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iOS 16 Launches in 3 Days: Is Your iPhone Eligible for the Update?

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This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

Apple officially unveiled its new iPhone 14 models its “Far Out” event Sept. 7 — here’s everything the tech giant announced. The new phones will undoubtedly come with Apple’s fresh iOS 16 software upgrade already installed. Following Apple’s yearly cycle, iOS 16 for compatible iPhones will be released on Monday, Sept. 12.

I’ve been playing with iOS 16 beta for months and can tell you right now that features like unsending text messages and automatically removing people and objects from photos are early highlights. 

Alas, not every existing iPhone will be compatible with Apple’s latest software — some owners simply won’t be able to install iOS 16, especially on older devices you may be hanging onto or have repurposed to use in other ways to give your old iPhone new life. We’ll walk you through what we know right now about iOS 16 compatibility for your iPhone once Apple makes the new software available to the general public. Also, here’s how to bring back the battery percentage to your iPhone status bar using iOS 16.

Every iPhone model that will support iOS 16

The following iPhones will be compatible with iOS 16 once Apple makes the new software available for you to download on Sept. 12.

It’s also expected that every model in the iPhone 14 series will run iOS 16 when it arrives.

Find out which iPhone model you have

Not sure which iPhone you own? You can easily figure out the model from within your settings to check if it will run iOS 16.

To find your iPhone model, launch the Settings app and go to General > About. Next to Model Name, you should see what type of iPhone you own. Underneath that, you’ll see a Model Number, which you can use to find out more specifics about your model, such as capacity and year introduced, but that’s not necessary (only for iPhone SE) for checking whether your phone will support iOS 16 or not.

Model Name of iPhone

To check your iPhone model, go to Settings > General > About.


Nelson Aguilar/CNET

What happens to older iPhones like the iPhone 7 Plus?

Unfortunately, any iPhone older than the iPhone 8 will not support iOS 16, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Many people on Twitter were surprised by this, because many expected at least the iPhone 7 Plus to support iOS 16. Instead, the iPhone 7 series and some older models will only support up to iOS 15.

iPad 2021 and iPad Mini

The latest generations of the iPad and iPad Mini will both support iPadOS 16.


Scott Stein/CNET

Will my iPad work with iOS 16?

Yes, the iPad has its own version of iOS 16 that’s known as iPadOS 16. This newest operating system will be supported on the following iPad models:

Whether you’re going to keep your current iPhone or buy a new iPhone 14, here are 22 little known iPhone settings you should know about to make their phones faster, safer and more fun to use. 


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