Helpdesk Challenge – how to update your iPhone to iOS 7

iOS 7 Helpdesk

iOS 7 was released this week, bringing with it a number of new functions and even a new look to your Apple device’s operating system. Compatible devices include the iPhone 4 or above, iPad 2 and above and iPod Touch from the fourth generation and higher.

The update offers new ways to sort your photo albums and improves the notification centre so that it better collates your incoming messages. Other changes include the addition of what Apple have called the ‘Control Centre’ – from which you can switch services such as wi-fi, Bluetooth and toggle flight mode on and off.

All-in-all iOS 7 should prove a nice way to refresh your device without paying for a brand new iPhone 5S. Here’s our guide to how you can update your own compatible device to this new version of iOS.

What is iOS 7? – video

Step-by-step: How to update your iPhone to iOS 7

Here’s how to update your iPhone to iOS 7. iPad and iPod Touch owners will be able to use the same guide to update their device too. There are actually two way to update, through wi-fi or through iTunes, so we will cover both methods:

Updating your iPhone via wi-fi

Choosing to update via wi-fi is convenient as you don’t need to have your iPhone plugged into your PC. Beware however that when you back-up your device (see below) your files will only be backed up to your iCloud server, and not to your computer.

1. Connect your iPhone to wi-fi network and a power source

Before you begin to update your iPhone, or any portable electronic device, it’s essential to first of all ensure it is connected to a power source. This will prevent your iPhone from switching itself off mid-update which can corrupt your device.

It is also worth ensuring your iPhone is connected to a strong wi-fi connection. Your home wi-fi network should be ideal.

2. Backup your iPhone

Before updating to iOS 7, and before any update really, it’s good practice to first backup your device. This can be done via the Settings app on your iPhone.

The Settings tab, with its cogs symbol, will usually appear on the main screen of your iPhone – unless you’ve physically moved it to another screen. To access your settings options simply tap the icon once.

Once there tap on the iCloud option, and then on Storage & Backup. Under the Backup heading, where it says iCloud Backup, there should be a sliding bar, ensure that says ‘on’.

Finally, tap on Back Up Now to begin a backup of your iPhone’s files to the iCloud. This may take a few minutes to complete.

iCloud backup

3. Update your iPhone to iOS 7

Once the backup process has successfully run, go back once again to your Settings menu. This time tap on the General tab, instead of iCloud. This should bring up more options. Pressing on the Software Update option will trigger your iPhone to look for new software.

Once it discovers the new software you will need to press once more on Download and Install to trigger the update. The update will take several minutes, and will reboot your device as the process runs. Once finished you should be greeted by the colourful new redesign of iOS 7.

Software update

Updating your iPhone via iTunes

If you’re at home then it might be safer to update your iPhone via the iTunes software on your PC. This will give you the option to back up your data to your PC too, as well as the iCloud, for added security.

1. Connect your iPhone to your PC

Step one is to connect your iPhone to your PC via the white USB cable supplied with your handset. Plugging in your iPhone should trigger the launch of iTunes. If it doesn’t simply launch iTunes with your PC’s iTunes shortcut.

Once open, iTunes will often ask you to trigger an iTunes update. If this happens then select the Cancel option for now, as first we want to backup your iPhone.

2. Backup your iPhone within iTunes

After you select cancel iTunes should load up as normal and sync with your iPhone. If it doesn’t you should trigger the sync manually by selecting your iPhone within the list of connected devices in iTunes, clicking on the File menu, clicking on Devices and choosing the Sync iPhone option.

Once synchronised select your iPhone in iTunes again in your list of connected devices. This time you need to backup your iPhone to your PC. To do so left on your iPhone in iTunes, highlight This computer in the Backups panel and choose Backup Up Now.

Back Up Now

3. Update iTunes on your PC

Now that your stored files have been safely stored you can update iTunes. To do so, click the Help drop down menu and then click on Check for Updates to begin the process.

Update iTunes

4. Update your iPhone to iOS 7

Finally it’s time to update your iPhone to iOS 7. Simply left-click on your iPhone again, and click on the Update button. iTunes will then verify that you want to update, and once you confirm the update will start. After several minutes you will be the proud recipient of a fully up-to-date iPhone with iOS 7.

Update to iOS 7

More on this

iOS 7 – five key features
Apple vs Android – the Which? Tech Daily debate
Mobile phone reviews – our verdict on all the latest handsets

Categories: Apple, Computing Helpdesk

Tagged as: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Don’t upgrade if you have a 4 or 4s! You can’t downgrade and will more than likely be stuck with a phone with no Wifi, that freezes frequently, can’t imessage, won’t turn off the conventional way but if does will take several minutes and even then you can’t guarantee that it will work and intermittent bluetooth to name but a few. Apple support blamed it on a hardware malfunction but thousands are experiencing the same problems; having a perfectly good, usuable phone prior to upgrading to the iOS 7 operating system. Apple’s solution: go to nearest apple store and pay £147 to get it repaired! Won’t be buying another iPhone. Very disappointed and angry at Apple’s response.

    1. I can’t understand your OS 7 problems – I have an iPhone 4, and upgraded to IOS 7 without any problems at all. He phone is a bit slower at times, but that’s only to be expected with an older phone and a more complex new operating system.
      I suggest that you back up your phone (if you have that facility on your computer) reset the phone and reinstall OS 7. Then download all your phone data again.

Create account

You can leave a reply without having a WordPress account, but if you do register you can upload an avatar. A WordPress account is not connected to your Which? login and cannot be used to login to or any other Which? services.

Sign up