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How to download and install the iOS 7 update to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

How to download and install the iOS 7 update to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

The biggest overhaul in iOS history is upon us, and brings about much new functionality and a brand new look. Here's what you should follow to get iOS 7 on your Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4s or iPhone 5, your iPad 2, iPad 3 (new iPad), iPad 4, or iPad mini tablets, as well as your iPod touch 5th generation media player.

Clean it up and Back up the truck

How to download and install the iOS 7 update to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
Such a major iOS update is a good excuse for some fall cleaning of your device. Delete contacts and messages you don't need any more, uninstall unnecessary apps that you don't use often or at all, and finally follow those prompts to update what's left to the newest versions.

You can then also sync your Camera Roll with iTunes, so as you don't slow the iCloud storage service, delete previous iCloud backups from your phone, and go deeper using the Manage Storage option, telling each individual app to sync or not with iCloud, like in the screenshot on the right.

To check if iCloud backups are enabled, go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup, and make sure the iCloud Backup slide is at the ON position. You can also force a manual backup right now by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and tapping the large Back Up Now button at the bottom of the display.

How to download and install the iOS 7 update to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
You never know what might happen during such a major mobile OS update, so we'd advise that you back your entire phone up first, and then hit the airwaves or connect the cable for an upgrade via iTunes. Use that same iTunes software first to back up your phone, tablet or media player locally, and iCloud for the rest. 

Your settings, including application ones and in-app purchases, as well as Messages, Camera Roll, documents, saved games, and other important data can all be backed up in iTunes and restored manually if something goes awry:

  1. Plug your iOS device into your primary computer via the provided cable.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. For iTunes 11:

        In the iTunes window, click the iOS device button on the right.
        In the Backups section, click Back Up Now under "Manually Back Up and Restore."

  4. For iTunes 10.7:

       Right-click (or Control click) on your iOS device in the iTunes Source list.
       Choose Back Up from the iTunes device shortcut menu.

  5. Allow the backup to complete. You can monitor the status of the backup operation in the iTunes status screen.

For music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books you have purchased - these stay in iCloud and don't count towards your 5 GB of free storage quota, so you can use the storage to back up your mail, documents and recent media that hasn't been synced to your computer. These backups will run automatically when your device is on, plugged in and locked, and will go over Wi-Fi connection, so you don't really need to do much here. Exceptions?

Purchased music isn’t backed up in all countries. Purchased movies and TV shows are backed up only in the U.S. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they have been refunded or are no longer in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. Some previously purchased movies may not be available in iTunes in the Cloud. A movie’s product details page in the iTunes Store shows if the movie is unavailable.

Bear in mind that iCloud wouldn't back up music, movies, and TV shows not purchased from the iTunes Store, as well as podcasts and audio books, plus all the photos that were originally synced from your computer.

If, for some reason, you need to downgrade to the previous versions of iOS, you can use programs like TinyUmbrella (Mac / Windows) or iFaith (Windows), in case you are of the hacking and jailbreaking types, and if you are, you probably know already how to save your SHSH blobs with these programs, so you can roll back to undamaged states.

Two ways to update

You can either get to iOS 7 from whichever version you are running on your device through an over-the-air (OTA) update, or the good old iTunes hookup. OTA is pretty self-explanatory, as the device prompts you there is a new version of iOS, and you just have to tap on, following the instructions to get the upgrade. If you are the more Nervous Nelly type, you can keep hitting Settings > General > Software update, and you might just get lucky like Pharell and install it amongst the first on the block.

How to download and install the iOS 7 update to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
Users who are more comfortable the iTunes way can hook up their gear to the computer, and will receive the prompt you see on the left. 

Just click through the Download&Update button, and you will have your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch brought up to iOS 7 in no time.

Finally, we'd advise you somewhat counterintuitively to wait a little bit with the iOS 7 update. There have been occurrences when Apple's activation servers go down on account of the monster amount of immediate requests, and if you hit that button at the second the prompts appear, you might be left with a device that has no restoring in sight until the servers get up again. 

Thus it'd be wise not to jump the gun immediately, but do it in the evening at home, or the next morning, depending on your country, when the initial rush has watered down. For a full list of when the iOS 7 update will go live in different time zones, check out our iOS 7 release date and time schedule.

  • Options

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 05:46 4

1. msa1988 (Posts: 418; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)

Done and done. Will be staring at my 4S waiting for the little star over "settings" to pop up!

posted on 19 Sep 2013, 05:08

26. PhoneLuver (Posts: 481; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)

Why is it that nobody ever talks about whatever "OTHER" is and why it uses so much data! My "OTHER" uses about 5GB of space. What's frustrating is that I cannot say what it is!

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:04

2. vincelongman (Posts: 5068; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Dam, won't be getting iOS 7 on my iPod Touch 4
Time to upgrade, so many great phones to choose from :)

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:40

3. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

I am sure that could be possible post jailbreak

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:58 1

6. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

it is, i already did it

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 23:06

24. vincelongman (Posts: 5068; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Yea, I know, but iOS 6 is already very laggy, I think iOS 7 will be even worse.
Any one else with a iOS 7 on a iPod 4? How smooth is compared to iOS 6?

posted on 19 Sep 2013, 03:47

25. ryanthrussell (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

hi im a ipod user but I cant download the update do u know why its not allowing me to not to update it and u can jailbreak IOS 7?

posted on 19 Sep 2013, 06:01

27. vincelongman (Posts: 5068; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Which iPod Touch do you have?
Apple are only allowing the iPod Touch 5 to be updated to iOS 7.
Its probably because the iPod Touch 4 only has 256MB Ram.

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 08:23

29. ryanthrussell (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Sep 2013)

yeah the ipod 4 and oh I didn't know that thx vince but people on youtube are posting videos on how to do it but u cant my mate has the 4 with ios 7 and he got a chip on ebay for ios 7 and he can use it perfect but hes getting lag on games but he cant find it anymore but its got a faulty iphone 5 hes going to take my ipod apart and take my chip out and put the chip from the iphone on it and im going into apple when I next go blackwater dto see if apple can put it on for me cheers anyway if any other solutions email me at ryanth@hotmail.co.uk

posted on 20 Sep 2013, 17:45

30. vincelongman (Posts: 5068; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)

Ok, sweet as, I'll keep you posted if I find a way to get iOS 7 on the iPod 4

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:43 6

4. HASHTAG (unregistered)

Do you think we're retarded, PhoneArena? Jk

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:00

12. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

best post of the day +1

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 06:46

5. papss (unregistered)

This is a tech site right? If we can't figure out how to backup and install an update on an apple product we may be on the wrong site.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:01 1

7. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Not everyone is expertly familiar with running a smartphone.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:03

8. jeff_1 (Posts: 105; Member since: 30 Aug 2013)

another article about ios7,,i bet most bloggers here in phonearena uses iphone..

too many articles ..one theme..

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:27 3

9. Ninetysix (Posts: 2671; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)

Art though irate brethren?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 07:30 1

10. good2great (Posts: 1042; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)

lmfao 96... you're a fool man... too funny.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:02

13. jamesish (Posts: 13; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)

IOS7me lulz

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:24

15. nothingmuch (Posts: 199; Member since: 03 May 2013)

PA did it right here by laying out details on how to properly perform this action for the iphones, thankx PA

Me coming from a service tech at DTV , had to literally write down simple actions to take just for customers to turn on the tv, change inputs, how to work there own home stereo, etc. (I wish I was lying). But to put it bluntly, people are dumb and there are only a handful (compared to total population) that does the research to learn all they can on what they own. A ratio of 50:1

Oh, and for the ppl here that piss on PA for this article just dont realize, you literally have no idea of how many iphone customers are probable calling Apple's customer support right now for this very article's subject.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 08:29 1

16. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Don't see how people at service centers can deal with these people all day who can't use the internet to figure it out.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 09:18

17. chiru (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)

how to backup pics from ipad to itunes..or any other way

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 18:16

18. imkyle (Posts: 1086; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

too bad my 4th generation iPod touch will not see this. Looks pretty sweet.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 18:38

19. Legnaldo (Posts: 63; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

So the "easiest" and most "intuitive" phone, which at some point would even tell you that you had an update, needs a tutorial on how to do said update?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:48

20. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

According to polls Android is easier/more intuitive than IOS.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 21:38

22. Legnaldo (Posts: 63; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

I know thats why I "quoted" it. I was being facetious, not serious. Thats usually peoples argument for having an iPhone.

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 19:50

21. teckem (Posts: 15; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)

What if I'm on Beta 5, can I jump to the final relesae using Itunes ?, or should I downgrade to 6.1.3 and then upgrade to 7 ?

posted on 18 Sep 2013, 22:18 1

23. drscranton (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Sep 2013)

I just downloaded IOS 7 on my iPhone 5. it's a step backwards for the calendar interface. It's pathetic, actually. What was a good interface is now hard to see, poorly designed, and worse than an android phone.

The next disappointment is in the e-mail notifications. What was an easy to see blue dot that would tell you what e-mails were new is now a hard to read greyed-out number on the right side of the screen.

Next is the way the icons now appear, which is an insult to the retina display.

I'm still looking for the good stuff. Apple blew with this one. I sure miss Steve Jobs.

posted on 19 Sep 2013, 07:08

28. Shinydesert (Posts: 62; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

The color of some menus is way too light,I like the update a lot,but makes my Mini a bit choppy and not as responsive as before.I will reset everything over the weekend and see what happens.

posted on 23 Sep 2013, 07:47

31. ruman97 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Sep 2013)

I've installed the IOS 7 on my IPOD TOUCH 5G but I'm still missing the compas.can someone tell me why? Please? And if u save a panaroma picture on the lock screen or the home page, it doesn't move around..can someone tell me y this is happening??

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