Over-the-Air vs iTunes update - which one are you doing?

How are you updating?

  • iTunes

    Votes: 50 46.3%
  • OTA

    Votes: 58 53.7%

  • Total voters


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 23, 2010
London, UK
As per the title, which update method are you going through to update your iDevice - OTA or iTunes?

I'm personally going through OTA as generally it's a lot faster than through iTunes.

EDIT: Lol, 5.7GB? Scrap that, i'm doing it over iTunes (if it will connect):(

Last edited:


macrumors member
Aug 12, 2014
I have class at 1 PM EDT, but I'll probably wait 30 minutes before I go and download onto my iPad. I'll hold off on my iPhone until I get back from class. I figured I can take lecture notes "the old-fashioned way" until my iPad finishes updating. :)

I understand Apple's decision to withhold SMS Relay, but I do wish they had withheld iCloud Drive. I am still on Mavericks, so I don't want to not be able to work on my schoolwork. I'm not complaining, just stating my opinion. I do know that I can bypass that for now, but I already had a bad experience with the public beta of Yosemite (long story short, I accidentally clicked on iCloud Drive instead of Documents & Data. My mistake!). Just afraid that I'll make the same mistake.

Why am I worrying? Goodness, I'm such a worry-wart. :confused:

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
Kassel, Germany
iTunes, always seems the cleanest to me.

As it was the recommended way for least potential of troubles, I'll stick to that.
The phone's sitting on my desk anyways.

Glassed Silver:mac


macrumors member
May 26, 2014
Can anyone explain what the difference is installing the update via OTA and iTunes...


macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2012
Banff, AB
Over iTunes, because that's the way I do major updates, I always do a fresh install for all major iOS releases which is not an option while upgrading OTA. OTA for all the 8.x.x updates to follow.


macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
Not enough room on my iPhone to do OTA (even with removing music and photos) and I really don't want to remove apps, so iTunes it is (whenever it propagates to iTunes, that is... showing up on OTA but not iTunes yet for me)...


macrumors member
Jun 18, 2009
I would prefer to do it on iTunes (clean install and faster download), but it's only available OTA right now (art least for me), so I'm doing OTA. It's about a ten minute download.

Update: Looks like I'm going to have to do it on iTunes -- my OTA downloaded 75% of the way and then frappe rout, giving me an error. (And I have over 7 gb free on my phone, so memory should not be the problem.) And now it's saying that downloading will take an hour. :)


macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2013
Doing it on iTunes due to lack of space on iPhone but it says it's going to take 7 hours! I'm on a 152Mb connection here!


macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2013
Is it possible to save my wifi passwords when I'm doing a clean install? Data and apps are not a problem to reinstall but I don't want it to forget all wifi connections.


macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2009
Just updated both my iPhone 5s and iPad mini Retina to iOS 8 through iTunes/USB.

Each update took 2-3 minutes to download and another 4-6 minutes to install. All told, I updated both in under 20 minutes.

This is on release day (Sept. 17), at 2pm EST, over my university's 1 Gbps connection (which my iMac is connected to via ethernet).

This has been hands-down the smoothest iOS update process I've ever gone through.

I'll do future 8.x.x delta updates OTA.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2013
My iPad Air told me I need almost 7 gigs free to do OTA. That makes ota impossible for me.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2008
OTA was going really fast but now I've been sitting on "Preparing Update" what seems like forever! It downloaded really fast but I am on my work WiFi and it's not capped so it was quick. If you have to have 4.7 GB free like someone said for the iPad, not sure how I'll be able to do my iPad because it is only a 16 GB device and it's almost full. I did delete a bunch of apps I don't use last night and did a backup so we'll see. Hoping this OTA on my phone finishes soon! Of course, I'll only have it hopefully for two days if all goes as planned on Friday! :D


macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
iTunes all the way.

With Apple's servers getting slammed, I'd rather just let iTunes take its time with the iOS download, and make the update after I have the full installation file ready to go. The update goes faster when connected to iTunes (I also do a factory reset and restore from backup when making a major iOS update), and I don't have to worry about not having enough free space to proceed.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
Is it possible to save my wifi passwords when I'm doing a clean install? Data and apps are not a problem to reinstall but I don't want it to forget all wifi connections.
Not a problem if you restore from a backup after doing the clean install. At least that's how it works when using a local backup with iTunes. Not sure if that's the case using iCloud.
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