Updating to iOS 4 on your iPhone 3G

Updating to iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G

Updating to iOS 4 on any iPhone 3G or 3GS should be easy-as-pie, and it is. However, after having read this report by the good folks at TUAW this morning, I figured I should take heed and do things the proper way. It seems as though many folks running the iPhone 3G are getting ‘3002’ errors when attempting the update. To avoid this, it was suggested one restore their iPhone 3G first. Makes sense to me… So that’s what I did. With my trusty old iPhone 3G in hand, I set off to install iOS 4 goodness.

Ready to rock? Have your iPhone 3G in-hand? OK, this is what you’ll need to do.

First, connect your iPhone to your desktop via your sync cable. iTunes should pop open, provide you have ‘Open iTunes when this iPhone is connected’ ticked off in your summary tab.

Once in and iTunes finishes backing-up and syncing, if you are not greeted with an update alert, hit the ‘check for updates’ button. You should be greeted with a notice that iOS 4 is available. Cancel this. Before you install you’re going to want to ‘restore’ your device. All this does is wipe your device clean, so that iOS 4 can be installed on a spick-and-span iPhone 3G. It’s a good thing to do. Just make sure your backup has run before you initiate the restore!

To make things even easier, if you’ve already been greeted with the iOS 4 update option (you should have seen this when you checked for updates), when you click the ‘restore’ button you should notice a ‘Restore and Update’ button. What this will do is not only restore your device, but update it to iOS 4 as well. It’s an all-in-one deal!

Restore and Update your iPhone 3GAfter the restore takes place, you will of course need to reboot your iPhone. When this happens, you’ll notice the ‘set up your iPhone’ screen in iTunes. This is where you can set things straight, and restore your backup. Tick the ‘Restore from the backup of…’ option and click continue. Your data, apps, contacts and everything else should be restored. That’s pretty much it, you’re good to go on iOS 4!

If you’re concerned about ‘restoring’ your iPhone, you shouldn’t be. As long as you’ve backed up your device, a restore and update will do nothing more than wipe your device clean, install the new OS, and then slap your backup right back down on your device. For whatever reason this method is needed when installing iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G… So, if it’s not too much trouble for you, I suggest you give it a shot. I did, and I’m up and running on iOS 4. It’s all good.

iOS 4 Running on the iPhone 3G

iOS 4 up and running on my iPhone 3G. Note the new Calculator icon. Yum.

  • JediSoth

    Of course, it would have been helpful if Apple would have given us this information from the get-go. Some of us took the prompt to install the new OS as meaning our old phone could take it with no hitches. It's not like Apple can't tell what kind of phone we have through iTunes.

    Once I got the error trying to install the new OS on my iPhone 3G, following logical steps based on what prompts I was given destroyed my backup. Apple FAILED to make this upgrade easy for those of us with iPhone 3Gs. I guess we're not as valuable as people who run out and upgrade their phone every year.

  • giantelf

    How long did the restore/update take?

  • cody

    Yes ,except i'm having problems that many others also are, where my phone begins to back up but then just continues doing htis FOREVER. I left it all night and still nothing.

  • Sams

    Same here…I have done 3 back ups now which seem to go on for over an hour and make 0 progress. SO its been 3 days and STILL no iOS 4!!!

    • samp

      It took me 3 hours to update after the 3rd attempt, if you are patient than it will work for you. but i found nothing intresting in the update. wasted 3 hours for nothing. maybe i will have to play around with my iphone and see………………………………….

  • Queen K

    my phone did the same thing but after i restarted my computer and ran it again it worked.

  • NewtonMac

    Best post I've read all day…thanks for the info!

  • Shane

    I'm thinking the attorney general should get involoved in this!!!! Why can't we 3Gers update to 4.0?? I'm having same issues: it pretends like it's doing something, but 8 hours later, it's in the same spot!!!!

  • jamesintomobile

    Thanks NewtonMac, appreciate it!

  • jamesintomobile

    From start to finish it took me about half an hour. That's a rough guesstimate. Didn't time it! 🙂

    • shelby

      So you just backup your iphone, then hit the restore button and Then update it? Does it make it to where there is less on the iphone so it takes less time? cause my backup is taking a LOOONG time and it hasnt moved….

  • Trev

    Hmmmm, restore gets to around 70% and then stops. restarted computer to no prevail. Now I can't even restore my iphone so the apple update has literally screwed me as now i have no phone. cheers apple!

  • RBS

    so how come when I click "restore and update" i still get the error message?

  • mrm0

    Before reading this article today, I had attempted to update my phone using the prompts on the screen. When I was finished I had iOS 4, but my phone had reverted to a save point 8 months ago. I lost all pictures, contacts, apps, and itunes downloads since that date. My computer shows that a backup was created when I started the process, but when I restore to the newest date, the none of my data, apps, or music return. Anyone have any possible solution to fix this…….because Apple sure didn't. They just told me I wasn't the only one, but as of now there is no solution.

  • Philgrin

    @james – what exactly do you mean by 'rebooting'? Thanks

  • NLaw

    When I click on update, I just keep getting the message: The version of I Tunes is the latest version.
    I have restored phone, then it only gives the option to reset so I did that and the phone is back to normal but no iOS 4.
    After that the update to iOS 4 option reappears so I click it and guess what? "The version of I Tunes is the latest version" message again.

  • Anon

    Anyone having issues with 3rd party apps not launching on 3G phone after iOS4 was installed? I tried multiple ones like Google and Facebook and can't them to launch…

  • Pier Giorgio

    I am… I guess the only solution for now is to write down what apps you have now, delete them, then AppStore and reinstall them, hoping Apple will not make you pay again for those you already purchased. Going to try today.

  • Tammy

    Totally green here but love my iPhone and want to update to iOS4. I read everything on this site and I'm not sure how to "backup" my phone. Is that like to a zip drive?

  • AlexDFox

    I didn't have any problems loading the new iphone update…

    Probably took over an hour, but I went to bed…

    I did have to turn off my phone & restart it to get some of the features & 3rd party apps to work. But other than that, no hiccups with programs. (does seem slow & sometimes programs freeze, but still no reall hang ups)

    Except one major beef that I have, which obviously seems minor to apple, but is annoying to me to no end…
    The clock on my phone is now 4 minutes too slow…

    I can of course reset it myself, but why, when this is supposed to be standard?

    anyone else notice this?

  • ahmsben

    If I go the "Restore & Update" route as opposed to the standard "Update", will I lose all of my SMS messages? Or does the backup restore those?

    I'm on a JB'd iPhone 3G, FW version 3.1, so updating will lock me out of the phone until I re-JB it – should I still be ok?

    • willpark

      As long as you right click on the iPhone through iTunes and select "Backup" you should be fine – all SMS messages will be saved.

      If you're using your iPhone 3G on an un-official iPhone carrier (ie, you rely on a SIM unlock), I'd suggest you avoid updating through iTunes.

  • Laura

    Will restoring my phone delete all my photos and music? Will my apps still be there or will they be erased too?

  • Phil Grinstead

    Following the instructions outlined above, including reading the TUAW report referenced above, I was able to upgrade my 3G with no problems. Took about an hour – one-half for the update and one-half for the restore. Worked perfectly. Thanks, jamesintomobile.

  • rar

    I've lost all my itunes purchases and my SMS are dated from the 18 of June. When the phone was backing up on the laptop it said there was a glitch but I continued with the update anyway. At least how can I get back my itunes purchases? And yes my wi-fi still doesn't work after a reset.

  • zoe

    anyone had an issue with calls? like cutting off or cant hear anyone?

  • Kster

    Ay Yi Yi apple can ya make it more of a pain the butt to sync/backup and update SW? You'd think it was being done in DOS! Ridiculous. No interest in buying an iPhone 4 since it's not really 4 G. Misleading marketing at its best. I have talked with so many that say oh it's 4G. Duh!

    Have you seen the new droids? And when will they all be 4G and when on Earth will the networks be up on 4G. Get with it cell carriers. You could be replacing so much internet traffice done by DSL and Cable. I'd move to slightly more rural area on some acreage by Sac if they could get me 4G coverage. They don't have cable or DSL.

  • Obamanation

    Hmmm…it's always interesting that site moderators violate my 1st amendment right of freedom of speech. Wonder why others do not complain about this. It is a fundamental right that is inviolable or not in this sites case. Guess your looking to only have your views expressed. Hmmm.There's big stink in the news today about how certain news stations were conspiring to control the release and coverage of information. Guess we'll add this one to the list……………… 🙂

  • marinperez

    1st amendment means the government cannot impose laws to infringe on your free speech, not private companies. We love reader feedback and only don't approve spam links or needlessly hostile ones.

    I just hate it when people invoke the 1st amendment and don't actually know what it is.

    • Ryan

      THANK you. Man, it drives me crazy when people say "Free speech! I can say whatever I want, whenever I want, no matter how ignorant it is!" – except that you can't.

  • katehof

    thanks – I have a 3G and did a restore, which (finally) worked for me to get the iOS 4.0. I was able to restore all my data, photos, podcasts, apps etc. from the restore. The only app not working is Facebook…

  • josh

    i have a iphone 3GS and i tried to install the operating system which failed when i realised that my iphone is now in recovery mode i tried to restore it which failed twice i rand apple and was on the phone to them for 3 hours tryng all these different steps that they told me to do yet it failed the restore another 4 times at this point they said i would need a replacement but i would have to pay for them to send it out. im am completely pissed off at apple and im pretty sure i wont b buying another apple product ever

    • Steve123456

      you are just right. i just hate it!

  • Cambodia

    Today, i'm very excited with the successful upgrading from iPhone 3G to iOS 4 (4.01) without any problem.
    Before upgrading i have read a lot of commons from the iPhone users posted in various websites… Most of them have suggested not to upgrade from iPhone 3G to iOS4 (4.01) but some have stated that they have successfully done to get iOS4.

    Finally, i am sensitive to try the upgrade. I did cuz i believed that if failing i would restore back… U know, at last it is working well… Now i have iPhone iOS4… i am happy and want to encourage ppl to try it…:D

  • Wiggyt1st

    i never got any option to update my iphone and when i went on the official site i got the itunes update but couldn’t find how to update to 4.3 and the support was crap to 🙁

  • Tabasumcheema

    hi i got stuck with my iphone
    i try to update via itune when it near to complete its shown error and off.
    all data erase and i insert sim said sim card not supported only emergency call allowed.
    is there any method to restore it without sim card.

  • Autumn171

    hi when i went on to itunes it and tryed to update it it said im up to date with 4.2.1? imm confused why cant i update it

  • Katieepieex

    The explanation was really good but now I’m not sure what to do because its not offering another update, it said im all up to date with 4.2.1, I’ve tried everything including going onto the apple website, they dont even offer instructions…I’m not going to bother jailbreaking it because everytime i have jailbreaked anything it didnt work out. Please help…

  • rajah

    but why did they have to make ios4

  • brooke

    thanks really good 

  • Dipesh_walem

    when i connect my i phone to laptop, doesnot pops up anything on th elap top

  • Msashesjohnson

    i tried this recently and my phone bricked and had to be jailbroken 3 times am i doing somethign wrong?

  • Keyanagamboa

    I Have A JailBroken Iphone 3g & I Did This & Now My Iphone WONT Work At ALL!!!!

    • Aquaninja19

       that is because it was jailbroken not factory unlocked.


  • trying to upgrade my iphone3g with ios4 software however receiving error code 1015 pls help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lewis brendan

    no updates for my iPhone 3 on iTunes 11

  • Drew_Elizabteh

    When i plugged in my IPhone nothing popped up. I need some help here.

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