If you own an Apple device, you know how often a notification pops up letting you know that it’s “time to update your device!”
And while it may seem like taking the time to update your Apple Watch or Macbook from version 10.0.0.1 to 10.0.0.2 is not worth the time away, here’s the reality – devices are designed to operate at their best when running the latest software version. Not to mention, updates often include important security fixes and new features that can enhance your user experience.
So, how exactly do you keep all of your Apple devices up to date? It’s actually quite simple, and here at TekReplay, we’ve created the guide you need to make sure your Apple products stay hummin’ along.
Step 1: Make Sure You Know What To Look For
Sometimes, updates can appear as simple pop-ups or reminders on your device. But if you want to manually check for updates, here’s how:
- For Macbook – Go to the Apple menu and click on “Software Update.” This will open a window that will show you any available updates.
- For Apple Watch – Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap on “General” followed by “Software Update.” This will show you any available updates for your watch.
- For Apple iPad or iPhone – Go to the Settings app, tap on “General,” and then tap on “Software Update.” Any available updates will be shown here.
Step 2: Check for Available Updates
Once you’ve accessed your device's software update page, click on the “Check for Updates” button. This will initiate a search for any available updates that can be downloaded and installed.
In many cases, you will be prompted to enter your device’s passcode or Apple ID password before the update can begin.
Step 3: Back Up Your Device
Before you click “Install” on any upgrade or update, always make sure to back up your device to your iCloud account or a third-party storage device.
Let’s repeat that – always back up your device before updating! This is important because if anything goes wrong during the update process, you can restore your device to its previous state and not lose any data.
To back up to iCloud, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Make sure the toggle switch is turned on, and then click “Back Up Now.” You can also connect your device to a computer and use iTunes or Finder to create a backup.
Step 4: Install the Update
Once you have successfully backed up your device, it’s time to install the update. If you are prompted with an option to “Download and Install” or just “Install,” choose the latter. This will ensure that the update file has already been downloaded and is ready to be installed.
Step 5: Be Patient During the Update Process
Depending on the size of the update and the processing power of your device, updates can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour to complete. It's important not to interrupt the process - don't turn your device off or disconnect it. Just let the update run its course.
You'll know the update is still in progress when you see an Apple logo or progress bar displayed on-screen. Once finished, your device will restart, and you'll be prompted to enter your passcode.
Step 6: Update Your Apps Too
Along with keeping your device's operating system up to date, you'll also want to check for app updates periodically. Updates to apps can fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features.
To update apps on an iPhone or iPad, go to the App Store app and tap on your profile icon in the top right corner. On a Mac, go to the App Store app and click on Updates. This will show you all apps that have pending updates. Click "Update All" to upgrade them.
Step 7: Set Up Automatic Updates
To save yourself some time in the future, enable automatic updates on your Apple devices. This allows updates to install on their own without you needing to manually check and approve each one.
On Macs, go to System Preferences > Software Update and check the box for "Automatically keep my Mac up to date." On iOS devices, go to Settings > General > Software Update and tap "Automatic Updates."
Now, your Apple gadgets will update themselves in the background. Just make sure to still do occasional backups in case any issues arise!
What if I need to update to a brand-new operating system?
For iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, major operating system upgrades like iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 will be pushed out automatically over the air. You'll get a notification when the update is ready to install.
For Macs, big upgrades like MacOS Monterey may need to be downloaded from the App Store manually. Go to the App Store app, click on the Update tab, and you should see the new MacOS version available to install if your model supports it.
What if I think my device is too old to update?
Apple generally supports devices with updates for many years, but eventually, they may stop offering updates for older tech. Check Apple's website to see if your device model and year are still eligible for the current OS versions. If so, the updates should still push out. If your device is too old and unsupported, it's risky to run outdated, insecure software. Consider upgrading to a newer device that will get regular updates.
What are the risks of not updating?
Not updating means you'll miss out on the latest features and performance improvements. More importantly, your device will be vulnerable to any security flaws that the updates patch. Hackers can take advantage of unfixed bugs to access your personal data or hack into the device. Always install updates promptly to protect your privacy and security. Out-of-date software also tends to get glitchy over time.
My device is stuck during an update - what should I do?
Don't force restart the device or unplug it if possible. Allow extra time for the update to complete. If it's still frozen after an hour, you may need to force restart it - just know any data not backed up could be lost. Next time, before updating, make sure to back up your device so you can restore the backup if anything goes wrong.
Why do updates take so long and slow down my device?
Updates require installing, unpacking files, optimizing apps, etc. This taxes the storage and RAM, which can cause temporary slowdowns. Give it a few hours after updating to finish working in the background before judging if it's still slow. Large updates also download a lot of data, so use WiFi and don't interrupt the installation process.
Stay Up-To-Date with TekReplay
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