Get your iPhone ready for iOS 14

Now is the time to prepare, before you get caught up in the excitement of the new release.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

At some point over the coming days and weeks -- the uncertainty is down to the possibility that the iPhone release has been pushed back a few weeks because of COVID-19 -- Apple will release iOS 14. While many just smash that install button as soon as it appears, I like to take a more cautious approach.

After all, data loss can put a damper on new operating systems.

This is why I like to be prepared.

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Will your iPhone run iOS 14?

Probably. Here's a list of compatible hardware, going all the way back to 2015:

  • 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)

Test now

If you're really curious to see what iOS 14 looks and feels like, jump onto the public beta that's already in progress. But remember, it is a beta and things can go wrong.

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Have a backup

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

Do it now!

Spring clean

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

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


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!

Update or wipe and restart?

It's a lot less hassle just to upgrade a device because you get to keep all your apps and settings, and everything looks and feels pretty much like it did. It's also the fastest method, so unless you have a lot of spare time, I recommend this.

However, devices that I have wiped and reloaded a new iOS onto, and then installed and re-setup all my apps and such, feel faster and seem to suffer from fewer problems (such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi issues).

But, wiping and reloading the apps and data is a pretty big hassle, and it's probably more work than most want to undertake.

Swings and roundabouts!

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Wait and see

I know a lot of people who want to jump onto a new release as soon as it's available, but then regret the decision where something goes wrong or doesn't work right. Major iOS releases are almost always quickly followed by a x.0.1 bug fix release, so if you really can't have your device playing up, wait a few weeks for this update to land before making the jump.

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