Tips to prepare your iPhone or iPad for iOS 9 Software Update

Apple will release its major software update i.e. iOS 9 on September 16th. After months of rigorous test of several beta releases, Apple will finally be releasing a public version of the iOS 9 that includes some great new features such as revamped Notes app, all-new News application, improved Siri, transit direction in the Maps app, and more (Check out: iOS 9 new features). Since every major software release is always a big deal and iOS 9 is no different. It’s suggested to plan your iOS 9 upgrade strategy beforehand.

ios 9 prepare tips

The upgrade process is pretty simple for regular iOS users, however users who have jailbroken their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch will have to face another level of complexity from the day the iOS 9 goes live to general public. Here we’ll talk in depth about how to properly prepare for iOS 9 software update regardless of whether you devices is jailbroken or not.

iOS 9 compatibility

Apple’s upcoming major software update will be available for free to the following iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch models:

  • iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus,
  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s
  • iPad Air 2, iPad Air
  • iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2
  • iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini
  • iPod Touch 6g, iPod Touch 5g

Backup your iOS device

It is always a good idea to keep a backup of your data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. You can do that either using iTunes, or on iCloud. Once you have a backup, you can restore your iOs device without any fear of losing your data. You can backup your iOS device using either of these guides:

If you choose to encrypt your iOS device backup, it will also backup secure information found on your device such as passwords.

Want to keep the jailbreak or not?

If you have jailbroken your iOS device, now it’s time to decide if you want to keep it or not. Currently, the iOS 9 is not jailbreak-able and there is no clear indication if there will be an iOS 9 jailbreak. So, decide wisely or you may end up losing your jailbreak.

If you have a jailbroken device and you love your jailbreak apps and tweaks, then simply avoid the iOS 9 firmware and wait for a hackers team to release a jailbreak tool for iOS 9. The good news is iOS 9 has been jailbroken.

If you have a jailbroken device but do not care about the jailbreak and want to update to iOS 9, you’ll have to perform a full restore of your device using iTunes. It is necessary because jailbroken devices are not eligible for OTA (Over-the-Air) update.

Free up some space

An OTA (Over-the-Air) iOS update generally requires more than 1.3GB of free space to download and install the update. A major OS update, such as iOS 9, is a good time to free up some space on your device. You can do that by uninstalling the apps you hardly use. You can check the space usage by each application installed by going into Settings > Usage.

You can also free up some space on your iOS device by deleting unwanted stuff from it such as Music, Podcasts, etc.

OTA update or fresh restore?

If your device is not jailbroken, you can install iOS 9 OTA (Over-the-Air) by going into Settings > General > Software Update when the firmware update is available. While there is nothing wrong with an OTA update, it’s always a good thing to perform a fresh/clean restore of your device using iTunes whenever a major iOS update is available and start clean. Installing an incremental update, such as iOS 9, OTA is totally fine. It is perfectly fine to install iOS 9 OTA update, or else Apple would never allow such a thing.

Starting clean and fresh with a major software update feels better. This factory resets your device, installs iOS using iTunes, and finally you restore your backup onto your device. In the end, your personal preference is what really matters here. I like to fresh restore my devices for a major firmware update like iOS 9, and install OTA update for incremental updates such as iOS 9.

Update iTunes to latest version

If you are going for a fresh restore, make sure to download and install the latest version of iTunes from here.

Installing iOS 9

Apple will make iOS 9 available as an OTA update as well as through iTunes. You can install iOS 9 OTA by going into Settings > General > Software Update. For jailbreak, OTA updates do not work.

If you want to clean install / fresh restore your device, you’ll have to update to iOS 9 through iTunes. To do that, simply follow our guide on how to install iOS using iTunes.

Download iOS 8.4.1

If after installing iOS 9, you do not like it or facing some weird bugs or circumstances that make you go back to iOS 8.4.1, you should be able to downgrade back to iOS 8.4.1 until Apple stops signing it. Apple usually keeps signing the older firmware for about a week, so it’s important to downgrade back as soon as possible if you do not want to stay on iOS 9.

To downgrade back, download iOS 8.4.1 and connect your device to iTunes. Hold down the Option/Shift key and click on Restore. Browse and select the downloaded iOS 8.4.1 IPSW file and let the downgrade process to complete.

That’s it. You are ready for the iOS 9 software update. If you know any other tip that should have been on this list, please do let us know in the comments section below.

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