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How to prepare for Apple’s iOS 11 update

by Brandon Russell | September 18, 2017September 18, 2017 2:30 pm PDT

We perform the same song and dance ahead every major software update. But we do it because it always bears repeating: Before you download a major software update, make sure your system is completely primed and ready. In the case of the iPhone, read this before updating to iOS 11, which is set to launch on September 19.


Before you even consider downloading iOS 11, make sure your iPhone is backed up (something you should already be doing regularly). There are a few ways to backup your iPhone, including using iCloud or iTunes.

Apple’s iCloud service is what most people will use to backup, as it’s the most seamless method. In your phone’s settings, there’s a feature known as iCloud Backup, which will automatically perform the backup for you. Just turn the feature on and Apple’s magic will do the hard work—so long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

You can also use iTunes, though that method requires a bit more legwork. Whichever backup option you choose, information such as call history, device settings, home screen and app organization, and iMessage history will be backed up, so if anything goes wrong, you can simply install your backup like nothing happened.

Refer to Apple’s guides if you need detailed steps for how to best backup your iOS devices.

In addition to backing up your device, it’s a best practice to make sure all of your apps are up-to-date. This way once you have iOS 11 up and running, you won’t run into any glaring compatibility issues. Chances are your favorite apps have already rolled out support for iOS 11, so you can do that well before the software begins rolling out.

It’s also a great idea to make sure your phone is charged—or, better yet, plug your device in while it’s updating. Apple recommends your device have enough juice before updating anyway, but it’s better to get ahead of the curve by being prepared.

Finally, I would recommend waiting until the end of the day to update—or maybe even later in the week. When Apple unleashes big releases, it can take anywhere for one to several hours to update. Part of the problem is everyone and their mother is trying to update at the same time, so servers slow to a crawl.

More importantly, you’ll want to make sure you don’t need your phone while it’s updating. You can use your device while it’s downloading the actual update, but once it starts installing, you won’t be able to use it for a while. That means no calling, texting, or Snapchat.

If you have any important work calls or meetings during the day, having your phone clogged by an update can be infuriating. I would know.

I know much of this is common sense. By now, we’ve all become masters of mobile software updates. But consider this a quick refresher course before iOS 11 hits tomorrow.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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