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 at 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 opening your iPad and tapping 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.

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.

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  • William

    Fraud/theft at the highest level, customers shafted!!!!

  • Jim Kiricov

    I can believe Apple did this, makes sense. How else could they introduce new and more expensive devices if our old ones could do most of the same. So they stopped the upgrades, and they can always say it’s because of the memory issue which I seriously doubt has anything to do with memory because you can’t downlo0ad any of the newer apps now! I have those same apps on my androids and they do not use much memory at all.

    We are stuck in this two dimensional hell with two corrupt company’s, Apple and Microsoft, and two corrupt parties, Democrats and Republicans. Talk about the deck being stacked against us lol

  • Julius

    Thanks so much for the education! But can’t Apple retrieve our I-pad 4s that can’t be updated and replace them with the latest ones that we can update with at a subsidised price?

  • Glenda

    It would be acceptable if apple would give us a trade in for the equipment they made obsolete

  • erdie

    Yes, really, Fuck the Apple anyway..

  • Ahmed

    My clansmen and I will never buy Apple products. Android baby:)

  • Tim Rudall

    This is a low move from apple,how they just assume that ordinary people that have bills mortgage families to support can just go out and replace these expensive items ,when they decide they don’t want to support older models ,a crass corporate decision by sociopathic ceo’s who couldn’t give 2 shits about the affordability factor when you consider most hard working families have less than a few hundred in the bank and are never more than a few steps from the breadline,forced to use expensive technology because everything is online now ,I hate this world it’s proper shit.

  • Andrew Williams

    Good bye apple not getting any more of my hard earned cash. Android will be my go to from now on.

  • Cath

    I totally agree with all the above.. Why should folk have to upgrade all the time when their iPad or phone works perfectly well . I have iPhone 5c .. I just noticed as I tried to down load an app and went through the same process to find it won’t let me upgrade to ios 11.. well even though i am looking to upgrade soon it won’t be with apple who don’t care about their customers only money .

  • Vrsp

    Disgraceful … Nothing wrong with my iPad except it needs updating but now is not compatible because Apple are clearly trying to force people into buying a newer product at an unaffordable price. Can’t even access Netflix which l pay for! Oh well many other devices in my house to access what l want … All Samsung. Thought l’d give Apple a go and purchased 2 iPads for myself and my daughter because l also like to access iTunes (no doubt my iPod will be affected by this issue! I am really angry because our iPads look like they have just come out their boxes for in the shop! They are in mint condition yet l am now expected to just find the money for newer iPads at the drop of a hat. I personally have all the technology l need. This is a disgusting action by Apple and certainly not a way to saving the environment with this throwaway attitude! From now on l’ll stick to my Android … looks like our iPads are only fit for the bin!

  • Courtney

    First time buying a iPad let again a apple products and can say what a waste off money bought an iPad for work and studying. Can’t even use it! slow and annoying as hell

    Disappointed Apple no wonder why I stick with Android and Samsung!

    Can’t update!!!

  • GARY

    apple are just rip-offs if you buy there item you should be able to get the updates unless told when you bought the item if not this is illegal

  • Paul Dacre

    Same here can’t download Spotify because it runs on ISO 11 we are been ripped offfffff. Buy buy Apple.

  • Preacher Man

    Just disgusted, that’s all! I’ve tried everything I knew to do. No use calling tech support. They can’t wave their hands and get us out of this one. I’m considering purchasing another one. All my sermons and everything else is on this iPad 4. Shameful thing!!! Praying for the monies to afford a more advanced iPad. Which way do we go from here? Only God knows!

  • Preacher Man

    Just discusted, that’s all. Tried everything I knew how. No use calling tech support. They can’t wave there hands and get us out of this one. I’m considering purchasing another one. All my sermons and everything else is on this IPad 4. Shameful thing. Praying for the monies to afford another iPad. Which way do we go from here? Only God knows!

  • B Hendry

    Well, it seems obvious that Apple has us by the short hairs and everyone seems ready to go android. My question is, do android products have the same “expendability” attitude as Apple? And how about being held hostage by Microsoft. It’s seems every new update of Windows gets more complicated to use, not to mention that you basically rent it. It reminds me of a dialogue I heard some years ago between a software/computer mogul and a car manufacturer with the computer guy bragging how the cost of computers had gotten so much cheaper and if the auto industry had done the same you could buy a new car for pennies on the dollar. The retort was something along the lines of “yes, and you could also be driving down the road and have your car spontaneously “crash” every other day!” (my paraphrase of the dialog). I still drive my 09 Dodge Ram and it runs like a champ and have never had any issues with it. Could probably get another ten years of good service. So, I’m thinking we’re stuck like Chuck. Maybe we could start a collection of out-of-date iPads and dump them by the front door of Apple with little Thank You notes attached.

  • A dill

    It’s really not fair. I have a freak in iPod and I can’t install the most essential apps on this iPod. Not even gmail application.

  • Peter

    It is a betrayal of trust. They should be ashamed. Apple ought to be made to buy them back. Its theft from their customers and bad for the environment. I would never buy Apple product again and never recommend them to anyone. Goodbye Apple.

  • Archibald

    Thanks for your blog. No one is interested in this issue as long as it doesn’t affect business. We live in a greedy world. The more money Big businesses make, why should they worry themselves about such issues – It doesn’t affect their interest. Big businesses know our mourns are infinitesimal. Until consumers are willing to flex their muscles, big greedy businesses will continually take us for a ride.

    Thanks again for your blog.

  • Normajean

    Loved my iPad 4 had it many years but refuse to be made to purchase a new iPad so I can have IOS11 just rediculous .
    Love my Samsung android phone, so matching Samsung tablet it is then when I am ready.

  • Nunna Yerbidness

    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”.

  • Brenda

    I can’t believe a prominent co such as apple would go to such lengths to milk money from customers. Bye bye apple Hello Android

    • OwenBland

      Lol this is for every phone on the market even Android does this it’s because the hardware of the phone is just not good enough for the newer more powerful and more features of the newer operating systems, in fact Android even has a lower compatibility time, so yea…

  • Jeff Carota

    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!

    • Mark Groves

      Tried for ages to sort this. It makes no sense at all. My IPad is still going strong and thankfully I can still watch porn on it, so up yours Apple ????

  • Mark

    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..

  • Susan

    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

  • Lisa Gibson

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

  • Linda

    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.

  • Barbara Holloway

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

  • Wayne

    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

  • Rita

    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!

  • Ricky Frost

    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.

  • Janice bardwell

    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

  • Bill Bronson

    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.

  • Taylor

    Seem as though you could jail break and install

  • LaVonne Herrera Olah

    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. ?

    • Phil

      Buy an android tablet! Samsung still provide updates for machines produced in 2009, 11 years old, yet Apple have dropped any interest in 4 year old machines. Only a mug would buy Apple again!

  • Steve

    Dear sir: Can not get out of 9.3. Would like to get 10.3.3 or newer thanks steve

  • Jake

    That’s because Apple is a bunch of evil mutherfucking cocksucking sons of hiv diseased whores

    • Len (UK)

      Oh, my goodness, I did have a good laugh when I read this comment.
      Eveyone else is probably thinking similar thoughts, but remaining dignified in translation.
      To be perfectly honest, Jake, you lifted my gloomy spirits?
      “Thanks,” mate.

      P.S. On my ipad, I cannot update beyond 10.3.3 either.
      So, I can no longer stream YouTube via my Chromecast.

  • Chakrit

    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?

  • Dash

    This sucks.. I can’t even download half the apps, I tried to factory reset too n now I can’t redownlad drive

  • Isha kazmi

    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

  • Virgene Anderson

    That is not good. Guess I am stuck with 10.3.

  • Basia

    Thank You!
    Your explanation is very clear. Everything is related to Apple’s commercial interests.
    Basia Grinberg

  • Kate Morris

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

  • Sabrina

    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.

  • Barbara


    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.


  • Bob

    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.

  • Karren

    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

  • Bonnie J. Ballard

    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!

    • Yvette

      Absolutely! It’s also cost prohibitive for some on disability payments. My iPad 10.3.3 is good condition. Why pay unessessary expenses to replace it?

      I use mine daily for email, news, ebooks, you tube and googling pointless subjects such as how to update my old iPad (which cannot be updated)!!
      Thanks for the info Andreas.

      Thanks (NOT) Apple. Don’t break a hip when you climb down off that pedestal you think you should be on……..

  • Gaby

    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

  • Bob

    Thank you, very helpful but not very good on Apples part. Will probably make many of us go for Google os

  • Sandy

    Well if I have to buy a new iPad to check my gmail I will not buy and Apple I wil go to android. Thanks a lot.

  • Johnny

    I will never buy iPad again

    • jk

      True, people should stop buying apple products. They have closed ECOSYSTEM and no Custom MODs. Can’t easily upgrade to latest iOS and Apps on your devices. Planned Obsolescence, intentionally shorten lifespan of products with the aim of making customers replace it.

    • Issiah Amelse

      Your a idiot my friend

  • Julie Morris

    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

    • Paul

      I am furious about this. I shan’t buy apple again.

  • Maddie B

    I have an iPad 4

    • Ian Bellamy

      After being asked to look at the 10.3 update limit for a friend .
      This is why I don’t buy apple products it’s all a con designed to get you to spend more with them. Bin it save money buy Samsung.

  • Maddie B

    This is very useful, I have an iPad 4 and was super confused when everyone was talking about the new update and I didn’t get it but now I know why

  • Stuart Richards

    Thank you, I’ll go out and buy a samsung

    • Vince

      Same here.. Fuck Apple

      Third device paid, working well but obsolete because of the iOs upgrade.

      Enough is enough.

      Their time to pay for the rest of my life and all family members and friends I help with mobile devices all year long

  • Sue G

    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.

  • Jane Chidlow

    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. ?

    • Fay

      I know why we can’t update our iPads. It’s because Apple doesn’t have enough money so they make ppl buy the latest iPad to get richer.

      News flash: I’ll be using my iPad 4 for a long time. Unless I decide to go with Samsung in the future.