6 Things To Do Before Updating To iOS7

Apple is releasing iOS 7, an upgraded operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. Here's how to ensure a smooth update to the new mobile OS.

Eric Zeman, Contributor

September 18, 2013

3 Min Read

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The latest mobile operating system from Apple is available to consumers beginning Wednesday. The updated platform is a complete redesign of the OS and makes numerous changes to not only the appearance, but to the applications and functions on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Updating system software is sometimes risky. Here are a few steps you might want to take to ensure that the update installs smoothly and with no problems.

Is It Eligible?

iOS 7 works with most modern pieces of Apple hardware, but not all of them. iOS 7 is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5; the iPad 2, 3 and 4; the iPad Mini; and the fifth-generation iPod Touch.

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If you're using an iPhone 3G or 3GS or the original iPad, you're out of luck. You're better off getting new hardware anyway, such as the iPhone 5s or 5c. These new iPhones will come with iOS 7 preinstalled.

Get Permission

If you're using a company-owned iOS device, your employer might not want you to update to the new operating system right away. Be sure you have permission from the IT department before you update the system software. Although iOS 7 offers businesses even more tools to manage employee devices, you never know what new system software might break. Better to be safe than sorry.

Make Room

It's time to clean old photos and other files off your device. Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your computer and sync items you definitely don't want to lose, such as pictures and documents, to your PC. If you can, get rid of that movie you've already watched three times and maybe that playlist you haven't listened to in a while. Same thing for old apps. If you don't use 'em, might as well ditch 'em. The more storage space you have available when the update arrives, the better.

Back Up

Once you've cleaned up the files and made some room for the new operating system, back your device up. Use iTunes to create a backup and label it so you know it is the last backup you made with iOS 6. This will ensure that your apps, contacts, and settings are preserved in the case of a problem with the new operating system. If you can, make a backup in iCloud, too.

Update Other Apps

Apple will drop a new version of iTunes just before iOS 7 is released. Download and install this new version of iTunes first. Further, Apple's developer partners will begin to flood the App Store with iOS 7-compatible updates of their own apps and services beginning Wednesday. Before installing iOS 7, download and store in iTunes on your computer as many of these updated apps and services as you can.

Make Time

Once the update arrives, make sure you have the time to install it. System-level upgrades often take 15 to 30 minutes. Apple's servers might take a pretty big hit when the software is first released and it might take longer than normal to download. You don't want to get halfway through the download or installation process when you need to unplug to get to a meeting or appointment. Block out at least 30 minutes for the update, if not longer.

With these steps complete, you should be in the clear to download and install iOS 7. Good luck and enjoy!

About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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