Apple’s biggest mobile operating system update is merely days away. When it launches on Sept. 18, you should be able to download iOS 7 by simply tapping the “Update” button when prompted. Apple has made it unbelievably easy to install updates wirelessly.
However, life is not a bowl of cherries and things do go wrong. Last year, we gave you some pointers on how to updated from iOS 5 to iOS 6. This year’s tutorial is about the same. But we thought we’d remind you of some of the important things you will need to do before tapping the Update button and what to do if something goes wrong.
If you are not using the most current iOS operating system, you are going to need to update to version 6.1.3 before you can download iOS 7. Do that today so that you won’t be bogged down with extra downloads on Wednesday. You should also be running iTunes 11.0.5 if you are planning on updating your iPad through iTunes. You should prepare for the possibility of having to do this, so update your iTunes even if you are going to download iOS 7 wirelessly.
I’ve said this before, but it is important enough to warrant a repeat. Always back up your devices before updating your iPad. Back up your iPad either by connecting it to iTunes, or by backing it up in iCloud. If you connect to iTunes, select the backup tab and wait for it to fully finish the processes before removing your device. If you are using iCloud to backup your iPad, simply plug into a power source when you are connected to Wi-Fi.
Once you’ve backed up your iPad, you will be ready to update your mobile operating system to iOS 7 on Sept. 18. If you are downloading the update wirelessly, plug into a power source and be sure you are connected to Wi-Fi. Then open your Settings app. Tap “General,” and then “Software Update.” When the software updated pop-up window appears, tap “Download” to download iOS 7. After it has downloaded completely, tap “Install” when the pop-up window asks if you want to install it on your device.
If you are going to download the update through iTunes instead of wirelessly, simply connect your iPad to your computer and select it when it appears in the iTunes window under Devices. Click “Check for Update” in the summary pane. iTunes will give you the option to only download the update, or download and install it. Keep your iPad connected to the computer until the update is complete.
Of course, things can and probably will go wrong when you try to update to iOS 7. The first thing to remember is to be patient. If you try to download the update wirelessly and you receive a notification that there is not enough available storage, you’ll have to download iOS 7 through iTunes. You should be able to install it on your iPad after you’ve downloaded it on iTunes because the file won’t take up as much space after it has been downloaded.
If your iOS 7 update fails in the middle of downloading or updating, try temporarily turning off your computer’s firewalls and anti-virus software and re-attempt the download process again. If that doesn’t work, delete all .ipsw files from your iPad’s software updated folder.
Sometimes, your device will completely fail when downloading a huge operating system update. Don’t be scared. If you’ve done what you are supposed to, you will have backed up your content and now you can just restore you device and start over. Connect your iPad to your computer and select it when it appears in the iTunes window under Devices. Select “Restore” under the summary page. This will likely take a very long time, so don’t be worried if it is still restoring after an hour.
It is important to keep in mind that iOS 7 is the biggest update that Apple has ever released for iOS. Because it is such a popular new operating system, thousands of people are likely going to be downloading the update at the same time as you. It may take a while to download. Don’t be frustrated. Don’t unplug your device too soon. Don’t leave the house with your iPad while it is still downloading. Be patient.