You’ve read or casually browsed our iOS 7 Review and you’re excited to install Apple’s new operating system on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Thankfully, Apple’s software updates can be relatively painless. We’re here to help provide you with step-by-step instructions. Read on for our full guide and walkthrough for how to backup and update to iOS 7.

Upgrade to iOS 7

Make Sure Your Device is iOS 7 Ready

The following devices are iOS 7 compatible:

  • iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s
  • iPad 2, 3, 4, iPad mini
  • iPod touch 5g

Update iTunes

You will need the latest version of iTunes, available here.

Backup Using iCloud or iTunes

The single most important step prior to upgrading is to backup your iOS device. When you first set-up your device, you opted to backup using iTunes or iCloud. If you’re not sure, check your settings to see if you are backing up to iCloud. Navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup. If iCloud Backup is set to ‘On’, select the ‘Backup Now’ button. Please note that you’ll need to be connected to WiFi to backup. Is that iCloud set to ‘Off’? Don’t fret, it just means your using the old-school method of backing up to iTunes.

Backup to iCloud iOS 6

Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer using the USB cable that came with your device. You might see a prompt that a new software version is available, asking you if you’d like to download and update. Select the ‘Download Only’ button. This will download iOS 7 to your Mac/PC in the background, while you can focus on the backup process.

iOS 7 update available

In the left hand column of iTunes, you should see your device. Clicking on it will bring up the ‘Summary’ page. Here you’ll see comprehensive information about your device. At the top left, you should see that iTunes is downloading a software update.

Backups

The next row provides information regarding Backups. If ‘This Computer’ is selected, then go ahead and click on the ‘Sync’ button at the bottom right of iTunes. If you’ve backed up via iCloud or using iTunes, the date and time of the most recent backups appears in ‘Latest Backups’. Depending upon your method of backup, one of these should be current.

iTunes backup upgrade

Tip: When using iCloud to backup, you can switch to ‘This Computer’ and press ‘Apply’, which will create a secondary backup to your PC/Mac. When you are done, switch back to iCloud.

Upgrading to iOS 7

On the summary page, select the ‘Update’ button. iTunes will begin the process of updating your device to iOS 7. First it will verify the software update with Apple. The next step will be extracting the software. This is all done by iTunes. During the update, the screen will go black with an Apple logo and progress bar. The information is mirroredYou can sit back and watch or grab a cup of coffee. The process of upgrading should not take longer than 5 minutes. The longest part of the process is backing up and downloading iOS 7.

Updating (OTA) Over The Air

Apple will inform you that an update is available. Your Settings icon will have a red badge to notify you of the update.

  1. Select Settings
  2. Tap on General
  3. Select Software Update
  4. Select the available update to iOS 7

What’s Next?

Your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will restart. This is normal. When it finishes, you will find yourself immersed in the beauty of iOS 7. Have questions about iOS 7? Check out our extensive iOS 7 review and guide. If you need help, our iOS 7 forums offer free and friendly advice.