Why won t my iPhone 10 update to iOS 15?

Upgrading to the latest version of iOS can be an exciting experience. You get access to new features, security updates, and performance improvements. However, sometimes an iOS update doesn’t show up on your iPhone as expected. If you have an iPhone 10 and iOS 15 hasn’t appeared for you yet, there are a few potential reasons why.

Your iPhone 10 may not be compatible with iOS 15

iPhones do not receive iOS updates indefinitely. Apple designs each new version of iOS to work on iPhones released in the past several years. iOS 15 is compatible with the following models:

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)

Unfortunately, the iPhone 10 is not on this list. Apple does not design major iOS versions to be compatible with iPhones older than 5-6 years. The iPhone 10 was released in September 2017, making it over 5 years old now. As a result, it did not make the compatibility cutoff for iOS 15.

Solutions if your iPhone 10 won’t update to iOS 15

If you have an iPhone 10 and still want to keep using it, here are a few options:

  • Stay on iOS 14 – Even if you can’t update to iOS 15, you should still be able to update to the latest version of iOS 14. This will provide security patches and fixes. Make sure to keep your iPhone 10 up-to-date on iOS 14.
  • Use Apple’s trade-in program – You can trade in your iPhone 10 and put the credit towards a newer iPhone that supports iOS 15, like an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13.
  • Sell your iPhone 10 – Sites like Gazelle or Decluttr allow you to sell your iPhone 10. You can then use the cash to buy a more recent used or refurbished iPhone model.

Will the iPhone 10 ever get iOS 15?

Unfortunately, no. Apple does not update iPhones to new iOS versions if they are not originally compatible. The iPhone 10 hardware is too outdated at this point to run iOS 15 smoothly. Apple made the decision during iOS 15 development to limit compatibility to the iPhone XS and newer.

What if I already updated my iPhone 10 to iOS 15?

If you already updated an iPhone 10 to iOS 15, you likely did so by installing a beta version of the software early. Developers and public beta testers had access to iOS 15 betas for testing purposes. However, installing the iOS 15 beta on an unsupported iPhone 10 was never recommended. You may experience significant performance, battery, and stability issues. At this point, it’s best to erase and restore your iPhone 10 back to iOS 14 using a computer. This will remove the problematic iOS 15 beta so your iPhone 10 functions correctly again.

Will my iPhone stop working if I don’t update to iOS 15?

No, your iPhone 10 will continue to work normally on iOS 14. Not updating to iOS 15 does not make your iPhone unusable. However, there are a few downsides to consider:

  • You’ll miss out on all the new features in iOS 15 like Focus mode, Live Text, redesigned notifications, SharePlay, and more.
  • Without security updates, your iPhone 10 may become vulnerable over time.
  • Some apps may require iOS 15 to work, limiting app compatibility.
  • You won’t be able to use certain services tied to iOS 15.

Overall though, your iPhone 10 will still function just fine for basic use on iOS 14. You just won’t get the latest Apple updates.

Will my iPhone 10 get any more iOS updates?

No, iOS 14 will likely be the last major iOS version released for the iPhone 10. Apple typically provides around 5 years of software support. iOS 13 in 2019 was likely the last major update for the iPhone 10. You may continue to receive minor iOS 14 updates for a short time, but those will also stop soon as Apple shifts focus to newer iPhones.

What features am I missing by not having iOS 15?

iOS 15 has many significant new features that iPhone 10 users will miss out on, including:

Feature Description
Focus mode Lets you filter notifications and apps based on what you want to focus on. Great for minimizing distractions.
Live Text Allows you to select text from objects in photos or camera view and take action on it.
Maps upgrades Detailed city maps, AR walking directions, enhanced transit features.
Wallet updates Support for home keys, office badges, and more.
Weather app revamp Beautiful new visuals and data in the Weather app.
Safari tab grouping Tabs can be saved in groups for easier organization.
iCloud+ features New premium services like Hide My Email and Private Relay.
SharePlay Watch and listen to synced content with others via FaceTime.
Notifications redesign More customizable and cleaner notification style.

What are the newest iPhone models that support iOS 15?

The newest iPhone models capable of running iOS 15 include:

  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (3rd generation)

Essentially any iPhone from the past 3-4 years supports iOS 15. This includes the full iPhone 12 and iPhone 11 lineups, along with the latest iPhone SE and iPhone 13 models. Older devices like the iPhone 10 unfortunately miss the cutoff.

What’s the oldest iPhone that can get iOS 15?

The iPhone SE (2nd generation) and iPhone 6s/6s Plus from 2015 are the oldest iPhones compatible with iOS 15. Specifically:

  • iPhone SE (2nd generation, 2020)
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus

The original iPhone SE and anything older cannot upgrade beyond iOS 14. Performance would likely suffer anyway on such outdated hardware if it could update.

Can I still use an iPhone 10 in 2022?

Absolutely! The iPhone 10 may not get iOS 15, but it remains a capable phone in 2022 for basic use cases. The A11 Bionic chip still delivers decent speed. You can use apps like messaging, email, web browsing, maps, and more without issue. Camera quality also remains decent. An iPhone 10 works great as a secondary or budget option these days despite being outdated for advanced use cases.

What should I do if my iPhone won’t update?

If your eligible iPhone fails to update to the latest iOS version, try these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check for a VPN connection and disconnect if necessary.
  2. Connect your iPhone to a computer and update via iTunes.
  3. Free up storage space on your iPhone. iOS updates require at least 2GB free.
  4. Update your iPhone wirelessly by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
  5. Perform a force restart by pressing Volume Up, Volume Down, then holding the Side button.
  6. Reset network settings under General > Reset.
  7. As a last resort, perform a factory reset to wipe your iPhone and reinstall iOS.

Will older iPhones stop working with new iOS versions?

At a certain point, Apple does stop releasing iOS updates for older iPhone models. Once support ends, those older iPhones remain stuck on an outdated final iOS version.

However, your iPhone won’t entirely stop working once updates cease. Apps and basic functions will continue operating. But there are some downsides to be aware of:

  • Security vulnerabilities will emerge without ongoing software updates
  • You’ll miss out on helpful new iOS features
  • Some newer apps may require a newer iOS version to run
  • Core functions like calls, texts, photos and emails will keep working fine generally
  • Your iPhone will feel increasingly outdated over time without updates

Plan on upgrading to a newer iPhone every 4-5 years to stay current with iOS capabilities. But in a pinch, an outdated iPhone can still get basic tasks done if needed.

Should I buy a new iPhone to get iOS 15?

Upgrading your iPhone solely for iOS 15 is only recommended if you’re coming from a very old model that’s missing key features. For example, if you have an iPhone 7 or earlier, iOS 15 may bring enough helpful upgrades to be worth considering a new iPhone purchase.

However, if you have a relatively modern device like an iPhone XR or iPhone 11, you may not gain enough from iOS 15 to justify an immediate upgrade. The decision depends on:

  • How old your current iPhone is
  • How much you value new iOS capabilities
  • Whether you need improved performance
  • How tight your budget is currently

In some cases, it’s worth waiting another year if your iPhone still meets your needs reasonably well. Evaluate your personal situation carefully before splurging on a new iPhone just for iOS 15.


To summarize the key points:

  • The iPhone 10 does not support iOS 15, only up to iOS 14.
  • If your iPhone 10 won’t update to iOS 15, it’s due to age and hardware limitations.
  • You can continue using an iPhone 10, but will miss out on the latest features and updates.
  • Consider trading in or selling your iPhone 10 for a newer model if iOS 15 compatibility is important to you.
  • iPhones generally get around 5 years of full software support from Apple.

Hopefully this breakdown helps explain what’s going on if your iPhone 10 won’t update to iOS 15. Although it’s disappointing to miss out on major updates, you can still get quite a bit of life out of your iPhone 10. Take time to consider whether moving to iOS 15 via a newer iPhone upgrade makes sense for your needs and budget right now.