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2,862 Tutorials

Updating a stubborn iPod touch to iOS 5

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous is having some difficulty downloading iOS 5. He writes:

I am trying to update my 3rd generation iPod touch to iOS 5. I have the latest version of iTunes. However, whenever I click "Check for Update," I get the message, "This version of the iPod software (4.2.1) is the current version." I restored the iPod and restarted the iPod several times--nothing. Any ideas?

First, be sure that what you have in you hand is really a 3rd generation iPod touch. Look on the back of the iPod. If, in the tiny text near the bottom, you see A1288, you have a 2nd generation iPod touch. (Also, if that device holds only 8GB of storage, it's a 2nd-gen touch.) If the model number is A1318 then it is indeed a 3rd generation iPod touch.

If iTunes won't cooperate, you can download the update directly from Apple. You can find iOS 5 updates by clicking the following links (these are direct download links):

iPhone 3GS 5.0

iPhone 4 (GSM) 5.0

iPhone 4 (CDMA) 5.0

iPhone 4S 5.0

iPod touch 3rd generation 5.0

iPod touch 4th generation 5.0

iPad (original) 5.0

iPad 2 (Wi-Fi) 5.0

iPad 2 (GSM) 5.0

iPad 2 (CDMA) 5.0

Once you've downloaded the correct update to your Mac, connect your iPod to your computer, select it in iTunes' Source list, hold down the Option key, and click on Restore. In the navigation window that appears, choose the update you downloaded. This will restore the device with the iOS 5 update. (Be sure to back up your iPod first, as this will wipe out its data.)

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