Why Can’t I Update iPad to from iOS 10.3.3 to iOS 11?

So, you also wanted to update your iPad to iOS 11, since Apple announced it since WWDC 2017?

Out of all the new features iOS 11 has to offer, dock, app switcher, drag and drop, QuickType keyboard, instant markup, etc. which you could take a closer look here, I’m mostly interested in the screen recording feature.

Why? Because it’s a function that’s supposed to be extremely useful to many of us, teachers, students, and technology professionals.

Without a doubt, iOS 11 changes the iOS screen recording space quite a lot. Now it’s a breeze to capture screen videos on your iPad. No need to use a computer or QuickTime to facilitate, no need to install third-party software or apps, it’s just as easy as open your iPad and tap a few buttons.


I Can Not Update My iPad to iOS 11

Apple has officially made it clear that iOS 11 is available for users to download in September 2017. As usual, I was waiting for the red update notification to pop-up on my iPad 4. However, I didn’t receive the notification on my iPad.

I remember I went several times to Settings > General > Software Update, but the text always shows:

“iOS 10.3.3 Your software is up to date”

As you can see from the screenshot below:

My iPad shows “iOS 10.3.3 Your software is up to date”

I thought maybe the Apple server was too busy to send out those notifications, and I’m not the kind of person who is eager to keep myself immediately ahead of the latest things especially technology.

I thought there were two reasons for this:

  • First, the downloading process within the first few hours — even days — tended to be very slow due to the crowding demand for the update (which can easily shut down any server unless it’s Apple or Google).
  • Second, major iOS or macOS releases were prone to security issues (here’s an example), and it is advisable to not immediately pull the trigger. There’s a saying in the tech space: “Let the early birds test it out.”

The Reason Why (It’s Oddly Simple)

After some research, it turned out the culprit is this: compatibility.

As you can see at the very bottom of this Apple page, there’s a section “iOS 11 is compatible with these devices”.

From there I learned, sadly, that my iPad is not on the supported list.

Supported iPad models for iOS update

Sort of disappointed, I also surprisingly found that the iPhone 5 and 5C are not there either. Imagine how many old iPhone and iPad users had complained about this. It’s been less than four years since our iOS devices become outdated — how sad is that?

Things I’ve Tried But Didn’t Work

I really wanted to try out the screen recording feature in iOS 11, so I spent a few hours digging into the topic, hoping to find a way to bypass this compatibility issue. Here’s what I tried — but didn’t work, unfortunately.

I signed up for the iOS 11 beta program hoping to manually download the package. At first, it seemed to work. I followed the instructions (see the screenshot below) until my iPad showed me a message like, “Restart your device to install this beta”. But in the end, that step turned out to be fruitless, and the iOS version of my iPad still remained 10.3.3.

Wondering if the error was due to limited storage, I also cleaned up the device, I then tried the previous step again. Still no difference.

I also connected the device to iTunes on my Mac and tried to manually check the Software Update. It still said the iOS version, 10.3.3, is up to date.

After that, I gave up begrudgingly. It is worth noting that Apple provides no explanations for why those devices are not included in iOS 11. If you’re interested in learning why you can learn more from this article.

“While Apple isn’t giving any answers, the likely reason why the original iPad is locked out from upgrading to the newest version of iOS is a memory issue.”

What Does This Mean To You?

First, check the compatibility list as shown above to see if your iPad (or iPhone, iPod Touch) supports the new iOS.

If, like me, you’re using an iPad 4 or older edition, save your time trying to install it, as the most up-to-date iOS version you can install is 10.3.3. This is unfortunate, but there’s no way you can get around that unless you buy a new iPad — which looks more powerful and attractive but is more expensive than ever as well.

If your iPad is eligible for the iOS 11 (or iOS 12) update, congratulations! You should have received a pop-up notification. Feel free to test out the newest features. Kindly share with us what you think about them.

38 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Update iPad to from iOS 10.3.3 to iOS 11?”

  1. One way I suppose to get people to buy a new IPad when there is nought wrong with the old one. Another money making issue by Apple. ?

  2. It is so infuriating to be excluded from updating. I have an iPad 4 Retina display.
    I could live with it I suppose, but I’m finding all the new apps that I want are not able to run on anything less than 11.0!
    And that is just not OK for me dang it!

    Thank you for educating me on this update issue.

  3. Thanks for being honest but this is disgusting another way for apple ? to make money as you there is nothing wrong with my I pad but being older it stops me from being up to date

  4. I’m having trouble updating software from 10.3 to 11, I found this problem after resetting my iPad to give to my kids now to download Netflix back on it’s giving this same result that it’s up to date Yet before the reset we had no problem using Netflix or anything similar

  5. Why??? Apple??? My iPad4 is in good condition….I don’t want to purchase a new one at this time……I need the software for update iOS11. Why is Apple making us buy a new product? The cost is prohibitive for Seniors on a Fixed Income!

  6. thank you for your update this has saved me many hours of trying different ways of updating my ipad4
    I’m not that technical and find this whole technology world very confusing

  7. Found your page while googling how to find chrome for iOS 10.3.dumpster.

    Ive never really had am opinion one way or another with regard to apple products. Im a pc nerd and figured to each h/er own. I’ve patiently searched and searched formehatbseems to be a unicorn that will allow me to upgrade this iPad. I really feel helpless.

    The rant? I can’t believe that a company so blatantly sells a product that cannot be updated to use I’m the real world, while all the while thumbing their noses and middle finger at all of their customers that trusted and bought these things. I mean for Petes sake, even Microsoft is still releasing updates for zero day threats.

    Trillion dollar company? It was. Anyways, sorry for your pain.

  8. Andreas,

    Well that confirms all of my efforts and several phone calls to Apple regarding my iPad 4. It’s very disappointing. I work on a huge Ancestry tree for my family and now I cannot research in depth or even some of the areas I used to because of this issue. And you are correct, the newest iPads are a ridiculously high priced item. I was searching online for a remedy when I came cross your blog.


  9. Thank you for this! I was going crazy as to why my iPad won’t update. Saying that I am absolutely fuming that my iPad will not support the new software which I’m finding a lot of apps only work with this. Meaning these iPads will soon, be useless! Terrible on Apples behalf. Money making scheme. Never ends.

  10. I’m in the same situation. Disgusted that this is a the case, left thinking that I should avoid Apple products in the future.

  11. As it is clear from the list you added, my iPad mini 3 is compatible with iOS 11 but i still can’t update it, it is showing that it’s up to date with iOS 9.3.6

  12. If I do not want to update
    new version and not want to
    see red number appear at
    corner of setting icon

    how can i erase it?

  13. Hello, This issue had me trying all kind of attempts to upgrade. Thanks to you, I no longer have to search for an answer.
    Thank you sooo much for your knowledgeable venture into this sad updating dilemma.
    I will eventually buy a new iPad, maybe for Christmas. ?

  14. While I understand forcibly dragging people, kicking and screaming, into the future it’s still sad I can’t use a perfectly good piece of equipment as long as I want to. I suppose I can but it will stop syncing some things and effectively break itself by being old. Something I am dreading about my own aging as well. I wonder if I’ll become as obsolete as my feelings about traditional values have become.

  15. Thanks for this, I have been trying to download the new BBC sounds app as tunein has had their services removed. The app will only download if you have iOS 11. There must be thousands of us with old iPads

  16. Thanks alot for your research. I have also been trying to work this out. It would be nice if the company raised their standards for their customers.

  17. I agree! Why continue to support an Apple device (like my iPad) and not allow for upgrade to the system (11) that is necessary to run lots of devices like my new Garmin…I will need to return it as I am on Superannuation and cannot afford either a iPhone to replace my dated sansong smart form or a new iPad…best of luck to us all!

  18. I wish someone had told me all those years ago that the device you are purchasing for all that money in not so many years to come will be vertually useless. I’m talking about my IPAD 4 . I spent a lot of money on it I loved my iPad I took it on vacations I took it to job sites for taking pics of work I’ve done its small size was great for traveling it’s lightweight even with my Otterbox cover it’s great battery life its durability dropped many times still going this device is like the Timex watch of computers it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
    I’m not ready to let go of my device but I have no choice I cannot install apps or update them there are others glitches as well like every time I open safari all web pages I had open are gone.
    It’s like a funeral for my device I have to let it go to the electronics scrap heap and fork over large sums of money for something else what I’m not sure what.

    So sad Apple you dropped the ball on this issue, but smart as a corporate move to make your product obsolete in just a few short years rendering customers handcuffed to a piece of useless plastic and assorted pieces of crap.

    Thanks for nothing Apple

  19. I now can’t access outlook on my iPad as it’s saying it need iOS 11 which I can’t download – any suggestions?

  20. It’s not good that we cannot do an update to ios 11 or better for the older iPads so you have to buy a new iPad.im on social security and can’t afford a new iPad. I got a Alexa for Christmas and need to update but cannot because my iPad is a older version.

  21. Thank you for your post. I feel a little less frustrated however, find it unreasonable that we are expected to upgrade constantly.

  22. Ridiculous that the updates don’t supporipad 4 . Nothing whatsoever wrong with my iPad except every day new versions of apps have used for years can no longer run and are not supported. Answer is buy new iPad . Surely apple can resolve this problem with all their hi tech super users , I live in hope

  23. Bang out of order this, I was quite willing to buy Apple products again too. I have an iPad 4 and would have liked to update it. Just goes to show the money grabbing sheer audacity of these multinational companies. They don’t really respect their consumers if they can do this. If it wasn’t for the general population buying these products then the likes of Apple and others wouldn’t be in business. I understand about upgrades and wanting to go one better if you can afford to do so. What I don’t grasp is if your machine or device works perfectly well then why the need for upgrades. I for one will be looking for other devices away from Apple in future which is a true shame..

  24. Well, congratulations Apple, I will NEVER buy another Apple product!! I’ll also be sure to spread my opinion about how my perfectly working 10.3.3 iPad is basically a coaster now since I have to get rid of it because it won’t keep up with anything new. Keep up the good work,….you’ll be out of business before you know it!! So far, everyone I talk to feels the same way!! Disposable Expendable Computers!

  25. I completely agree with all the comments others have left. It’s like buying a new car without the dealer telling you, “Oh, by the way, enjoy your car for the next three years, but they aren’t going to make any repair parts for it…you can keep using it beyond three years, but if you want to replace the tires or the battery you’re out of luck”.


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