 with iOS5 or later on it, you can upgrade your unit to iOS6 wirelessly.


  1. Click on the settings icon
  2. Choose the General Tab on the left
  3. Click on the “Software Update” tab on the right
  4. Click download and install. Follow the prompts to OK the update
  5. Allow about 1 to 2 hours for the software to download, install and reboot. Your machine will do this automatically. Make sure you are in a place with a strong and steady wireless signal.
  6. Once the machine is upgraded, you’ll have a number of options screens come up, one after the other. Choose the proper selection for your particular situation.
  7. Once your unit is updated, reboot your machine and click on the App Store Icon. Click on the updates icon at the bottom of the screen. Install any software updates that come up.
  8. Now you should have a fully updated iOS6 machine. Please note. The iOS6 update is not compatible with first generation iPads. The Siri update is not compatible with generation 2 iPads (It just won’t install). iPad 3 machines will take the full update.

Manually Updating to iOS 6 on your iPad via iTunes

This will be necessary if you don’t have a good wireless connection where you are at, or if you want to manually back up your programs to your PC.

1. You’ll need to upgrade to the latest version (10.7) of iTunes on the host computer. This is true for the PC or Mac. Both of my computers (PC desktop and Macbook Pro) prompted me to upgrade when I opened iTunes and the process went smoothly as usual.

2. Update, charge, and reboot your iPad before proceeding. This will ensure that your apps are all up to date and that your iPad has a full charge and free memory for the process.

3. Sync your iPad to your host computer before upgrading. This will ensure that your apps are backed up and can be retrieved. Unlike incremental updates, the IOS6 update completely deletes everything from your iPad when updating. If your apps are not backed up, you will not be able to retrieve them. When running the upgrade, make sure you do the upgrade on the same computer you synced with or you won’t be able to retrieve your apps.

4. Make sure your host computer is plugged in and not running on batteries. It’s also a good idea to connect it to the network via cat-5 cable and not rely on a wireless connection. These two things will ensure a problem free data transfer. You don’t want your laptop to die during the relatively long procedure.

5. Allow two to three hours for the process to complete. Once this is started you don’t want to interrupt it or you may end up with a dead iPad. Unless you get an error message, have patience. The iPad may go through multiple reboots.

6. Overall the process went pretty well for me on an iPad 2 and an iPad 3. When you get done with the upgrade the new software will take you through a number of prompts to sign up with iCloud, setup your location settings, as well as a default e-mail account. This will take about 5 minutes. Once you are done, you’ll find a few new icons on the screen and a whole new world of IOS6 to explore. Both of my machines seemed faster after the upgrade.

If you have any issues with attempting the upgrade or are nervous about doing it, make an appointment with your local Apple store. They are usually very helpful, and they will take the fear out of the process.

Be sure to check out the Ten best things about iOS6 from Mashable to see some of the cool features you’ll have after the process.

Please note: Updating to iOS6 on the iPad 3 will remove the built in YouTube application from your machine (The icon will disappear). Hopefully Google will come up with a stand alone app to replace this. Currently the workaround is to open Youtube in Safari. It works, but it is not nearly as easy as the built in app. The new Maps software is lacking some features (transit maps etc.) from the previous Google Maps application. Hopefully this will be addressed quickly by Apple.

Later in the week, we will review some of the cool new features, including Siri, 3D Maps and Facebook Integration.

Question: What is your favorite feature of iOS6 on the iPad?