In just a few hours Apple will be releasing iOS 10, the latest version of its mobile operating system that powers devices like iPads and iPhones. While Apple has made it super easy to update your devices via OTA updates, there are still some things you should do prior to hitting that download button. In this article I’ll discuss those with you so that you can (hopefully) have a painless migration from iOS 9 to 10.

Backup Your Device

Probably the most important thing you should do prior to updating your device(s) is a proper backup. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, there’s iCloud. This is the built-in backup solution that most people probably have enabled on their device. This allows your phone to backup critical data to Apple’s iCloud system, which is tied to your Apple ID, and allows you to store it in the cloud.


How much storage you get is dependent on what level of iCloud storage you’re subscribed to. For more information on iCloud storage plans and pricing click here. This is probably the easiest way to backup your phone, but it assumes that you’re connected to the internet and have enough space in your iCloud account, so it’s not the most bullet-proof method.

iTunes Backup Screen

If you want a rock-solid backup you should plug your device(s) into your Mac or PC and use iTunes. This will allow your device to do a full backup to your hard drive. This is what I do for any OS update because it gives me piece of mind that there’s an actual physical copy of my device data on my computer in my house, and not stored on a server somewhere. For a more detailed description of how to perform a backup using iCloud or iTunes click here.

IMPORTANT: If you want your Apple Health data (including your Apple Watch activity) to sync over to iOS 10, you’ll need to do an encrypted backup of your device using iTunes. More information on this can be found here.

Sync Your Photos

Sync with Apple Photos

If you’re anything like me, you probably take a lot of photos with your iOS device(s). In order to ensure that those photos are preserved before you upgrade to iOS 10 it might be a good idea to sync those photos to your hard drive or iCloud Photo Library. Syncing to your Hard Drive is easy if you have a Mac. Just plug in your device and launch Apple’s Photos App. You can also use tools like Adobe Lightroom or Bridge to sync your photos to your computer if you like. Either way, make sure you preserve those memories somewhere so that you don’t lose anything in the event of problem while upgrading.

Learn About iOS 10

I know this sounds funny, especially if you’ve been using iOS for a while, but there are some big changes coming in iOS 10 that might catch you off guard. Make sure you’re familiar with those changes by reviewing Apple’s website and watching online courses from places like (shameless plug, I know).

Final Tidbits

Getting a new operating system is almost as good as getting a whole new device. There’s a lot to play with and dive into. Try to suppress your excitement at least until you’ve done the aforementioned steps though. This will ensure that you’re able to migrate to iOS 10 quickly and safely while hopefully avoiding any data loss or frustration along the way. That being said, remember that you’ll be among millions of other iOS users that are attempting to update, and Apple’s servers will be slammed. Be patient. iOS 10 will still be cool tomorrow, I promise… Happy upgrading!


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