How To Smoothly Upgrade To iOS 9

Apple will release iOS 9 on September 16th, which means hundreds of millions of compatible devices will line up to get the update.

Last year, when storage issues prevented users from getting iOS 8 as soon as it was released and revealed a huge unexpected problem with Apple’s iOS upgrade procedure. This time around you should be able to perform the update with little free storage.

Here are the steps needed to make the experience a pleasant one.

Is Your Device Compatible?

If you have a device that runs iOS 8, then you’ll be able to upgrade to iOS 9. That means iPhones as old as the iPhone 4S, iPads starting with iPad 2, and iPod touch 5G or 6G.

Make a Backup

The very first thing you should do before beginning any update, is to make at least one backup. You can backup your device to iCloud, and for even more protection, use iTunes on your computer to make a backup. I always use this method as it’s the easiest to use for recovery if there’s a problem with the update process.

Pro Tip: When making a backup from iTunes, there’s an option to Encrypt the backup. I always use this not only because it encrypts your data, but also because account passwords will be backed up and saved as well.

Check Your Storage

iOS 9 only requires 1.3GB of free storage on your device, compared to 4.5GB for iOS 8 last year. Make sure you have at least 1.5GB on the device before downloading the files needed for the installation when performing the update over-the-air.

Go to “Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Storage” and see how much available space you have.

If you’re using iTunes for the update, iOS 9 will be downloaded to your computer, and the device will be upgraded while connected to it, so storage availability won’t matter.

Charged & Connected

So now you have backed up your device, and you’re ready to upgrade to iOS 9. Check that your battery is above 50%, and make sure you have a good Wifi connection. The download and installation with both take a while and you don’t want it interrupted by either of these having issues.

Pro Tip: Performing the update via iTunes is also advantageous because the device is being charged while connected.

Download iOS 9

There are two ways of upgrading your device. Download iOS 9 directly on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch (often called OTA or over-the-air), or do it via iTunes on your Mac or PC.

On an iOS device, you’ll probably be prompted to download soon after it’s released. You can also check manually in “Settings > General > Software Update”, and if iOS 9 is ready to download, go ahead and install it.

If you wish to update via your computer and iTunes, you’ll need to connect your iOS device using your charging cable, then open iTunes. Select the iPhone or iOS device, select the Summary tab, and then press the “Check for Update” button. If it’s ready, it will download to your computer first, then apply the update to your device.

The Last Word

When Apple releases the update, tons of iPhone users will want to get it, so be patient. You may be better off performing the update later in the day or even at night, rather than in the middle of the day when everybody else is doing it.

For older devices, you may want to wait it out a few days and see what others are saying. It’s important to note that you can officially roll back to iOS 8 if you have problems with iOS 9. But, and this goes to iPhone 4s and iPad 2 owners still on iOS 7, if you jump from iOS 7 to iOS 9, you won’t be able to downgrade back to iOS 7.

Unexpected things can and will happen. Be patient. If you’ve backed up your data, you’ll be safe. Worst case scenario, you’ll have to restore or re-install iOS 8 and give Apple time to iron out the wrinkles.