iOS 5 Troubleshooting Tips

iOS 5 has been available for over a week now. Make Tech Easier has tested it out, millions have downloaded the software, and it’s been seen as the best iOS yet. However, there are a large handful of individuals who are without iOS 5. The reasons are numerous, they have a 3G, they wanted to wait until the bugs were sorted out, and other reasons we can sure understand. It’s safe to say very few people are holding out by choice. However, there are some individuals who are stricken with problems after downloading iOS 5. We are here to help you out of your sticky situation so you can enjoy iOS 5 like everyone else.

1. Error Messages


When updating, most individuals received an error message after backing up. In the beginning, this was due to a system overload, however there is still a possibility that you could encounter this problem even today. I personally encountered an error message four times before finally getting my hands on the software. The simple solution to error messages is to try and try again. Persistence is key because error messages hit random individuals, not necessarily due to your device.

2. Network Issues


If you encounter a network problem, then we would like to say congratulations on successfully getting iOS 5 on your device. Don’t worry, a network issue is quite simple to fix and can be resolved without even connecting to iTunes.First, you’ll have to go to “Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings”. The “reset” page scares many, especially since a couple of wrong moves can wipe clean your device if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, resetting network settings simply put your device’s carrier settings to the factory default. The worst that happens is that your saved web passwords are lost, another reason to keep better track of those pass codes!

3. Slower Device


Despite Apple approving a device as iOS 5 ready, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will run as well as on the iPhone 4S for example. Devices like the iPhone 3GS, especially the 8GB model, can run a little slower with iOS 5, even with a standard amount of applications. I personally run iOS 5 on a 3GS. I find it to work fine with average iOS 5 specific tasks, but can be buggy when going to features like Notification Center while using more processor intensive activities like games.

4. Device Just Won’t Upgrade


Some users forget that iOS 5 just isn’t available for all Apple devices. This is due to system requirements that older devices don’t support. Usually when the most recent software doesn’t support a device, that’s usually the sign that the device is considered discontinued and you should look into an upgrade. For iOS 5, these are the devices supported:

  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPad Original
  • iPad 2
  • iPod Touch (3rd and 4th Generation)

In addition to your device, make sure you have the latest iTunes software. There was an update that was released before iOS 5 was released to prepare the system.

When All Else Fails

If it seems like there is no solution to this problem, don’t worry, there is always another way. In this case, it does involve a full reboot of your Apple device.

First, back up your device. Since backing up doesn’t involve iOS 5 in any way, it should back up without a problem.


Once backed up, reset your device within your device. This is done by going to “Settings”, then “General”, followed by “reset”, and finally “Erase All Content and Settings”. This process can take one to a couple of hours, so do other things while you wait.


Once done, update as if it were a new device and your problem should be fixed.


If not, it’s definitely an internal problem that may be beyond repair. Apple Care should provide you with a new device due to the fact that it’s an internal problem; all you will have to do afterward is perform a simple sync. Your new iPhone should come automatically with iOS 5. This also means that you could do OTA (over the air) sync and set up from the iPhone itself.

Ari Simon Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn't working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.


  1. Help – I downloaded ios5 and now my phone only works on speaker phone! On normal mode I can be heard but can hear the caller. Ideas and assistance please!!

    1. Hello Doreen,

      Surprisingly, this is a common problem for individuals who have had water damage with their phones. While I don’t want you to think you have water damage, I would like to recommend some external changes before blaming it on iOS 5. Here are some recommended fixes.
      1. Check the water sensor (look inside your headphone socket) and see what the color is. You will have to go near the light to see this. What is the color that you see? If it’s white, then you certainly don’t have water issues. If it’s any other color, usually a pink or red (heavy water damage), then you have a damaged device.
      2. Go back to the headphone jack and see if you notice any dust or solid objects near there. Due to our phone being placed on the floor, in our pockets and other places, dust and other things can get in. This can activate the *very* sensitive headphone jack. Try to clean this with compressed air or other dry options.
      3. Test to see if you can hear with the headphone jack in the phone. This is just a precautionary test to see if it’s a full audio problem (aside from speakers).
      4. If one – three didn’t solve the problem, then it’s a software problem definitely. As usual with iOS 5 problem, try to back up, wipe the device, and re-download iOS 5. If this didn’t fix the problem, then it’s highly recommended to go to your local Apple Store and see if they can fix the problem.

      Hopefully we fixed the problem, if so, please comment back with an update. If any other problems occur, please check out this article to see if we covered the problem you are suffering from.

  2. Hi!

    A few of my chargers will not work after the update. Has this been a problem for anyone else?

    Also, after numerous attempts, I cannot find my calendar on my iphone. It synced with my ipad and can be seen there, but it has not shown up on my iphone. I use Yahoo mail and the calendar is shown there as well.  I do not use iCal on my home computer, nor do I use Mail.

    Any help is appreciated.


    1. Yes, it is a common problem for the iPhone on iOS 5 to not receive wall charges, but if your “chargers” won’t work, then you’ll need to replace the chargers themselves. If it’s the iPhone not receiving a charge, then the common fix is to drain fully and then charge fully the device.

      On the calendar front, if I am correct, you said you can’t find your synced calendars on your iPhone. They synced with your iPad but not iPhone. You use Yahoo mail and calendar, but not synced with your home computer. Chances are, you’ll have to try and import your Yahoo calendar to your home iCal and from there sync the iPhone with iCal. This will provide the best fix. 


    1. Hello Francois,

      I don’t think the word “supposed to” was the right choice of words, but the short answer to your question is yes. Here’s why: The duration of the download depends on your internet connection. So not everyone has the same length of time it takes to complete the download. The only thing that isn’t supposed to happen is a frozen download. If it is showing the same time (for example: “3 hours remaining…”) and it’s been like that for, say, four hours, then you should restart the download. Other than that, just try to be patient and it’ll finish soon. If it becomes unbearably long, try using another WIFI connection at maybe a coffee shop.


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