Even though iOS 5 won’t be released officially until October 12th, you can install the final version right now even if you’re not a developer. Thanks to some anonymous public postings of the software update files, you can update right now. Here’s how.
UPDATE: iOS 5 has been officially released! Read this to learn how to install the update the official, Apple-sanctioned way.
Special thanks to Locker Gnome for discovering this and The Tech Erra for providing links to the IPSW files.
First things first, back up your iDevice with iTunes in case of a problem. There have been a few reported issues with this process. We’ve run into them ourselves. We tested this with Whitson’s 4G iPod touch, and it didn’t work initially but we got it to function after restoring iOS 4.3.5 and trying the iOS 5 upgrade on a different computer. The point is, you’re going to need to restore regardless so back up. Once that’s done, grab the relevant software update at one of the following URLs:
Note: These links have been updated to list all supported devices and clear up any confusion. Also, you will need a copy of iTunes 10.5 beta 7 or higher. You can download it for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, or Mac OS X. If you’re on Windows you may also want the iCloud Control Panel.
- Open up the DMG file (Windows users will need a tool like 7-Zip to do this, and will need to open the .hfs inside the .dmg as well), and find the IPSW file for your device. Drag it to the desktop, or a folder of your choosing.
- Open iTunes and connect your iDevice to your computer.
- If your device isn’t automatically selected in iTunes, select it and go to the “Summary” tab.
- Hold down the option key on a Mac or the shift key on Windows and click the Restore button. Browse to the IPSW file you download it, select it, and wait for the update to finish.
- If necessary, restore your device from backup and sync with iTunes.
That’s all you have to do. It shouldn’t take to long and you’ll be up and running with iOS 5 right away.