Updating your iPhone is incredibly important. The updates address stability issues and they provide you with new features. If you haven’t already upgraded to iOS 5 (current latest version being iOS 5.1), then you are missing out on iCloud and other amazing new features. Whether it’s iOS 5 or even the forthcoming iOS 6, this will guide you through, step by step, on how to update your iPhone to the latest and greatest.
To check which version of iOS you are currently running on your iPhone, do the following:
- Navigate to Settings > General > About
- Scroll to Version
Step 1: Plug in your iPhone
Turn on the computer that has your iTunes account, turn on iTunes and then plug your iPhone into the computer. The device and iTunes should automatically begin backing up and syncing your data. If for some reason this does not happen, right-click your iPhone under the “Devices” title.
If you want to strictly back up your information, and not sync the files on iTunes with your iPhone, then just click “Back Up.” If you want to sync the files and back up the data, then click “Sync.”
Step 2: Update the iPhone
iTunes should alert you that there is an update available for the iPhone. If it does, then click “Dowload and Update” to begin updating the phone. If this does not show this message, click “Check for Update” and then “Download and Update” when the update message appears.
The download and installation may take several minutes, depending on how fast your Internet connection is. Do not touch the iPhone, and definitely do not unplug it during the update. This can corrupt data, or cause the iPhone to entirely wipe its internal data.
When the updating is finished, your iPhone will restart. Some users feel panicked, because it looks like the iPhone turns completely off, but this is normal.
Step 3: Restore the Data
When the iPhone is back up, iTunes will display a message asking if you want to setup the iPhone as a new device or restore from a back up. If you want to remove all the iPhone’s current data for some reason, select “Setup up as a new iPhone.”
Most people will want to restore from a backup, as this will restore all the current data. Click, “Restore from the backup of.” Next to the option, select the latest backup, it should look like this: “iPhone – mm/dd/yy.” Choose the backup with today’s data.
Step 4: Wait for the Sync
After telling iTunes to restore the iPhone, it will take time to restore all the apps, songs and data. During this time, just leave the iPhone alone so it can properly restore itself.
When the restoration is complete, then you can finally remove your iPhone. Overall, with all the downloading and syncing, this may take about 20 minutes or less.
If you are new to iOS 5, then be sure to check out our guide to using new features in iOS 5, along with how to use Notifications Center in iOS 5 on your iPhone.
The latest update is technically iOS 5.1. This update was recently released and offers a number of improvements. The most notable improvements include the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream, a new camera shortcut along with a number of other changes.