Get ready for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Don't be one those people who just smashes the install button and hopes for the best!
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is coming soon to your iPhone and iPad.

It's days away.

While most will blindly hit install, I like to take some steps to make sure that the process goes smoothly and I don't lose data.

After all, data loss can put a damper on the excitement of a new release.

Here's what I'll be doing to get ready for the upcoming release.

Must read: Buying a new Apple gadget? Here's how to find the best deals (September 2021)

Will your iPhone get iOS 15?

Here are the iPhones that will get iOS 15:

  • iPhone 12 / 12 mini / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS / XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s / 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

Will your iPad get iPadOS 15?

Here are the iPads that will get iPadOS 15:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

Must read: iPhone 13 will get new features that no one wants

Decisions, decisions

The first thing that you need to decide is whether you want to stick with iOS 14/iPadOS 14 or upgrade. Apple has said that iPhone and iPad owners will get the choice, but right now we're unclear as to how that choice will be presented.

But at this point it's worth knowing that the choice exists and sticking on the current version won't mean not getting security patches.

Update apps and free up space

I recommend updating your apps if you're the sort of person who has disabled automatic updates and forget to do it manually. Running older apps on the new release could cause glitches.

It's also a good idea to make space before installing a new update. Getting rid of any apps that you aren't using is a good way to do this.

You need at least a gigabyte, and ideally two or three gigabytes of free space.

Make a backup of your data

I recommend having two backups of your data -- one in the cloud in case things go bad, and one on a PC or Mac in case things go really bad.

Details on how to do this can be found here.

Don't think you need to do this? OK, imagine that your phone was erased now. Have you lost anything important? If the answer is yes, you need to make backups.


Don't rely on passwords that only exist on your iPhone or iPad.

Following the upgrade, you'll need to enter your iCloud password to be able to reconnect to all your data and photos. If you don't have this close to hand -- remember, having it on the device you're upgrading isn't all that convenient -- then this might be a good time to do that.

Also, if your local backup is encrypted, then remember you'll need that password if something goes wrong!

Want to try the public beta?

If you'd like to try the public beta -- it's quite far along now and the rough edges have been smoothed off -- then I've put together instructions on how to do this safely here.

Installing and running Windows 11 on a Mac

Editorial standards