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Upgrading iPhone/iPad to iOS 7.0

Since iOS 5, iPhones and iPads can update themselves directly on the device, without requiring a backup/restore operation. Generally you can open SettingsGeneralSoftware Update and be given a simple upgrade option as follows:

However, for large updates, such as iOS 7, we recommend using iTunes to perform the update. There are several reasons for this:

  • It allows the iOS update to be downloaded first, then updated at a later time, and therefore doesn't tie up the device for the length of time it takes to download;

  • It ensures a proper backup of the device is taken;

  • It allows updating devices which have relatively little free space.

Updating to iOS 7

  1. Use Apple Software Update to ensure you have the latest iTunes (11.1 is required).

    If you are new to iTunes 11, see How To Make iTunes 11 Look (A Bit) Like iTunes 10.

    When the update is completed, you'll be asked to reboot.

  2. In iTunes, use the Apps section in the left-hand pane to download App updates. Click Updates, then Update All Apps.

    Allow the app updates to download. This may take a while.

    You may need your Apple Id password.

  3. Attach the iDevice. iTunes should perform a backup and update the apps.

    It will also prompt that there is an iOS update available, and ask whether to Download and Update or Download Only. For the moment, choose Download Only:

  4. Once the iOS update has started downloading, you can disconnect the iDevice. Leave iTunes open so it continues to download.

    Click the Downloads icon to check its progress:

  5. Check the amount of free space on the iDevice: tap Settings, General, About. The free space is shown next to Available. This should be 2Gb or more. If you have less, the update may fail and you'll need to recover and then restore the device, which is a lengthy process.

    To make more space available on the device, you can remove media (audio/video), and/or apps. Be aware that when deleting apps, the associated data is also deleted, and reinstalling the app later does not recover the data. (Some exceptions are apps like Facebook and Twitter which load their data from the internet, but many apps only store the app data on the device.)

    If you have iOS 5.x or later you can easily see which apps are taking the most space under Settings, General, Usage. There may be apps you can easily remove which are very large.

    Also note that iOS 7 takes about 300Mb to 500Mb more space than iOS 6 so it may not be possible to replace all the removed content after the upgrade.

  6. Once the iOS update has finished downloading, and the iDevice has been backed up, synced and has been verified as having adequate free space, re-attach the device to your computer. iTunes will again prompt whether to install the update. Confirm the operation.

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