Apple first took the wraps off iOS 13 back in June at its annual developer conference. The update arrived on Sept. 19, and less than a week later, the company is pushing iOS 13.1 to iPhones right now.
In terms of bringing new features, iOS 13.1 isn't anywhere near as significant as iOS 13 was. That said, the latest software does carry a number of bug fixes, like a patch for a security flaw that allowed someone to bypass an iPhone's lockscreen and access a user's contacts. Additionally, you can now share your ETA with friends and family via Apple Maps.
If that sounds like something you want right now, it's time to install iOS 13.1. Here's how to get Apple's updated OS onto your iPhone. And be sure to check out our full iOS 13 review to see how well all of the new features in that major update work, from the all-new system-wide Dark Mode to the redesigned Photos app.
Should I download iOS 13.1?
iOS 13.1 represents the first refinement on iOS 13 that Apple has pushed out, meaning this update should be safer and more reliable than the one that immediately preceded it. The fact that so much of the update revolves around correcting glitches means you should go ahead and feel confident in downloading it, especially if you already installed iOS 13 on your iPhone and you've had a few issues with it thus far.
Which iPhones support iOS 13.1?
You'll be able to install iOS 13.1 on an iPhone 6s or later — basically, any phone released by Apple since 2015. That includes the iPhone SE, and iOS 13.1 runs on the 7th generation iPod touch, too.
iPad owners are also receiving iPad OS 13 today as well. This year, Apple split iOS into two versions — one for the iPhone and one for the iPad with more tablet-centric features. iPadOS 13, which offered many of the same improvements found in iOS 13, is hitting devices right now — a week earlier than the Sept. 30 Apple announced during the iPhone 11 launch event. To find out how to download that update, follow along with our handy guide for iPad users.
Installing iOS 13.1: First make a backup
Anytime you install a new OS on your iPhone, you should always back up your device first. And archiving that backup means you'll be able to jump back to the older version of iOS should this release prove unstable. (Like we said, the odds are low, but it's always good to have a backup at the ready.
Here's how to back up your iPhone before installing iOS 13.1.
1. Plug your iOS device into your computer and launch iTunes. Click on the iPhone icon to access your device.
2. Backup your iPhone. Make sure you've selected This Computer as the location for the backup and then click Back Up Now.
3. Go to the Preferences Menu and select Devices. You'll see a list of your last iPhone backups.
4. Control-click on the backup you just made, and on the menu that appears, select Archive. This will prevent subsequent backups from writing over this version.
How to Install iOS 13.1 from Your iPhone
With a backup in place, you're finally ready to install iOS 13.1 on your iPhone. Here's how to do it over-the-air. (Since this is a big update, you should really do this installation over Wi-Fi, and make sure your iPhone is plugged into a power source.)
1. Tap the Settings app and select General.
2. Select Software Update.
3. iOS 13.1 should appear there. Tap Download & Install.
4. You'll be prompted to enter your passcode and then you'll need to agree to Apple's terms and conditions.
From there, the iOS 13.1 update will start downloading. When it's time to install, your phone will restart. The installation process could take a while, so be patient.
How to Install iOS 13.1 from iTunes
Since you have to plug in your phone and make a backup anyway when installing a major iOS update, I've always found it just easier to run the installation through iTunes. (With iTunes going away in macOS Catalina, this process is likely to change, but it will still work for now with iOS 13.1.)
1. With your iPhone plugged into your computer, launch iTunes.
2. Click on the iPhone icon near the top of the application window to go to the screen where you can manage your device.
3. Click either Check for Update or Update if iOS 13.1 is already listed as available.
4. Tap Install when asked if you want to install the download.
5. Agree to Apple's terms of service. You may be required to enter a passcode on your iPhone or iPad. Once you've done this, the software will begin downloading and your device will reboot to start updating.