Along with the new iPhone 15 series and Apple Watch 9, September’s Apple event brought us the release of iOS 17, the latest version of the iPhone’s operating system. The latest version of iOS contains major updates to apps like Messages, Maps and Siri, while adding new features like StandBy Mode and NameDrop.
Read more: 7 Hidden Features of iOS 17 That You Shouldn’t Miss
iOS 17 has been out for several weeks, but if you didn’t update right after it hit your phone, it’s never too late to try it out. Before you think about doing that though, there are a few things to know. Read on to learn everything you should do before installing iOS 17 on your iPhone.
To learn more about iOS 17, check out all the best features on iOS 17 and whether or not your iPhone supports iOS 17.
First, is your iPhone even compatible with iOS 17?
As long as you own an iPhone XS or later, you should be able to download iOS 17. Below is a full list of every iPhone compatible with Apple’s new software update. And if your current phone isn’t on the list, here are some more recent iPhone models to consider purchasing.
The iPhone 15 series, Apple’s latest phones, comes with iOS 17 already installed, so you won’t have to do any updating.
Next, make sure your iPhone is fully updated
Before you update to iOS 17, make sure you’re updated to the latest iOS 16 version so that you don’t encounter any issues if you decide to revert. Also, it’s just good to always be updated to the newest mobile software version in case there are major bugs or other issues in older iOS versions.
To update your iPhone to the latest version iOS 16, go to Settings > General > Software Update and check for any available updates.
Now, back up your iPhone before installing iOS 17
This is important: Even though iOS 17 has been out for a couple of weeks, updating your phone can still put it in jeopardy. You could potentially lose pictures, text messages, app data and other treasured memories you’ve stored on your phone. However, you can protect against the risk of losing data when you update.
The best way to protect your info is to back up your iPhone while it’s still running iOS 16. The reason is that if you update to iOS 17 but then decide to go back to iOS 16, you have an up-to-date backup to revert to, so that you keep your most recent photos, text messages, app data and more.
Now, there are two ways to back up your iPhone: via iCloud and your computer.
Back up your iPhone with iCloud
Your iPhone should automatically back up by default once a day, as long as your device is connected to both a power source and Wi-Fi and locked.
To check if this feature is enabled, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud Backup and make sure that Back Up This iPhone is enabled. Also, if you have a compatible 5G iPhone, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models, you can enable Back Up Over Cellular to have your iPhone back up over your cellular network when you’re not connected to W-Fi.
You can also just manually back up your iPhone with iCloud. In the same iCloud Backup page, simply tap Back Up Now. Underneath that, you’ll see the last time a successful backup was created. Under All Device Backups, you can check out more information about your backups, including backup size, and customize what is backed up.
Back up your iPhone with Mac or Windows
If you don’t have storage on your iPhone or iCloud, you always have the option to back up your device via your computer.
On Mac, connect your iPhone to your computer via lightning cable, open Finder and select your iPhone. Next, check the circle next to Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac and then hit Back Up Now.
The process with Windows is pretty similar. Again, connect your iPhone to your computer via cable, but this time open the iTunes app and click the iPhone button on the top-left of the window. In the Summary page, click Back Up Now to back up your iPhone to your Windows PC.
For more on Apple, here are the best iPhone deals right now and the best iOS 17 features.