iOS 5 Upgrade Troubleshooting and Issues

For many iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad owners, the upgrade to iOS 5 went pretty smoothly. However, some of our site readers/subscribers have posted some questions regarding some issues with iOS 5. In today’s post, we will address some of these iOS 5 upgrade issues, and provide some troubleshooting steps.

IOS 5 logo

Let’s start with some comments that were left in our post Upgrade and Clean Install iOS 5.

Free space is showing up incorrectly in iTunes after iOS 5 upgrade.

If the storage for your particle device is showing up incorrectly after the iOS 5 upgrade, you first need to check some items on the device itself. On your iDevice, navigate the path Settings > General > Usage. The Usage section will display available storage capacity and used storage capacity. This usage is more accurate then what iTunes displays, as it is direct from the device itself. If free space is showing up incorrectly, scroll through the list of apps to determine what is causing the storage issue.

IOS 5 storage

If the issue is that usage is showing up as “other” in iTunes, it may just be that iOS 5 handles categorized storage a bit differently. For example, iTunes categorizes storage as: Photos, Apps, Other, and Free. Many 3rd parts apps (anything app that is not created by Apple), have had some compatibility issues with iOS 5, and their developers have been rushing to push out an updated version that will work with iOS 5. Thus, compatibility issues for apps could be causing the apps to not be categorized properly, in regards to iTunes storage statistics.

As I mentioned in the other post, check your email account settings for your iDevice. When iOS 5 was installed, it may not have preserved the storage settings for your email accounts. Thus, your iDevice could have stored all of your emails to the phone as local copies, as they were auto retrieved after the upgrade.

One commenter suggested a utility called DiskAid, to resolve storage in iTunes.

iPhone 3G will not upgrade to iOS 5.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 3G is not officially supported by iOS 5, according to Apple. Thus, iPhone 3G support is probably non-existent in iOS 5. If you want iOS 5, you may need to upgrade to a newer device.

Phone is running slow.

If your device is an iPhone 3G or regular iPhone 4, iOS 5 may not run super fast, as the operating system was designed for iPhone 4S and iPad 2, which have faster A5 processors. When my iPhone 4 is running slow, it’s usually because I forget that I have a ton of apps running. Remember to double click the home button on your iDevice and close apps every once in a while.

If your device is running extremely slow, I would recommend re-installing iOS 5.

Custom ringtones not working with iOS 5.

Unfortunately, major upgrades usually entail some compatibility issues. During the upgrade process, there is a possibility that the ringtones didn’t transfer properly, thus leaving them unusable. Try installing a new ringtone to your iPhone. If it works, then you know that the ringtones simply did not upgrade correctly, and you will have to re-add them.

Upgrade process and device backup is running slow.

The more stuff you have stored on your iDevice, the slower the upgrade process will go. Upgrades attempt to backup and then restore each and every item on your device. So, if you are upgrading a 32GB iPhone that is nearly at full capacity, the upgrade will not go fast, as it takes quite a while to backup 32GB, then restore it to the new OS. I had no songs or videos on my device, just a few apps, and the upgrade process still took several hours.

One thing that I would not recommend, is stopping the upgrade process if it is taking a while. Leave your computer on, set it to not sleep, and leave your device connected until the upgrade completes. If it is quite clear that the device has froze and will not upgrade, call Apple immediately.

Those are some questions that were asked by you. In today’s post we have addressed a few upgrade issues, but if there are any other problems, leave a comment and we will try and troubleshoot those too.

Comments [32]

  1. I recently upgraded to iOS 5 on the standard iPhone 4. All was well until I noticed my custom ringtones (that were created using the convert to AAC then change the .m4a to .m4r trick) – 32seconds) but they did not show in the iPhone 4.

    The ringtones appear do not appear in my iTunes Library section but they do appear (in grey) under the iPhone icon. I can transfer music files and listen to them on my iPhone (along with other types of files) but ringtones are a no-go.

    I've wiped my iPhone twice and un-installed iTunes and deleted preferences with no luck. I think I'll wipe it again and try syncing it using another Mac.

  2. not able to send emails from phone post update

    won't save the smtp mac server every time i re enter it

  3. I hve several conference phone numbers with a pause and then a passcode. After upgrading my iPhone4 to iOS5 my phone would only dial the number, nothing after the pause. I had to re-enter all my conference numbers. I did have some issues during the upgrade (failed download, error codes, had to reinstall itunes, had to resync phone). Has anyone else had this issue?

  4. An update to my previous comment. I discovered that Apple changed to character designation for a pause from a letter p to a comma. So I just had to change the p to a comma.

  5. @adrina, completely remove the email account from your iPhone and re-add via iTunes and your computer.

    @Tony, glad you got the problem resolved.

  6. @Tony – that issue was really bugging me – that's for finding the solution!

  7. i had such a horrible iOS 5 upgrade…kept backing up and not getting to the upgrade…finally got to it and it restored to sept. 14th instead of oct. 15th…my music is messed up and I can't add music to it now. I haven't tried reinstalling iTunes yet but If I spend one more hour on my comp I'm going to go crazy.

  8. iPhone 4 would never sync correctly. Error messages while backing up. Activating iPhone 4S was a nightmare. Couldn't restore from a backup on my Mac but could from iCloud. Lost all my Mail accts and SMS messages. I'm highly upset and frustrated. My iPhone 4S is activated after 4 hours but TONS of my data and data within apps is gone. Very very frustrated with this process.

  9. Tried to upgrade my iPad 1 from 4.2.1 to IOS 5 but when the download process is almost finished I get a message that the network has timed out and I have to start over. Tried it three times with two different networks and two different computers. Same result.

  10. I installed iOS 5 and now none of my apps appear on my phone. So far everything else appears to be working fine. All the apps are still in my itunes. If I sync my phone again will they come back to my phone?

  11. after upgrading….all new features are on are my phone except the camera icon in the lock feature….?????? don't know what the problem is????


  12. Recently upgraded itunes to 10.5 and ever since I can't sync my ipod touch. If I try to sync or upgrade to iOS 5 it freezes during the backup. Any ideas?

  13. Upgraded to iOS5 from a 4 phone. My phone contacts are now gone, and I'm locked out from my apple ID (keeps saying it's taken or in use) so can't download apps or updates. Do you know how to fix these problems?


  14. After updating to the latest version of itunes, i'm not able to sync my iphone 3 gs, and i have no access to itunes store (if this is how fantastic apple is, i'll try an android next time)

  15. Bought my iPhone 4 just a week ago and I upgrade through iTunes yesterday.

    Now I can´t use my contacts. I can´t edit my contacts or anything! As soon as a try to pick a number to dial it just shuts the contact list down! Can´t use my calender and iTunes keep saying that it can´t sync my contacts. The phone´s iOS is 5, according to iTunes and the phone but I don´t care, I can´t use it as a normal phona anymore!! Frustrated!!!!

    Help, please!

  16. I lost everything on my iphone 4 when I upgraded to iOS5 but the very helpful man at Optus helped me get most of it back. I had to re-install some of my apps again. But it's frustrating that my custom ringtones have now gone. I've tried un-syncing and re-syncing them but they just won't copy over. Very frustrating. The HTC is looking very attractive.

  17. I've bought my iphone 4 a month ago and it was unlock factory. I've upgraded it to ios 5. after upgrading in set up process there is a step which says ACTIVATING YOUR PHONE (although it was unlock factory) and it shows an error about my simcard. simcard is not compatible. what should I do?

  18. Hi I have an Iphone 3GS & when I try and update to the IOS5, it keeps telling me this version of Itunes is the current Version.

    My Mac OSx is 10.4.11 & My tunes Version is 9.2.1.

    I have checked for software to update and there is none.

    What can I do to get the update to work.

  19. I installed ios5 onto my 3gs and all went quite well but very slow. However now my custom ringtones don't appear to be working even after re downloading from itunes. The ringtone is acknowledged and plays in the settings but when a call is made it reverts back to marimba. Any ideas how to fix this?

  20. Same issue as Hayden above – anyone have any answers?

    iTunes tells me there's a newer version for my iPhone (3GS) which is 5.0 but when I click update it says my current iTunes version is the latest one.

    Help please?!

  21. I am trying to update to ios 5 but having much trouble.

    I have the ios downloaded to my iTunes, and I have synced and all that, so when I hit update it starts the process of "backing-up" my phone…

    During this process I get an error message saying my "phone could not be backed up (-5000), do I wish to continue (continue will result in lose of all data)"

    Anyone seen this before or know what I can do to fix this issue…?

  22. when i go to settings to check usage it flashes back to listed apps on icloud page and i cant check usage !?

  23. So I updated my iPhone to the ios5 it went great no problems, then my mom updated hers. We had the same events and contacts. We both use the same iTunes account so I think that's what went wrong, but how do I get all my stuff back to the way it was. Oh and I'm so confused about iCloud I just deleted it. Can you help me

  24. Since installing ios5 on my 3GS my camera and video has stopped working, everytime I try taking a photo it just returns to home screen?? I've reset my phone and restored it and it still doesn't work any ideas on how I can solve this??
    Or is my only hope that iOS 5.01 will fix this

  25. My iphone 3 said an upgrade was availabe when I plugged into iTunes, so I updated. Wish I would have known that iOS 5 wasn't really for 3s.

    Now my music won't play and almost all my storage is used up. How do I get my music running? Can I get my old OS back?

  26. My contacts, email and photos survived the update but all my apps are not on my iphone. They show up in my library. When I look at the library, there is no way to say, 'Sync this app' or select any particular app. All the apps in iTunes are grayed out. I can't move them, reposition them, or sync them. Restriction on iphone are off. What to do? Thanks.

  27. Hope you can help?,

    I have had my 3GS for quite some time now and it ran well on all iOS's until recently. I installed iOS5 and it worked well for about a week. My network provider is O2 and at the same time that the 3G connection started running slow, they were carrying out upgrades on their 3G masts in my area.

    I waited until the the planned maintenance dates were finished on the masts, but the 3G connection is still crawling. I can open multiple apps with no speed issues at all. It is simply my connection via 3G that is affected. I have mates who are also on 3GS phones with iOS5 and they are not experiencing these issues.

    I have a 4S arriving in the next couple of days @ which point I will try a restore on the phone. I was really looking to see if people have experienced a similar fault where only the 3G service is affected.


  28. iMessage on iPad with iOS 5 is not working even with DNS to, and can’t delete my email account on my iPad!

  29. when i was in 4.3.3 i had 8 gb space. when in 5.0.1 i had 5.5 gb space. now in 5.1, i've only got 3.8 GB OF MAXIMUM SPACE!!!!!!!!! LAY OFF THE MEMORY APPLE!!!!

  30. dear all, i did an ios 5 update on my iphone 4s when i got a notification for it.

    But after that my camera is not there in the app list, as well as applications like camera awesome are also not working. even my flash light is dead.

    if anybody knows what to do, pls help me

  31. @SJ I'm having the same problem. My camera button doesn't work on my lock screen anymore. It's really annoying!!

  32. Updated my iPod touch 4 gen to iOS 5, had no problems, then I tried to open an app today and it wouldnt open. I can reinstall most of them but one I got was from one of those free apps for one day and I really don’t want to spend money if I don’t have to. Any way to fix this without reinstalling?

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