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How to Prepare Your iPad or iPhone for iOS 8 Update

Along with other shiny new things, Apple today announced the official release date for iOS 8, the next generation of the company’s mobile operating system. iOS 8 adds several significant enhancements such as new Health and Home Automation frameworks, an iCloud-based Photo Library, Family Sharing, and more.

iOS 8 will come on September 17th, now’s a good time to get ready for the update and make sure that your iPhone or iPad are ready. Here’s how you can ensure that your idevice will be ready to receive the iOS 8 update.

Check compatibility

Not everyone is eligible to install iOS 8 on their iPhone or iPad. If you’ve been holding on to the original iPad or iPhone 4, it may be time to update to a newer device. The company has said the following devices will be receiving the update: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad 2, third- and fourth-generation iPad, iPad Air, fifth-generation iPod Touch, iPad Mini, and iPad Mini with Retina display.

Backup your device

Before skipping to the next step, stop whatever you’re doing and backup your iPhone and iPad. This is the most crucial step. A new OS upgrade is the most major change you can make to your device and in the process a lot can go wrong (it’s rare, but it can happen). So make sure you’ve backed up the entire contents of your iOS device before starting any upgrade to iOS 8.

If iCloud is enabled you can simply connect to Wi-Fi and charge your device to start the back-up process or you can backup straightaway by going to Settings, then iCloud, and Storage & Backup. You will see the option to Back Up Now.

Another way to backup is through iTunes on your computer. Plug in your device, then choose your device from the menu on iTunes, and select Back Up Now. A backup of your device will save locally on your computer’s hard disk

Free up space

The final size of the iOS 8 download is not yet known. But if iOS 7 is anything to go by it will be around 700MB. Most people hear that and think that means they only need 700MB of free space on their device to install the update. But in actuality users will need at least 3GB of free space.

You can start deleting old photos and big apps immediately – or you can target whatever is eating up the most amount of space. To see what you can get rid of today, go to Usage under General in Settings. It will show you a list of things and how much they each weigh, ordered by size. Photos and videos typically take up the most room. When everything is properly backed up, feel free to delete a bunch of stuff.

Install iOS 8

There are two ways to upgrade to iOS 8.0: You can use your Wi-Fi connection, or you can connect your iPad to your PC and update through iTunes. We’ll go over each method.

To upgrade to iOS 8 using Wi-Fi:

  1. Go into the iPad’s Settings.
  2. Locate and tap “General” from the menu on the left.
  3. The second option from the top is “Software Update”. Tap this to move into the update settings.
  4. Tap “Download and Install”. This will start the upgrade, which will take several minutes and will reboot your iPad during the process. If the Download and Install button is grayed out, trying clearing up some space. The space required by the update is mostly temporary, so you should gain most of it back after iOS 8.0 is installed.
  5. Once the update is installed, you may have to run through the initial steps of setting up your iPad again. This is to account for new features and settings.

Note: If your iPad’s battery is under 50%, you will want to plug it into your charger while performing the update.

To upgrade to iOS 8 using iTunes:

  1. First, connect your iPad to your PC or Mac using the cable provided when you purchased your device. This will allow iTunes to communicate with your iPad. Lanuch iTunes it should automatically detect that a new version of the operating system exists and prompt you to upgrade to it. Choose Cancel. Before updating, you will want to manually sync your iPad to make sure everything is up to date.
  2. After canceling the dialog box, iTunes should automatically sync with your iPad.
  3. If iTunes doesn’t automatically sync, you can manually do it by selecting your iPad within iTunes, clicking on the File menu and choosing Sync iPad from the list.
  4. After your iPad has been synced to iTunes, select your iPad within iTunes. You can find it on the left side menu under Devices.
  5. From the iPad screen, click on the Update button.
  6. After verifying that you want to update your iPad, the process will begin. It takes a few minutes to update the operating system during which time your iPad may reboot a few times.
  7. After updating, you may be asked a few questions when your device finally boots back up. This is to account for new settings and features.