How to Update an iPhone Without Losing Data

By Avery Martin

Safely update your iPhone by creating appropriate backups.
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Software updates always come with the potential risk of data loss if an error occurs during the updating process. The iPhone provides a way to preserve your data by creating a backup on your computer. After creating a backup of your iPhone's data, all your content, data and settings can be restored in the event of a data failure. You can also use your backup to transfer the contents and settings of an old iPhone when upgrading to a new iPhone.

Back Up IPhone

Step 1

Launch iTunes on the "home computer" used to sync content to your iPhone. On Windows, click the Start menu and type "iTunes" into the search box. On Mac, click the "iTunes" application in the Dock.

Step 2

Update your computer to the latest version of iTunes by clicking the "Help" menu on Windows computers or "iTunes" on Mac computers. Select "Check for Updates."

Step 3

Plug your iPhone into your computer using the supplied USB connector cable.

Step 4

Right-click on your iPhone when it appears in the Devices section of iTunes.

Step 5

Select "Back Up" to create a backup of your iPhone.

Update or Restore iPhone

Step 1

Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes if it isn't already open.

Step 2

Select your iPhone from the Devices section and click the "Summary" tab.

Step 3

Click "Check for Update" and install the update to your iPhone. Provided the update is successful, you don't need to restore your content to your iPhone. If the update fails, click the "Restore" button in the Summary tab, then select your iTunes backup when prompted.