Can I still update to iOS 10?

iOS 10 was a major release of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. It was first released in 2016 and was available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch models going back several generations. iOS 10 brought many new features and improvements to the iOS platform, such as redesigned notifications, photos enhancements, Maps improvements, and more.

However, iOS 10 is now quite outdated as Apple has released numerous newer versions of iOS in the years since. The current latest version is iOS 16 which was released in 2022. This raises the question – is it still possible to update to iOS 10 on older devices that may have missed that update when it first came out? Let’s take a look.

Is iOS 10 still signed by Apple?

In order for an iOS device to install a specific version of iOS, that version needs to be currently “signed” by Apple. This means that Apple’s servers will verify and approve the installation files.

Once a new version of iOS comes out, Apple stops signing the previous version after some time. This is done to encourage customers to keep their devices up to date and to maximize the number of devices running recent releases.

Apple stopped signing iOS 10 way back in 2017 when iOS 11 was released. So iOS 10 has not been signed by Apple for over 5 years now. Any device trying to install iOS 10 today will get an error that the version is no longer usable.

Can I still downgrade to iOS 10?

Downgrading to older versions of iOS is not possible under normal circumstances. Once you update to a newer release, there is no built-in way to go back. The only exception is within the first few days after a new update comes out – there is a short window where you can downgrade back to the previous version if you run into major issues.

But that window has long passed for iOS 10. Unless you happen to have a device that has been untouched since 2016 and never updated past iOS 10, you cannot downgrade existing devices to iOS 10 anymore. The installation will fail as soon as it tries to verify with Apple’s servers.

What are some workarounds?

There are a few unusual workarounds that can allow installing iOS 10 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch today, but they come with major caveats:

  • Jailbreaking – This involves using exploits to “jailbreak” the device and bypass Apple’s locks. It allows modifying the device in unsupported ways. Jailbreaking and installing old iOS versions will likely be unstable and lack security updates.
  • Modifying update files – Some advanced users have managed to modify iOS update files to trick the device into installing older versions. This is extremely tricky, risks “bricking” your device, and the OS will still be insecure.
  • Using development devices – Apple allows installing older iOS versions on devices registered with Apple Developer accounts for development purposes only. But it requires a paid membership and doesn’t enable consumer use cases.

So while there are some complicated loopholes to get iOS 10 on a device today, they are not recommended for typical users. You risk breaking your device permanantly and running insecure, outdated software.

Should I update to iOS 10 in 2023?

Even if you manage to find a way to install iOS 10 today, it is not advisable to actually use it as your active iOS version. Here are some key reasons why:

  • Extremely outdated security – iOS 10 has not received security updates for over 5 years. All known vulnerabilities are unpatched. Using iOS 10 today would put your data at risk and make your device an easy target for attackers.
  • Missing features – iOS has added and improved hundreds of features over multiple releases since iOS 10. By using a 6+ year old OS, you lose access to newer capabilities.
  • App compatibility issues – Most apps have updated minimum iOS requirements well past iOS 10. Many would crash or have broken functionality, especially newer apps.
  • No technical support – Apple only provides support for the current and previous two iOS releases. You would be completely on your own troubleshooting iOS 10 today.
  • iCloud and services disruption – Apple has likely changed infrastructure dependencies over the years that could cause iCloud syncing, Notes, iMessage, FaceTime and other services to not work correctly on iOS 10.

So in summary, iOS 10 has long passed its expiration date and will likely be extremely problematic to use on a daily basis today despite the nostalgia factor. I would strongly recommend against updating to iOS 10 at this point for technical and security reasons.

What are my options for older iOS devices today?

If you have an older iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch that is currently running an outdated version of iOS like iOS 10, here are your main options:

Update to the newest compatible iOS version

The best option is to update your device to the absolute newest version of iOS that it supports. Although your device may not support the latest iOS 16, it likely supports something newer than iOS 10.

You can check compatible versions for your specific device model here:

Updating provides you with the latest features, security protections, app compatibility, and technical support. Be sure to backup your data and apps first.

Replace with a newer device

If your device is too old to update past iOS 10, it may be time to replace it with a newer model that supports recent iOS versions. Apple provides a few years of iOS updates for each device model.

Purchasing a newer iPhone or iPad will ensure you get the best iOS experience with the most up-to-date software. Trade-in deals from Apple and carriers can help offset upgrade costs.

Use device for limited purposes

If you wish to continue using an older device that can’t update past iOS 10, you may be able to do so for limited purposes. Simple apps like Phone, Messaging, Camera, Safari, and Music may still work fine.

But avoid using it for anything sensitive or dependent on newer iOS versions. And use extreme caution with security and app downloads. For optimal experience and security, upgrade to a newer device when feasible.


While iOS 10 was a major iOS release in its time, the operating system is now extremely outdated by 2023 standards and no longer supported or signed by Apple. There are very risky workarounds that may allow installing iOS 10 on some devices, but it is highly inadvisable due to massive security vulnerabilities and lack of compatibility.

Any devices still running iOS 10 today should be updated to the newest iOS version possible, even if that means upgrading your hardware to continue receiving the latest iOS support from Apple. Using iOS 10 in 2023 will likely be an exercise in frustrations and risks. The nostalgia factor does not outweigh the technical limitations.