How to Prepare your iPhone for iOS 15 Update

Get your iPhone ready for iOS 15

by: - Last updated on: September 16th, 2021
Key Takeaways
  • iOS 15 will start rolling out on September 20
  • Similar to iOS 14, this year’s update is also compatible with iPhones dating all the way back to the 2nd-gen iPhone SE.
  • While updating your iPhone to the latest iOS version is exciting, there are some steps you should take before jumping into the update process.
  • As such, the following will help you prepare your iPhone to iOS 15.

Apple recently concluded its California Streaming event where it announced a bunch of devices, ranging from the all-new iPhone 13 series to the Apple Watch Series 7 and two new iPads: the 9th-gen iPad and the iPad mini. Moreover, as part of the announcement, the company also revealed the release date for its latest operating systems that will power its iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches this year.

how to update iPhone to iOS 15

As per the announcement, iPhone users will get the latest iOS 15 on their iPhones on September 20. In addition, there is also supposed to be iPadOS 15 for iPad users and watchOS 8 for Apple Watch owners on the same day. [Apple hasn’t announced a release date for macOS Monterey yet.]

If you’re an iPhone user and considering updating it to iOS 15, here’s a guide to help you prepare your iPhone for the iOS 15 update.

iOS 15 Compatible Devices

iOS 15 compatible iPhones

First things first, before you jump in and start preparing your iPhone for iOS 15, you must identify if your iPhone is compatible to run iOS 15. If you purchased your iPhone a couple of years back, you can glance over the list and move on to the guide below. However, if your device is a little older than that, check out the iOS 15 device compatibility list below to determine its compatibility.

According to Apple, the following iPhones will be compatible with iOS 15:

  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7, 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S, 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE 2020 (2nd-generation)
  • iPhone SE (1st-generation)
  • iPod touch (7th-generation)

Once you’ve identified that your iPhone is iOS 15 compatible, follow the instructions below to prepare it for iOS 15.

Note – The steps listed below are for iPhones currently running on an un-jailbroken version of iOS. So if you have a jailbroken iPhone and want to retain it, you must abstain from following these steps. However, if you don’t mind losing the jailbreak, you can first un-jailbreak your iPhone, perform a factory reset, and then update to the latest iOS version.

Steps to Prepare your iPhone for iOS 15 Update

1. Clean Up Your iPhone’s Storage

clean up iPhone storage

One of the situations you don’t want to end up in when you update your iPhone to a new iOS version is where you carry forward your clutter of unused apps and media from your device’s previous state.

As you’d guess, this can hog up a lot of your iPhone’s storage space, which is something you should avoid—irrespective of your device’s storage configuration. And the best way to do this is to get rid of cluttered storage is to delete all the unused media and apps before updating your device to the latest version.

So head over to your iPhone’s storage (Settings > General > iPhone Storage) and peruse through different media categories to find out the apps and media you no longer use/need and delete them from your iPhone.

2. Organize the Springboard

organize iPhone home screen

Every app or widget you install on your iPhone goes right onto its home screen. As you use your iPhone over time, this results in a situation where you end up accumulating numerous apps and widgets across several home screens.

Of these apps and widgets, there might certainly be a few that you haven’t used at all or no longer require. These apps can not only hog up your iPhone’s storage but also clutter its home screen.

So if you’ve got lots of such apps or widgets on your iPhone, you must delete them before updating to iOS 15. While you’re at it, you can also organize the remaining apps on your home screen to your preference to make finding them easier.

3. Backup Your iPhone

Getting a new iOS update on your iPhone is always exciting. And subsequently, most of the time, some of us become carefree and begin the updating process without taking a backup of the device.

While granted, iOS updates are mostly trouble-free, and the process is fairly smooth, there are times when the update might fail midway and cause data loss. Hence, it’s often wise to take a complete backup of your iPhone before updating it to the latest software.

Use any of the followings methods to create a backup of your iPhone.

i. Backup iPhone Using iCloud

backup data using iCloud

To back up all the contents of your iPhone to iCloud, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi.
  2. Open Settings and tap your name on top.
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. Tap on iCloud Backup and toggle the button next to iCloud Backup.
  5. Hit the Backup Now button to begin the backup process.

ii. Backup iPhone on Mac

iPhone backup on Mac

IMAGE: Apple

Apple has abandoned iTunes support on Mac. So, if you now want to perform anything on your device (including update), you can do it using Finder. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPhone to Mac using the original cable.
  2. Open Finder. If a message pops up, click on Trust This Computer and enter the passcode.
  3. Locate your device under the Locations section.
  4. Click on Backup Now.

iii. Backup iPhone on Windows

If you’re on Windows, the only way you can backup up your iPhone’s data is using iTunes. To avoid running into issues, make sure you’re using the latest version of iTunes. Once done, follow the steps below to take a backup of your iPhone on Windows:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the PC using the cable.
  2. Open iTunes, and upon receiving a pop-up, select Trust and enter your device’s passcode.
  3. Click on the Device button and select Summary.
  4. Hit the Back Up Now to start taking a backup.

Besides, if your iPhone has apps like WhatsApp, Signal, etc., you should take a backup of all your chats and media on them, too, in case anything goes wrong.

4. Keep Your Apple ID and Password Handy

Before you begin updating your iPhone to iOS 15, make sure you have your Apple ID and password handy with you. If you use a password manager, keep it accessible. However, if you don’t use one, ensure that you remember the correct ID and password combination. In case you don’t reset it before proceeding with the update.

How to Download and Update your iPhone to iOS 15?

Once you’ve prepared your iPhone for the update, you’re ready to update it to iOS 15. To do this, the first thing you need to do is plug in your iPhone on charge. Next, turn on its Wi-Fi and head over to Settings > General > Software Update.

If iOS 15 has rolled out in your region, you should see a listing for the same on the update screen. Once it’s available, your iPhone will automatically start downloading the update if you have the Automatic Updates option turned on.

However, if it isn’t, you can either turn on the option or download and install the update manually by clicking on the Download and Install button below the update.

Successfully Updating Your iPhone to iOS 15

If you followed the guide carefully and everything in the backend went smooth, you should have iOS 15 up and running on your iPhone. Although rare, in the event when an OTA update fails, you can either retry it at a later time again or try updating your device using your Mac or PC.

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