Is iOS 9 no longer supported?

iOS 9 was released by Apple on September 16, 2015 alongside the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. It brought several new features to iPhones and iPads, including an updated Siri with proactive suggestions, improved multitasking on iPad with split-screen view, transit directions in Maps, and a News app (GottabeMobile). However, iOS 9 is now several generations behind the latest iOS release.

As an operating system provider, Apple supports older iOS versions for a certain period of time with security updates and bug fixes. Each major iOS release is typically supported for around 5 years after initial release before Apple stops issuing updates (ABC News). This allows users to continue using older iPhones and iPads without compromising security or reliability, even if they don’t upgrade to the latest iOS right away.

iOS Version Lifecycle

Apple generally provides software updates for iOS devices for 5-6 years after an iOS version is released (Source 1). There are a few factors that determine when Apple stops supporting an iOS version:

  • Hardware compatibility – New iOS versions require more powerful hardware, so older devices get left behind.
  • Security updates – Apple prioritizes supporting iOS versions that receive important security patches.
  • Adoption rate – If few people continue using an iOS version, Apple is less inclined to keep supporting it.

For example, iOS 9 was released in 2015 alongside the iPhone 6S. It received iOS updates until 2019. At that point, iOS 9 was 4 years old and run on less than 10% of active devices. Thus, Apple discontinued support in favor of newer iOS versions (Source 2).

iOS 9 Support Timeline

iOS 9 was first released on September 16, 2015. It was the tenth major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. for their iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices. iOS 9 introduced improvements to Siri and search, support for public transit in Maps, proactive suggestions, multitasking enhancements on iPad, and more [1].

iOS 9 received updates for over 2 years after its initial release in September 2015. The last major update was iOS 9.3.5, released on August 25, 2016. This update patched three critical security vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution and access to user data [2]. iOS 9 is no longer supported as of October 24, 2016 [3]. It was supported on iPhone 4s and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini 1 and later, and iPod touch 5th generation and later.

Lack of Support Implications

Using an unsupported iOS version like iOS 9 comes with several potential consequences. The main issue is increased vulnerability to security breaches, as Apple no longer provides security updates for unsupported iOS versions (Source). Without security patches, any newly discovered exploits can be used to access your data or take control of your device.

Additionally, apps may begin to crash or freeze more often on older iOS versions. According to one Quora user, lack of compatibility updates can lead to slower response times (Source). Outdated apps may lose functionality or stop working altogether as developers optimize for newer iOS versions.

Finally, sticking with an unsupported iOS means missing out on all the latest features and improvements with each iOS update. Your iPhone won’t get speed boosts, design refreshes, new default apps, or improved functionality like Dark Mode if you stay on iOS 9.

Upgrade Options

Several older iPad models that originally shipped with iOS 9 are eligible for an upgrade to a newer iOS version. Specifically, the iPhone 6 and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation and later can upgrade from iOS 9 to the latest version (About iOS 9 Updates).

To perform the upgrade on an eligible device, go to Settings > General > Software Update and tap “Download and Install.” You’ll need to have sufficient storage available, be connected to WiFi, and have your device charged above 50% (Can I update my iPad from iOS 9.3.5 to iOS 14?). The upgrade package can be large, so it’s best to use a stable WiFi connection. Make sure to backup your device before upgrading.

Upgrading from iOS 9 will allow you to get the latest features and security patches. It’s recommended to stay current if possible to have a smooth, optimized experience and avoid issues with app compatibility as more apps require newer iOS versions.

Still on iOS 9?

If you are still using an iPhone or iPad with iOS 9 installed, it is highly recommended to upgrade as soon as possible. Apple no longer provides software updates or security patches for iOS 9, leaving your device vulnerable. Upgrading will give you access to the latest features and improved security.

Before upgrading, be sure to backup your device either using iCloud or iTunes. This will save your data, settings, photos, and other important information in case anything goes wrong during the upgrade process. You may also want to make a list of your most essential apps and check if newer versions are available for the latest iOS version you are upgrading to.

Some older 32-bit apps will stop working when you upgrade as iOS 11 and later only support 64-bit apps. Find 32-bit apps by going to Settings > General > About and checking under “Applications.” You may want to find replacements for these apps before upgrading.

Once your device is backed up and you’ve made app compatibility checks, you can upgrade to the latest iOS version your device supports by going to Settings > General > Software Update and following the onscreen instructions.

The Future of iOS

iOS 9 users are missing out on exciting new features and improvements available in the latest iOS versions. With the release of iOS 17 in 2023, Apple previewed innovative capabilities not supported by iOS 9, such as:

StandBy – Lets you glance at widgets and key information while your iPhone charges in landscape orientation. This allows users to conveniently view essential data at a distance.

Interactive widgets – More customizable and glanceable widgets that can be accessed directly from the lock screen and home screen.

As Apple continues advancing iOS, they remain committed to supporting more recent iOS versions with ongoing updates and security patches. iOS 9 stopped receiving support years ago in 2016. To ensure you have access to the latest iOS features and security protections, it’s important to stay current and upgrade from iOS 9.

Apple encourages users to keep their iPhones up to date for the best experience. With iOS 17 expected to launch in fall 2023, iOS 9 will lag 6 major versions behind. Upgrading provides access to innovative capabilities that make iPhone usage more seamless, customizable and secure.


As we’ve explored, iOS 9 is no longer supported by Apple as of 2018. This means devices still on iOS 9 no longer receive important security updates, bug fixes, or new features that newer iOS versions provide. While some apps and functions may still work on iOS 9, lack of support creates growing issues over time that will only compound.

Upgrading from iOS 9 is highly recommended for all users still on this outdated version. Move to a newer iOS like iOS 12 or iOS 13 to ensure your device remains secure and functional. Staying current with iOS upgrades enables you to keep enjoying the latest capabilities and innovations with Apple devices. Don’t get left behind on old iOS versions.

Further Reading

If you’re looking to learn more about iOS support timelines, upgrading your device’s operating system, or Apple products in general, check out some of these helpful resources:


No sources were directly cited in this original article. The information presented reflects the author’s personal knowledge and experience with iOS and Apple devices.

To learn more about iOS versions and Apple support timelines, readers may wish to consult Apple’s own publiciOS version history documentation, as well as technology websites like MacRumors which closely follow Apple software updates.