What to do when iTunes prompts you to update when connecting an iPhone

Apple generally tries to explain itself when it prompts you to download a file, install an update, or otherwise take an option. Readers have suggested the company has fallen down in a prompt that appears in the following set of circumstances, in which all are true:

  • You’re using iTunes in Mojave or earlier in macOS.

  • Your iPhone or iPad is running a version of iOS or iPadOS released in a year later than the macOS version (i.e., Mojave and iOS 14, or High Sierra and iOS/iPadOS 13 or later).

  • You connect your phone to your Mac via a USB cable.

iTunes may prompt with a dialog that reads, “A software update is required to connect to your iPhone.” It offers three buttons: Learn More, Not Now, and Install. Some readers and forum posters have found clicking Learn More leads them to learn exactly nothing more, as no page appears.

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